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The personal and professional portfolio of Amy L. Frazer. Amy is a full time designer and artist inspired by the natural and man made world around her. 

Amy L. Frazer Blog

Thoughts, ideas, musings on art, illustration and design.

HER STORY: CHELSEA INGLE OF BRIDGE CITY KID

Amy Frazer

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One of the things I love about Portland is that there are so many ways to meet people through art. Making art, selling art, talking about art. Meeting Chelsea Ingle of Bridge City Kid in the St. John’s neighborhood is no exception. Bridge City Kid is an amazing outdoor retailer dedicated to kids, and participates in the St John’s Art Walk Art Burst program. The Art Walk, started in 2017, pairs local artists with selected St. Johns businesses to serve as mini-galleries. With these quarterly events, they hope to 1.) increase access to and appreciation of the arts; 2.) support and strengthen the artist community in St. Johns and North Portland; 3.) engage the St. Johns business community; 4.) celebrate the diverse cultural communities in North Portland and; 5.) build community by facilitating conversations and connections.

I moved to North Portland this past summer, so I wanted to get involved in the art scene here and in St. John’s. I was partnered with Bridge City Kid for the September Art Walk and my work (prints, original thread paintings, cards..)will be there until next week. There is a new show going up for the March Art Walk, Friday March 2 from 6-8pm. Chelsea has an amazing story around her business and I want to share it with you! I love Chelsea’s enthusiasm for her community, her customers, the product she sells and her commitment to supporting non-profit charities.

Here’s her story….. 

Amy: Tell me about how you got here? What was your path to Bridge City Kid?

Chelsea: My retail began as a member of the Nordstrom Fashion Board - a research study group & apprenticeship program.  After graduating from Grant HS and a year at PSU, I studied in NYC to major in Fashion Merchandising Management at FIT & complete my Associate's Degree.  I held a retail sales job during this time for a swimwear designer named Malia Mills.  After two years, I transferred to the Polimoda International School of Design in Florence, Italy; however, my student visa was never acquired so I instead spent the Summer traveling abroad and returned later to finish my Bachelors Degree at Oregon State.  Before graduating, I completed an internship in Seattle, WA; volunteering for a non-profit called the Sustainable Style Foundation.  After a few months, I left this to open a new shop for Ed Chalfa called Tiger Tiger Clothing Exchange (new name: same owner as Red Light Clothing Exchange).  Once I had completed my degree at OSU, I managed ZAZEN; a boutique and Saturday Market booth selling imported women's wear from Thailand.   Later on, I held more Management positions in Seattle, Santa Cruz &  Portland.  Before resettling in Portland, I partnered with a Distribution Company serving Kombucha at music festivals up the West Coast. My final retail position was well-positioned at Portland Store Fixtures that allowed me to conceptualize my store design and prepare for my transition as a business-owner.

Amy: Why are you so passionate about kids and the outdoors? 

Chelsea: As a mother of a young boy; I have seen myself wanting to spend as much time as possible outdoors given the health benefits & happiness that it brings.  I tagged along with my son as he explored new activities such as skateboarding, learning the sport myself.  I feel that this is the most inspiring aspect of parenting; trying new things together.  When I was a kid, I enjoyed hiking with my family & time playing outside with my friends. Our children these days have been marginalized through over-stimulation along avenues that do not afford them the simple freedom of being able to regularly play outside.  Being playful & free in nature is what brings me the greatest peace in my life and I deeply feel we need to make this more available in the way we raise our children.  Having the right gear is essential in overcoming the hurdle of staying comfortable outside by keeping warm and dry, regardless of the weather.  Fashion has always gauged my interest as a consumer and this avenue is starting to become more available for children in the outdoor industry.   Most outdoor retailers have not offered enough to help families shop with ease and find affordable items for recreation.  REI recently chose to remove baby & toddler items from their retail outlets given the issue of too many worn item returns, paving the road for the first outdoor retailer dedicated to kids to open in Portland, OR. 

Amy: What’s this about donating all profits to charity??!! That’s incredible. Tell us more about this concept and why you are doing this? What charities do you support and how can we support them too?  

