Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Artist Feature and Giveaway: Xenotees

Once again, here we are on this auspicious day of tidings, Mercury day. Today I bring you yet another inspirational muse from the land of Etsy. Her name is Noelle and her company and shop is called Xenotees.

When I joined the Universe of Etsy I quickly began noticing a very iconic purple and green avatar and the very unique name Xenotees. It was through a twitter she sent out one Saturday morning about Greg being at Etsy that Noelle came into my conscious mind. I followed the tweets curious that an entire discussion was taking place based on "Greg Spalenka" being on Etsy. Next she placed one of Greg's paintings and one of my perfumes in a treasury that made it to the FP (front page)! A chat ensued, and we've become friends.

Noelle is extremely witty, smart and has an enormous heart. She has a knack for making friends, clever insights and creates conceptual, fun treasuries. Besides being a talented graphic artist with a T-shirt business she has a soft spot for cats, enjoys growing her own herbs in Philly and has a new blog. She calls her shop and business Xenotees, 100% unique, screen printed clothing that is sweatshop free and original.

Notice Eve pictured at left in her very own "French Pet Lobster" T, which she adores and was happy to model for all of you. The fabric is luxiously soft cotton and besides the groovey lobster graphic features these french words:

" J'ai le goût des homards, qui sont tranquilles,
sérieux, savent les secrets de la mer, n'aboient pas..."

"I have a liking for lobsters. They are peaceful, serious creatures.
They know the secrets of the sea, they don’t bark..."

This has been inspired by the French poet, Gérard de Nerval, who supposedly would walk his pet lobster with a ribbon. This was his reasoning for adopting a lobster as opposed to a dog!

See what I mean about smart and witty!?

So, lets begin with a little interview:

1.) What is the one thing you find most inspiring to feed your creative spirit?

More than anything, I find time away from working for other people helps me creatively. Time to go to the amazing museums in Philadelphia, time to sketch, and time to dream. It doesn't happen often, but I am trying to carve out these niches when ever I can! Really one of my most favorite things to do is have a glass of wine or too & sketch out ideas while my husband plays records! I have a lot around me that inspires me creatively, it's just a matter of "slowing" down and taking it all in- getting away from the computer & back to basics.

2.) What is your favorite scent from the natural world?

Hmmm... That is an excellent question! I'm going to have to name a few! Tomato plants (the stems) always make me happy to smell & I love lavender - this is tough because I feel like there are so many scents that make me happy. I always like the smell of fresh rain & I will leave it at that for now. I know I'm forgetting an important one, oh well!

3) If you were queen of a village what would you wish for your kingdom?

That's easy! I would wish that they would all have time to follow their creative instincts & make the most of the time they have on earth! Even if they just carved out a couple of hours each day, I know it would be a much happier kingdom than the one I currently live in.

4.) Did you go to Art School?

Actually, I was lucky enough to take college-level classes starting in high school, through a half-day program at a school in New Haven, CT. For 3 years, I took figure drawing, sculpture, painting & photography classes. I could have gotten into a lot of different colleges, but money was a big issue (being 1 of 10 kids!). I ended up going to The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, over Parsons, because they had a better financial aid package. It was a real struggle because I had to pay an insane amount of rent & the program was really unstructured. Basically I needed a real "foundation year" like most schools give you. So, I took a year off, worked & saved money, and started school at Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond VA. After a couple of years there, I had learned a lot, but I was just kind of tired of school. I think what I would've done best with an old timey apprenticeship experience. It never occurred to me to look for one though. Really, I can make all the excuses in the world, but the bottom line is- working AND attending art school always overwhelmed me & I'm not a super-charged person to begin with, so I never really lived up to my potential. I don't dwell on it though. I still have my sketch books & ideas, & now I'm making Xenotees, so that's been awesome for me!

5.) As an artist what kind of tip can you give other artists who want to start a brand?

