Tag Archives: art

Mica Hendricks (& Myla) for The Working ProofDecember 18, 2013

This fall, Mica Hendricks‘ “Collaborations” post went viral, making the rounds on social media, blogs, and even the Huffington Post. For those living under a rock (or social media-challenged), Mica shared her artistic collaboration… with her 4-year-old. Having one of those myself, I commiserated with her not wanting to share her good sketch pad and artwork with some know-it-all tot:

In a very serious tone, she looked at me and said, “If you can’t share, we might have to take it away if you can’t share.”

Yeah. I’ve heard that before. As a parent, you have to walk the walk. As a designer, you have deadlines. And clients. And your own damn good ideas. However, sometimes that little voice (familiar in your own words) sends a double-dog-dare your way. In Mica’s case, the challenge opened a door to a new way of working and thinking. The great thing about what she did, and what I try to do myself, is to be open to the imagination of these little people. They have good ideas we can take advantage of nurture:

And from it all, here are the lessons I learned:  to try not to be so rigid.  Yes, some things (like my new sketchbook) are sacred, but if you let go of those chains, new and wonderful things can happen.  Those things you hold so dear cannot change and grow and expand unless you loosen your grip on them a little.  In sharing my artwork and allowing our daughter to be an equal in our collaborations, I helped solidify her confidence, which is way more precious than any doodle I could have done.  In her mind, her contributions were as valid as mine (and in truth, they really were).  Most importantly, I learned that if you have a preconceived notion of how something should be, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE DISAPPOINTED.  Instead, just go with it, just ACCEPT it, because usually something even more wonderful will come out of it.

The project has inspired many, with contests and charity sales furthering the good karma. I love the special limited-edition print available in the most recent The Working Proof newsletter. (If you don’t subscribe to TWP, get on it. One weekly email introducing you to new and favorite artists with limited edition prints that benefit a range of charities. Get art & help a cause. Win-win.)

Peacock Girl” features mama Mica’s head and daughter Myla’s dreamed-up peacock body, with a little polishing from mom’s pencils and paints. Mica chose to have TWP donate to Puppies Behind Bars (15% of gross sales!), a program where inmates train puppies to become service dogs for law enforcement as well as for the disabled. C’mon, who doesn’t love puppies? Read her interview here and grab a print for the precocious kid in your life.

Images & quotes from Mica Henricks. 

Pink Mermaid | Mr. Beever | Peacock Girl

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Schoolhouse Electric’s New Fall CollectionSeptember 18, 2013

 

While the wonderful fall weather is giving me great joy, Schoolhouse Electric’s photos of their new fall campaign are making it even better. They’re crisp and bright and a little unexpected with polka dots and graphic art. It’s refreshing to see how they’ve easily infused a little more life in a season that, let’s face it, can recede into dark tones after a long run of summer’s bright and airy aesthetic.

What makes me most happy about these images is that I can see the spaces coasting through winter and into spring. Schoolhouse still manages to produce classics (mostly made in the USA and by artisans, which I love) that can carry not only through seasons, but through different functions and spaces. Take their Wire Framed Trash Bin – I would totally make this a planter. Here are some more favorites:

(Clockwise from top left: LET IT GO Wall Banner by Ashley Brown Durand, National Parks Print by Ello There, Black Dot Teapot, Miles Desk Lamp, Herringbone Rug (a collaboration with Tess Darrow of Egg Press), and Wire Frames Trash Bin)

 

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beautifully boringFebruary 12, 2013

Have you ever let yourself fall into a moment, suddenly with an acute perception of what’s around you? Or perhaps just found yourself there, staring at something you’ve looked at every day but never really seen? Whoa… heavy, right? The Jealous Curator‘s carefully crafted “Beautifully Boring” show at the Tanner Hill Gallery in Chattanooga, TN, celebrates artists who make the most of the seemingly mundane. Holly Farrell, Leah Giberson, Samantha French, and Mark Bradley Shoup each contribute far-from-boring works that give life to various places and things. Catch the show if you’re in town, or browse their works online… then see what “boring” catches your eye around your house or outdoors.

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Lilli CarreJanuary 11, 2013

While trolling through one of the blackest holes on the internet (that would be amazon.com), I came upon the work of Lilli Carré, a young cartoonist with hauntingly beautiful work. I originally judged her books by their covers (rightfully so, pretty as they are) and tagged a few for Lucy. Then I found my way over to her site, where I soon realized this ain’t no literature for youths. Well, not yet, anyway…

Excerpt from “Tales of  Woodsman Pete”

While I’ll hold off on sarcastic comics for the tween age, I myself was inspired by her work, including her “moving drawings” and the Eyeworks Festival she co-directs with Alexander Stewart, exploring old and new forms of experimental animation. Check out her site, tumblr, and/or blog for more, because this artist is on the rise, kids.

