Behind the Scenes of Blake Lively's New Painted Pillow Collaboration
When Blake Lively’s new editorial/e-commerce site, Preserve, finally arrived with its airy blend of fashion, décor, and food content, there was a lot of hullabaloo—and certainly a few opinions. Only time will tell what the lifestyle venture bring us, but what we do know is that Lively has a real appreciation for the handmade—and the arts. That said, the site offers few details about how her products and collaborations all came together, so we did a little digging to discover it on our own!
One of Lively’s debut collaborations is a line of cotton-twill pillows which she created in partnership with New Orleans artist Ashley Longshore, a fierce, Pop-Art-inspired painter whose clients also include Selma Hayek and Penelope Cruz. We sat down with Longshore to find out just how this sprightly collection came to be—read our interview below.
Ashley Longshore Autumn Pillow ($136)
DOMAINE: How did you meet Blake Lively?
Ashley Longshore: I met her four years ago. She rolled into my studio one hot summer day all leggy in short shorts and her tousled hair hiding under a fedora. Once she came in, she was hooked. Little did I know that over the next four years, I’d end up teaching her to how to paint. She is very talented and a very very great colorist. She and Ryan have been so good to me. They have lots and lots of my paintings and pieces of my furniture in their home. Above all she is a lovely person, very thoughtful, and a true lover of the arts!
D: How did this collaboration come about?
AS: After a few months of her being in and out New Orleans shooting and painting, she came into the studio one day and was very excited. She had commissioned me to do some paintings for her friends, and we were talking about what she wanted for them. She was with a good friend from Los Angeles who became a collector of my work on the spot. They both felt that my color, excitement, enthusiasm, and passion for the beauty and rebelliousness of life would be a perfect fit for Preserve.
D: What inspired the direction for the Imagery on the pillows?
AS: I love the outdoors! I love little creatures and really see so much magic and evidence of evolution in them. I think many artists are scientists and intrigued by nature. I also love jewel tones. Blake and I painted a lot together, and we both love to paint beetles and butterflies. We thought these pillows would be such a fun accessory in the home. We designed four pillows: spring, summer, winter, and fall. Each has its own representation of the creatures we love throughout the seasons.
D: Is working with other artists something you would like to do more of?
AS: I love to collaborate, and I love to support other artists—especially young talent—but I feel that artists and their unique visions stand very strong on their own. Being an artist is kind of a solitary thing; they are my private thoughts. I always tell my collectors that when they are standing in my studio they are standing in my brain. So, this collaboration with with Blake was very special. We were really thinking specifically about the home when we were painting.
D: Do you see yourself collaborating with Blake again in the future?
AS: I adore her. She is such a lady and so talented as a painter. She is very much a perfectionist and pays great attention to detail! She is so much fun to hang out with. Like all of my friends, I cherish the time I spend with her. Of course I would love to collaborate with her again if an opportunity presents itself.
D: How does New Orleans influenced your artwork?
AS: New Orleans is a sexy, mysterious, raw edgy place that celebrates the arts in every way. This city loves musicians, artists, and chefs, and people love to costume here year round. I love it here because people really enjoy themselves, and don’t take life too seriously. It’s a great place to be an artist!
D: Have you ever produced textiles before? Can we expect to see more from you?
AS: Yes. I have been working with Anthropologie for five years, and we have created so many amazing products: pillows, furniture, travel bags, hat boxes, hand-krewel rugs, lampshades, and lots of fun tabletop items. Yes, you will be seeing lots more! I am going to be creating some very very exciting products that will be available in the near future.
Would you like to own one of these painterly pillows? Share your thoughts in the comments.