These jubilant brush marks are the creation of California artist, Kindah Khalidy, who hand paints a variety of products from artwork to clothes, and even leather goods. Crafted in limited edition collections, each piece varies slightly for true one-of-a-kind appeal. I just picked up this one and its vibrant palette and whimsical arrangement makes me smile.
Can’t get enough of these glass wall installations by UK based artist Chris Wood! The artist describes her art as being about expressing the “magic of light”. She does this by using dichroic glass (dichroic meaning two-colored). Wood speaks of her dichroic glass as being glass that has “…an optical coating that selectively reflects certain wavelengths of light and allows the remaining wavelengths to transmit through. Developed in the late fifties by NASA to protect against the potentially harmful effects of direct sunlight and cosmic radiation, dichroic glass, with its striking visual qualities, has been used in a variety of scientific and industrial applications. The material shifts from being reflective like a golden mirror to vibrantly coloured or almost transparent, depending upon the viewpoint and angle of light. It is a material that very eloquently expresses the magic of the phenomenon of light.” The effect is mesmerizing!
Combine bold graphics, dramatic colors and add a dash of passion.
– bekah hilleson
The Rose Festival is now upon us here in Portland, and is a celebration of all things Portland and Roses. Indeed even a short neighborhood walk is a delight to the senses with roses and peonies blooming everywhere. Even as I sit here in my studio, I am surrounded by Peony leaves that have fallen off the fluffy flower arrangement on my desk.
It got me thinking about the origin of the floral theme that is so prevalent in pattern design and I came upon this great article on the history and language of the floral in textiles. In summary floral motifs originated in Japan, followed by China and India, and flowers symbolized different things about the status of the wearer. European traders brought Eastern textiles back to Europe where they became highly coveted status symbols. When the Dutch and British began designing and and attempting to print Chintz, they were heavily influenced by Eastern floral motifs but struggled to re-create the printing detail found in the East for quite some time. Finally in 1759 when a cheap production process was developed, Chintz made a comeback but was only available for the upper echelons of society, for these detailed motifs could only be printed by master craftsmen. The industrial revolution made it possible to print highly complex themes such as florals for the masses, making them a very popular theme across the board. Today, florals are a staple in every sector of the market and the theme continues to evolve, though takes cues heavily from vintage sources.
As print designers we are always on the look-out for good flower photos that we can use as inspiration for our floral designs. If you’re lucky enough to live in a place where flowers bloom everywhere, get out there and snap some photos! However, if you lack this resource where you live or it’s not Spring or Summer as you read this, we do have some photo packs that will help. The first is our Romantic Blooms photo pack which features photos of roses, peonies, poppies, hydrangeas, camellias etc. We took these photos especially with the print designer in mind, that is, there are full flowers in the frame, and often there are multiple angles of the same flower. Our Spring Flowers photo pack features photos of daffodils, crocuses, iris, magnolia and more. These are great for using as drawing and painting inspiration.
If you’re looking to create some photographic prints and need some technical or creative help, check out our this tutorial which shows you how to crop an element out of a background, design your print, and create a repeat in photoshop.
Need some more design or technical resources? Drop us a line and we’ll consider your request!
Have a great holiday weekend!
George Venson, creator of Voutsa, a design company specializing in wallpaper, is currently rocking walls with his bold, playful designs! His subject matter ranges from simple florals to well…nipples – and it seems just about anything in between is fair game. Venson says of his creations “The first Voutsa wallpaper patterns were inspired by cave paintings, mimicking the movements of the human form. I began on large scrolls of paper with nudes, then zoomed in on the body: hands, nipples, and ears…as Voutsa grows, it remains my desire to create wallpapers that ignite the eye and activate a room, generating fantasy through brush strokes, abstraction and bold coloration. In the end, I am merely bringing life to our walls, and our walls to life.” Couldn’t have said it better!
Mirroring prints form their Fall 2015 collection Opening Ceremony “nails” the details.
-mollye pooton & bekah hilleson
Although it’s only Spring 2015, in the studio we’re living in the future as we develop prints for Spring/Summer 2017. Part of this process involves reading a crystal ball – not really – but it does take a bit of time to understand how trends blossom and grow. For winter we saw plenty of bohemian influenced patterns on the runway from rug motifs to indigo dyed fabrics, and even block print designs. So for SS17, we’re translating these looks into a beachier version with batik influences and plenty of stylized tropical plant life. This look can easily be updated with watercolor inlays or taken in a more primitive direction by exaggerating the dot details. How would you adapt this direction?