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Monday, March 16, 2015

State in Mind

Local designer creates cultural trends with merchandise


A new business venture is supporting the “dreamers, makers, creators and climate changers” all native to Louisiana.

Pelican Parish is set to make its first retail appearance March 24 at Gearhead Outfitters in Mall St. Vincent. The first launch will take place at 5:30 p.m. followed by two other launch events that week.

This business is the brainchild and yet another graphic design creation of Shreveport native Jeremy Johnson.

Johnson also created the cartoon-style illustrations called TOOMASOOBA.

Johnson, the director of digital media at Centenary College, has worked on TOOMASOOBA since 2009. He said his previous work generated a lot of support but left him wondering where to go next.

During last year’s Rhino Coffee’s Handmade Holidays, he decided to test out a new design separate from the cartoonstyle characters many locals support.

“I decided to print a handful of pelican prints just to see what the reaction was – and it was very positive,” Johnson said.

“Upon further research, there were a number of other plates over the years featuring a similar aesthetic, and those have become part of my initial ‘line.’” Johnson said he linked up with Definition Industries in Shreveport to assist him with the apparel. “By far my biggest collaborators are Charlie and Aubrianne Veuleman at Definition Industries here in Shreveport. They’ve been instrumental in helping me pick the right look and feel for my apparel. They do great work, and they hussle, and they support local!” Currently, Pelican Parish offers four unisex T-shirt designs, koozies, prints and custom woodcut art pieces. Johnson said he will unveil new apparel lines each season if the demand calls for it.

Johnson said he got the brand’s name from his home state. “I hope to preserve the symbol as a connection to our past and re-energize it by supporting and being a part of an energetic, progressive Louisiana culture.”

As a part of that culture, Johnson also represents a couple of Louisiana natives brand, and I’d like this portion of the project to become a hub for those who share a similar mindset,” he said.

Pelican Parish will be available the week of March 23 at Gearhead Outfitters in Mall St. Vincent and King Hardware & Gifts in Uptown Shopping Center. The Agora Borealis will be the exclusive home of Pelican Parish prints and custom art pieces.

Johnson also plans on selling at the Texas Avenue Makers Fair and other street fairs and events around Louisiana, but his first


Pelican Parish will have three launch parties.

• 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 24 at Gearhead Outfitters, including free beverages and food from Fleur De Creme.

• 4 to 8 p.m. March 26 at Great Raft Brewing, with live music provided by A.J. Haynes

• 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 28 at King Hardware & Gifts

For more information, go to www.pelicanparish.com.


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