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We collaborate with some really wonderful artists on our Little Otsu projects!

Lart Cognac Berliner – we first got to know Lart when she came into our store a few years ago and asked about designing a t-shirt for us. One gazelle in a dripping heart and many projects later, she is our most frequent LO collaborator and acts as our in-house designer and artist scout. She has lived in many states and different continents, but is finally back in San Francisco for a while. When she’s not working on something for LO, she makes art for bands & labels, paints, plays in noise bands, and wants to work for America’s Next Top Model. She is currently working on art for the McSweeney’s Voice of Witness books.

Lilli Carré – Lilli’s lovely art was brought to our attention by Martine (see below) and we just had to ask her to do something with us! She has designed Little Otsu tees, greeting cards, and a postcard. Living in Chicago, Lilli has a well-received new book on Top Shelf, Tales of Woodsman Pete, and the distinction of drawing the cover and being one of the newcomers featured in the upcoming inaugural volume of Houghton Mifflin’s The Best American Comics series.

Allison Cole – Never Ending Summer, Allison’s book on Alternative Comics, impressed us so much, we asked her if she was interested in working on a project with us. To our delight, she was and the wonderful Aquatic Adventure planner was the result. She also designed an awesome t-shirt for us. While she’s been super busy in Providence making new art for shows, crafting, illustrating for publications, and drawing comics, we’re starting work on a cool new project for the fall!

Chris Duncan – starting off as one our earliest customers, our collaborations with Chris have ranged from our second art show to our first t-shirt, window signage to our weekly planner. It’s been amazing to see Chris’ career really take off since we’ve known him and we’re always excited by what he’s up to next. He has a book in the works for AK Press about people’s first punk shows and upcoming shows in New York and Tokyo. The zine project he works on, Hot+Cold, was recently acquired by the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Kaori Kasai – Kao is another long-time collaborator who we found through our friend Miko in Vancouver. Kao was living in SF when we first started working with her (our blue hat guy sandwich board, ads, two art shows, a t-shirt). When she moved back to Vancouver, we didn’t keep in as good touch as we should have, but we’re happy to welcome her work back into the fold with two new greeting cards. In the meantime she was busy with school and art and is now focusing on making animation and children’s books.

Jason Munn – we first met Jason through Chris and loved the work he was doing designing and screening gig posters. He designed an ad for us, with an image that became our first Otsu button and he designed our Otsu sheep shirt, which went on to become our logo. We had a poster show of his work, which has quadrupled in volume since then. He has gone on to do artwork for many bands, including Wilco and Deathcab for Cutie, and was just named a winner of the Art Directors Club’s prestigious Young Guns competition. We’re excited that he is helping us to launch a new line of LO products that will debut later this year.

Jennie Smith – Jennie was actually an out-of-town customer of ours (though we didn’t know it at the time) who was just recently re-introduced to us by our friend Helena, who went to school with her in Minneapolis. We were struck by her detailed imaginitive drawings and her enthusiasm to collaborate on projects, not to mention her absolute charmer of a baby boy. We’ve been working with her on our first calendar and will have stationery to come. She has been living and working in San Francisco for almost a year now, during which time she was featured in the Whitney Biennial and gained gallery representation.

Kate Sutton – Kate was the first person to contact us when we posted an artist solicitation on our site and are we ever so glad. She’s our first LO international artist and has designed shirts, greeting cards, and gift tags for us. She’s busy in the UK making dolls, doing illustrations for other stores and brands (she has an awesome line of products being made by Australia’s Nook Art), travelling, and drinking tea.

Martine Workman – Lart became acquainted with Martine at last year’s Alternative Press Expo and boy howdy, are we glad she did. Even though she left San Francisco for the cloudy skies of Seattle not long afterwards, she helped design and screen our first Little Otsu t-shirts and has designed a series of Otsu shirts inspired by her cool handmade mini book, Conversating. She has been helping us out with ad designs and is working on this year’s LO planner. She loves book design, watching Monk, and has the cheeriest disposition of anyone we know.