Chelsea: Originally inspired by Stephen Green (co-founder of the first non-profit pub called the Oregon Public House) and then seeing Ex Novo open as the first non-profit brewery; I decided that it was possible to make my shop the first retail establishment that donates all profits to charity. We plan to open a non-profit organization once profits are available and can be given to charitable organizations.  The outdoor industry is known for its ability to serve non-profits that are aligned with the same values of protecting the environment and affording youth the opportunity to access the outdoors regardless of income.  I will be supporting the same organizations; elevating their impact as well helping to fund smaller non-profits that are local to the Pacific Northwest.  A few examples are Oregon Wild (protecting public land as designated wilderness areas), Surfrider Foundation (volunteer-led cleanup & advocacy for healthy city streets, oceans and mountains), and well as sponsorship for outdoor camps like ReWild & NW Nature Partners.  A link is available on our website that lists organizations that we have already partnered with to learn more and support individually.  https://www.bridgecitykid.com/service/all-profits-to-charity/

Amy: How can we find you and buy your amazing products?  

Chelsea: We are located in St Johns of  Portland, OR or online with free shipping available at www.bridgecitykid.com.

Amy: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a small business owner? What are some of the rewards? 

Chelsea: My biggest challenge has been the amount of time it takes to complete a remodel and fill my shop with customers.  There is an arduous process of starting a business that I didn't realize would be so time-sensitive.  It just takes a long time to build-in the ease for a new shopping environment.  There is a common hurdle of trying something new that most people feel uncomfortable with where only time can heal this through engaging more customers to enter the door and make a purchase. Regardless, the most rewarding aspect is that I am selling items for children to engage more with the outdoors and share with my community the vision of a brighter future given the altruistic nature of each purchase.

Amy: What do you love about St John’s neighborhood and community? PNW? 

Chelsea: For a long time, St Johns has always been quoted to be a "up & coming" neighborhood.  Gentrification is never a good thing, however, the situation is clear that Portland has become so desirable that all areas around the city have been changed to accommodate a growth in population.  We were given this location through a good friend of mine who owns the building next door and I moved in at the same time as both of my neighbors (Sabatino Scooters & Bernstein's Bagels).  Yet to be fully realized, we share an outdoor space that can really exemplify the strong community that we share as business owners in St Johns.  Affording new gear in addition to expensive school registrations can be burdensome for most and I hope to facilitate more ease in participation by offering a discount to participating families. Since the beginning, I have been inspired by the women-owned businesses here - namely Salty Teacup and Anna from ROM shoes; supplying me with fixtures & newbie "sage" advice.   The community of new families with interest in the outdoors is strong in St Johns with many schools influenced by nature including the Portland Village School (a Waldorf-inspired Charter school).  I hope to continue building my relationship with local schools that encourage year-round outdoor play.  Affording new gear in addition to expensive school registrations can be burdensome for most; I hope to facilitate more ease & interest in these programs by offering a discount to participating families.   

Amy: What is your favorite camping snack?  

Chelsea: My favorite camping snack is cracking peanuts with a cold beer, at the campsite or backyard fireplace.

And there you have it! Go visit Bridge City Kid and all of the amazing shops and restaurants in St. John’s! It’s fun to explore new to you neighborhoods!

Bridge City Kid is located at 8402 N. Lombard St. in St John’s, Portland OR, 97203.
www.bridgecitykid.com

Here are some links to learn more about St John’s and Bridge City Kid:
www.facebook.com/bridgecitykid/
www.instagram.com/bridgecitykid/
www.stjohnsopportunity.org

 

HUDSON VALLEY SEED LIBRARY COMMISSION: THE STINGING NETTLE

Amy Frazer

WHO DOESN'T LOVE SEED PACKETS? I MEAN EVERYONE RIGHT?! WELL, IF YOU LOVE THEM AS MUCH AS I DO, THEN CHECK OUT THE HUDSON VALLEY SEED COMPANY!

Photo Credit: Kayley Hoddick

EARLIER THIS YEAR IN MAY, I WAS COMMISSIONED TO DESIGN ONE OF THE HUDSON VALLEY SEED LIBRARY'S 12 ART PACKS FOR 2017. OVER 400 ARTISTS FROM 48 STATES AND 7 COUNTRIES SUBMITTED PROPOSALS, AND AFTER DOING A FEW ROUNDS OF SKETCHES, IT WAS DECIDED THAT I WOULD DESIGN THE STINGING NETTLE PACK! KEN FROM HUDSON VALLEY THOUGHT THAT MY EMBROIDERY TECHNIQUES WERE PERFECT TO TELL THE STINGING NETTLE STORY!  THEY WERE SO EASY TO WORK WITH TO GET INPUT, APPROVALS AND PAYMENT. THANK YOU KEN FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS AMAZING PROGRAM!!