“Heads or Tails”

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Two Thousand and TwelveJanuary 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

I’ve overwhelmed thinking of the year ahead so instead I’ll try to appreciate the year that has passed – adventures had, lessons learned, and accomplishments made. 2011 was a year of personal development for me, including my first solo trip (3 weeks in beautiful Scandinavia!), a new business venture (check out my latest – and favorite – project here), and I became an aunt (the easiest accomplishment ever). I could not have made it to 2012 without my ridiculously supportive husband and the never-ending energy of my toddler. So thank you, family!

What about the resolutions, you say? Can you really ever say, “I’m not making any resolutions this year”? It’s a new year, and everyone must have a few things they want to do differently, but I just want to survive. After looking back on last year’s resolutions – which I barely accomplished #1 and fell way short on the others, I think I’ll just try my best to get through 2012. I’ll be completing my degree (thesis – ugh) and getting my 2yr-old ready for nursery school (which includes a big girl bed and potty-training – UGH). So, yeah, 2012 will be a grin-and-bear-it sort of year, but I love a challenge.

For now, enjoy the View above! Typographic ice sculptures from Nicole Dextras :

“The Ice Typography series consists of three-dimensional words fabricated in ice placed outdoors that speak to how the viewer’s gaze frames and informs the landscape. The installations have varied from 8-foot high ice letters on the Yukon River to 18-inch high letters set in downtown Toronto. When the ice texts are installed on site, the temperature determines how long it will take for them to change state from solid to liquid. This phase of transition becomes symbolic of the interconnectedness of language and culture to the land as they are affected by time and by a constant shifting and transforming nature.” via LPP

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FIELD TRIP: Art Star Craft BazaarNovember 23, 2011

I hadn’t planned to get to Art Star Craft Bazaar this weekend. In fact, as most things do these days, it sort of snuck up on me. However, after fellow Philly creative Susan over at Fleurishing kept tweeting about such lovely things, I squeezed a little time out of my Sunday afternoon to get over there and experiment with my new camera. Yeah, I looked all sorts of official with a camera – too bad I was so busy chatting that I didn’t notice my focus was way off.

It was the end of the weekend for the slew of talented crafters when I arrived – hour 14.5 of 16, to be exact. They were tired but still quite friendly, eager and willing to share stories of their process and love of their particular talent. Let’s meet a few, shall we?
 
Skylark Studio – I had seen Karen’s work before but it was lovely to see and touch it in person. She explained to me her continuous development of designs that have outlasted the indie scene’s anticipated expiration date, such as the birds and antlers that still seem to dominate sales. My favorite piece was a simple pendant with a new variation of her fish-scale design. Unfortunately, my camera skills were off to a rocky start and the photos didn’t quite turn out. No worries, though, as I was having a lovely time chatting with her! Quality time with an artist is worth a few blurry shots.
 
Kin Ship Press – They were featured etsy sellers this summer, where they share the inspirations and process. By the way, I need this mug to remind me to actually enjoy my coffee.

 
Gioconda Padovan – “Feel free to try!” came a pretty little voice, inviting me to use her custom-made stamps designed with her original drawings of buildings, people, and objects. A simple concept made popular in recent years by Yellow Owl Press – infinite possibilities for customers to create their own works of art. (Photo from GP site)
Meerwiibli – This coat stopped me dead in my tracks! I loved the color, the collar, the pattern, the pockets – everything. I watched as a waify little thing tried it on with her cool colored tight and rugged boots, then asked her if it was as warm and cozy as it looked. When she replied, “yes,” I knew I had to move on because I went any closer, it would have some home with me.

 
Brainstorm – They were working with a paying customer when I wandered up (I promised Tom I wouldn’t spend any money, but I surely took some notes for Santa). I love to see what this team dreams up, and am always happily impressed with the quality and rich color they accomplish with their prints.
 


 
Forage – Anything made by Shauna and Stephen is infused with their sense of humor, romance, and impeccable craft – Forage is no different. This was my first encounter with the bowties, and, as expected, could have scooped up a few if only I had the kind of gent who’d brave the bowtie. I’ve decided to hone in on my husband’s cousin who is getting married this spring… Matt, there’s a handsome green gingham with your name on it! And the wedding party would look dashing, dear boy! Let’s pair it with some Whitney Deal dresses for some homespun matrimony. (Photo from SHiH – mine were quite awful.)

 
Gilbert & Leona – Another item on the Christmas list – the bucket bag. Made of recycled and/or post-manufactured leather, it would have been a total step up from my days with the diaper bag. I’m just about done those and am in the market for a new one. Not too heavy, wonderful color, and I’m sure it would patina quite nicely…

Diamond Tooth Taxidermy – The feathery headpieces here were so elegant and pretty, I almost wished I had some fancy place to go wear it. But fancy means finding a babysitter, shaving my legs, and staying up past my bedtime… how about I just wear it around the house with a cocktail?
Concrete Polish Studio – I’m normally attracted to simple jewelry with little to no detail, but these chunky, sparkly rings drew me right into the booth. Perhaps I need to shake things up, and go straight to the double finger quartz knuckle duster? Yup, I think so. (Photo: CPS)
Farmhaus – This was the first public debut of their works at the craft fair. I was getting pretty handsy with all the cutting boards – great qualilty and a simple, modern design with crisp edges and a convenient hole at the corner for hanging. But my favorite piece was a (sold) hunk o’ wood, sanded and waxed up, on a trio of big red castors. If Lucy has been there, she’d be riding that around the place fo’ sho’.

