Inspired by her grandmother—a brilliant, bold, and often outlandish artist—ALI MACDONALD (aka Ali Mac, aka Ali Macdoodle) founded LARK+RAVEN in 2014 to showcase designs that gleefully toe the line between cheeky and chic. Like the morning lark and the mischievous raven, her one-of-a-kind patterns and illustrations are a delightful blend of sweet and sometimes bawdy. Prior to creating her own bold and bright world with Sharpies, Ali got her start in the industry as a designer for Jonathan Adler. Ali currently resides in New York City with her muse—the ever dapper and darling dachshund Dusky.
We featured Ali's cards in our February 2018 Snailbox, and we wanted to learn a bit more about the gal behind these bawdy illustrations. Ali caught up with us over email, and gave us a peek behind the scenes of her work, life, and studio.
Did you always want to be an artist, even in childhood?
Yes! It's always been very clear to me from a very young age.
What is your favorite medium to create with?
A year ago I would have said marker, but these days I prefer gouache.
What inspires you?
My dog Dusky. My grandma. Sometimes my lunch.
Do you ever get "creative block"? If so, how do you combat it?
All the time. I combat it with Snapchat Karaoke. I turn up the music, pick a filter, and go to town making pathetic music videos!
Your work is just so amazing! Do you do custom commissions, like wedding invitations?
Absolutely! I named the custom section of my online shop after my mom Florence. It's called LOVE LORE. I'm launching a new site for it by this summer with some exciting new wedding and party invitation collections. Stay tuned!
What would your dream job be (other than what you are doing now)?
A Cake Boss. The idea of sculpting with sugar is really appealing to me, especially if I can eat the scraps.
What do you enjoy doing in your "free time"?
Well, I really love Snapchat Karaoke, but I already mentioned that, so... I'm building a dollhouse in my spare time. At the rate I'm moving, it will take me the rest of my life to finish!
Are there any special projects you are working on that you can tell us about?
I wish I could tell you! I'm working on a number of projects through my agent Snyder New York. Unfortunately, I can't talk about them until they're out in the world. I can tell you that I'm currently designing some really fun packaging for one of my favorite brands. I'll be sharing updates on social media (@alimacdoodle) when it launches around June!