Tag Archive for 'inspiration'

It’s Business Time

4.1 29 Favorite Foods

Recently I met with a CPA for the very first time. He was willing to meet with me for free to help me decide the route I want to go with my business. I know, awesome, right? Despite doing plenty of research online over the years and taking a small business/entrepenuer seminar I have always felt very confused and in over my head about running a business. After the meeting I realized I had been getting so much conflicting information from different sources. It was a relief to find out that I am on the right path.  I had so many questions answered and so much self imposed pressure relieved. I still have work to do, but things are much clearer and I’m super excited for the future. For a long time I’ve had this dream of growing my business with my precious designs, handmade items and original artwork but this guilt and confusion has held me back. For once I actually feel like I am giving myself the internal permission to grow.  And boom like that I have a handful of projects and prospects that I am very excited about, wholesale projects and even a possible licensing opportunity that I am crossing my fingers about.

I’ve been finding such great inspiration from other artists that I really admire and figured I should share them here as well. I am so thankful that each of these artist are so open and willing to share their experiences.

I highly recommend listening to this After the Jump with artist Zoe Pawlak. I’ve actually listened to it a few times.

A video interview with artist Michelle Armas

An interview with Jihan Zencirli of Geronimo Balloons

An article by Ashley Goldberg about licensing artwork

This video of artist Katie Lombardo (Katie Daisy/ The Wheatfield) was featured on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. I don’t have cable so my mom TiVod it for me and we watched the whole episode. While I wanted to watch it for the part on Katie Daisy, the video above is the entire part about Katie, the rest of the episode was primarily an interview with Steven Pressfield about unlocking the creative genius within. It really reminded me of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, The Law of Attraction and Flow If you have an opportunity to see it, I highly recommend it.

Edit: I just had to stop back and add one more link. I just happened upon this video this morning and Tiffany Shlain (founder of the webby awards) gives some sound advice about pursuing your big dreams.



Beautiful Inspiring Images

I’m trying to gather some inspiration, to get back in my studio and start producing. Links to original sources for the images above can be found here.

I’m not sure why this just popped into my head, but when I think of the word inspiration there are two concepts that come to mind. Unfortunately, I think the common one that many people think of lately in this internet age is “to get ideas from somewhere or someone else” and the problem with that is that people would steal those ideas to try and make them their own. For myself, when I think of the word inspiration I think of more of an energy or being given the push or power to create. Inspiration to me is like having a fire inside lit up. Quickly, I just looked up the definition of Inspiration according to my Apple Widget and it says:

“the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative”

I have a lot of project ideas and WIPs, but lately just none of that push or drive to make them happen. Over the summer it had not been too much of a problem because I was so busy. But lately I am having the itch to return to my studio and get working. That’s where visiting my flickr favorites or my “Beautiful Inspiring Images” Pinterest board come in handy. Seeing other people’s creative work and their passion gives me inspiration to work on my own projects. Also, I love being around people who are productive and filled with excitement, they give me inspiration as well.

I just saw this quick clip of fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg. She was asked what her favorite thing was about what she does and she said “Have an idea, make it happen”.

I really like that. This summer I feel that idea has been a prominent one for me. Stop thinking about it and just DO IT!

Well, and then there is always this. Why is that when I’m at work, I’m filled with inspiration to get home and work on all the projects that flutter through my head all day. But the moment I get home all of that fire is quenched and all I want to do is be lazy.

Another source of inspiration for me is a clean work space. A tidy and empty work space begs for me to get working and make it a mess, while a messy studio begs for me to close the door and never enter. Sadly, that might be what is really holding me back lately.

Happy Weekend

Oh yeah, it’s the weekend! As a way to celebrate I’m sharing some fun links of things I’ve come across on the internets.

This message above was created using straight pins on paper, but can you imagine how impressive it would be straight onto a wall… HUGE?

I’m loving this trend where people are coupling old pictures with the new to juxtapose the difference over time. There are a lot of places out there to find collections, but here are a few one two three four

My sister sent me this link to a tutorial on the 3Rs. You can make your own, OR buy one in her Etsy shop. We’ve been shopping and looking around for something to replace the chandelier in our “dining room” area. I’d like a big statement piece. A year ago I was absolutely obsessed with the Ikea Maskros. See one in action at Heidi Kenney’s home here. But since then I feel like they are EVERYWHERE and Ikea even knows it because when you go in, they have them hanging EVERYWHERE as well. Now I worry that it is overdone and I want something a bit more unique.

