Brittany and Julie make the raddest buttons! I first came across them thanks to an IG post from fellow artist, Carly Correa (thank you!), of the Butt’n Booty trio of Gwen Stefani pins she’d received from B&J. I love that their butt’ns feature hand drawn art of all things pop culture: musicians such as the Beastie Boys, Outkast, Beck and Beyoncé; loveable characters I grew up watching on TV and film like ALF, E.T. and the Full House gang!; cute cartoon ice cream patterns (Sonic and Sponge Bob), Furbies + more…AND the best part is, if they don’t have what you’re looking for they’ll custom make you butt’n with whatever you want on it for only $7. Bargain! I currently have them working on a butt’n featuring my favourite pooch, Mrs. Vincent! I love Butt’n Booty so much I just had to interview the grrrls to let you guys know about them.
How did you first meet and what were your first impressions of each other?
JULIE: We had a mutual friend who knew that we were brain twins. We were always at the same parties, but never really got to know each other. I always though Brittany was so cool/fun/awesome. Then, she got hired on where I was working. Our brains have been linked ever since.
BRITTANY: Yes. I saw her from afar and was all, “Who’s that giiiirl” and once I spent time with her I was all, “OMG LET’S TAKE OVER THE WORLD”. We have been compared to Timon and Pumba.
J: We tried to dress up as them for Halloween, but the face paint went terribly horribly wrong.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What aside from art takes up your time?
B: I have a day job at another larger Etsy store. I spend almost all of my free time listening to music, watching Youtube videos, watching stupid movies, and enjoying Missouri’s beautiful outdoors with my friends and family. The humans we know are so much fun it can be hard to be productive. Though I think spending time with loved ones is productive. <3
J: I just graduated from Webster in May and I’m working full time as a writer at an ad agency. That takes up like 80% of my time. The other 20% is dedicated to buttons, boozin’, snoozin’, and just havin’ a good time.
What has been your journey into art?
J: Brittany is the real artist in our duo. She’s so talented. I just doodle. I got pretty good at Photoshop in college and only in the last year while I was working on a project, realized that I could turn my lil’ doodles into patterns.
B: Oh, stop. She doesn’t “just doodle” she creates tiny patterns that are so cute and full of life that I could puke. Anyway, yes I’ve always been an art kid. I grew up drawing and painting on paper plates. Lot’s of portraits and frogs giving peace signs, so not much has changed. I pursued art in school and planned on winging it until I find my place otherwise. I have experienced a lot of uncertainty about my art not being good/serious enough and being unemployed forever, but I am very pleased with how my adult art life has unfolded. Butt’ns, man.
How would you describe your art?
J: Simple cartoon patterns of things that I am loving at the moment.
B: Satirical and/or loving portraits of people and things that are influential to myself and our generation. (buttonwise)
How did Butt’n Booty come into being?
J: When we worked together, we were constantly coming up with ideas. Themed float trips, art shows, SNL sketches. We had a whole notebook of them. Then our boss rented a button maker and we realized that everything we had every dreamt of could be made into a button.
Do you have a vision in mind for BB?
J: So many visions. We’d love to get our buttons onto as many denim jackets as possible, but right now I’m just lovin’ all of the connections we’ve made with awesome people. Definitely looking forward to some collabos.
B: We are very open to whatever this might lead to, but I definitely want to quit my day job, have a sweet office, trick people into paying attention to us so we can make videos, maybe a band…who knows. Creative Empire by Butt’nBooty. I also make buttons for my hometown’s movie theater, which is part of my long-term plan to turn DeSoto, MO into an artistic oasis.
What kinds of things inspire your work?
J: Blogs. The cool ppl we follow on Insta. Alcohol. Tom Hanks movies. Pizza.
B: Music. Celebrity. Hilarious things about psychology. Friends. Subcultures.
What is it about celebrities you enjoy depicting? What kind of subjects do you tend to gravitate towards?
B: The celebrities featured as buttons are often just an expression of our music/movie/comedy/skateboarding loves. We make buttons that we want to have ourselves. Sometimes they are more in jest/irony, which I think can be distinguished in the way I render them. An example would be our “celebrities as muppets”, which show the two-deminsional characters our society has made artists to be (not that muppets are two-dimensional I love them). Beyond the buttons, the way people react to celebrities/pop culture has always been fascinating to me/us. My senior show was a lot about Juggalos and what they are really about. Julie and I had an art show at a friend’s gallery called “A Look at Who’s Talking Now”, a study of anthropomorphism in American culture, with focus on the “Look Who’s Talking” franchise of the late 80s early 90s.
J: That show was awesome. And really the beginning of our partnership. We had a timeline of anthropomorphism in the media, Bruce Willis yelling “Fuck!” through a baby monitor, and a study of Babe vs. Gordy. Brittany did this amazing painting of the pug from Men in Black with Will Smith in the background. It was really cool.
My personal favourite from your collection of buttons so far is the Gwen Stefani set. What’s your favourite?
B: The Gwen set is also one of my faves! It’s hard to decide, but I find myself wearing the Bruce Springsteen ones and Julie’s brunch pattern the most often.
J: Each new design becomes my favorite. Right now I love Furbies and Gwens the most, but I think that the celebs as muppets trio is my all time #1. I want Britt to do more of those.
What music do you listen to while you work?
B: I listen to Dexy’s Midnight Runners a lot lately because it naturally gets me awake and inspired after my day job. No Doubt is also great for that. I will also, for instance, listen to Outkast while making an Andre 3000 button to get me PUMPED.
J: Beyonce’s visual album is still on constant rotation. My friend gave me The Killer’s Hot Fuss for my bday so I’ve been spinnin’ that as well. When we are together we tend to listen to 90s pop or country and “Africa” by Toto.
You guys are located in St Louis, MO. Where would you take me and what kinds of things would we do if I visited your town?
B: During the day we would take you to the City Museum, which is this crazy amazing hand-crafted artsy place that would totally be your thing. Then at night we would take you to our home, Nick’s Pub. The NEXT day we would take you on a float/camping trip because we live for that.
J: We can definitely most often be found at Nick’s Pub. It’s a dimly lit beer, shuffleboard, and happy hour paradise. We’d also take you for donuts and day drinking in Maplewood. Strange Donuts, Crow’s Nest, Boogaloo, and our bff Chelsea’s backyard.
What’s your favourite button that you own (not made by y’all) that you treasure?
J: I bought a couple vintage lots of buttons on eBay and there are sooooooooooo many good ones. My favorite is tiny and purple and it says, “I don’t have herpes.” I also love love love love Carly Correa’s emoji buttons, Melissa Chaib’s “I <3 Mixtapes” button set, and the pizza slice cross stitch button by MaMagasin on Etsy.
B: I have an “I’m for Nixon” button that was my great-grandparents that I think is so neat.
What do you love about what you do?
B: I love everything about what we do! It allows me and motivates me to be creative almost every day while expressing my personality and hopefully making others happy, too! I love when awesome people freak out with us about something so simple and typically thought of as childish.
J: I love that people are loving what we’re doing! We do happy dances with every new email, insta comment, and order. We really started this as a creative outlet, but it’s taking off and we are able to do more and more with it. I love daydreaming about the future of Butt’n Booty and I’m so excited to see where it goes!