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Choco loves Owls

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Owls have been around for millions of years and have long been a part of human folklore and legend. They have been referenced to in culture countless times, depicted in cave paintings and in Egyptian hieroglyphics. They have been reproduced as objects of admiration, and have held many symbolic roles including wisdom and prosperity. Owls are a particular favourite with crafters around the world today.

Is it the big mesmerising front facing eyes that have captivated us for centuries? Owls carry wonderful mystery and have an alluring sense of danger about them. They approach in silence and most owls are dwellers of the night. Did you know? The female is often more brightly coloured then the male. Owls can turn head a very impressive 270 degrees. The ear tufts are for display only! They are not ears at all.

Chocovenyl Owls

Chocovenyl owls are beautifully designed, whimsical and utterly adorable. The Owls Pair sticker set will have your heart all of a flutter.

Owls Fabric Wall Stickers by Jillian Phillips for Chocovenyl

Owls by Jillian Phillips

The Height Chart will have your little ones reaching for the tree tops to be with their delightful friends (that toppling owl stack just makes me grin!)

One of the newest additions to our website is the fabulous Happy Owls mini set and my-oh-my are these some happy owls.

Owls Be Carolyn Gavin for Chocovenyl

Owls Be Carolyn Gavin

Any one of these lovely fabric wall sticker sets will bring beautiful colour and cheer to your kid’s spaces. They are sure to spark imagination and inspire a love of nature in your little ones.

To celebrate the majesty of the Owl we have put together a little round-up of some of our favourite owl inspired DIY ideas and handmade items.

Owls tutorials, free downloads and our favourite ETSY buys

Owls DIY and handmade

Top: fabulous owl costumes inspiration and tutorials & make your own owl mobile free download
Middle: make sock owls & an easy paper plate kids do
Bottom: our favorite ETSY shops buys – CartBeforeTheHorse, MiniEmpire, RoomMate

Owl Treats

Owls cupcakes, owl sandwich and owls cookies inspiration

Did you know we’re on Etsy too? We have our very own ETSY Chocovenyl shop, stocked to the rafters with our beautiful fabric wall stickers. Check us out while you’re shopping for some owl loveliness

For even more glorious owlness head to our Pinboard.


Sources:
1. Owl costumes: momincdaily.com and llevoelinvierno.blogspot.co.uk
2. Owls free printable mobile created by  Katy Petty of Mini Eco
3. Sock owls. Project excerpted from Socks Appeal: 16 fun & funky friends sewn from socks by Brenna Maloney published by C&T Publishing. Tutorial
4. Paper plates owls tutorial Craftsbyamanda.com
5. ETSY buys: Cartbeforethehorse, Swedish MiniEmpire and felt enthusiast Roommate
6. Owl sandwich  littlefoodjunction.blogspot.co.uk

Who is the mysterious Mister Mista?

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Highway & Ozzie wall Stickers
Some of the popular designs we feature on Chocovenyl are from an artist known only as Mister Mista. He brings us a strange and kooky world of floating eyeballs, gorgeous retro cars and spooky alphabets.

Monsters Height Chart ArrrghTo Z Wall Stickers

But what kind of a mind could have created such odd and wonderful designs?

Well, Mister Mista has nothing to do with the 80’s pop group with the same sounding name – remember ‘Broken Wings’?

No, it is the name of the company set-up in 2007 by a top Australian designer called Travis Price. As a freelance designer he has worked for a host of big name clients such as Mambo, Sony, Vodafone and Intel.

Travis Price aka Mister Mista

It was during his childhood in Victoria that his love of skateboarding and graffiti developed into a passion for cool designs. Despite now being one of Australia’s most renowned designers, he can still be seen whizzing around the streets of Victoria on his skateboard.

He set-up Mister Mista with his wife Renee; shortly after the couple had their first child. The idea was to create a quirky and off-beat range of designs which were especially for kids – not adult designs which have been scaled down. Travis provides the artistic vision for Mister Mista while Renee handles the business side of things.

Travis home

Travis more home &  prints

How did you find your way into illustration as a career?

I guess like most I grew up as a kid loving to draw. But once finishing high school it made sense to go off to uni to become a graphic designer. I quite enjoyed it but after 10 years in the design industry I decided to make the switch to become a freelance illustrator. Five years on I couldn’t be happier…I love it. Technically design gave me the perfect tools and experience to make a smooth cross over.

Travis prints

What inspires you?

Ohhhh this is hard…..If you look at my commercial folio you’ll see a few styles running through there. I’m inspired by a diverse range of things.In regards to kids I love Richard Scarry  and Asterix. I also love the old fairy tales that always had that sense of scary evil darkness to them…sadly I think that missing now.I have always been inspired by skateboard design….especially the 90’s with guys like Jim Phillips. Really enjoy the hotrod illustration scene too.I love all things retro……my secret is House Industries

Saying all that, when it comes to Mister Mista…our kids have been our inspiration. Our products are normally themed around what they’re into.

Travis kids

What is Mister Mista brand about?

At its inception we just felt that the boys sector was missing that gritty silly boy fun. It was missing that kookiness that boys bring to any family. Boys weren’t made to match your decor….they’re into dirty pirate ships…not preppy nautical sailing vessels!!! This is what we are about.

What is your favourite subject matter to draw?

I love character design. As you see all our products are based around characters. True character creation should exude a sense of personality!!! I also like for characters to have imperfections too.

How was your bedroom decorated when you were a child?