Firstly, just go for it! Don't wait forever, thinking that you will be "ready" someday. Start small & gain momentum. If you have confidence in what you do, it will show through in your presentation. You can always refine all your processes as you go along. Once you're out there, you'll have a chance to get feedback & find a support system, which is invaluable. Never be afraid to ask a lot of questions & try not to be too sensitive! (That's a hard one for me!)

6.) Who is your favorite artist?

Another toughy! Egon Schiele is probably my favorite, although I'm a huge fan of Camille Claudel & Frida Kahlo, too. Of course, there are many many more! Can you tell I have a hard time making decisions?

7.) I notice that you are very passionate about felines and donate $1 from every T-shirt sold to Flat Iron Wildcats of Philadelphia. How many cats do you have and what are there names?

Oh, I had to get involved with helping cats here! There are so many strays- it's really devastating! I actually designed & maintain the website for Flat Iron Wildcats to help out with skills I've been lucky to learn. If you're in the Phildelphia area, we have lots of kittens right now!

I currently have to black cats- Barnacle & Pepito. I love them like children. Yes, I'm a crazy, but proud cat lady! :D

Thanks for the interview & for hosting the giveaway Roxana!

My pleasure Noelle! Now...the Giveaway.

The winner will have the chance to choose a piece from Noelle's shop valued at $22 or less & is open to everyone, including our individuals outside of the US.

Here's how to enter:
Begin by leaving a comment on this post mentioning your favorite Xenotees item. You may only enter once and you must include your first name -and- etsy username or email address with each entry or it will not be included.

For additional entries, you can do the following and post in the comments to let me know:
(2 extra) Twitter this Giveaway and supply your twitter name
(3 extra) Follow my blog (if you already follow, just let me know)
(3 extra) Follow Xenotees's blog (if you already follow, just let me know)
If you do any of these you must let me know for your additional entries to be included. You got the let me know part right?

You have until 12pm (pst) on Monday, April 20th to enter. I will announce the winner that Monday afternoon. Good luck!

My daughter Eve is a huge fan of Xenotees as well as a blogger, thus, I am allowing her to be join this giveaway contest. Instead of Eve picking out the name, this time we will have Maestro Gregorio choose the lucky winner.


Peg said...

Thanks, Roxana, for always sharing great information. Noelle's work is delightful.

Katherine Streeter said...

Hello Roxana-I love your blog! found this interview via FB.. so glad i did..! K

Illuminated Perfume said...

Hi Peg & Katherine,
Thanks for stopping by!

Peg said...

PS: I forgot to mention my favorite Xenotees item, which is the Japanese Star Moss tee. I like it best in the eggplant, but the olive green is beautiful, too. I also like the "collective names of animlas" tees. I've always been a fan of the grouping names. Here's a link if you are interested:

Myy said...

Oooo! I absolutely love her work!
Count me in!
My name is Saorise and my email is

Oh, and I follow both of your blogs :)

Sydney said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the French Pet Lobster Shirt - Ladies Creme Summer Shirt

3 extra please for following your blog

3 extra please for following Noelle's blog

sszumski @ Etsy

Lotus Out Loud ॐ said...

I just purchased Noelle's Japanese Star Moss tee and love it! :) I'd love to win another in a different color:

I followed Xenotees blog,

And tweeted about the giveaway from my account @silentlotus.

Thanks so much,
etsy user name: silentlotus

Elena Rosenberg Wearable Fiber Art said...

What a fun and interesting read. The scent of tomato plants --- mmm....! :)))

My husbands already wears a Xenotees Collective Names of Animals t-shirt, and I think they'd be great for my niece & nephew too, so my pick is Collective Names in kid sizes.

Many thanks for hosting and offering the giveaway to both of you! :)

Celeste said...

I really like the Good Luck Shirt in the asphalt color.

I follow your blog!
I follow the Xenotees blog!

contact me at:

Lilly said...

The Japanese Star Moss in black is my favorite.

Unknown said...

Cool stuff! my favorite is the star moss shirt - I usually don't like printed tops with to much stuff on them so this is perfect for me:

Name: Aya Rosen
Etsy ID: LoucheLab

Taylor said...

