cool and quirky: stephanie birdsong


Well of course. How could I not love an artist who paints a 24-hour SOUP restaurant? 🙂

At her blog, California based creative director and illustrator Stephanie Birdsong (cool name, no?) describes her picture this way:

Daisy packs up the kid and the dog and hops in the car to get some extra-delicious soup from Ida’s. It’s just down the lane. I started with a painting in my sketchbook, & added a storefront and, of course, a bear!

You gotta love that she thought to add a bear (Mr Cornelius was especially pleased about that).

Much as I love Ida’s, this wasn’t the first of Stephanie’s gouache and acrylic paintings to catch my eye. It was actually this piece:



It spoke to my inner Brownie (I still have my beanie from when I was six). I like the freckles, the pigtails with a mind of their own, and the general kookiness of the whole thing. It’s called “Kicked out of the Brownies.” 😀





Stephanie’s fun and irreverent style reminds me of Maira Kalman and Jessie Hartland — sophisticated and childlike at the same time. Since there’s usually a surprising detail or two; you can’t help but look closer. Both Maira and Jessie have illustrated children’s books — I hope someday Stephanie will too. Long live the quirky!





An obsessive collector, Stephanie is a big fan of all things mid-century. Among her favorite things: “vintage books, tin toys, danish modern furniture, cool plants, certain enticing vegetables, crazy looking bunnies, classic film DVDs, old jazz records, bicycles.” Indeed, many of her collectibles appear in her art. Like me, she likes “old things.” An artist after my own heart.





And let’s hear it for her food art:







Even Stephanie’s sketchbooks are fascinating. A few years ago, she posted this at Bark magazine:


I began doing sketchbooks in a little 3.5 x 5 inch journal about six years ago. I was already doing to-do lists to keep track of all my nutty daily tasks, and I decided to try to do a painting next to my lists every day if possible. As an art director, turned illustrator, turned art director, I missed painting and knew I’d need to get back in the habit by doing it regularly. I would often start painting with no idea what it was going to be. Buster & Babe, my adopted dogs/children are always by my side in the studio, and are featured often in my drawings and task lists. Buster’s a Jack Russell/Dachshund mix and Babe’s a Wheaton Terrier mix. I enjoy drawing dogs, especially Fox Terriers, Poodles, Bulldogs, and the occasional German Wire-haired Griffon.


Many of her sketches evolved into finished pieces that can now be purchased as prints at her Etsy shop:



I love reading her notes, don’t you?


She’s been Design Director for Lady’s Home Journal and Shape Magazine, and Creative Director for Natural Health and Fit Pregnancy. Her editorial clients include Vegetarian Times, Baltimore Magazine, Liberty Hill Foundation, Artbird, New York Times, New York Daily News, Bride’s, Shoebox Greetings, New York, Glamour, The Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Post. She’s also earned awards from American Illustration and the Society of Publication Design.












If you ‘d like to learn more, check out Stephanie’s Official Website, FB Page, Behance, and Instagram. Prints, greeting cards and other merchandise may be purchased at her Etsy Shop, Society 6, and Spoonflower.

Copyright © 2019 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.


9 thoughts on “cool and quirky: stephanie birdsong

  1. What a wonderful world of Stephanie. I enjoyed this so much. I wasn’t kicked out of Brownies, but I remember making the decision, against tearful and threatening protests from my fellow Brownies and mother, that after I crossed the bridge (remember that), I wouldn’t continue on to be a girl scout.
    So much to look at here. Thank you, Jama and Stephanie. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed seeing Stephanie’s art, Wendy. I didn’t go on to Girl Scouts either, but for a different reason. Our brownie leader moved and there was no other person to take charge of our troop of girls. So — I then joined the Camp Fire Girls. 😀


  2. I love the owls with flashlights and the Emerald City! Also, why is the boy on a tropical vacation wearing a suit while his mother is dressed more fittingly? Lots of great characters and bits of story. (Like the Brownie… What did she do?) Thanks, Stephanie and Jama!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, it’s fun trying to create storylines around some of these pictures. I’m also wondering why she was kicked out of the Brownies . . .


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