Designspiration: Social Goods

Sometimes we artists and designers forget to consider the biggest canvas of all: our immediate surroundings. By simply designing the spaces we own and have control over, designing our world, so to speak, we can foster an environment where our creativity thrives. It's an important measure to take, and it often starts with our home offices, the places we hole ourselves up in for hours on end, our creative workshops.

Social Goods Co. is an Etsy store that offers simply crafted and gorgeously packaged pencils, magnets, etc. that one can use as the perfect foundation for an inspiring workspace. And as the shop name suggests, a purchase from their store comes equipped with an important social benefit: everything is eco-friendly! The pencils are sourced from newspapers... The magnets are quartz and pyrite... The erasers are latex-free... Perusing here is a recipe for happy shopping and an energized creative mind. So... Happy shopping!

 

Designspiration: Malika Favre

Malika Favre is a graphic artist whose mastery is creating a striking composition with simple geometry and bright color. The resulting pieces are dramatic, often featuring beautiful color pops and subjects with a retro aspect. And so Favre's work is a case study in the command of design fundamentals, providing us with an endless well-spring of designspiration. I may even put some of her work on the mood board for my next iPhone cover collection! I can only imagine what new patterns will be inspired.


Designspiration: By the Sea

It's June and the official start of Summer is right around the corner. I thought it was appropriate today to dream a bit about all things nautical. My husband, Dave and I were born and raised in Southern California so when June hits we tend to reminisce about our trips to the beach and of course the great weather. You know ... 70 degrees and no humidity! Since the early 1990's we have lived primarily on the East Coast. We have explored the beaches in Massachusetts, Connecticut and the Outer Banks and they do have their own charm. But in the end our vote for our favorite beaches still goes to California! Guess it is just in our blood.

With that nautical feel in mind I also hope to let summer and the sea inspire some new designs. I will keep you posted!

Designspiration: Magnolia Homes

Early this year I discovered a show that has become my favorite on HGTV. It is Fixer Upper. They wrapped up their second season on March 31st but summer is a great time to use on demand viewing to catch up on a show like this. What they do with an old run down house is truly remarkable! Chip and Joanna Gaines work together to remodel homes for their clients and they end up handing them something very special. The before and after is jaw dropping.  Joanna has impeccable taste which you can see below. They also offer a shop on their site, www.magnoliahomes.net, where you can purchase cool finds from their shows. Be sure to check it out!

Designspiration: Nancy Stahl

Here are a few images from the renowned American illustrator, Nancy Stahl. I have followed her work since the '70s and it was inspiring to see her make the transition herself into the digital work of design. She began her illustration career in 1971 working in gouache with a very bold "poster style." It was in the late 1980's her technique turned to the realm of digital design. You might be most familiar with her beautiful images used as postage stamps for the US Postal Service. She has also been featured in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Time Magazine. 

For those of you that use a Wacom Tablet, you should check out her video demonstrating how to Create Dynamic Brushes Using Intuos and Illustrator CS5.  She has some great tips and I love her use of special settings for the Wacom tablet to create her images. You can view her Wacom settings here.

Ocean Liner: Yahoo Annual Report by Nancy Stahl

Designspiration: 10 Great Ideas for Container Gardens

Now that everything is beginning to bloom and the weather is warming up, I think it is time to start thinking about gardening here in Virginia.  I would say small scale is ideal this year as the deer and wildlife here seem to have the munchies! Several of these ideas would be perfect for the deck or even a sunny window indoors.  I am hoping to pull off some vegetables in containers and just love the idea of kale in a metal tub as shown below! 

From Kitchens I Have Loved

From Kitchens I Have Loved

From Southern Living

From Southern Living

Designspiration: Hand Lettering

Hand lettering is so popular right now and it is worth featuring their talent to truly get inspired. It is an art in itself and you see it now being used in so many unique ways from logo and brand identity to t-shirts and stationery. Click the links below to a more complete collection of each artist's work. 

