Words by Katie La Licata
Today we launch the third edition of the Featured Artist Series, printed on Jungmaven hemp x cotton T-shirts. This piece titled "Cutback on Plastic" by Haley Bugelli (Formerly Haley Russo) celebrates Earth Month by sending a message that is woven into the fabric of Changing Tides Foundation, a reminder to cut back on single-use plastics.
Haley Bugelli is a bright light of sweetness and soul. Her creativity, talent and experience within the graphic design industry give her a long list of bragging points. Haley isn’t one to brag however, so we’ll do it for her. With many impressive accomplishments tackled while still in her 20’s, none of them are the main foundations of what makes Haley so special. Her dedication and enthusiasm to create with meaning and purpose, while staying true to her values, are just a few of the great qualities that set her apart from others.
Living in southern California, loving the ocean, and having a specialized degree in action sports design it seemed only natural for her to seek a career doing design for the surf or skate industry. It wasn’t long before Stance scooped Haley up. Here however, she found herself more drawn to design for men’s apparel because she felt a void in authenticity and the way women were being represented. She believes since then the industry has taken a good turn and is even introducing more and more sustainable brands. With that in mind - Here’s a fun fact about her: She told us, “not only is working with CTF is a dream come true but Leah Dawson was actually her ‘muse’ and main inspiration for her senior portfolio for graphic design.” We love now, that she in turn, is inspiring us! And now here's Leah, wearing Haley's design! :)
We had the opportunity to chat with Haley and her spunky spirit and talk about all things art, sustainability and life. He’s a bit more of what she had to share. We proudly introduce to you to Haley Bugelli.
Location: Jensen Beach, FL
Occupation: Freelance Graphic Designer, water woman, environmentalist and vintage hoarder, with a passion for collaborating with like minded brands.
New Adventure → Event Suite Designer
Favorite Wave: Gah. That is a hard one. I love Pipes in Encinitas so so much, The Pass in Byron was an incredible to experience too, but Macmasters in Saratoga NSW is where my *husband* proposed to me while we were surfing in his hometown -- we should have gotten married a week ago in Hawaii but had to postpone due to the restrictions -- so we will just refer to him as *husband* in this hahah
How did you get into art?
My parents were always encouraging me to be creative at a young age. I did a few art programs when I was little-little, but it was always a favorite activity of mine to draw all over my arms -- I think I have been planning my tattoos since I was 5.
Growing up on the east coast in a town set to the scene of a Stephen King novel, I had this major infatuation with California beach culture. My walls were covered with torn pages of palm trees, vintage vans and coastlines. At one point, my mom installed a wallpaper sunset. We never spent much time at the ocean as kids. Instead, my parents would haul us up to Maine for winter weekends and long summer stays. Snowboarding was the next best activity to surfing I could access.
As I got older, I started to collect any action sports hang tag, sticker or lookbook I could get my hands on.
I was really fortunate to have a really fantastic graphic design program in high school that provided the early on experience with adobe programs. I would spend my free periods in the basement screen printing and developing film rolls. My senior year, I submitted a vintage graphic tee design for our graduating class shirts. I was denied by the school council for resurrecting the original school mascot. So, I printed the shirts myself and sold them out of the back of my Honda Element in the school parking lot. I donated all the profits to The American Cancer Society. Our entire senior class wore them and my graduating class was over 500 students. A year later, my design teacher had saved the original screen and still had students printing the tee. That project really ignited that feeling of contribution through design.
My dad noticed my hoarding activity along with the piles of t-shirts I was making and said ‘hey, you know you could do this as a career?’ My parents were so cool in the sense that they always took notice of our passions -- how to harness that energy and direct it towards finding our purpose. That led me to complete my BFA in Action Sports Design from Laguna College of Art and Design. I definitely took a non traditional path there transferring between four schools and a little hiatus living in Hawaii, but I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
How would you describe your style/inspiration?
I’m definitely an old soul when it comes to my aesthetic -- my parents say I’ve always been that way. I’m a lover of everything classic -- they raised me on Aerosmith and the Beatles. My favorite pastimes include digging through thrift stores for the perfect pair of Levis or discovering a mid century coffee table on the side of the road. Beneath the jungle of greenery, our home is filled to the brim with vintage apparel, furnishings and surfboards that we’ve been collecting for years. My parent’s *light heartedly* refer to our closet collection as dead people’s clothing.
Two major values that influence my work are the environment and really sticking up for my own values as a designer. I initially chose to work within the men’s departments for the action sports industry because I felt a major disconnection to the women’s marketing and products. It’s been so influential to witness the recent evolution of the women’s industry. So many great gal-communities have emerged that focus on their environmental accountability and use their platforms to gracefully support their values. It ultimately influenced my transition into this freelance adventure, to not only work with women run brands, but contribute creativity towards foundations and local businesses that align with my values.
What do you hope to inspire with your art?
I hope to inspire those to take a look at the existing alternative resources around them and to support local businesses with my work. When looking to add to your closet -- there are so many great second hand and upcycled items to be found, and the search for them can be pretty fun. A lot of friends started asking where I was finding these items, so I started sourcing pieces for them. Planning a wedding -- what are the best options for minimal waste? We went the route of recycled paper and all digital information for guests. No waves for the day -- let’s pick up some pieces on the beach. I’ve gotten to see baby turtles hatching three times on the flattest of days.
It’s been a big transition for us from surfing almost every day in California to getting a few waves here and there in Florida -- but I am grateful for this new time I am getting to fill with work that is dedicated towards the betterment of our environment. With the move, it helped me establish my own sense of style and get creative with our time with the ocean.
Show us your a few of your favorite pieces
Besides the printed art, our friends and us have a fantasy surfing league -- but Sean and I have an ongoing bet. Loser has to get a tattoo of the other’s choosing. Lucky for him I draw for a living. My best piece in my opinion is John John Florence in a wooden barrel on his upper thigh. I lost 2 years ago, but he politely let me choose mine because his drawing skills don’t go beyond Homer Simpson... I got a gal with a motor bike helmet for my scooter I love, but also for Owen Wright -- when he competes in the larger wave events, he sports a helmet from his head injury.
What are your top 3 favorite places to travel and why?
What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue their artistic passions?
I’m a strong believer in manifesting and immersing yourself in every opportunity. I was a kid that grew up in the woods of Connecticut -- staring at a wallpaper sunset every night -- collecting Roxy hang tags, to working retail for Quiksilver, to designing for the action sports industry in California. You may not start out in the place you want, but getting to see all sides of the process gives you a really strong perspective when you arrive at your destination. Reach out to the brands you align with, network and collaborate. The greatest lesson I learned recently is to give your own work the same professional attention you would give your clients.
On the daily we see art & graphics as parts of major campaigns or brands and don’t think much about where they came from. Well, now you have an idea. People like Haley, working hard to create images that make an impact in your hearts and minds.
In addition, to her freelance work, Haley was the artistic and creative machine for our most recent campaign the Plant-based March Challenge as well as the new branding for the Plastic Swear Jar Challenge later this month. Aside from wedding planning, she is busy rebranding some of our older projects that we are excited to present to you soon. With all that being said, we are beyond stoked to launch our third design for our JungMaven T-shirt collab. We hope you’ve enjoyed these prints, tee’s and stories as much as we have! You can purchase the CUT BACK ON PLASTIC Hemp T here.