Even before seeing this tutorial I decided that I was going to build something of my own and have already constructed a drum base shape to cover. I thought this fortune teller technique would be cool to cover the drum. Every year Matt and I create a kusudama paper folded Christmas ornament, so I figured we’d have fun creating a light shade together. While looking at that etsy shop I found she already had the same idea, check it out here.

Airmail tape, ‘nough said.

For my birthday my sister bought me the Paige bag from Fabric and Handle.  I can’t wait for it to arrive. You see the snaps on the handles? They allow you to lengthen or shorten the handle according to your needs.

One last image to hopefully inspire you.  How lovely is this sidewalk chalk art by camila.leon on flickr?

Have a great weekend!

Mailart365 160-166 PINWHEEL MANIA

I have a new pattern I’m loving and it’s the pinwheel. It started out earlier this year when I was seeing this pillow by Fine Little Day all over the craft/art/design blogosphere.

Seriously. I was obsessed. The things I loved the most about it was the use of a wide range of colors, AND that the color application looked very handmade. It didn’t look like a store bought and manufactured design, it looked like someone just colored on this pillow with some markers.

Next I saw this awesome garage door on pinterest. How can a person not smile while driving by this house?

Then a couple weeks ago I saw this post by Elise Blaha. This girl is awesome, if you don’t already follow her blog, do so now! Turns out I wasn’t the only one inspired by the pinwheel. She made this lovely painting above, WITH a tutorial on how to make your own to boot! I think I will be making one of these shortly for our new home. (I love to say that)

The pinwheel is so cheerful I think. This week I present to you my pinwheel mailart, tada!
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I’m starting out with my favorite, which was also the last card I did in the series this week. I painted all the yellow and then had the idea to draw in a floral pattern like some of the vintage fabric I have. The solid yellow is watercolor and the flowers are colored pencil. I’m so in love with this, don’t be surprised if I do a whole series based on this idea for next week.
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Thinking about it, it makes perfect sense, the fabric inspiration and the pinwheel. The pinwheel pattern in a very common quilt pattern. My mom is a quilter and I was regularly taken to quilt shows as a child. The pinwheel pattern inspiration really touches on this art, design and quilt kind of a thing for me.

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The three above were the last three I did.

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And this is where I started, with the variety of colors and the apparent texture in mark making.

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Fun, no?

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I made the cards using a variety of colored pencils, water colors, dry pastels, sharpies and highlighters.

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I hope you enjoyed my cheerful pieces this week!

inspiration cycle

I was tickled to see this postcard by Julie of O-kami (below) pop up in my flickr contacts the other day.
She said she was inspired by me, and I can only imagine she meant specifically this postcard below
3.18 postcard 14
which I created after being inspired by the piece below by Irana Douer

cool, huh?

The Craft Begins

A bit ago Bri (The Craft Begins) offered a great opportunity on her blog: an open call to designers. She is working for a silk screening company and they are looking for original designs that they will print and produce for you. Read more about it here. How great is this? While I have several handmade silk screens at home, what’s better than letting someone else take care of producing, marketing and selling my designs on shirts. I’ve actually sent in some designs already, and although there are no guarantees, I’m still excited to get feedback and follow her company and see where they go and what things they produce.

I met Bri back in 2007 when we were both part of a group blog called Create A Day. She has always been a great friend and inspiration. Her birthday was on Sunday, so stop over at her blog and wish her a happy-happy birthday and then send her some t-shirt designs at [email protected]

My creation

And lastly, but still on a Bri theme, she recently posted a music video for Liftoff by Sigur Ros, and while I have that album, I have never seen the video for it before. We’ve both decided that we will dress like these kids from now on. The video inspired me to make the above mosaic and below mosaics using flickr photos by other artists.

My creation

Happy Friday

11.19.10 page 1

I am not going to lie. I LOVE having Fridays off. My hours were reduced 2 years ago, now. It was supposed to be a temporary thing (3 months) but the print industry is not doing well and it’s just remained permanent. The lost wages stink, but the emotional benefits have more than made up for it. Plus, because I feel like it’s borrowed time, I am always super productive. If only I could be as motivated the rest of the week.

