Mustard Buffalo Studio* was founded in 2012, by me, April Lauren Kelly, illustrator and graphic designer, living in Richmond, Va. I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007, with the original intent of studying Interior Design (I was one of those drama geeks in high school who also enjoyed set design). After the exploratory initial program of Art Foundation, I shifted and fell in love with illustration, design, painting and printmaking. I started off with a semester of Painting and Printmaking where I learned the most vital technical skills. I was able to apply these techniques when I transferred to illustration, Communication Arts. Experimentation was one of my favorite facets of illustration. I played with textures, materials, dabbled with 3-D illustration, and learned how to efficiently ideate concepts. My artistic voice is constantly growing and adapting with current technologies.

Thought process:

Always the sketchbook first, but sometimes the iPhone reminders (if you don't have a pen this is a fantastic place to list ideas), consulting the oracle "google" or creating my own reference, Pinterest for pulling visuals in an easy access board. Talking to people: friends or anyone. Even just sitting in silence on my porch with coffee or tea. And dare I say.... visit the library?!

When I illustrate:

Watercolor and ink, building up textures with both. Sometimes, throwing in Prismacolor or Copic markers. I love working on editorial and childrens' illustration.

When I design:

I predominately design with Photoshop or Illustrator; sometimes collaborating with both platforms simultaneously. I enjoy incorporating textures and hand drawn elements when possible. Designing posters, logos, print and web advertisements.

I am interested in:

  • Learning something new everyday

  • The way people think

  • Environmental issues

  • Sea creatures

  • Color Palettes

  • Cardigans (all of the colors, all of the kinds)

  • Screen printing silly prints, shirts, and totes for fun

  • Interesting packaging

  • Typography! Hand lettering

  • Gig posters

  • Running, even though I currently walk/jog "yog"

  • Podcasts: Startalk, Snap Judgement, Radiolab, Serial, Fresh Air....pretty much all of NPR

What I am learning:

Currently, expanding my skill set with a greater understanding of User Interface and User Experience Design.

*Frequently Asked Questions:

So, what's up with the name Mustard Buffalo Studio?

Mustard was the color of my first official studio so with proper homage, I included it in my business name. My current studio is actually now rust color. As far as how "Buffalo" came into play, my appreciation for this pensive majestic creature developed through a drawing class field trip to Richmond's own Maymont Park when I was studying Painting and Printmaking. I was immediately drawn to the three buffalo, and had drawn them for hours. They've become one of my many little obsessions.

Are you good at Connect Four?

Yeah... pretty much a really ridiculously good Connect Four player