According to her website, the mind of Ashley Hay (@HeyKannaya) is filled with Harry Potter, ice cream comes, Star Wars, the state of Minnesota, film, Pokemon, Disney, Batman, unicorns, etc. And when you take a look at her art, it’s clear that this wonderful brain mixture is creating some truly awesome pieces.
Thriving in Saint Paul, Hay is a graphic designer extraordinaire, costume designer, artist and geek to the core. She’s rocking the freelance designer lifestyle, with a client list that hosts some seriously big names, like Legacy Productions, Best Buy and 3M.
Check out Hay’s interview with Being Geek Chic! You’ll discover what fictional character she’d take out for a drink and how she wound up as a freelance designer.
Q: What has led you to your passion?
A: Designing geeky stuff was something I always did. I grew up drawing, painting, air brushing, you name it. I got into things like fantasy/sci-fi stories, videogames, anime and comics at a young age and that is a majority of what I was drawing other than dolphins and unicorns. I remember I had a comic set from the 1950’s about a dog detective named Max and he had a poodle girlfriend. I thought it was awesome.
Then, in college honed my craft of design. I worked on my style and after college just did a bunch of designs of things I loved. I found shirt sites like Ript and Teefury and saw I could make some money off them. At conventions I was blown away when people told me how much they enjoyed the designs. It made me want to keep going and it still does. When someone has something nice to say about my work, it drives get better and continue working. It always makes my day.
Say hello to Natalie Willoughby (@spcebaby on Twitter). She’s a super fierce geek girl blogger over at Leia Shot First. Willoughby fills her blog with science, astronomy, graphic design, Harry Potter, Batman, weird discoveries, and video games. In her words, she’s “young, smart and incapable of keeping my mouth shut about much of anything. I was raised on comics, action movies and video games, and was stamped as a ‘tomboy’ at an early stage of my childhood, simply because I didn’t wear pink and do ‘girly’ things.” Oh and did we mention that she once contributed some tech freebies to BGC?
Before you fall down the rabbit hole of Leia Shot First, check out Willoughby’s interview with Being Geek Chic and discover the perfect title to her memoir, why she’s so passionate about science fiction, and the list of fictional characters she’d like to invite to a party – at the expense of the universe exploding.
Q: What led you to your passion?
A: Science has been my passion since I was little, especially anything to do with space, and the geek stuff just followed naturally. When I was five I told my dad I wanted to be a Poodle Trainer on Mars, and I think everything kinda snowballed from there. I even met my husband at the Planetarium where we both worked. Although I haven’t made it to Mars (yet!), I still get to read and write about science for my job. Communicating science properly is almost as important as the science itself! I also have a passion for graphic design, which, oddly enough, was born out of the desire to create art for the fifth Harry Potter book. It was my favorite of the series until Book 7, and the visual descriptions really inspired me.
Next time you’re looking to redesign your office, kitchen or any small space in your home, take a page from the Mara Mi studio + store + cafe in Stillwater, Minnesota. I recently made the trip for an Apartment Therapy shoot (you’ll see a full tour on AT next week!) but I wanted to share a couple favorite shots and a few that didn’t make the final Apartment Therapy slideshow with you.
It’s the place where I work. It’s the place where I have been known to nap. It’s where I get some of my best ideas. And some of my worst. It’s my home office. And it’s one of my favorite places to be.
The cameras are everywhere. One vintage point and shoot, one early “pro-sumer” video camera and a Kodak projector. They remind me of how far we have come and how much I used to hate dealing with tape. Thank Buddha for digital storage and fewer hours spent logging and capturing.
The couch and quilt is where I lie around and think. It’s not uncommon for TJ, Adam and I to all be sitting in the office chatting about our Christmas card and random ideas for businesses. Or to sit and watch one of my creations on the monitors and figure out what’s wrong or right with it. Makes me happy just thinking about it.
TJ made the crowns for me. It’s not well known on the interwebs, but my family does occasionally call me Queen Elizabeth. It sounds like I’m a diva, but that’s not what it is… it’s more like, “She has her shit together and can lead people through tough times” kind of thing.
Of course, I’m also quite enamored with the DIY chalkboard I made a few years ago. At any given point in time I may have a doodle or two in the works. Or a to do list. Or a swear word. Just depends on the day.
A little art goes a long way. I really believe it’s the key to any happy space. But don’t buy the weird generic paintings from the home store. Nah, skip that stuff. You know, the flowers and the random skylines you can’t even identify. Go for more personal stuff. If it speaks to you - buy it.
After all, your workspace should be full of inspiration.
My fireplace mantle is in need of new art.
The first flakes of the winter have touched down in Minneapolis today and you can be sure my fireplace will be raring tonight. It’s pretty much a requirement. But looking at my fireplace made me realize something very important: I am in need of new mantle art.
Help me decide:
These two capture my love of greens. Green is really my favorite color: although, you wouldn’t know it from my blog design. I love it in all its hues: light, dark, teal, mint, grassy. And luckily, green looks great with the espresso wood on the floors and the slate gray color on the walls. So just imagine that…
But I also love black and white.
And let’s be honest: I am obsessed with the moon lately. And the sky. And space. I’m just not able to break from it. But should I really commit to a big cash purchase of a moon print?
In case you like any of these prints, here’s the links to the designs on Society 6:
So what would you choose? Do you agree that green is the best color ever? It’s so calming. Or do you think black and white is just plain chic? Talk to me!