Let’s Go On A Mural Tour!

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All photography by Ryan Kell

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know just how obsessed I am with public art.  So much so that I have an entire page on my blog dedicated to public art in Buffalo and I list the locations & artists so you can check them out for yourself.  This is an ongoing project that I’m updating regularly so keep stopping by for more!

Last weekend, I had planned to do an Instagram story and Snapchat takeover about local murals for Step Out Buffalo, and coincidentally, two of my favorite humans in the world, Billy & Pat, had asked if I was free the same day as they were filming a video all about Buffalo public art.  With our forces combined, plus the sick photography skills of Ryan Kell, we set out on a day full of art adventure.

Peep on some of these great photos of our fun-filled day of urban exploration.  Because I love you, I’ll post the locations of these pieces on top of the photos, just in case you would like to visit and take some bomb ass selfies (make sure to tag me in any of those selfies on Instagram!)

1221 Main Street, Buffalo

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710 Main Street, Buffalo
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461 Ellicott Street, Buffalo
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Nacho Break at Deep South Taco!
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515 Main Street, Buffalo (side of building)
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515 Main Street, Buffalo (back of building)
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233 Allen Street, Buffalo
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245 Allen Street, Buffalo (side of building)
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Albright Knox Art Gallery
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72 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo
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45 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo
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I had SO much fun with these guys.  Make sure to check out Billy & Pat’s video below to follow along with our adventure!!

Once And For All Clothing

I started getting really interested in fashion four years ago when I started my blog and I bought into the trend-salad…I wanted EVERYTHING trendy and I wanted to wear all of it at once.  I look back on some of the photos and cringe because it sometimes looked like I was wearing a costume.  Now that I’m a little bit older and my style has evolved, I’m gravitating towards classic and well-made pieces.  Basic pieces that are elevated and expertly crafted.

I’ve been following Molly and her clothing brand Once And For All for a while now.  She’s a local designer who crafts stunning pieces that aren’t trendy, but completely classic and will last a lifetime.  Molly recently sent me the Nya II blouse and oh my god, can I just tell you how beautiful this top is!  I had to do this beautiful piece justice, and something about it totally inspired me to do an artistic photo shoot.  I collaborated with two of my best friends- Ryan Kell with his photography and Chuck Tingley with his artwork as the backdrop, and I think this turned out to be one of my favorite shoots to date!

I asked Molly a few questions about her business and her inspiration, and here’s what she had to say!

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When did you start your business?

I started by hand making and re-purposing vintage garments in 2011 under the name Once Vintage. I sold on consignment at local boutiques, at local markets and on Etsy. I switched gears and launched into manufactured wholesale product under the name Once And For All in 2014.

Have you always known that fashion design was something that you wanted to pursue?

I had always loved fashion since I was a kid but I did not think that it would not be the right fit for me as a person. I was more interested in art and business. My degrees are in Marketing and Graphic Design and I am an oil painter. I fully switched gears into fashion while I was working in the advertising field in New York where I fell in love with the fashion scene. In retrospect I had always had a preconceived notion that fashion was just fluff, but I came to realize that it really was art. I think that was the reason I opened up to the industry.

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How did you come up with the name Once And For All for your brand?

I was just looking for a segway name from Once Vintage, my previous business, that felt somehow related. I wasn’t sure where the businesses were going to go, or if I was going to keep doing both, so I wanted something to keep them together. I thought about using Once since it was the only word usable for the new concept and I thought about the phrase “Once And For All”. The name easily lent itself to a lifestyle brand, it sounded sure of itself, and it felt inclusive all of which fit my requirements. I then thought further about the connotations of the term “Once And For All” such as; an ending, a definitive decision, completion or something of conclusive in nature. This led me to think of the philosopher Seneca’s quote: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”. I am a Christian and my faith is very important to me, so it felt like there was an expression of my faith in that concept.

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What do you love about owning your own business?

I love the involvement in so many different areas. I am of a decidedly dual nature mixing the creative and business, so its vey fulfilling to utilize both sides. My day-to-day activities are varied and include: research and development, design, technical design, sourcing, fabric testing, pattern making, manufacturing, quality control, photo direction, creative direction, sales, graphic design, web design, e-commerce, marketing, social media, PR, accounting, customer service, and all of the organizational and administrative stuff I have to do daily. The design aspect is my favorite, but I often think that if I was only a designer I couldn’t do all these things I love to do and I would miss them.

What are the challenges that come with owning your own business?

Well, its really hard sometimes. It can be isolating, you can get down on yourself, and you can get in your own head a lot. Plus the self discipline of time management, creating and maintaining your timelines, and pushing yourself to grow can be really hard. I have to work really hard at staying balanced through self care and a positive mental attitude.

