Artist + Story Behind the Art
Hello and welcome to my blog- Off The Record! While most of my art is On The Record (see Carly's Vinyls website😉) this blog is an opportunity to express my art through writing. ✍️ It will be our go-to space for art & music inspiration & motivation.
Since the definition of a blog (as I’ve just googled it because yes I am that clueless) is to be written in a "conversational style" I will try and drop any formalities I’ve picked up in 20 page essays & research papers that have been drilled in my brain. Instead, I will treat Off The Record as more of a diary.
“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start" 🎶
I suppose that should be with some sort of Bio. My name if you haven't caught it already is Carly- as in Carly's Vinyls- I may be an artist but I agree with you in saying, more creativity could have gone into the name of my art business.
Sometimes things happen so naturally that you just can't stop them or grab a hold of them. Aka my art business🌼
For one: Vinyls is actually not even a word because the plural of Vinyl is Vinyl- stupid grammar!!
Two: I really don't even like my name to the extent of naming a business after it. My name was inspired by Carly Simon one of my mother's favorite musicians🎶 -love her don’t reeeeeally love her name. But on a positive note: Carly’s Vinyls is easy to remember, it's pretty self explanatory, and build's the brand around my identity which I like.
Almost like I'm not even a person I'm just an artist.
< - - P A S T < - -
I was born and raised in a town in the Greater Boston area. I had always looked to Boston as a bright, vibrant city to see shows, visit museums, and attend concerts. Also a place where I could be an unapologetic die-hard, somewhat obnoxious Boston sports fan, which seemed to be acceptable in this city.
that is in fact New York City and not Boston just love the picture
Entertainment, music, art, & creativity were ubiquitous in the city. That’s when I realized these were the things that made me feel the most alive.
By that, I guess I mean they were the things that got me out of my room of which I locked myself in for most of my childhood (think In My Room by The Beach Boys🎶). When I wasn’t learning new songs on the guitar or piano, worshiping Taylor Swift, memorizing every scene of High School Musical, watching VH1 music videos, or trying to sing but sounding like a pubescent boy... I was crafting something up.
Fast forward 10 years to when I decided to make my passions an even more serious part of my life. I chose to attend PSU and make Arts and Entertainment Management my major! What the hell kind of major is that? It's still a question I ask myself, but this is how I‘ll explain it:
I facilitated a program called Interdisciplinary Studies at PSU to direct my education independently. This study is all about generalization over specification.
For example, instead of specializing in core “business”, my major combined stage production, arts, graphic design, and all forms of business courses such as Marketing, Sales, Business Law etc. I’ll never forget the feeling I felt when I met with my educational adviser that day and she told me about this option. It was like the resolution to all my questioning and confusion came floating down in a cloud of answers. That was it. That was a path I could see myself taking. Although it wasn't an easy one, it was definitely a path less traveled by.
It was quite a process but I have no regrets in this decision. As an extension of my self directed education soon came my self directed art business.
Me doing the whole Graduation thing!
Carly's Vinyls is an art business I started in March of 2017 in hopes of fundraising money for The Starkey Hearing Foundation when attending PSU. I volunteered to be part of a live music event with art vendors.
To connect with the concept of music and hearing, I decided to set up my painted Records with a scribbled "FOR SALE $10" sign set out front. I had been collecting Records from my local thrift shop (as well as stealing them from my dad’s collection when he wasn’t looking). I was always into thrift shopping for my clothes, but soon I found myself thrifting lots of other things too. When I got my first record player, I knew just where to start my collection and that was any cool thrift shop I could find in the area. So anyway, I decided to pick a few records I hadn't been listening to and make them my painting canvas. I stocked up on about 15 painted records and brought them to the event that day. That’s when positive things started happening. People attending the event were really interested in my work.
Side note: Anyone else have a pathetic sense of confidence and self esteem? Maybe that’s just me... But luckily this event put a little baby ounce of confidence and curiosity in my art. Considering I had never thought of myself as an artist, it was hard to put myself out there. I sold 5 Painted Vinyl Records that day, and donated the $50 to the Starkey Hearing Foundation.
After I graduated, I left my art on the shelf physically and figuratively, to focus on finding a full time job. This actually just resulted in me becoming a waitress at the Mexican Restaurant a block from my house. As much as I love Enchilada Verde's I now have a full time sit-in-a-cubicle-on-a-computer-all-day-job! But more on that later!
It wasn't until I was recovering after a surgery stuck in bed for over 3 weeks, that the art entered my life again. I was quite miserable through these weeks and quite the pain in the ass to my poor mother that took care of me during that time. I then decided just for some entertainment, maybe even for a learning experience, I would use my free time to make an Instagram for my art. From there: why not make a website too? I hesitated at the thought of putting money toward my site because was I even going to take this seriously? That was when I decided it would be a risk I'd have to take.
Take a risk, take a chance, make a change, and breakkkk awayyyy - 🎶Kelly Clarkson
So maybe that’s not exactly how it went, but eventually I would get to the whole “breaking away” part. I ended up really enjoying the designing aspect of Carly’s Vinyls website and overall brand which was the beginning of everything.
I didn't know where I was going, but I'm thankful for the aimless attempts of learning through curiosity that led me to where I am. What started as a fun, unique product I could sell at fundraisers, soon became a more personal business.
———P R E S E N T ———
My artwork has evolved into a combination of acrylic painting, collage work, & graphic design all on my favorite canvas: a Vinyl Record. Last December, I also started designing on CD's as holiday ornaments!
For record designs, I've done a number of wedding pieces with people's first dance songs as the record. I've done remembrance pieces for people that have lost a loved one or are alive and struggling with an illness. I've done a few pieces featuring people's furry pet friends! But for the most part, I have done pieces based on people's favorite artists, songs, and albums. Whether your piece is on a specially ordered Vinyl or one from my collection (referred to as blank records) your order will still come with a rad Vintage Record cover and a cute mini sticker 😏!!!
I include a vintage record cover in every order because I want to keep the Vintage, historic feel of the business alive. This is an attempt to appreciate the history of music and album art design.
When it comes to custom orders which are 90% of my work, I really enjoy listening to people’s ideas. I can sense them starting to think creatively. They put a lot of trust in me as an artist which I highly respect and appreciate. I’m super open-minded and easy-going so working with customers in this way has never caused any issues.
Then of course there is the option to choose from my pre-designed records found under my Originals!
———> FUTURE ——— >
With this business and this blog, I hope to make music & art a more significant part of peoples live’s because I believe it matters more than you may think.
Some of my happiest memories revolve around music, art, losing track of the moment, and the creativity of it all. I would love to go into all the ways it has made me a happier, passionate, positive & more loving person and how it can for you too... but I’ll have to save that for a series of upcoming posts! Thank you for your support and for reading my first ever blog post on Off the Record! 🎶🖼👨🎨💃
Tune in bi-weekly for more posts on
Off The Record!