One of my favorite tours, and one of my favorite photos, was with Callen Thompson. I met her for an Apartment Therapy home tour a few months ago, when I was still just feeling out the whole wide world of blogging. I immediately got along with her, her partner Eli, and their adorable Chihuahua, Bodhi. Their “treehouse” was so well decorated, and displayed so much of their creativity, that it instantly gave a warm friendly welcome – you felt like you knew so much about them right when you walked in.

Callen literally inspired me too, because she seemingly just creates and has turned her passion into a career. You can find her great works, in the forms of textiles and prints, featured on West Elm and on Etsy.

Her and Eli told me about the flats of Salt Lake, the yurts in Marfa, and we even flipped through one of Callen’s favorite design books Handcrafted Modern.  The book features the eclectic interiors of world-renowned designers (Charles and Ray Eames, George Nakashima, and Wharton Esherick to name a few). Callen and Eli also talked about the network of creative people they surround themselves with – a network that has since culminated into the Girls Guild. A wonderful organization built to link craft makers with young girls interested in the arts to cultivate collaborative creativity.

About a month ago, Callen invited me to her art show opening “Night Drive” at Paloma Beauty. This incidentally would be her last show before starting her program at Austin Center for Design, so I just had to go. The theme was black and gold, and since I had long ago sold my Air Jordan XVII “Crocs” I had to resort to a black shirt and khaki shorts (with my yellow-soled Cole Haan’s, of course).

In her home studio Callen often hangs her work, stacked in piles, on small metal clamps. She mentioned to Cheyenne Weaver, co-founder of Girls Guild, “I wish I could just hang them like this for the gallery.” Cheyenne responded with “why not just do it like that, then?” So Callen did, and here are the pictures of those works from the showing. Colorful, approachable, multi-dimensionsal, inspiring – just like Callen.

This is probably a good time to note that The Girls Guild will be hosting workshops in Marfa, Texas during the Trans-Pecos Music Festival at El Cosmico on Septmeber 27th-30th. I’ve already reserved my tent and bought my tickets. You should join us, enjoy life, and get inspired to create!

Oh, and here’s that favorite photo I mentioned – in case you were curious. I think a lot of people respond to it, and it’s been featured as the lead image on several Apartment Therapy posts from our other writers…


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