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Art & Life with Phil Ayoub

Today we’d like to introduce you to Phil Ayoub.

Phil, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
When you spend your childhood having chocolate chip cookies for breakfast and dragging a stuffed Snoopy everywhere, it would seem like growing up to start a greeting card and gift company would make perfect sense. But my road seems to have made anything but perfect sense.

After making the scary decision to go to college in Boston, a full 50-minute drive away from my parents, I had a short-lived dream of becoming a sports journalist. A couple years after graduating from Tufts I drifted through business school, got an MBA from Boston College, and added another DIWNU (Diploma I Would Never Use) to my parents’ wall.

But it was during my career as a singer/songwriter (yes, I went from business school to music…remember, how I said this road didn’t really make sense?!) that I realized how much I enjoyed observing people and trying to express what they might be feeling through song. In compiling ideas and lines for potential lyrics, I also made note of things that might lend themselves better to other forms of expression…like in some cases, greeting cards.

So, armed with some ideas gathered while songwriting, a cute dog I’d gathered from a previous relationship, and the fact that at least I found myself somewhat witty and clever ☺, the idea for Bow Ties Greeting Cards & Other Gifts was born. After starting with cards, it has grown to include a lot of fun stuff for people and pets!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I try to create things that make people smile. In my previous career as a songwriter, I was always hoping to make people feel something…anything. With ideas and images that they hopefully could relate to, because that’s what music did for me. What I try to do with Bow Ties grew out of that, but in a way that gets to the point faster. And skips the depressing things (that often make great songs, but not so great greeting cards or gifts!). Ideas usually start with a phrase or language of some sort, because I’m more of a writer and not really designer per se. More often than not I’m trying to be funny (and hopefully succeeding sometimes…maybe???). And probably almost half the time there’s a pet involved. ☺

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
For me personally, I measure success on two levels. The first is if I have an idea and I see it through to where the final result lives up to my initial vision. I have something that represents my idea and something that I personally am happy and satisfies with. If that happens (and of course it doesn’t happen all the time), I view that as a success. And second, if it is something that seems to connect with other people. I know sometimes it’s cooler to say that creative people should just try to satisfy themselves and not worry about what other people think, but I’ll freely admit that I want people (other than just my family!) to have a positive reaction to what I put out there. I view that as a success as well.

As for other creative artists, I feel like the only quality or characteristic that probably is essential to the success of every artists is the ability to stay connected to whatever inspires them to continue to create and to not lose touch with that.

And advice for other artists…don’t take yourself too seriously, help out other artists when the opportunity presents itself, and always park close to the carriage corral when you go to the supermarket.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
The best way is through the website: I also have a music website at

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Diana Pozzi
Hollie Quigley
Dan Smith

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