NOT ONLY WILL MY EMBROIDERY BE USED ON THE SEED PACKET, BUT IT WILL ALSO BE FEATURED IN THE SEED LIBRARY 2017 CALENDAR, AVAILABLE AS FINE ART PRINTS AND THE ORIGINAL ARTWORK WILL BE IN A TRAVELING ART SHOW AROUND THE COUNTRY! I'LL POST THE LOCATIONS AND DATES WHEN THEY ARE AVAILABLE.

THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST COMPLEX EMBROIDERY I'VE DONE TO DATE. IT WAS REALLY SPECIAL TO WORK ON BECAUSE IT BROUGHT BACK MEMORIES OF MY CHILDHOOD WHEN I HAD A SMALL GARDEN PLOT IN OUR BACKYARD, I GREW GREEN PEPPERS, CARROTS, GREEN ONIONS AND SOME OTHER THINGS I DON'T REMEMBER!

BELOW ARE SOME OF MY SKETCHES AND IMAGES OF MY PROCESS.

I BASED THE CONCEPT OF THE STORY OF THE 6 SWANS. "THE SIX SWANS" IS A GERMAN FAIRY TALE COLLECTED BY THE BROTHERS GRIMM.

PLOT: SIX BROTHERS FROM A KING'S FIRST MARRIAGE HAVE BEEN TURNED INTO SWANS BY THEIR STEPMOTHER. THE BROTHERS CAN ONLY TAKE THEIR HUMAN FORMS FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES EVERY EVENING. TO FREE THEM, THEIR SISTER NAMED ELSA MUST MAKE SIX SHIRTS OUT OF NETTLES AND CAN'T MAKE A SOUND FOR SEVEN YEARS OR THE SPELL WILL NEVER BE BROKEN.

THE KING OF ANOTHER COUNTRY FINDS HER DOING THIS, IS TAKEN BY HER BEAUTY, AND MARRIES HER. WHEN ELSA, NOW QUEEN, HAS GIVEN BIRTH TO THEIR FIRST CHILD, THE KING'S OWN WICKED MOTHER TAKES AWAY THE CHILD AND ACCUSES THE QUEEN OF DESTROYING IT. UNABLE TO DEFEND HERSELF, THE QUEEN IS SENTENCED TO BE BURNED AT THE STAKE AS A WITCH.

ON THE DAY OF HER EXECUTION, SHE HAS ALL BUT FINISHED MAKING THE SHIRTS FOR HER BROTHERS. ONLY THE LAST SHIRT MISSES A LEFT ARM. WHEN SHE IS BROUGHT TO THE STAKE, SHE TAKES THE SHIRTS WITH HER AND WHEN SHE IS ABOUT TO BE BURNED,THE SEVEN YEARS EXPIER AND SIX SWANS COME FLYING THROUGH THE AIR. SHE THROWS THE SHIRTS OVER HER BROTHERS AND THEY REGAIN THEIR HUMAN FORM. THE QUEEN, NOW FREE TO SPEAK, CAN DEFEND HERSELF AGAINST THE ACCUSATIONS. HER MOTHER-IN-LAW RETURNS THE BABY SHE STOLE, AND IN ANGER SHE FALLS INTO A FIT AND DIES.

ICONS IN MY SKETCHES ARE PULLED FROM THE STORY CONCEPT:

  • NETTLES REPRESENT THE CHOSEN VARIETY. ALSO THE SISTER, ELSE MADE THE SHIRTS FOR HER BROTHERS OUT OF NETTLES.
  • THE NEEDLE REPRESENTS THE SEWING THE SISTER HAD TO DO TO MAKE THE SHIRTS.
  • 6 SWANS REPRESENT THE 6 BROTHERS. THE CROWNS REPRESENT THEM AS PRINCES

SURTEX 2016: THE AFTER PARTY

Amy Frazer

"It's not about how long you live, but how you contribute.  It's about doing your best and doing the right thing.  It's about recovering from your mistakes and not giving up.  It's about the baton pass to a new generation.  It's about the realization that you can not go it alone.  It takes a team." -My friend Geoff Hollister (1946 - 2012)

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THE DOODLE DIVISION

Amy Frazer

 PRESIDENT OBAMA DOODLE

PRESIDENT OBAMA DOODLE

THE RECENT CALL FOR SUBMISSION BY UPPERCASE MAGAZINE HAS CAUSED ME TO TAKE A LOOK AT DOODLING A LITTLE CLOSER. I THINK MOST ARTISTS DO IT. I CERTAINLY DO. THERE ARE SOME VERY FAMOUS BUSINESS PEOPLE AND PRESIDENTS WHO DO IT.  BUT WHAT IS A DOODLE? AND WHY DO WE DO IT? FOR ME IT HELPS ME FOCUS. IT'S MEDITATIVE. USUALLY IT'S JUST FOR MYSELF. SOMETIMES I USE IT TO WORK OUT QUICK IDEAS. THERE'S A FINE LINE BETWEEN DOODLING AND SKETCHING. 