I like the Saw Blade. The shorter sleeves make it great for Spring!

Etsy: CurlyfrySC

jasmine said...

!!! i love xenotees so much - i've been eyeing their shirts all month! my fave is the Good Luck Fork Shirt - Grass Green. fingers crossed!

and i follow both blogs. :D

deepsouthrunner said...

I really love the Ladies Heather Gray Raglan Pullover -- it looks soooo comfy!!


deepsouthrunner said...

I tweeted the giveaway:


deepsouthrunner said...

I follow your blog!


deepsouthrunner said...

I follow the Xenotees blog as well!

Dessert Diva said...

I've been seeing other people saying this as well, but I love the Japanese Star Moss shirt! It is absolutely gorgeous!


Amber said...

I love her shirts! It is so tough to pick one favorite, but mine would either be the Giant Fork shirt in Ladies Sunshine or the Good Luck Fork Shirt in Eggplant!
Thanks for the giveaway :)

ABCDErica said...

I think the Collective Names of Animals is pretty interesting.

ABCDErica said...

I am a new blog follower :)

ABCDErica said...

I follow Noelles blog, as well.

Unknown said...

I love the French lobster shirt! (and am a follower of both blogs :)


Catherine said...

I like Japanese Star Moss - 3/4 Sleeve Boatneck in Navy S thru XL

CatherineMarissa on Etsy

denise said...

I love the giant fork tee in yellow. cute and simple!

denise said...

I follow your blog

denise said...

I follow your blog

denise said...

I follow your blog

JJ said...

I love the Collective Names of Animals tee...JJ

denise said...

I follow Noelle's blog.

denise said...

I follow Noelle's blog.

denise said...

I follow Noelle's blog.

Modern Lunacy said...

I love Xenotees! I've long admired French Pet Lobster Shirt - Slate in size Large. So lovely! Thanks,


Modern Lunacy said...

I'm also a new follower to your blog. Cheers! -Sara

Modern Lunacy said...

I'm also a new follower of the Xenotees blog. Cheers again! -Sara

(These apply to all three my entry posts...Thanks!!!!)

Pam said...

I like the green collective names of animals kids tee.

melacan at hotmail dot com

Pam said...

follower #1

melacan at hotmail dot com

Pam said...

follower #2

melacan at hotmail dot com

Pam said...

followe #3

melacan at hotmail dot com

Andi said...

I like the French Pet Lobster Shirt - Slate!

Anonymous said...

Great items! I like the Collective Names of Animals in Grass Green. I'd get it for my son.

Unknown said...

Hi! I really like the Star Moss Shirt in Asphalt (3/4 length sleeves):
I am also twittering your giveaway as we speak! My twitter username is jvdarcy also!
Julie D'Arcy

Jessica said...

I love the Chromosomes shirt! It's adorable!


Stephanie said...

I love the Collective Names of Animals T.

lesjoujou AT gmail DOT com

Bunny B said...

I love the Star Moss - Eggplant tank top!
bunnybx at gmail .c om

Bunny B said...

ID: bunnyb (2 extra)

I (3 extra) Follow Xenotees's blog

Village gossip said...

I like this new design!

Ocracoke Island said...
love this new design

Illuminated Perfume said...

Yeehaw! Welcome everybody and thanks so much for all the comments, follows and tweets!

Nina said...

I love the Star Moss - Eggplant shirt.


Nina said...

I follow your blog.


Nina said...

I follow Xenotees blog.


Nina said...

I twittered the giveaway:

Twitter name: nina0205


Jo Bryan said...

For me reading the descriptions was great, I love all the animal names and would like a close up to try and read them all so the Collective Names of Animals in a Ladies Black is the one I like.
Thanks for a fab giveaway.

Jo Bryan said...
Tweeted as joby14

Jo Bryan said...

I am following

Ginger said...

I fell for the Japanese Star Moss in pretty:)

laroyal said...

My favorite tee is Good Luck Fork Shirt - Raspberry. thanks, Laura

Ľubaša said...