Ha Ha it was mainly the 80’s…chinese style puma doona cover (to protect me from monsters). Sesame street sheets. Early Micheal Jackson and Star Wars posters along with pristine tonka toys….never left in the sand pit!!! Oh and Castle Grey Skull was in the corner!!! Really it was a mismatch…but it was awesome…..I love that interior design seems to be heading back to a more eclectic aesthetic.

What are your fondest memories from childhood?

Going to see ET at the drive in theatre. Got to stay up late in our pyjamas, wrapped in blankets in the back of a little orange Datsun. Think I may have cried at the end.

Will your designs find their way onto your child’s walls?

Ha Ha yeah there’s a few of my designs scattered through out the house but we have pictures all through the house by different artists. We love the idea of being surrounded by illustration and the kids love it. You can buy so many great prints from illustrators over the internet. My favourite is some Nate Wragg prints.

Nate Wrag
Vintage prints we own.
Travis likes oldies

Where can reader’s find your work?

You can check out my work at www.mistermista.comMister Mista Facebookwww.travisprice.com.aubyprice Facebook

Keep your eyes peeled for more work from the odd and wonderful world of Mister Mista – that’s if Travis can find time between his young family and skateboarding.

Dino Wonderland

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Did you realise that it’s 15 years since Jurassic Park was first released – it’s enough to make you feel prehistoric.

But the great thing about dinosaurs is that they never really get old. Our kids love them now just as much as us bigger kids loved them back in the day. And here at Chocovenyl we’ve been walking in a dino wonderland recently, inspired by some of the amazing dinosaur goodies we’ve collected together on our Pinterest board.

Dinosaurs Chocovenyl Pinboard

There must be something about dinosaurs which gets the creative juices firing. Something we really loved was using cardboard and a bit of imagination to help transform your cherubic child into a snarly Tyrannosaurus Rex. Or you could make up your own prehistoric creature – you just need to add ‘-osaurus’ to the end of any name.

There are also plenty of dino themed designs here on Chocovenyl as well to help create the perfect bedroom for any budding Brontosaurus – and you won’t have to spend the $63 million it cost to create Jurassic Park either.

We have the gentle vintage inspired charm of Belle & Boo’s Dino Ride designs.

Dino Ride Wall Stickers

Or the wonderful illustrations of Brighton illustrator Jillian Phillips and her Dino Fun collection. And even dinosaurs need to know when it’s time to got to bed, so we also have the Dino Stick-A-Clock designed by your very own Chocovenyl.

Dino Fun and Dino Clock Fabric Wall Stickers

If all this dino talk has sent you into a frenzy, then you might want to organise an adventure to hunt down some of these fearsome beasts. A good place to start your family’s quest is the Dinosaur Adventure Park in Norfolk. This has everything an aspiring dino hunter could want: dinosaur trails, creepy crawlies, mazes and lots of rides which end with “-osaurus”.

The other destination you will want to track down is the Natural History Museum in London. This has free entry and offers one of the best collections of dinosaurs fossils in the world, including the 105 foot long Diplodocus, known affectionately as Dippy.

And if you can’t decide whether to go or not you could turn into a Staygosaurus. Sorry, that was one dino pun too far…

Giveaway Competition.

Tell us what children’s theme you’re interested in and what Chocovenyl wall stickers are your favourite and comment here and on our Facebook page.

The winner will be randomly selected on 27.4.12 and will choose a Mini set from our collection. We ship internationally.

 

Interview with Jillian Phillips

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We have a very exciting blog post for you today; the first in a series of interviews with artists. We are thrilled to welcome the wonderful Jillian Phillips, graphic designer and illustrator to the blog.
Jillian is the artist behind many of our beloved wall stickers, including Dino Fun, Apple A Day and Owls.

Owls PVC free fabric wall stickers by Jillian Phillips

Jillian creates whimsical worlds that transform any plain wall into an endearing wonderland of colour. You can find all of the wall stickers designed by Jillian here.

Owls, Rainbow Toys, Dino Fun wall stickers by Jillian Phillips for Chocovenyl

Today, Jillian talks nature, Tokyo and tips for illustrators.

How did you find your way into illustration as a career?

I did a work experience placement for 3 weeks with a design company as part of my college course, and enjoyed it so much I knew that was what I wanted to do from then on!

What inspires you?

All sorts of things! I travel to Tokyo and NY, visit museums, flea markets, vintage stores, read other design blogs, inspiration is all around you.

Who are your favourite contemporary artists?

I am a huge fan of Camilla Engman, as well as many Japanese illustrators whose work I discover on my research trips.

What is your favourite subject matter to draw?

Nature really inspires me, I especially love creating fun animals, and I find myself drawing tons of girl characters!

What is your fondest career memory?

Walking into Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and the Moma shop in New York on the same day and seeing my work in there! It was an amazing feeling. I never ever dreamt I would experience that.

Do you have any tips for budding illustrators?

Work really hard and put the hours in (to really get good at this job, you need to spend hours and hours practising, trying new things out, and creating new work). Develop your own style and spend as much time as you can on a Portfolio you can show to potential clients.
It can take years to really get your career going, so don’t feel deflated when things don’t happen immediately. Write to everyone, send a sample of what you do (copyright it!) and show how much you want that job! And lastly, write a blog, it’s a great way for people to find you and see what you do, especially if you can’t afford a website in the early days.

Where can our readers see your work?

I work with Paperchase, Marks and Spencer, Galison, Madison Park Greetings and many more, and my website  and blog

Thanks so much Jillian!

Children’s photos by Barbara Decre.