Lindsay Blevins is an illustrator, storyteller and animal lover waving from Boston, MA

Lindsay and Radish

Lindsay and Radish

I first came across Lindsay while hunting for the perfect birthday card for my wife. The card was lovingly wrapped in tissue paper and twine, and came with a handwritten thank you card. What more could you ask for?! Since then, I've been a returning customer and follower of her wonderful designs. 

I recently caught up with Lindsay to discuss her sources of inspiration and love for her feathered friends. Read on to learn more.

Where are you waving from right now?

I am currently waving from Boston, MA - probably from the window in my bedroom/studio that faces the skyline.

Lindsay's plant filled studio

Lindsay's plant filled studio

How did you end up in Boston?

Around this time in 2009, I stumbled upon a little art school in Boston called the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, and participated in a pre-college program the summer before my senior year of high school. It was a life changing experience that reinforced my desire to pursue art professionally, so I enrolled in Lesley's Illustration program to begin Fall 2011. I finished up my BFA in 2014, and decided to stay up here in Boston. I've been living up here in a cozy little apartment with my partner, Bruce, ever since.

Lindsay and Bruce at Lesley's graduation ceremony

Lindsay and Bruce at Lesley's graduation ceremony

What’s the best thing about living and working there?

Boston is truly a place full of opportunity. Everybody knows somebody who knows somebody, and this can lead to a lot of amazing connections. I work part time at the famous indie bookstore, Brookline Booksmith, as my day job. Working within the gift department has given me the opportunity to meet gift reps, visit trade shows, and familiarize myself with the stationery industry. This is how I met my current greeting card reps, who sell my cards to shops all throughout New England.

Boston is an inspiring city with lots of diversity, which is very important to me. I grew up in Lancaster, PA, which you may recognize as Amish Country. My rural background is dear to my heart, but I'm thankful to have the space to broaden my horizons and learn so much about other communities. I do eventually hope to get back to the country, but for now, I'm happy to be in a community that reflects my values and influences my artistic career.

A selection of Lindsay's cards at various shops in the Boston area.

A selection of Lindsay's cards at various shops in the Boston area.

You mention your art is heavily influenced by your rural upbringing. How do you find inspiration now that you’re living in a city?

To be honest, this is a bit of a tough question for me. My art is absolutely inspired by nature and home - birds, plants, little critters, teapots and vintage wares that you'd find in your grandmother's house. I heavily draw influence from my home in Pennsylvania when I'm creating work, and the whimsy and vibrancy of those scenes are directly related to my love and passion for the countryside. Up here in Boston, there aren't as many opportunities for me to sit alone nature and pull from that. I often find myself yearning for more green space and trees, though there are plenty of nice little sanctuaries scattered throughout Boston.
 

The street I live on has a lot of trees, and lots of birds, so this helps me a lot. We also have a population of wild turkeys nearby, which is incredible! It always gives me an immense amount of joy to see the little sparrows, cardinals, robins, mourning doves and chickadees around. There are a few special trees with amazing root systems that collect water in pools when it rains. We have a reservoir nearby with ducks and lots of dogs out with their owners. I watch for bugs on the ground, sometimes I see rabbits and skunks. So I find my inspiration in the little things when I'm in Boston.

Sketches of her local turkey friends!

Sketches of her local turkey friends!

I love the heartwarming scenes you create for your characters. How has your artistic style developed over the years?

Thank you! I really have this whole world for all of these critters within my head, and it is a very peaceful place. I have definitely worked to paint a picture of this world in my work, and it's been within the past few years that I feel I've been able to express it more successfully. Back in high school and early college, my work was much grungier - I used a lot of collage and distressing techniques, and my paintings were much darker and angstier, which I suppose is normal for a teenage art student!

I began using watercolors in 2012, and have worked on mastering the medium over the past years. I love incorporating crayons into my work, as it helps me work in a more playful way. Now, I'm beginning to dig for even more whimsy in my work, and experimenting with collage in my sketchbooks again.

Painting titled "Forest Elephant"

Painting titled "Forest Elephant"

What are you working on at the moment?

My lifelong goal, since I was a toddler, has been to write and illustrate picture books. So I'm currently developing a story to pitch to agents and publishers. I'm almost ready to send it off, which will be indescribably exciting.

I'm working on some little accordion books with some of my characters, and using the format to influence the content, which will be fun. I'm always working on growing my greeting card line, and I'm working to expand past the East Coast, which will hopefully happen soon enough! I'm also interested in working on more surface design and product design, so that's another thing floating around in my head.

Process work for Lindsay's picture book

Process work for Lindsay's picture book

Also, I see a lot of feathered friends in your Instagram feed. Where do you go to visit them?

I refer to them as my chickens, though they're technically my parents' down in PA. Their names are: Daffodil, Buttercup, Beansprout, Radish, Daisy, Parsley, and Lavender. I (kind of obviously) helped name them. They're a mix of Cochins, Buff Orpingtons, and Rhode Island Reds. I am very passionate about these little creatures, and it's definitely become known by all of my friends that I'm the "Chicken Lady". I won't have any of my own until we move out of the city, but for now I'm happy visiting them whenever I get home to PA.

I have a bit of an obsession with birds, and have often considered studying Ornithology as an alternate career path. I find birds to be so incredibly fascinating, and I have always found them to be very inspiring. I do some casual bird watching around Boston. The wild turkeys are as close as I get to seeing chickens up here, but sadly they won't let me hold them! Though I haven't actually tried... I guess I should probably just stick with cuddling my chickens at home.

Painting titled "Chicken Kitchen"

Painting titled "Chicken Kitchen"

Visit her website for more whimsical artwork and shop her collection here. All images are copyright © Lindsay Blevins.