Shana's Artist: Susie Ghahremani / boygirlparty
Hi Susie! Tell us a little bit about you.
My name is Susie Ghahremani, I’m based in San Diego, CA! I started Boygirlparty in 2001 when I was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design. Besides being the name of my business and sometimes pseudonym, "boygirlparty” is an antiquated word for the first party you go to as a kid that brings all the kids in your community together. It’s a chance to play with someone new. The term, to me, is loaded with child-like wonderment and energy.
Also, boygirlparty™ is one word. It just is.
You have such a unique style. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Something this pandemic has really made obvious to me is how much of my artwork comes from a place of joy. It’s been a challenging time for joy! But I find it reliably in nature, in creativity, in humor, and in the animal world. I try to combine those things in my artwork.
Your animal illustrations are beyond cute. How do you DO that?!
Thank you!! I sketch a lot! I like to draw from life, and then play with how I am going to stylize my characters.
What was the first type of "art" you made (paintings, digital art, pins, etc)?
In school, you draw and paint, so those were my first experiences-- but something clicked for me when I used ink for the first time. I prefer writing and drawing with ink more than anything else.
What made you expand from 2-D to product design?
They go hand-in-hand to me the moment artwork leaves a sketchbook — I like to see art in my life. Life is 3-D. Products and gallery shows and jewelry and books and shirts are 3-D.
Since you've been selling online for a long time, what are some difficulties you've faced?
The issue of infringement and being copied is one that causes me a lot of pain. It’s not just the legal aspect of it and trying to protect my intellectual property, but the pain of exploitation of my art, life and personal experiences. I’ve had to fight companies that made copies of my cat that died, for example. That is messed up.
Do you have any pets? What are their names? Got any pics?
I have the sweetest little cat in the world named Violet, and four society finches that she wants to eat. We had three finches, but during the pandemic, they laid an egg and it actually hatched! That finch is named Peepant.
You've worked with Shana for over a decade! What's that like (aside from the fact that she can never remember how much shipping your notepads cost ;-)
I love working with Shana because I value working with other people who are DIY / independent in mind and spirit. We are both women running our own businesses and aware of all the inner workings. We exchange emails at odd hours and work through challenges together like how to keep shipping costs down. There is symmetry and kinship in how we do things — from our personal endeavors like wildlife rescue and ceramics to our professional endeavors like making sure what we offer is ethically made and unique.
What's something that most people don't know about you?
I picnic at least once every week, speak French, and love mail. I recently painted a mural in my local independent bookstore. I love to stargaze.
Anything else you'd like to add?
You can find me on instagram and tiktok:
I’m new to TikTok and I think it might be the only positive corner of the internet.