From Anne Elser

From Anne Elser

Designspiration: Paper Sculpture

Today's designspiration comes from artists who create paper sculpture. They are in a class of their own.  There are many adjectives to describe their work: intricate, masterful, detailed, mind boggling, and awe inspiring. I so admire the level of artistry that goes into their work not to mention the patience to execute each piece.  Be sure to follow the links for each piece below to browse their additional works of art.

Designspiration: 10 DIY Projects for Spring

When Spring hits, I not only take on Spring cleaning, but I get motivated to redecorate a bit and dive in to a few crafty DIY projects.  Here are ten great ideas to inspire your creativity!

Designspiration: Trendy Kids' Rooms

Today's designspiration comes from some of my favorite finds on Pinterest. The trends for decorating rooms for babies and children is so broad and exciting. It covers everything from the simplest combination of colors, to extravagant wall art, to the very trendy teepee.  For some it is a case for sophistication and for others it's all about whimsy.  So take a look and get inspired!

Designspiration: Vivian Maier

Today's inspiration comes from photographer, Vivian Maier. She was an American street photographer who was born in New York City and lived much of her childhood in France. The documentary by John Maloof, Finding Vivian Maier, is an amazing, awe-inspiring and sometimes sad story of her life and her work. Mr. Maloof is a Chicago historian who chronicles his chance discovery of boxes of her negatives that took him on a journey I am sure he never expected.  He became a detective sorting out the details of her life. We recently watched the documentary and were stunned when the photos began crossing the screen.  Her work is dramatic, artistic and masterful.  There are some 150,000 photos that had never been seen by anyone! Here are just a few of her extraordinary photos and each one will link you to a website devoted to her work: http://www.vivianmaier.com

Promotional Poster for  Finding Vivian Maier

Promotional Poster for Finding Vivian Maier

Self Portrait by Vivian Maier

Self Portrait by Vivian Maier

June 25, 1961 by Vivian Maier

June 25, 1961 by Vivian Maier

May 5, 1955 New York, NY by Vivian Maier

May 5, 1955 New York, NY by Vivian Maier

Photo by Vivian Maier

Photo by Vivian Maier

Undated by Vivian Maier

Undated by Vivian Maier

Designspiration: The Sketchbook Artist

You could spend hours perusing the pages of the internet to find design inspiration for the next page of your sketchbook. The styles of art are endless and the talent is phenomenal.  The mediums used are everything from pencil, pen and ink, watercolor, to gouache, acrylic, paper sculpting and collage. Here are just a few examples of the amazing art from sketchbook artists all over the world. 

By Renata Liwska

By Renata Liwska

10 Awesome Garland Ideas

Garlands are wildly popular right now as a way to decorate for every occasion imaginable.  The pages of Etsy and Pinterest are full of the most amazing ideas for birthdays, weddings, holidays and even to add just a pop of color to a child's room or nursery.  I gathered ten amazing examples that are unique, intricate and oh so colorful!  

Designspiration: Glorious Flowers

I am so inspired by flowers!  As I was preparing the images for this post and adding each one I realized that all of these in one way or another reminded me of different times during my life.  As a child I loved to pick flowers from the garden for my mother.  She shared my love of flowers and on many days during her illness it did cheer her up and brought a smile to her face to have a beautiful vase of flowers next to her bed.  And since I was very young one of my favorite subjects to draw or paint has always been some kind of flower.

We spent almost ten years living in Connecticut which is known for all of their lush gardens and I would say most everyone takes it pretty seriously there!  We lived on a beautiful piece of property that lent itself to having a garden.  I fondly remember our second summer there, bringing all of the kids out to help us prepare the ground for my grand garden plan.  Oh there was some grumbling but I always made sure to make an extra special dinner on those days! It was quite the project and in the end it was a garden full of beautiful sunflowers, hollyhocks, peonies, black eyed susans and roses. And of course no garden in Connecticut would be complete without a few birdhouses. I learned so much too, like the time we sprinkled a few morning glory seeds around our porch posts.  Within a couple months it was like a morning glory jungle and we could barely get to the front door.  Or the time we proudly planted several flats of pansies along the front perimeter of the yard only to wake up the next morning to find them all eaten! I think I better make some time to get my fingers back in the soil! Maybe a container garden this time.