Last month Netflix launched their new original documentary series called Abstract. Since its launch, I have been hooked by the great minds featured in each episode. Getting a glimpse of Paula Scher, Platon or Ilse Crawford design process, and the way they see the world has been truly inspiring and eye opening. Understanding why we work in this industry is probably one of the most relevant questions a designer could ask themselves. The drive of making, caused by curiosity or the goal of wellbeing makes design one of the greatest tools of human enhancement. Like Crawford said, we discover the world through our senses, and we designers are in charge of creating surroundings from nothing into something. We communicate, and we own the power to influence and create impact in others. Our careers are no joke. This is why I encourage you to take the time to watch these episodes. They might spark some important questions and push that drive to greater goods.
One of the reasons why I started blogging and decided to keep doing so has a lot do with the satisfaction of discovering and sharing. I get excited about many things, and finding awesome people that inspire me is one of them. This week is Lisa Congdon. This super cool and positive woman came to me through a book called "Whatever You Are, Be a Good One" (100 Inspirational Quotations Hand-Lettered by Lisa Congdon) I found her book at Target and thought Hmm...I might keep this.. and so I did! Her selection of quotes was excellent, and her style was so different and eclectic.. Something I haven't seen much of lately. When I looked her up, I found out she is actually a big deal! Her clients range from MOMA!!!, Harvard University!!!, The Land of Nod, Martha Stewart Living, I mean.. BIG DEAL! and her website is so cute full of random illustrations on the corners, just full of life. Turns out she had a late start in art, which I found surprising considering how young she looks! but oh well! Didn't matter to her, she is super successful and full of life. Her work is bright, fun and so friendly! She has a shop online, books, wallpaper, gift wrap, prints, and a ton more... Make sure to check her out and read her blog. I read a couple of her posts, and I just love how honest and humble she sounds. She is inspiring in many ways.
One of my love affairs is interior design. As a designer I appreciate every type of creative process, and admire the work that comes with creating something out of nowhere. I became more interested in decor and interior design when I moved into my first "grown up" apartment, and I have to admit it isn't an easy task. Pinterest as well as Instagram were a huge help for inspiration and color palettes. I recommend following Emily Henderson, A beautiful Mess, Home Polish & West Elm; they are tasteful and so much fun to follow! Hope you find these inspiring... NOW... go nuts and rearrange that space you hate!
I believe that every artist is like a raw diamond. Even though some remain hiding, and some shine like no other, they are all beautiful and unique in its own way; this is why i believe they all need exposure. I've decided to make a contribution to our community and expose as many artist. This wee I can. This week's highlight belongs to my dear friend Brittney LeighAnn. I met this sweet lady at a 2D class in Mississippi, and since then I've admired not only her work, but her capacity to be everything she can and want to be. Her inspirations go wider than the sea and her creativity runs wild. I love seeing all the ways she expresses her art, and I cannot wait to see what the future waits for her. I asked her three questions about her work and creative process and here it is what she had for us.
1. What do you enjoy most about creating a piece of art?
I love that I can start with or without an idea of what the end result will look like. It is both a conscious and serendipitous process simultaneously for me. Whether its a color palette on a page made with acrylic paint one day, and the next day on the adjacent page a collage with bits of fabric and paper; then the discovery that certain elements compliment and harmonize with each other on both pages and inspire a new piece of color-paint-collage bliss; this is why I keep creating. It is experimentation, discovery, and perfect happiness tied into one. It may be a photographic frame one day, and a video composition the next. So many things to create, and always so little time. Just like any day-to-day routine, there is this literal need to create something. To evoke or express something as vague as a concept or an emotion. I actually keep a notebook in every drawer in the house for when ideas come (I have tallied 6 notebooks thus far, not quite every drawer but I daresay I have run out of notebooks). There has always been this urgency to record thoughts, ideas, and feelings; oh the joys of creativity!
2. What inspires you?
I could probably rant on for hours. It sounds cliché to say the “world around me” but this is rather relevant; colors, textures, lines; all of the proper design elements I suppose. But mostly, I am obsessively nostalgic. I had a girl tell me, “Brittney, I feel like you should have been born in another time” and this rang so true to my essence. I immerse myself in museums and antique shops, I read history articles and historic costume books and fictions for the thrill, and cannot find enough BBC period dramas to watch. Although I like to pull inspiration from all different eras, I would most certainly go back to the Edwardian/Ragtime era (1910ish-1920's) art noveau/joy epoch art movements. I would definitely put my hair into the Gibson Girl bun and drink coca cola from a soda fountain if this was acceptable . I cry every time I watch Titanic because the colors and details of the garments are so beautiful, and I watch behind the scenes videos about the cast and hair of Mr. Selfridge, and have watched pretty much every directors commentary for my favorite films to gain insight into the spirit of the times. I am somewhat of a nerd I suppose.