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Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I concept in depth each season like a sociologist on my subject matter. The inspiration is different each time and comes about organically through my current exposure to art, history, music, geography, current events. Wherever I am feeling inspired or compelled, I follow. I exhaustively research, write and pull photo references as I sketch my ideas. After I let myself be immersed in my concept, I source my fabrics and do my tech drawings and this is when start to edit down the big ideas to whats manufacturable and sellable.

What do you love most about Buffalo?

Truly, my family. Also the ability to go into the country or be on the water in various directions in 20 minutes.

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What’s currently on your playlist?

I am listening to my vinyl collection a lot at the moment, my next collection is very 70’s inspired so my listening habits are heavy on the singer songwriter babes of the 70’s.
Joni Mitchell – Blue
Carol King – Tapestry
Bonnie Raitt – Bonnie Raitt

What are your plans for the future of your business?

Currently I’m working on expanding my wholesale sales and e-commerce. I would like to make larger collections on a larger scale of production. Future expansions could possibly include a manufacturing facility or a retail location.

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Thank you so much, Molly, for answering my questions and this beautiful top! Make sure to check out her website Once And For All for more incredible designs!

Personal Style: Bodysuit Love

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I think the last time I wore a bodysuit I was about 5 years old in dance class.  I’m pretty sure it was an obnoxious bright red and covered in sequins.

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Now days, bodysuits are much more fashionable than the spandex nightmares of my childhood.  I was a little bit nervous with the deep V on this bad boy, but a little bit of fashion tape and it stayed in place all night.  I think this has marked the start of my love of the modern bodysuit.  This one is from Express.

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Curious about this awesome brick walled hallway?  A few of my friends threw a studio party at their art studio downtown this past weekend.  I luckily remembered to snap a few photos that night…their new space looks amazing!

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Tribute to Spain Rodriguez

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I think that this mural has to be one of my favorites out of my Buffalo Public Art series so far.

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This beauty was created in 2013 by a group of artists under the direction of Ian DeBeer as a tribute to Buffalo-born comic artist Spain Rodriguez.

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The actual story behind this mural is definitely interesting and worth reading about.  It was inspired by a Spain Rodriguez comic about a fight he got into at Nietzsche’s, which is across the street from the mural.  You can find a lot more information on this piece by clicking HERE!

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You can find the exact location of this graphic piece, as well as plenty of other local works of art on my Buffalo Public Art page!

72 Jewett

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Believe me when I tell you, these photos do NOT do the colors of this piece justice.

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Unfortunately for me, we took these pictures on a particularly cloudy day.  Yes, you can tell that this is gold, but it’s not just regular gold.  It’s bright-ass metallic gold, and it’s glorious!

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I was really excited to add this bad boy to my Buffalo Public Art list.  This mural was created by local artist Daniel Galas in conjunction with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery this past summer.

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The title of this piece is 72 Jewett, which was in tribute to the previous tenant of the building, Culliton Ice Company.  There are several buildings represented in this mural, such as Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic Church, the Buffalo Zoo, the Darwin D. Martin House, Kensington Water Tower, and many more.  You can read the plaque at the bottom of my post for full details!

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As always, you can find the exact location of this piece and other beautiful public works of art on my Buffalo Public Art page!

Tower of Power

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With a name like Tower of Power, you know it’s gonna be good…

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Check out Team Razor Wire‘s new mural, Tower of Power!  This beauty is located on the side of a building on Halbert Street near the Tri-Main Building in Buffalo.

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Chris Kameck and Nick Miller, the team behind Razor Wire, are masters at geometry.  This is the fifth installment of the groups’ Advantageous Geometry Series.  I have one of their pieces from the Echo Art Fair listed on my Buffalo Public Art page.  Stay on the look out for a few more featured here  🙂

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They are all about bringing a little bit of color to neighborhoods around the city that otherwise wouldn’t receive the attention they deserve.  With eye catching pieces like this, Razor Wire is definitely beautifying Buffalo, one building at a time.

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Find the exact location of this piece, as well as other gorgeous murals around WNY on my Buffalo Public Art page!

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Under The Sea

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I present to you another post in my Buffalo Public Art project, and boy is this a fun one.

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This beauty comes to you from one of my good friends Chuck Tingley, who I’ve mentioned before in the past…check out my post on his recent art installation HERE!

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So, real talk, the “For Lease” sign is pretty  much ruining my life, but please try to look past it to see the complete badassery (is that a word?) that is this mural.

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I’m dying over the diver guys and the tentacles…so good.  And as a complete and unplanned bonus, this mural totally matches my hair!

Find the location of this guy and plenty of other stunning murals in the city on my Buffalo Public Art page.  New works being added all the time!

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