A wide variety of backgrounds, skills, and personalities exist here amongst the team at Simply Framed. What we all share, though, is a love and appreciation of art. Daisy Briceno, the Director of Operations at Simply Framed, is in charge of ensuring production runs efficiently and effectively. An art school graduate, Daisy is also a working artist who recently launched her own art marketplace with longtime friend and fellow artist Gabi Bello Ugalde.
Gabi and Daisy!
The Parallel Art Space, Daisy’s new venture, features prints of her own photo collages along with work by other artists who also focus on magical realism. We talked to Daisy about the vision for her print shop and how she managed to successfully start a side business while working full-time (during a global pandemic, no less).
Simply Framed: As Director of Operations at Simply Framed and an independent artist, you're obviously already very busy. How did you know it was time to take on this project? How did you find or select the other partner artists?
Daisy Briceno: The Parallel Art Space was an idea Gabi and I had been tossing around for a while. We have been collaborating on projects since high school, and we both went to art school. We are now both artists who create work outside of our day jobs. We enjoy fostering community among friends, and we both felt like we had more energy to expend creatively. During COVID, we had the time, and the pieces fell into place. We started by selecting minority artists whose work we enjoy and who create art for themselves but have not shown it actively before.
SF: Tell us about magical realism. What draws you to that theme in your work?
DB: My introduction to magical realism started with the Latin American movement in literature, with writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Adolfo Bioy Casares, and Isabel Allende. Magical realism is the intersection between a realistic view of life and fantastical elements. I was drawn to this kind of work instantly. It speaks to the delicate balance of superstition, religion, romanticism, and cynicism in life.
I like to imbue that into my work—the feeling of something familiar yet foreign, realistic but fantastical. I think that's what has drawn me to collage over photography. I like to document what I see with photography, and then with collage, I create in a different realm.
SF: Tell us a bit about the process of making your collages. What comes first—the idea behind a piece, or the pieces of the collage? And how do you choose which pieces to turn into prints to sell online?
DB: I like to set goals when collaging. Every time I sit down to create, I want to leave with a piece. I collect vintage magazines, newspapers, books, and catalogs. I go through and start to cut out scenes or objects I gravitate towards and slowly start to build the collage like a puzzle. Whatever I’m musing on usually shows up in the work. All of my collages are deeply personal to me. I choose the ones to sell by asking myself if I could see the piece in someone’s collection.
SF: Have you encountered any unexpected hurdles or challenges launching the print shop? Anything you wish you knew sooner?
DB: What has been most challenging is that Gabi and I are managing this virtually. We video chat and message throughout our days, but sometimes we do feel the strain of trying to coordinate schedules. That’s why we set specific times to meet each week to ensure we are getting things done.
I’ve gained experience and insight from the partners we have at Simply Framed. I know how long the process can take when you want to start a new venture and how devoting time to setting up rules around data, products, and processes is so worth it in the long run. Create a system! Otherwise, it will be hard to find what you need. You will also keep consistency in products that you add at a later time if you have guidelines about file size, dpi, and artist info organized clearly and consistently. You'll thank yourself in the long run.
SF: Any tips for someone else looking to balance a full-time job with starting a business?
DB: Start small! We first set up two weekly meetings to get the project moving forward. Once we knew we were in crunch time and ready to add products, we upped that to a one-hour meeting a day until we launched. We are photographers so content (thankfully) is not an issue, but organization can take time. We invested early into apps like Canva and Later so that keeping up with social media wouldn’t feel overwhelming. Partnering with Simply Framed for fulfillment was obvious and I know the benefits of having an easy online platform to place orders, ensure consistent fulfillment, and customize options to offer.
Trying to do my job well, take care of my pets, stay healthy, be social, volunteer, hike, do the other things I enjoy, and juggle this new business can be tough to balance, but I think the reason this felt like the right next step is I genuinely enjoy the work. I want to spend time on it. I don’t necessarily feel like I am creating work for Parallel; rather, what I normally do is informing the Space.