My favourite item from Xenotees is Japanese Star Moss - 3/4 Sleeve - Eggplant, my name is Lubica, Etsy name is Lubaska

Ľubaša said...

i am a new follower of roxanna Il. Perfume
Etsy name Lubaska

Hana said...

I love the Collective Names of Animals shirt! How fun! I would love to win this! Thanks for the chance!

Marcie Abney Carroll said...

I love the Japanese Star Moss tee, though all are beautiful and unique.

janil said...

I love Collective Names of Animals! Fantastic...
cal_rubies at yahoo dot es

janil said...

I follow Xenotee!
cal_rubies at yahoo dot es

janil said...

I follow you now!
cal_rubies at yahoo dot es

ecky said...

i love the japanese star moss in olive!

elkesten at yahoo dot com

Salleefur/Jesselyn/Jesster said...

I love all of the designs / shirts (the French Pet Lobster design is tres amuse) but my favorite is the Japanese Star Moss Boat Neck T in either Navy Blue or Eggplant.

Salleefur/Jesselyn/Jesster said...

I follow your blog

Becky Pool said...

Love the green Good Luck Fork tee ^_^


Anonymous said...

Giant Fork Shirt - Ladies Sunshine Summer Shirt
KawaiiNeko2008 at aol dot com

noa said...

I like the good luck fork in eggplant - eating eggplant bring good luck indeed!

Shanda said...

The Japanese Star in Brown is my favorite!

kat-heel-well said...

Tough call. I love the lobster tees (esp in Dijon), but I think my true fave is the Japanese Star Moss - 3/4 Sleeve Boatneck in Navy.

Myy said...

I love the pet lobster T, by the way.


Nelsby said...

Such a tough choice...but I would have to go with the Japanese Star Moss - 3/4 Sleeve Boatneck as my favorite.
sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

Nelsby said...

I Tweeted about this giveaway on Twitter:
sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

Nelsby said...

I am following your blog.
sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

Nelsby said...

I am following Xenotee's blog.
sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

Unknown said...

Love the Good Luck Fork Shirt - Grass Green!

aliciamnieto at yahoo dot com

etsy user is lici1212

Tammy said...

I like the French Pet Lobster Shirt in Slate

LoveMeKnot Creations said...

i LOVE the heather grey collective of animal names,

Also, i tweeted: LoveMeKnot

Also, I'm following your blog & Xenotees blog :)


(can you tell i really want one of their shirts??)

etsy name: lovemeknotcreations

Change4Africa said...

The Japanese Star Moss - 3/4 Sleeve - Eggplant is my favourite!. Thanks for the giveaway. mybabyappleseed(at)yahoo(dot)ca

paleseptember said...

my favorite tee is the French Pet Lobster Shirt in Ladies Creme Summer Shirt in S.

caitlin h.
caitlinhyla at gmail dot com

Niwi said...

How have I not seen this shop before? I love these shirts!

My favorite is the Japanese Star Moss tee :-D

greenyak [at] yahoo [dot] com

The Giveaway Diva said...

love the SALE Collective Names of Animals - Unisex Baseball Jersey XS / L / XL!!

Marang Studios said...

Xenotees is one of my favorites!! After some difficulty narrowing it down, I would say my favorite is the Saw Blade T in Slate. Edgy with a feminine touch!!


Tylerpants said...

My fave is the Collective Names of Animals tee in Heather Gray. Lovely!

Three of Birds said...

I like the good luck fork shirt in asphalt!

ABCD Diaries said...

I like the Japanese Star Moss in in olive green or maybe eggplant:) Thanks!

ABCD Diaries said...

I follow you:)

Becky said...

I love the Japanese Star Moss in Olive!

lensimpressions AT gmail DOT com

Illuminated Perfume said...

Yes, I let that last comment slide in by two minutes. However, your chance to enter this very special Xenotees Giveaway is now closed. Thank you for stopping on by, a winner will be announced later today...probably around 6pm PST.

Anonymous said...

i love the saw blade tshirt :)
my name is vicky and im vicmes on etsy ..