Ali Macdonald liked the idea of being her own boss and doing her own thing, so in 2014, she gave birth to the vibrant, cheeky, lovable brand, LARK + RAVEN. She’s a self-diagnosed doodler who wondered, “If I keep drawing, might something come of it?”
Though Ali studied studio art and went to design school, she always felt intimidated by her the expected mediums: oil paint, watercolor, acrylics. Permanent marker, for example, was not an approved medium. So she began doodling in Sharpie on the side while working gigs at Jonathan Adler and C. Wonder once she left the confines of school. She started posting her drawings to Instagram and her following ballooned immediately. But that wasn’t what excited her the most.
“Honestly, through doodling I rediscovered the joy of creating things. There’s no big expectation or cleanup. I just pull the Sharpies out and get going. All my inhibitions went out the window.”
She loves to draw pop culture references, patterns with hidden meaning, and secretly naughty sketches. Macdonald is deeply inspired by her grandmother, a funny old lady with a dirty sense of humor.
Her grandmother used to toss irreverent pillows all over her house. So naturally, the dick pillow is one of Macdonald’s signature pieces, and it was the first home decor item she put on the market. She started doodling dicks on post-its. Literally piles of post-its. She wasted an entire pack mastering her slick dick pattern. She subsequently put the same pattern on a tote. Upon realizing bedding and bags were expensive to print, she transitioned into cards and stationary. Her paper still carries the same saucy, unexpected humor as her home decor, and there’s plenty of it. Macdonald is a prolific designer who doesn’t let up on the quality of her work.
We end our chat with a story. Macdonald once wore her dick tote to a fundraiser. She doesn’t seem mischievous, but we’re pretty sure it’s all a front.
“Some women were just appalled by this dick tote. They don’t want to see that, you know? I have this big, abstracted vagina design coming out soon, too. Sometimes it's fun to be a little offensive."