THERE HAVE BEEN ARTICLES WRITTEN ABOUT DOODLING PRAISING THE EFFECTS ON US. HERE ARE A FEW THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL WROTE ABOUT THE POWER OF THE DOODLE.  NPR WROTE ABOUT USING DOODLES TO STAY ON TASK.  PSYCHOLOGY TODAY WRITES ABOUT DOODLING YOUR WAY TO A MORE MINDFUL LIFE. AND IN HER TED TALK, SUNNI BROWN SAYS "DOODLERS UNITE!"

SOME OF THE MOST FAMOUS CEO'S ARE DOODLERS. THERE IS THE  DAVOS DOODLER, BILL GATES AT MICROSOFT. MARK PARKER AT NIKE DOODLES IN MEETINGS "BECAUSE I LISTEN BETTER WHEN I'M SKETCHING."  THERE ARE PRESIDENTIAL DOODLERS INCLUDING OBAMA.  HERBERT HOOVER WAS A CHRONIC DOODLER AND MOST OF HIS WERE "GEOMETRICAL". IS THAT A WORD? A LINE OF CHILDREN'S CLOTHING WAS ACTUALLY PATTERNED AFTER SOME OF HIS SKETCHES.

BELOW ARE DOODLES BY HERBERT HOOVER, RONALD REAGAN AND MARK PARKER.

DOODLING CAN HELP YOU FEEL BETTER TOO. FOR ME IF I'M DOWN OR NEED A MENTAL BREAK DOODLING CAN HELP. I'VE HEARD AND READ THAT CANCER PATIENTS SUFFERING FROM "CHEMO BRAIN" CAN HELP EASE SYMPTOMS BY DOING PUZZLES, DOODLING, TAKING CLASSES OR LEARNING A NEW LANGUAGE.

SO WHATEVER REASON YOU HAVE FOR DOODLING, KEEP DOING IT! IT'S REALLY, REALLY GOOD FOR YOU!

BELOW ARE A FEW OF MY DOODLES.




MY WORK IS OUT THERE! A FOLLOW UP….

Amy Frazer

GREAT NEWS TO REPORT TODAY! THE SUBMISSION THAT I SENT TO UPPERCASE MAGAZINE IN APRIL WAS ACCEPTED AND IS NOW IN ISSUE 26 OF THE MAGAZINE! I'M SUPER THRILLED TO BE A ART OF IT! THE STORY IT IS FEATURED IN IS ALL ABOUT DOILEIS AND LACE. CHECK OUT PAGE 91 FOR MY TINY ARTICLE. YOU CAN VIEW ISSUE 26 ONLINE HERE ALSO. ENJOY! NOW I HAVE TO FIND AN EXTRA COPY TO SEND TO MY MOM!!

YOU CAN SEE MORE OF MY SNOWFLAKE PAINTINGS HERE.

Getting Your Work Out There…..

Amy Frazer

Sometimes as designers or creatives, it's tough to put your work out into the world.  THE COMMENTS AND CRITICISM CAN BE DAUNTING AND DISABLING. WE ARE PUTTING A PIECE OF OURSELVES OUT THERE FOR THE WORLD TO SEE. But recently I've decided to share more of my work and myself with the world. Brene' Brown talks about this idea here with chase jarvis: Daring greatly to unlock your creativity.

a few years ago I discovered UPPERCASE magazine and am totally in love with it.  "uppercase publishes books and magazines for the creative and curious: products that spark the imagination and inspire creativity. the eponymous magazine was founded in 2009 by publisher, editor and designer janine vangool who continues to wear pretty much every hat imaginable."

