We love Chesley’s (Chesley McLaren Portfolio) creations so much, the ruffles in her Jackets, the whimsy in her style and the humor in her illustrations. Her art has been her special world as long as we can remember and, over the years, we have loved experiencing her world all together in her studio. My house is populated with her work and, for me, I look at her work and feel happy; the vibrant colors, the whimsical way she interprets her subjects, it’s just fun! Everything has a “Ches” personality because she is tireless in her pursuit of making everything she works on special, distinctive and timeless.
The three of us have always been close, Betsey and Chesley are 19 months apart and I followed two boys and seven years later. Being so much younger, I grew up idolizing my sisters, just wanting to be around them and they were good to me. Of course, there are the wonderful stories of harmony between the three of us, there are ones of discord, but mostly we have just always been sisters and there for each other because we enjoyed each others humor and cared for each other.
Voila Chesley presents us, the McLaren sisters, with the opportunity to do something together and have fun doing it. Chesley is the artist, Jennifer the business operations person and Betsey, well her nickname from hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, All In, really says it all (More on the Sisters). When thinking of the idea, we knew that whatever we did together, we wanted it to be lighthearted and humorous and a positive force. We found much amusement with Chesley being labeled “the French Illustrator in New York” given her own, very personal, and not always accurate, interpretation of the French language and spelling! And so, the idea of funny characters, many of whom Chesley had spoken of for years, spreading humor and looking for their Joie de Vivre was born. What could be more fun, the three of us working together, with our nieces and daughters helping out, creating stories about a set of characters’ adventures and mishaps in pursuit of their Joie de Vivre! We all need more joy!
We want to spread more joy through humor and laughter by sharing what we love, our sister’s wonderfully fun and vibrant artwork through an ongoing series of humorous illustrations about fashion and everyday life. At the same time, we want to build a community that shares their humor and laughter because we all can chose and have more Joie de Vivre or joy in our lives – – #JoiedeVivre on Instagram and share your joy!
What we do
We are creating the Joie de Vivre Characters of Distinction to build a following looking for a daily dose of humor. From a lifetime of artwork by Chesley, we have selected a set of illustrations for prints and cards that we hope will inspire people’s Joie de Vivre.
DO GOOD. DO ART.
We believe art is an important part of education. Art programs in schools and communities need support. Unquestionably, good art programs inspire and make good people. With this in mind, we will donate 1% of our profits to fund art programs in the local elementary schools where we live; Savannah, Georgia, Chatham, New York and Portland, Oregon.
Curious to learn more about Chesley’s career? Watch the video below. Wondering how she develops new illustrations and story lines? Interested in working with us? Just have a question? If that’s the case, don’t be a stranger and feel free to say hi, we would be more than happy to chat with you!