3. What is your advice for every raw diamond out there?
Start Somewhere; give yourself time to create. As I am sure any creative would agree, there have been weeks, even months where I felt I was creatively stagnant and uninspired, and had this anxiety hanging above me like a dreary raincloud preventing me from trying something new; fearing it would not turn out the way I anticipated ( if I even had the faintest of ideas in the first place). It was not until I began creating this routine; waking up at 5am every morning, before the sun, before the majority of the world was awake-before school and work, and life really. And I would get up and make a cup of coffee (or a soup bowl of coffee for that matter, I drink more than I should) and block off just 1 hour to create something. Weather it was tearing up scraps of water color painted paper and ink markings and collaging them, cutting a linoleum block to print make, or merely dreaming up ideas with a pen and paper,gathering inspirations for a photography project, or trying a new process like embroidery or beading unlikely materials;such as paper. This creative “play” and mental reflection and time, forced me to try something, whatever it was. To create for the sake of creating. No pressure. No anxiety. Sometimes I absolutely loved what I created. Other times I hated what I created. And most surprising, and yet usually most of the time-something that I thought I hated ended up being a piece that I loved months, even years later; incorporated into another project, with a revised color palette or composition, or even just left as is. The important thing is to simply give yourself time. If you are not much of a morning person, be a night owl and give yourself this creative time. The worst that can happen is 1 hour turning into 2, or 3, and you miss class because you are too deep into your project. (and yet this has happened multiple times.)
"Blogging is not easy!" The best ones have a whole team behind scenes, and even then, it is a challenging job. This is why I have decided to learn from the best ones. Or at least to the ones I consider the best... :) The ones that are in trend, daily, and that aren't afraid to say what they think. I am sure there are many many more out there... But these are the TOP 3 I love and enjoy reading, because I can see the love and thought behind each post. Hopefully one day I can do this for a living.
My love for this blog started with "Dress your Tech," I mean we all love free stuff don't we? And they have the best wallpapers! From quotes, to watercolor, to funky illustrations, this blog have the best selection. They have around 100 wallpapers for you to pick from, so great! They are based on LA and they were created in "2009 out of Bri Emery (art director) own obsession with type and images." "Bri, has been featured in publications such as Elle Décor, Apartment Therapy, HGTV, Lucky Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, The Los Angeles times and more, and travels the world teaching photoshop to bloggers with her BLOGSHOP brand, founded in 2011." How awesome is that? I recommend you to go and check her blog ASAP! You never know which post will talk to you!
Omg! I love this blog/design studio/brand... The use of color, and the variety of topics is wideeeee. I came to know about this awesome URL by target. I bought the cutest oven mitts for Christmas, and i felt in love with their patterns, colors and most important, their tag. It was lime green with foiled letters, it said: Ohjoy! So I looked her up, and thanks to the amazing google, I found all about her in seconds. Oh Joy launched in 2005, and it is also located in LA. Its founder and creative director is Joy Cho, but she has an amazing team behind her. They have publish 2 books and the third one will be available, April 7th. It's called "Oh Joy! 60 Ways to Create and Give Joy," and it looks pretty cool! Besides from blogging, publishing and working with Target, they have worked with Urban Outfitters, Microsoft, Nod, and been featured by People StyleWatch, Better Homes, InStyle, LA Times, Washington Post, Anthropologie, HGTV, etc, etc... Argh! You must check her out. Period.
I didn't know about these crazy sisters until recently. I was researching and looking for cute layout examples for work and I came across this Southern hospitality. Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman own this company and their focus is to "create happiness every day through a homemade lifestyle." They share about home decor projects, recipes, crafts, as well as bits of their life in Missouri. I own a small apartment so these tips were great to add some color to my rental. Soon after i checked their post I found out about happy mail!!! Which is like a birch box but full of stationary samples. How freaking convenient that is?? Only $15 a month and you get $50 (retail value) of stationary at your doorstep... Super smart, considering most designers get stationary just to stare at! lol, so true. There is so much this blog has to offer, you just need to stop by and get lost between links.