 

Penelope Rakov – I had two questions for this vendor: How do you make that? and Do you like your name? The latter had more to do with taking advantage of meeting my first Penelope, a name I can’t seem to explain nor question why I like – I just do. More importantly, do you see those earrings? I had to ask how she does it – was it clay and resin, I asked? No, no – glass! In her Philadelphia studio, she plays with stupid hot glass, stretching and combining colors and patterns to create really stunning pieces. The resulting jewelry has depth and personality breathed into each piece.
Diane Koss – Cutesy But Not Too Cutesy added some frickin’ awesome baby hoodies to make your little one an adorable monster. Also a good gifts for wee ones of friends and relatives who would never, ever admit that their kid IS a little monster.
Namoo – Where were these quilts when I was planning my nursery? Actually, that’s exactly what I said to owner / maker Insung Kim, before telling her that this just re-enforces why I need to have another kid ASAP (just kidding! Let me graduate first). Her color and textile pairings were neutral and fresh, and she was sweet as pie, telling me about her desire to incorporate with more organic and natural fabrics. All the better, Insung! All the better…

Lil Fishy – This booth just had the darnedest baby gear – because every tot needs a scarf with a penguin on it! Plus their tagline is “It’s important to be little.” Well stated.
Girls Can Tell – I’ve seen these neat diagrammatic linens and lunchbags around the webs, and I had just seen their ad for their new shop in Grid. So I stopped in, chuckling aloud at a few illustrations (magical unicorns and Chicago architecture, specifically). The tea towels were so soft I could have bought a stack right then and there… but put them on my Christmas list instead.
knitknit – The embroidered felt necklaces here are so elegant and charming. The soft autumn palette only compliments the woodsy animal folk Nguyen Le draws and embroiders free-hand. (Photo: KK)
Huldra Press – Marianne was fresh out of business cards when I got to her at the end of the day – a sign she was in quite the demand this weekend! When I asked her about her work, she gushed to me about her craft, telling me her favorite creations often came from crisp metal letterpress on recycled kraft papers. Her mellow color schemes and simple forms made quite a palatable collection for the show.
Solidio – Wood buckles, frames, and jewelry all made from custom furniture scraps. Mitch was kind enough to tell me a little bit about the company and their commitment to reducing waste by using scraps for these finely crafted accessories (or to feed the wood stove and keep warm!). (Photo: Solidio)
Red Prairie Press – I only had time to quickly pass through the racks here and fell in love with the soft raglan Arrow sweatshirt, taking note of the size I’d need for Santa (medium). Then I moseyed on over to the site, where I read up a little on Rachel Bone, who creates it all herself in her house. Crazy, right? I also found this awesome Eagle print pullover with a rad Lenape Indian folk art inspired design. I’d look pretty awesome in it. (Photo: RPP)
There were many more but these were a few favorites among the bunch. Glad I stopped by – lovely to meet everyone! Hopefully my photo class at Project Basho next weekend will get my skills up to par for next time.
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New Sanna AnnukkaAugust 29, 2011

Here’s another little gift idea: Sanna Annukka’s new Soul Bird, handcrafted in England from sustainably-sourced oak.

In Karelia there was an ancient belief in the Sielulintu or Soul bird. The Sielulintu was thought to deliver the soul to newborn babies and also to transport the soul to the afterlife at the moment of death.

It was believed the Sielulintu protected a persons soul at it’s most vulnerable; when dreaming, and it was tradition to keep a carved wooden bird by the bedside to keep the soul safe during sleep.

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pixelated sculptureAugust 16, 2011

Pixelated sculpture by Shawn Smith, made with balsa wood, ink, and acrylic paint. Awesome, eh?

via Anthology

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In my research…August 4, 2011

This week I’ve been doing a bit of antiquing…online. Not as fun as scouring a dusty old attic, but cleaner and easier. Here is an Early Deco quilt from 1stDibs – cream background with brown airplanes make this contrasting quilt the perfect backdrop for a crib (secured firmly until he or she starts yanking on it, of course). Check out some of my other finds below the belt:

(more…)

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Little Paper Planes: The BIG ExclusivesAugust 3, 2011

Little Paper Planes released The BIG Exclusives yesterday, their summer collection of large-format, limited-edition prints. I love the color combination in this nice size (42 x 48) print by Christine Tillman, a “sculptor who probably makes even more drawings than she does sculptures.”

via LPP

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