This Monday I would like to introduce you to Serena, who runs Oh Plesiosaur!! Her cards and coloring books have made such a huge impact on the collection we have here at Gather, so I can’t wait to share her story with you!!
1. Who are you? What is your business?
I’m Serena! I run Oh Plesiosaur, a one-woman illustration studio inspired by nature and puns. My product line includes greeting cards, laser-cut jewelry, enamel pins, and one very silly dinosaur coloring book. My wife, Erin, helps with puns and my cat, Loki, helps with naps.
2. Where are you from?
I’m from northern Virginia originally. Now I live in Baltimore, by way of Morocco. My dad’s American and my mum is English, so I’m half polite and half rude. I was conceived in Yosemite National Park, which was an awkward thing to find out while hiking with my dad.
3. How long have you been making?
I’ve been making–in some form or another–my whole life. When I was a kid, I was really into drawing, beading, crochet, and sewing. In college, I was obsessed with chain maille and even built this machine in my dorm room for making my own heavy-gauge stainless steel links. These days, I’m focusing primarily on illustration, since that’s my big career goal.
4. What is YOUR most favorite handmade item that you own?
Favorite? That’s so hard! I have the most incredible rug from Morocco that I adore, a scarf made by a super talented friend in Morocco, and some gorgeous Moroccan jewelry. Really, I was surrounded by so much beauty when I lived in Morocco that it was hard not to bring back the whole country with me!
5. What is your ‘pie in the sky’ dream with your business/art?
To have my books (picture books, coloring books, anything) published and on shelves. It’d be nice if they were best-sellers and award-winners, but I’d settle for simply ‘on shelves’.
6. Where do you draw your artistic inspiration from?
Picture book illustrators have always been my biggest inspiration; Chris Van Allsburg, Edward Gorey, Mercer Mayer, Alice & Martin Provensen, and Maurice Sendak, to name a few. I generally pull my subject matter from nature documentaries, science books, or my wife’s silly jokes.
7. Share 3-5 links that everyone who loves handmade should know about.
I am lucky to have a large and supportive community of artists I’ve met online, all of whom are just phenomenal. Here are some of my favorites…
Pen and Thimble, a dear friend who makes beautiful and useful things for babies: blog
Jess Polanshek, whose gorgeous illustrations blow my mind: website
Fernworks, super detailed resin jewelry with embedded objects and even miniature landscapes: website
Wanna know something fun about Serena!?
In my free time, I read a lot of books about zoonotic diseases (which terrify me) and dinosaurs (which I love).
And with that, we’ll end with one of her favorite quotes:
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” (Elie Wiesel)
Make sure to stop in and see Serena’s large assortment of cards and coloring books available at the shoppe!!