THE UPPERCASE WEBSITE HAS AN INTERESTING FEATURE CALLED "PARTICIPATE" WHERE THEY FEATURE DIFFERENT WAYS FOR READERS TO GET INVOLVED IN THE MAGAZINE AND COMMUNITY. IN APRIL THE CALL WENT OUT FOR READERS TO SUBMIT PERSONAL STORIES OF DOILIES AND LACE. WE WERE ASKED TO SHARE HOW LACE OR CROCHETED DOILIES OR  OTHER SUCH DELICATE HANDCRAFTS CONNECT US TO THE PERSON WHO MADE THEM ADN WHY ARE THESE CRAFTS IMPORTANT TO US.

A PERFECT OPPORTUNITY FOR ME TO SHARE MY WORK AND GET IT OUT INTO THE WORLD. OR AT LEAST PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCESS OF PUTTING IT OUT THERE. IT'S NOT GUARANTEED THAT THESE SHARED STORIES WILL BE PUBLISHED IN UPPERCASE MAGAZINE, BUT IT IS FUN TO PULL IMAGES AND STORIES TOGETHER TO SUBMIT.

HERE IS WHAT I SUBMITTED.

"YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS LIVING IN NYC, I FOUND A TUTORIAL FOR CROCHETED SNOWFLAKES IN THE MARTHA STEWART LIVING MAGAZINE. KNOWING THAT MY GRANNY MADE ALL KINDS OF CROCHETED ITEMS SUCH AS DOILIES, ORNAMENTS, AFGHANS AND DOLL OUTFITS, I SENT HER THE ARTICLE AND ASKED IF SHE COULD MAKE ME A FEW OF THESE SNOWFLAKES TO HANG ON MY TINY TREE. SHE CROCHETED AND STARCHED THEM WITH SUGAR WATER, EVEN MAKING ONE THAT WAS 3 DIMENSIONAL! I HAVE CHERISHED THESE FOR MANY YEARS AND BRING THEM OUT EVERY CHRISTMAS TO DECORATE MY HOUSE.
LAST YEAR, inspired by the snowflakes, I INTERPRETED THEM INTO A COLLECTION OF WATERCOLOR CARDS. I BROUght OUT the CROCHETED SNOWFLAKES AND THOUGHT ABOUT HOW MY GRANNY MADE THESE WITH HER HANDS. WHEN I WAS YOUNG, SHE LIVED WITH US AND WE'D HIDE OUT IN THE BASEMENT "Studio" FOR HOURS MAKING THINGS. I THINK ABOUT THOSE TIMES OFTEN AND AM INSPIRED TO KEEP MAKING THINGS THAT BRING ME JOY. DURING THOSE YEARS NOTHING WAS IMPOSSIBLE. SHE TAUGHT ME THE IMPORTANCE OF EXPERIMENTING, PLAYING AND JUST TRYING THINGS. I'D SAY, "GRAM, CAN WE MAKE (…FILL IN THE BLANK…). SHE'D RESPOND, "WELL. HONEY LET'S FIGURE IT OUT. " AFTER ALL THESE YEARS I'M STILL JUST TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT."

thinking back, I'm so impressed by my granny in that she put her work out there. she made so many types of things- crochet, sewn, wreaths, etc. She would enter them into contests and show them around to friends and family. 

SO THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS TO UPPERCASE MAGAZINE WAS APRIL 15TH. I'LL WAIT AND SEE IF WHAT I SUBMITTED GETS INTO PRINT, BUT IN THE MEANTIME I THOUGHT I'D SHARE IT HERE.

BELOW ARE IMAGES OF THE SNOWFLAKES THAT MY GRAM CROCHETED AS WELL AS SOME OF THE WATERCOLOR CARDS THEY INSPIRED.

click images to enlarge

click images to enlarge



Houston, we have a website….

Amy Frazer

oh geez. Finally. Launching my official website!  It's a work in progress and always will be. I've been waiting for the perfect time to launch it out into the world. waiting until I have every page and piece perfectly populated. Waiting for many reasons. but I finally realized there will never be a "perfecT" time. Yes, I know, there are still some of the squarespace template photos in there. Yes, I know, there is some greeked text still in there as a placeholder for great things to come. YEs, I know, there are probably typos. Yes, I know, lots of my pages are still empty. And yes, I know that all of this will get populated and filled in at some point. But for now, I hope you enjoy what I do have on the site. It's taken a long time to get to where it is now, even using Squarespace which has amazing templates. I took a class at OCAC with David Greenhill who was a great instructor! If you've ever put together a website, or any type of presentation, you know it takes time. 

Please check out my Keller/ Thread Painting page for a project that I've been working on FOREVER and finally finished it last week.
click on the link below. ( I can't figure out how to change that font!!)