Artist: Arrowyn Craban Lauer

Portland-based artist Arrowyn Craban Lauer of Little Gold Fox Designs creates a distinctive portfolio based on a love of traditional art and paper cutting. We spoke with her recently about her small business.


Selection of products by Arrowyn Craban Lauer. See her artist profile at


ABI:  How did your graphic art background help you develop your current business?

ACL:  When I was a new mom, I taught myself how to use Photoshop and Pagemaker (does that date me?!) and got hired as a graphic design assistant. I had no idea what I was doing and had to learn a lot on the fly … I had never even used a MAC before! But I was a fast learner and soon became very comfortable with the ins and outs of layout, branding, web design, Illustrator, and Photoshop. After a while, I became a freelancer and spent 10 years working with clients in mostly small creative businesses. I learned so much … about people, making things look good, making things work without knowing what I’m doing, and running a creative business myself. I also learned about distilling the essence of a business and telling its story.


Paper cutting design by Arrowyn Craban Lauer. See here artist profile at


When I started making art for a living, I had a pretty easy time accomplishing most of the tasks that artists and makers have trouble with, like branding, product development, website and marketing, because I had done those things for dozens of other people. I also didn’t feel like marketing was antithetical to being an artist because I had learned that it’s really just storytelling. I feel really thankful for my design experience because I started my business on a shoestring budget (held together with gum!) and it would have been very hard for me to get help with all of those things.


Work in progress by artist Arrowyn Craban Lauer. See her artist profile at


ABI:  What makes your artwork and your collection really different?

ACL:  I really love alchemy. I like to seek the crux of things and combine them in new ways or show the quintessence of them in a different light. I really love folk art, but I also love modern clean lines and simplicity, so I have endeavored to combine those things to create something which has a folk heart but the spirit of modern design.


Artwork by Arrowyn Craban Lauer. See her artist profile at


I love design and pattern, texture and color, and the juxtaposition between old and new, between wild and cultivated, between natural wood grain and the very refined clean lines of digital illustration and paper cutting. I feel like there’s a powerful magic that can happen at the juncture between worlds, and that’s where I focus my design. I also like to focus on the reverence of place and our connection to it, how we are literally made of the places in which we live. I think that people yearn for that connection, so I try to evoke the enchantment of the natural world and our relationship with it.


Artwork by Arrowyn Craban Lauer. See her artist profile at


ABI:  How are you marketing and selling your work?

ACL:  I have several tendrils seeking their way into the world. I have a Facebook page and Instagram where I post my nature photos, process shots, products, and announcements. I also have a website and blog that I hope to evolve. I have had a couple features in Uppercase magazine and I occasionally buy online ads on art and design blogs.


"Cascadia" design by Arrowyn Craban Lauer. See her artist profile at


I sell my work on Etsy, Etsy Wholesale, and Scout Mob online. I also sell in shops, mostly in Portland, but also nationally and internationally. Finally, I do fairs and popup shops all throughout the year, and teach classes locally. That’s how my garden grows!



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