Thursday, July 26, 2012

Back to the Drawing Board

For the last couple of weeks I've been trying to push my creativity by drawing something every day, no matter how simple, plain, or just plain bad. It's been a great creativity exercise, and I had forgotten how much I really enjoy it!

Through this exercise, I've also realized that the artist's sketchbook is a fascinating and often overlooked treasure! Individually, the pieces may not speak to the ability or style of the artist, but once you begin looking at the collection as a whole, not only does the artist's style begin to come through, but often you can really begin to see their process- when they allow themselves to play, get messy, go with the flow, and go out on a limb. Seeing the process of an artist or designer becomes important when you're trying to choose the right person to bring a project to life. Looking at an artist's sketchbook is getting a glimpse into their mind, and with that connection and understanding you may be able to tell if they'll be able to take your project somewhere you'd like to see it go. A polished portfolio can't show you all of that. Epiphany!

Here are some recent drawings from my sketchbook, all drawn with pigment ink (no eraser). I'm looking forward to experimenting with color on some of these. I'm also hoping to end up with some good screen print ideas and lots more!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Design Board

I am putting together a design board for my final project in my Interior Design class. The project is to redesign a 2000 sq. ft. loft in downtown Austin for a young professional couple. The project requires a floor plan redesign, interior design from materials to colors, and sourcing of all new furniture and fixtures. This process has been really enlightening and informative. It's also been ridiculously fun.  Here's the first draft of my board:

*(Update, July 25: Wow, this looks so amateur to me now! haha.. Its amazing what a couple of months of experience can teach you. Here's to the learning process- Cheers!) :) 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Talking with Prop Stylists

There has been a recent surge in recognition and interest in the field of prop styling, and I've found a couple of great interviews and blog posts online which shed some light on the work that prop stylists do.

I recently found this blog post by a prop stylist who decided to document and share all of the tedious details of a day in the life of a hard working prop stylist. I loved that she was willing to go into such meticulous detail about what's expected of her and how she spends each minute of her time. Since there is little information out there about this field, this blog post really illuminated the hidden art of prop styling and all of the thought process and hard work that the often uncredited stylist does for a shoot.

Today I found this interview with a prop stylist, which also focuses on the incredible amount of detail, running around, and savvy required to succeed in the business.

While it's slightly intimidating to read about all of the things a prop stylist is responsible for and expected to do on such short notice, the best jobs always have some aspect that seems intimidating. Therein lies the challenge, the opportunity for reward, and the pure excitement!
Today's inspiring prop styling image comes from Amy Chin's Desire to Inspire!  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

An Inspiring Discovery

A few weeks ago I started an informal Interior Design class through UT. The idea to enroll came from a few places: First, I am not working or taking any college-credit classes this Spring, so I kind of have a lot of time on my hands. Second, that I have an intense interest in design- you might say I even have a knack for it- but I have never received any formal training in any area of design. Third, and perhaps the biggest push to take the class, is that over the last year or so, I have slowly been discovering that there is a specific field that I am interested which has a name and even a job description. 

It's called prop styling, and I've been obsessed with it my whole life without even knowing what "it" was. My obsession with magazines has had to do with one thing: images; and not just any images, but specifically what I now know are photographs styled under the categories of "Lifestyle", "Still Life", "Interiors", "Tabletop", and even "Food". I love the fashion styling, too (hence my obsession with Vogue magazine), but I'll be honest, if the model is standing in a room filled with amazing things or storybook qualities, I'm looking at the room. 
Hansel and Gretel: Fairytale styling by the amazing Grace Coddington for Vogue.

Natural food ingredients styled for Martha Stewart's Whole Living Magazine. 
Which brings me back to my enrollment in the Interior Design class. I know nothing about Interior Design, and for such an artistic and creative person with such a vivid imagination, I certainly bomb when it comes to envisioning structural changes to a room. For some reason, I seem to have a blockage in my left architectural lobe which prevents me from tapping into that particular ability. However, as a prop stylist- heck, as someone who's interested in buying a home one day- a person needs to be able to work with spaces- with light in spaces and with functionality in spaces. I'm hoping this class with at the very least introduce me to some concepts to explore, give me some guidelines to draw from, and teach me some of the basics involved. I don't intend to come out of this class ready to dive into an architecture field, but I hope to give some foundation and knowledge to my creative process. 

The first example of what might now be called prop-styling that I can remember having a
profound effect on me: Photographer/artist/stylist Cindy Palmano for Tori Amos on Under the Pink. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dandelion Clouds

Speaking of installations which create amazing and dreamy environments, I came upon this magical one while browsing yesterday: 2,000 Suspended Dandelions, a work by a German artist named Regine Ramseier, created a fluffy fantasy land in a simple white room. Preparing and transporting the dandelions takes more work than one might realize. This article on Colossal details the process and shows some beautiful pictures of the installation. Make a wish!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lauren Fensterstock: Laguna Gloria

This morning I finally made it over to AMOA at Laguna Gloria to see this installation I've been drooling over on the website all week. Like the Kia Neill installation I posted about  two Januarys ago, the artist of this installation, Lauren Fensterstock, creates organic environments in spaces. Unlike Neill's colorful and twinkling cave installation, Fensterstock uses only black paper, relying on natural light and reflective materials to provide depth in her creations. She uses a paper-curling technique to make grass, flowers, moss, and other monochromatic foliage in her works. It was a beautiful and inspiring work to see in person!

This article has some good pictures of the installation in its space at Laguna Gloria.

Picture from

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Spring Greens

More stationary today! Want some? Let me know!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Spring Stationary

Yesterday I took a dizzying trip to the paper store, which I nearly left empty-handed after close to an hour of considering the possibilities. So many! So incredible! So fun!

Settling on the minimum number of pieces to make a set of ten cards, I finally chose a palette of grey, yellow, teal, and pink. The colors and patterns were bright and springy, while classic and sophisticated.

Here's a sample of the finished cards:
Happy Spring (almost)!

Monday, January 23, 2012

DIY Tile Coasters

I recently came across several tutorials for DIY tile coaster and couldn't wait to try them! (Here are a couple (12) of the tutorials I referenced to make my coasters.)

The idea that really caught my eye was using paint color swatches as the focal point of the coasters. I decided to make three sets of coasters as Christmas gifts, each individualized to the couple receiving them. I ended up making one set of paint swatch coasters, one set of map coasters, and one set using vintage paperback book covers.

Here are some pictures of how they turned out:

Two complete sets, the books in the background, and (my husband's hand) cutting foam bottoms. 

Map of Santa Barbara, California

Paint swatches

Two of the vintage book covers I used.