This morning I made my Friday to-do list and I decided I would start the day out by making 3 page spreads in my little book. The first one above, I used only scraps of paper that were already on my work table.

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This week I read three fabulous interviews with different artists. I keep coming back to things that were said, and so I figured I’d bookmark them here. I guess the thing that really stuck with me throughout all of these articles is the idea that you can support yourself doing what you love. Your passions and creativity can fill out life completely, in all areas. Anyway, please read and enjoy!

Summer Pierre has been running a weekly “Artist in the Nursery” series where she interviews Artists who balance parenthood and their creative work. This week she interviewed the Beerhorsts, a family from Michigan who live a very unique lifestyle. I’ve been following their various family flickr accounts since seeing their “Wonder Wagon” last fall. It was fascinating reading Summer’s article, and getting more of a glimpse into their history as well as day to day lives.

The next two interviews were from Design Sponge. The first is with Savannah artist Cedric Smith. I love his advice for other artists to think of themselves as a business. Please take a moment to read the rest of what he says and see his beautiful work.

And the final interview is with Scott Avett of the Avett Brothers. I am so inspired when I hear about other artists who have many areas of interest, as opposed to only focusing on painting, or only focusing on music. He does it all. Please check out this fantastic interview.

Okay, now back to the rest of Friday’s To-Do list! If I don’t post again before the end of the weekend, I just wanted to shout out one more time about the Celebrity Scoop Benefit for my dear friend Nikki on Sunday 4-8 at the Haagan Dazs downtown Naperville, IL. Here is the facebook page made for the event. Even if you can’t go, I’d be grateful if you could still spread the word to anyone in the area. Here is her Caring Bridges page. Oh, and she is a lovely photographer too, check out her flickr page here. Thank you again!

Beauty Overload

This blog isn’t called Inspiration Junkie for nothin’. I can’t get enough of the pretty things people make and capture.

Above is the most recent page from my “Favorites” collection from other users on Flickr.

I also like to collect pretty images on weheartit, here.

and tumblr, here.

Do you keep online collections of inspiring images?

wrapping paper inspiration

A while ago I mentioned some vintage wrapping paper I found in a bag in my parents basement. This was one of those papers that had been folded up after the present inside had been opened (probably somewhere between 1978-82, and tucked away and saved for later use. It’s very old and brittle, but still vibrant in color. I love the painterly quality the illustrations have and when cut up into small pieces the textures and colors are absolutely gorgeous and work so well in my mixed media work.

You can see bits of it here and here and now here in some button sets I just finished. Here you can see a close up of what the artwork looked like before making them into buttons.

inspiration roll

A few links of things that caught my eye:

Matt and I recently bought the Playstation 3 video game Little Big Planet. In the game you customize your character, a little knit sackguy. After that you can go on to customize and build your own levels to play and share with other online players. Last week I discovered this flickr pool group where people are creating their own real life sack guys based on their player characters. How inspiring is that? I want to build my own sackguy. He is the white one pictured above. He is wearing a red and white striped undershirt and undies, an elizabethan collar and bunny ears.

My next link I’d like to share is a post about printmaking with styrofoam food packaging. I found this link on Craft Magaine’s blog. When I was in college I probably took enough printmaking classes to have a minor in it, but they didn’t offer minors in printmaking, or at least not for the degree that I earned. I know, I tried at the time. Anyway, with all the printmaking I’ve done, I’ve never printed using styrofoam. I feel like it was one of those missed life experiences that all kids have in elementary or middle school. Printing with styrofoam and pinhole photography from a coffee can/oatmeal box. And since I missed both of those rights of passage I’ve always wanted to desperately do them. Well, seeing this post only added to that desire. After printing with litho stones, etched metal plates, carved blocks of wood, and silk screens, I imaged the quality of styrofoam would be, ya know, ehh, but don’t these pieces look fabulous?

And now my last link for right now is another tutorial I found via Craft magazine’s blog. This post is for a two step tutorial on how to make Japanese kusudama, or an origami ball. I thought it might be really beautiful to make a whole bunch of these to decorate an entire Christmas tree. You can use old newspaper ads and they would be colorful, recycled and still just as beautiful.