Trending: Big Cats

I’m really into big cats and big cat patterns like dots and spots and stripes. I’m seeing them in art, on runways, everywhere! And I love it. Here are a few favorites from my Big Cats Pinterest board. Click through the images to see more from these artists.

Source: https://pin.it/snknsp7azzr2qp

Instagram Fave - @thegreaterbombay

Rachel Lopez, a journalist in Mumbai, has taken time to record her many rides in taxis with their colorful and kitschy ceilings. Under the Insta handle of @thegreaterbombay, you can savor all the delectable patterns that she captures. The wonderful contrast of her scarves and red-framed glasses with the ceilings just adds that extra vibrancy of mixed patterns that I love. Take the colorful ride with her and enjoy the sights.

February Instagram Fave - Vanessa Amisano

I see lots of great things on Instagram and I follow tons of people, but Melbourne-based artist Vanessa Amisano's work really caught my eye. Her distinct style is vibrant and full of pattern which is of course, my jam.

I especially love her 100 girls project. I like how clean and simple her girls are yet also colorful and dynamic—each with a distinct style and personality. And their outfits! Don't you want to own these clothes?

Connecting with creative Instagram friends around the world is a wonderful thing that feeds my soul. Follow Vanessa's Instagram hereAnd check out her site for more in the coming weeks. 

 All images used with permission of the artist. © 2017 Vanessa Amisano

© 2017 Vanessa Amisano

2016 West Coast Craft Fair

West Coast Craft

 

Here are just a few I enjoyed, out of hundreds of vendors. Click through to see more from the designers.

Delpozo Resort 2017

I always look through Vogue.com's Latest Shows section to see what trends, colors and design elements are shining through. I love to see what things plant the seeds for a designer's creativity.  

I stopped at Delpozo's 2017 Resort collection and the article read: "I touch with the eyes," as quoted in his collection notes and attributed to sculptor, Anthony Caro". Caro, as well as Georges Méliès (of 1902 silent film Trip to the Moon) were inspirations for this collection. I like that the inspiration isn't blatant, but that you can still feel both the sculptural and fanciful, spacey elements in his collection. 

For fun, click here to see the 14 min film Le Voyage dans la Lune. And see examples of Caro's sculpture here. Do you see the connections?

All images are from vogue.com, photos: Del Pozo

Sebastopol

As a single person who works from home, I find that I spend a lot of time alone. That means I have to work extra hard to get out, see people, make plans with friends, go on adventures and find inspiration. I took a staycation at a friend's house in Sonoma last week so it's been a while since my last post. I love exploring that area as there is endless inspiration. Just getting away from the city is enough for me to feel inspired! The smells, the light and peace and quiet are pretty much heaven to me. 

I took a day jaunt up to Sebastopol, a town I'd never visited before—I loved the small town feel and friendly people. I visited the Luther Burbank Experimental Farm and Arnold Drive (basically whatever Google told me I should do there), then I had a yummy lunch at the Gypsy Cafe on the main drag, stopped into a great gallery and chatted with some friendly locals along the way. 

I don't think my sense of adventure will ever leave me, because these kinds of days feed my soul more than anything else. Having new experiences, being brave, doing things alone, connecting with others outside my daily realm, seeing new things—I will always want more!  

When was the last time you took a day trip by yourself somewhere? Try it!  And see what treasures it brings you.

Junk art is by local artist Patrick Amiot. Every house on Arnold Drive has one of his works in the yard. Kitty Hawk Gallery on Main street is owned and run by artist Grace Levine. The works here are hers. Floral images were taken at the Luthur Burbank Experimental Garden.

May Instagram Fave - Lily & Hopie Stockman

Made my May Instagram pick just under the wire this month! I just love Block Shop scarves and one of the sisters behind the company is Lily Stockman. I thoroughly enjoy her images of her colorful studio, paintings, her dog, and her travels. Take a look at her site and feed and enjoy!

And if you want a double dose of awesome images, her sister Hopie's feed is equally wonderful. If you love textiles, color and travel both feeds are worth a follow.

All images are © Lily Stockman

Source: https://www.instagram.com/lilystockman/

April Instagram Fave: Ana Montiel

It's been a while since I shared a favorite Instagrammer. I just love Ana's colorful, abstract artwork and bold patterns. Her feed, that is filled with vibrant shapes and color as well as wonderful inspirational photography is a joy to peruse.

You can see more of her artwork on her website here. and her Instagram feed here

All images © Ana Montiel

 

 

Katja of Sweden

Katja of Sweden

I love that I am following in the steps of another Katja in textile design and I also love that her designs resonate so much with me—their bold patterns and bright colors really speak to my own design aesthetic.

Katja was born Karin Hallberg in Sweden, and later lived in NYC, where she went to Parsons School of Design. She created wonderful patterned fashions and later designed home textiles as well. 

I didn't realize the connection before, but I have a picture of myself standing in front of a Katja Bedding display in the window of NYC Macy's. The picture was taken in the early 80s and I'm pointing to the large sign of her (and my) name in the window display. It was the first time I'd come across my name anywhere in the United States. I was very excited about it and now I know whose designs they were advertising!  I later bought some of her towels and sheets for my dorm room in college. Funny to think of that now. I wish I could find that photo to share  with you. 

