Animal Sleep Stories

Maker Spotlight

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Animal Sleep Stories is a dreamscape of silkscreened illustrations by Portland artist, Daria Tessler. Her collection of work draws you into a vivid fantasy of whimsy, storytelling, and intricate details. We hope to perhaps one day, dream through the lens of Animal Sleep Stories.

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Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting story behind it?

When I was in high school, a friend and I started making photocopied punk zines. As I got older, my zines focused on drawn or collaged images with my own text, they became very narrative and dreamy, and I came up with the name Animal Sleep Stories as a publishing name for those projects. At that point I hoped to become a children’s book illustrator and it seemed fitting somehow. The name ended up being open-ended enough to encompass most of what I still make 15 years later.

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Have you always been passionate about design?

I never thought of myself as a designer, and although I’ve been pretty design-oriented in the past, these days I generally try to avoid creating art which feels heavily design based. To me, 2D design often feels too sterile, too clean and impersonal. I’m more interested in an immersive experience for the viewer, in exploring personality of characters and spaces, a sense of fitting or not fitting into a world. Design in art, while nice on the eyes, seems to take the viewer out of the image and into the external position of a consumer.

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Why did you start working in this particular craft?

I was always into drawing, but I’ve been silkscreening since I was lucky enough to learn from a great teacher named Juan, in the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco 16 or 17 years ago. Juan was incredibly welcoming, supportive and great at teaching the craft of screen printing.

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What are some inspirations for your work?

I take inspiration from the vast array of cultural expression on earth. It’s something people don’t really think about, experiencing the tangible expressions of the innermost thoughts, desires, feelings and stories, having an exchange of ideas with another human, despite the chasms of space and time that may be separating us. I mean, having a creative dialogue with a human who may have been dead for the last five thousand years, that is the most beautiful thing I can think of, and it inspires me constantly, what people come up with in their minds and with their hands.

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All Things Animal Sleep Stories:

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