After a three year hiatus, What's In Your Bag is back and peeking into the inner depths of the receptacles C-U residents are carrying their stuff around in. 

It made sense to make this first installment double one when you consider the subjects. Anna Peters (pictured above, right) and Hilary Pope lead quite similar lives (pictured above, left). They both grew up in C-U (Peters graduated from Central, Pope from Centennial), they both have a graphic design background, they are artists and designers, and now they are co-owners of the Art Coop in Urbana. 

I caught up with Peters and Pope at the store and we took a look at the items they carry with them each day. At first glance, the contents of their bags seem remarkably different, but their similarities eventually shine through. As Peters says, "I do have weird things, mine are just smaller and hidden."

Hilary Pope

Favorite item in the store: All the pens...the cat pens, the Le Pens are gorgeous...anything colorful. I love color.

Bag: I carry this fancy Jansport. It can carry a laptop and a lot of other things in it, so it’s a good travel backpack.

1. Journals: For making lists.

2. Smoke and Mirrors program: Somebody brought it for me. It’s beautifully designed, it’s Sasha Velour’s show. I don’t know why I keep it with me but I do.

3. Items I buy from The Idea Store: They are super close to us and we love them. Mostly they are for collage stuff or jewelry. I have a little studio in the Lincoln Building, Anna makes them [collages] too, and we call them our “goofy little collages.” A lot of them are just cuts from vintage magazines and weird items. I love making them. I’ll put them in shows once in awhile, but mostly I just make them because I’m obsessed with making them.

4. Hurricanes and Twisters: It will be a collage book; I got this from Courage Connection [Connections Resale].

5. I’ll be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara: Because I’m obsessed with murder, apparently, and I like to be scared by what I’m reading. And it’s true, and they caught him (the serial killer from the book); it’s so cool.

6: Tag from a shirt: Miranda July just released her collection with Uniqlo and the shirts are really funny and weird. The tag is cute so I haven’t take in out of my bag. I just like cute things.

Pill holder: It’s not very interesting, but it’s cute.

Judgmints: RBG...so good. She’s going to outlive me, probably. She can do a sit up, I can’t.

7. Hand balm: It’s amazing. This is the best hand cream in the world. I get it from Ippatsu. I got it one time and now it’s forever.

8. Lipstick: Lime Crime, same. I use it exclusively.

9. Sticker Collection: Because I’m 10. Most are from The Idea Store, and this is a picture from Boneyard three years ago. These are a bunch of art ladies.

10. Zipper bag: This is made by someone local, Maxx Gogski, it’s where I keep little toiletries and things.

11. Giant collection of pens and pencils: That’s half of what’s in my bag.

Anna Peters

Favorite store item: I love Bic crystal pens. They're my favorite. It has to be blue. That's the thing that I'm most excited about lately. I also have a million Moleskins that are my paper brains: the Art Coop brain, the schedule brain, and the Anna Peter’s brain.

Bag: This is a pretend Fjallraven. I found it online inexpensively. I got it when my husband and I were going on our honeymoon, because I wanted a backpack for traveling. I had back surgery a couple of years ago, so having a proper backpack that's even on both sides is helpful for me. 

1. Old iPad: We use this for the vast majority of our ordering. 

2. Black moleskin: This is all Art Coop ordering stuff. It's got all sorts of tabs like "remember to teach Hilary how to do payroll" and "oh yeah, that's our Instagram password." I like to have a separate one just for me. If I have a combined one, then I’m always working. It’s nice sometimes to have my own...more of a sketchbook.

3. This is my little schedule book. I love these. I’ve been using this specific schedule book for like 12 years or something ridiculous. This one is cool because I got it in London at the Saint Pancras train station, and they were doing free monogramming, so it has my name on it.

4. Sunglasses: This is an excellent case, that's from The Idea Store. It’s a triangle.

5: Keys: I lost my car keys once when I was working at Parkland...so this [key ring] is great because I can have it on me, and I can't lose it. 

This one (longer key) is by a company that we’re going to start carrying, it’s called SuckUK, it’s a bottle opener and I like that it looks like a key.

I took a metalworking class when I was in college a thousand years ago, and this is a thing that I made [the flat copper key].

6. Blank button: It's from the Color Factory in New York. It’s a big installation that quite a few different illustrators and designers worked together to make. There’s a whole room that’s all blue, and room that’s all weird and sparkly...it’s a weird kind of immersive experiential place. We were meant to pick a button that is a color that we really like. I love all grays.

7. Hilary and I have been battling this weird cold situation. Also Hilary and I have same pill containers, but I do have this one that’s a lipstick with a flower in it. So I do like gray, but I’m also fond of pink.

8. This is a bag that we sell here, and I have a pile too [of drawing utensils].

9. This is my gray wallet that has all my boring cards and stuff in it. [Pulls out two items] This [cat] is from an art store in New York. I found this crocheted heart thing at the library. Someone was leaving them around the library as bookmarks or something.

Photos by Kwamé Nyerere Thomas