You can read some more about her here.

Katja of Sweden
Katja of Sweden
Katja of Sweden
Katja of Sweden
Katja of Sweden
Katja of Sweden
Katja of Sweden
Katja of Sweden

Stella Jean Fall 2016

It's no secret that I have a real love for folk-inspired design. I have always been a big fan of Stella Jean and her past collections of vibrant African wax fabrics and mixed prints. The new Fall/Winter season is just as inspired. I love that you can't tell exactly where the inspiration comes from. Is it Scandinavian? African? Slavic? Aztec? It's all in there—geometric shapes, wraps, bright yet earthy colors, tassels and emblems. It's global. Even the choice of models makes for an exciting united design nation.

 Credit: Regis Colin Berthelier/Now Fashion

Credit: Regis Colin Berthelier/Now Fashion

Putting Inspiration To Work

I often visit libraries and used bookstores in search of new inspiration. I found a few great books recently and wanted to share how I get inspired by imagery and designs, and then capture various motifs to make my own. I found this book on Erté by Charles Spencer at the Russian Hill Bookstore and found that it contained a huge amount of inspiration.

Erte - Charles Spencer
Erte5.jpg
Erte - Charles Spencer

While flipping through it, I sat with my sketchbook and noted little details that spoke to me and my aesthetic. Once I have a selection of motifs I like to take a page from my sketchbook like the one here, into Photoshop and start playing with various items to see what I can come up with. I sometimes use individual motifs or combine a few—the possibilities are endless.

Can you tell which ones I used to make the patterns below? With color and scale changes, rotating, reflecting and putting my own spin on things, the designs now feel like mine but I know Erté was my inspiration and that's I nice thought. Because I did these designs in the same hand and used a complimentary color palette, they also feel like they could work as part of a collection. 

I hope you have fun finding your own inspiration and putting it to work.

 © 2016 Katja Ollendorff

© 2016 Katja Ollendorff

 © 2016 Katja Ollendorff

© 2016 Katja Ollendorff

 © 2016 Katja Ollendorff

© 2016 Katja Ollendorff

 © 2016 Katja Ollendorff

© 2016 Katja Ollendorff

 

 

 

 

An Icon Lost

Bowie
Bowie
Bowie

The death of David Bowie is still with me a week later. His passing has probably affected me more than any other celebrity in recent years because of his influence on me in my life. I grew up with his music through all the various stages of my youth—from my pre-teen years onward.

My older brothers introduced me to him in the early 80s by giving me a copied cassette tape of Scary Monsters with a handwritten DAVID BOWIE scrawled across it. As a twelve year old his music scared me a little. It was moving and different, and I was pressed to listen to it and almost had to learn to love it. And I did. 

His influence in music, fashion and his courage to be different, permeated the universe. The day he died, I imagined his music being played all around the world and rising up in to the air. I think we are drawn to talented people especially when they are as courageous and forward-thinking with their creativity as he was. 

Bowie
Bowie

West Coast Craft 2015

I had an amazing time this past weekend at the 2015 West Coast Craft Fair at Fort Mason. There were so many great vendors my eyes were just popping out of my head! I could have really done some damage but I was good, and restrained myself from breaking my bank.

Here are just a few of the 250+ artists, designers and craftspeople who exhibited. There were so many wonderful things but these stalls particularly caught my eye. I met a lot of really nice people and was very inspired by these talented artists. If you missed it this time around, I highly recommend staying on the lookout for the next show. It was by far the most enjoyable one I've been to at the Pavillion. 

p.s. please excuse the not great quality iPhone shots - I forgot my camera at home! Also, when you click the images below you will be taken to the sites. Just click the back button to return to the blog.

Stripe Stripe Baby

I love patterns of all kinds, and the stripes that are popping up everywhere are making me very happy.  From Ralph Lauren to Dior and Dolce and Gabbana—everyone is showcasing that classic of all classics, in fresh and vibrant colors. My favorite!

Clockwise from top left: Dior, Salvatore Ferragamo, Max Mara, Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce and Gabbana, Ralph Lauren

Images from Vogue.com, photo credit: IndigitalImages

Valentino Spring 2015 Couture

Ok I'm a little late. The season may have passed but the beauty of this collection will never die. My eyes just eat this right up! There is something so satisfying to me about the rich colors and folk patterns—they just speak to my inner European. The patterns are of another time and place yet so familiar; and now incorporated into our modern lives. I love how appreciated these textiles are. I believe folk style is so loved because people want to cherish past traditions and celebrate where they came from. 

Photo credit: Gianni Pucci  / Indigitalimages.com

Designer Spotlight: Missoni 2016

I was really taken with the new line from Missoni for 2016. They have always been at the forefront of bold and colorful knitwear and this collection just took my breath away. I then come to read on Style.com, that this collection was inspired by the great Sonia Delauney. No wonder I love it! There is currently an exhibit at the Tate Modern in London celebrating Delauney's vibrant artwork. You can really see the influence of her work in these Missoni pieces. I find it very exciting to see how great artists and designers can influence each other.

Who influences and inspires you?

Sonia Delauney - The EY Tate Exhibition, London

Sonia Delauney - The EY Tate Exhibition, London

Source: Missoni images are from Style.com