We feel gifted to have Ashely bring her sense of humor and "nerdy," "quirky" prints and housewares to the Flea. She works with vintage books and upcycled paper to create unique home decor, jewelry, and gifts. Stop by her booth and sift through funny, geeky typography/illustration prints on book pages. Need a unicorn for your bathroom? No problem.
We dare you to spot her without a smile on her face. However, you might catch her with a few Pittsburgh Taco Truck tacos! Ask her to make your most obscure movie or book quotes into art - she'll do it! Ashley's Papyrusaurus Instagram feed is so worth the follow! @PapyrusaurusCraft.
We'll call you a regional neighbor. Tell us where you call home and one of your favorite things to share about your hometown.
I moved to Erie in February with my boys after some pretty big life changes. It's been a fun adventure getting reacquainted with the area after so long (I lived here for a bit eight years ago as well.) When we have visitors I love to introduce them to some of great local food, which seems to all be conveniently located within a few blocks of my apartment, and our art/music scene. We have a lot of talented artists and musicians, you just have to know where to look!
Words are central to most of your work. What inspires you most? Books, movies, music, a little of everything?
Pretty much everything these days. Obviously a lot comes from my love of geeky shows, books and movies, but I also draw from weird things my kids say, or from misreading billboards, or dumb inside jokes with friends and things from my own childhood. I just love coming up with silly things that connect and strike a chord with other people.
What are some of your best selling prints? Which is your absolute favorite?
The prints seem to come and go in waves of popularity. I've had prints that I thought were AMAZING and that I spent hours putting together just sit around unpurchased for months and then I'll have some quick thing I threw together in two minutes that sells out in a couple of days. Right now my "Cluck Off" chicken is seeing a resurgence as are several of my Firefly-themed prints. As for my personal favorite I think it's my new "I like you almost as much as tacos" print. It's clean and minimalist and uses a font designed by my extremely talented boyfriend, Eddie Aranda. It was really a joke between he and I, as we share an enormous love of tacos (especially those from the Pittsburgh Taco Truck), but it gets a chuckle out of everyone who sees it.
You make other art from paper, tell us about your newest repurposed creations!
Since it's approaching the holidays, as much as I don't want to admit it, I've been working on new takes on my popular book page pine cone ornaments a lot lately. I have a ton of new books to choose from, and even several styles with some of the books. On top of that I've been refurbishing thrift shop finds using books, old maps and other paper ephemera, more book page rings (that have suddenly gotten popular) and cuff bracelets featuring vintage illustrations and some of my more popular print designs as well. It's always busy around here!
You are not only a full-time maker, you are also a mom to two incredibly cute boys. How do they influence your work?
They definitely help inject fun into things. They're both hilarious and are constantly saying bizarre things out of no where (ex. "Pie makes you good.") Plus, with them getting into movies and books that I grew up with I get a refresher course on what I found humorous, sweet or important at their age.
How has your work changed since you first got started?
Oh man, in just about every way I think. When I started everything was just me making it to keep my hands busy and hoping someone might find it interesting enough to buy. I had no branding, no real plan, I was really just messing around with paper and glue and seeing what worked. I enjoyed doing it and it was nice to do something creative again after years of kind of putting that part of me to the side to be a wife and mom, but there really wasn't a whole lot of thought or my personality in anything. Once I started tapping into my geeky side and found that it clicked with other people, that's when things started to really take shape and I started to take things really seriously and began working on building it as an actual sustainable business.
Where can shoppers find your work online? We love your Instagram, share all the links!
My online storefront can be found on Etsy. I'm always up for wacky custom orders, so no one should ever be afraid of contacting me for those (I've literally set things on fire for a customer before!) Elsewhere in the cyberworld I can be found on Facebook and on IG: @PapyrusaurusCraft