Our latest Casual Types are Madi and Anna of Loud Flower Art Co; a custom screenprinting and design studio focused on making purpose-driven art with the goal of creating a more just and equitable world. Read our entire conversation with the makers below.
What does a typical day in the life for both of you look like?
Our days usually start with coffee and a morning check-in in one of our yards so the dogs can play together. Then we head to the studio to screen print, dye blank t-shirts, pack orders, or do the dreaded computer work necessary to run a small business. By late afternoon we try to get out of the studio to see some sunshine. Anna will take a few hours to surf or hike. Madi likes to meet friends at the beach or hike to her favorite swimming holes.
What are you both passionate about?
Anna is passionate about the environment and believes there is a consciousness in every living thing. Madi is passionate about challenging the status quo, creating joy, and seizing opportunities for reform.
As Loud Flower, we are passionate about mental health and inclusivity. We’re passionate about finding happiness and growth in honest discussions about emotional wellbeing, politics and the troubling issues we see in our capitalist society. We believe policy and rules aren’t created inside of a vacuum and that positive change can be made through community effort and discussion. We’re passionate about the role art plays in inspiring revolution, even if that revolution is simply finding something beautiful to get you through a hard day.
How did you both get started in the world of making art for a living?
Madi: I grew up in a really creative home and was always encourage to pursue art but was so turned off by the exclusivity and capitalist nature of the commercial arts and gallery world that I kept rejecting the idea of making art for a living. But I ended up dropping out of college where I was studying math and started taking printmaking and quilting classes. Then I started working in print studios and sewing factories as a production hand and discovered just how many options there are to make a living making art so decided I would do whatever it took to create a career out of making things.
Anna: I have always found a special kind of happiness in art class and creative space. It was a place I could go to be creative and work on projects that felt good, while having conversations with people I may not have had the opportunity to talk with otherwise. After committing to play soccer in college, I realized I wanted to pursue a creative career so decided to go to design school instead. I got a degree in 2015 from the NCSU College of Design in Raleigh, North Carolina and moved to Santa Barbara later that year.
How did you two connect to make Loud Flower Art Co.?
We met while both working at a letterpress shop here in Santa Barbara. We had so many overlapping friends and experiences that we were shocked we hadn’t actually met each other before working together. Our joint space started as Women’s Work Studio in 2019 where we hosted events and community workshops. We evolved into Loud Flower Art Co after COVID hit in order to focus more on creating purpose-driven art as the world shifted into a new reality.
Have you faced adversity in your life or career? What have you learned from that?
Honestly, we are incredibly lucky to be who we are, look how we do, have come from stable families and find ourselves in Santa Barbara. It’s important to us to acknowledge the privilege and fortune we have as we chose this career path. That being said, it’s still tough to survive in Coastal California as artists, especially as artists who are doing their best to challenge the well-paved path of commercial capitalist to financial and social success. We’re still learning what we’re learning from this journey.
What are some things that you are both grateful for?
We’re grateful for the good, kind people in our lives. We’re grateful to have healthy bodies that let us run and dance and surf and swim. We’re thankful to have this little studio where we can feel creative. We’re thankful for modern medicine, for the people who help us navigate our personal and existential crises with love and understanding. We’re thankful for the women who have worked to ensure we have options, role-models and hope for the future. The list goes on and on, and we’re so thankful for that!
We believe appearance is a form of expression, not validation. How do your SeaVees help you express your personal style?
As production artists we need shoes that provide support and comfort while on our feet printing, cutting, and designing. SeaVees are great for this, especially the platforms that give an extra boost of cushion. We also love SeaVees because their simple design goes with any outfit - whether we’re getting messy in the studio or out and about in Santa Barbara.
One of our brand mottos is “Keep it Casual”. What does “Keep it Casual” mean to you in your own life?
“Keep it Casual” for us means keep the doors open, stay curious, and don’t take anything too seriously. A big part of practicing “keeping casual” for us is staying away from judgements, whether of ourselves or others. “Keep it Casual,” stay positive, stay open.
How do you stay inspired?
Anna: either nature or a good spiraling brainstorm with a friend. Or even better, both at the same time!
Madi: goofiness, fun, noticing colors, and friends.
Socks or no socks?
Madi: no socks. (unless it’s cold)
Anna: socks all the time. With sand in them.
Do you have any plans or projects that you are looking forward to in the future?
We’re looking forward to an awesome holiday season of pop-up markets and events! We love teaching workshops and hosting community gatherings as well and we’re hopeful that we can start doing that again soon. Keep your eyes sharp for all the fun events coming up!
Anna: I want to improve my tattooing skills. I love detail and am skilled with pen and ink, but I need practice (holler if you have real estate for a practicing tattoo artist!) I also want to start scaling up my work - so big canvasses, pieces of wood, walls, you name it.
Madi: I’m really excited to get back into the world of quilting and fabric. I want to start experimenting with making hand-dyed and screen printed bedding!
What’s one piece of advice, encouragement, or challenge you’d love to leave our readers with?
Do your best to practice compassion. Compassion for yourself, for others, even for people with radically different views of the world. OH! and don’t let anyone tell you your voice doesn’t matter! We all have the ability to create and inspire change.
Where can our readers find / follow you, and what would be the best way to support you / your business / project?
Find us on Instagram: @loudflowerartco