the story of the hand-painted blouse

i recently started painting hand-painted blouses again. maybe you've noticed they're not for sale that often, and that's because they're a bit special! since they'll be coming back soon, i thought it would be fun to give u a bit of a glance into how they started & how they're made. one day i'll tell you more about the specific paints & markers i use (i know y'all are curious!!) but suffice to say i recommend jacquard products.

after i finished college i subletted a (very nice) converted shack in santa monica, and my only work surface was outdoors under a very aggressive blue jay.  i kept a sketchbook, but maintaining my painting practice was a little difficult. the debris from the tree would get stuck in my oil paintings, and i'm not really all about *materiality* and *natural interference* in my work, so i stuck to dry media during my stay there.  but if i'm being honest, i don't do well when i suppress my creative urges, so by the time i moved out, i was bursting with ideas!

the shed i lived in

the shed i lived in

when i left santa monica it was august in LA, and it was 110 degrees outside, so wearing a shirt of normal length seemed like a damn joke.  it was the dawning of the crop top trend (which is still thriving btw), and i had one crop top in particular i loved made of deadstock rayon. it had tulips & daffodils on it and it was the kind of shirt i wanted in 7,000 different patterns.  it was such a classic cut, and i thought "wouldn't it be great if i had a whole stack of these i could use as if they were paper?"

the first batch of hand-painted crop tops were painted in winter of 2014 for the first holiday shop at chin's push in highland park.  at this point i've painted over 30 tops. they were featured on brown paper bag & design love fest this year, and i've had a really hard time keeping them in stock!  each shirt takes a few hours to paint. i never start with a plan in mind, so each top feels a lot like the page of a sketchbook.  the most recent batch are a combination of drawings done by hand, fabric paint, and airbrushing. if i'm being honest they're my favorite batch to date!

u can catch a video of me painting one on my instagram, and keep your eyes peeled for a newsletter letting you know they've been restocked. if you're really itching for one, though, you can always pre-order by getting in touch with me!

personalisa beniston