Artist Spotlight: Rafaela Mascaro

I found a bold print of the the Brazilian artist Rafaela Mascaro on Pinterest and had to investigate to see more. And oh boy, is there more! You know I’m drawn to bold and colorful art especially if it includes patterns and that is exactly what these are times 10. Click link above to see more from this versatile artist and click on images to purchase prints.

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

Vivense Home & Living

So very exciting to see my designs on both furniture and fabric for Vivense Home & Living. They are a wonderful modern furniture and lifestyle brand based in Istanbul, Turkey. It was a joy working with them to select these vibrant designs for their new home collections, which are now available on their website as well as in their showrooms. Here are just a few items available in store now. 

© Katja Ollendorff for Vivense
© Katja Ollendorff for Vivense Home & Living
© Katja Ollendorff for Vivense

New Products in my Shop

I am happy to announce that I have a whole slew of new products for sale on my site. Visit the SHOP tab to see what's in. I'm currently adding to my list of kitchen items which include coffee mugs, coasters and travel cups. Aprons, oven mitts and tea towels are soon to come.

Next up will be some great new accessories for the home including fabric, pillows and ready to hang artwork. So stayed tuned - there will be plenty available in time for the holidays. Wait what! Holidays? Well, it's never too soon.

 11 oz. and 15 oz. coffee mugs © Katja Ollendorff

11 oz. and 15 oz. coffee mugs © Katja Ollendorff

 Travel cups and tumblers © Katja Ollendorff

Travel cups and tumblers © Katja Ollendorff

 © Katja Ollendorff

© Katja Ollendorff

 Coordinating set of coasters © Katja Ollendorff

Coordinating set of coasters © Katja Ollendorff

Nature Inspired

Since I've been working from home this past year, I sometimes get a bit str crazy. For me, the best solution for this is to get out into nature and fresh air. I decided to take a drive up to Mount Tamalpais yesterday morning. It was so refreshing! It's only 40 min from the city after all and it's really paradise on a weekday morning. Very few people are up there and I kinda love to be there as the fog lifts and reveals the amazing green hills and views below. 

If you follow my two Instagram feeds (this one and this one) you might have seen a few pictures I posted. There were all sorts of sweet and colorful wildflowers all over the hills and they got me inspired to make this when I got home. 

 All designs and images © Katja Ollendorff

All designs and images © Katja Ollendorff

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

Color Changes Everything

Are you someone who...

  • Mixes paint and chooses a palette before beginning a design?
  • Uses reference material or an existing palette for inspiration?
  • Just wings it and let's the design speak first and the colors follow?

I think lean toward #3 with a little #2 thrown in. I've heard that many people begin painting with a specific color palette in mind and let the colors guide the design. I personally like to design in black and white first. I almost never have a palette in mind until the layout is finished. Once I have the full design in front of me, colors just start appearing in my mind based on the kind of design I have created. I open up my swatch panel and really just start plugging them in as I begin to visual the end result. I never worry about the initial palette because I know I can always change it.  Even if I paint something in color, I usually don't think too hard about the colors I put down.

Color can change the vibe of a design so much—I lean towards bold and bright colors, but that's just my personal aesthetic. If I have a client who is requesting a subtler color palette, I have to be able to change that design up to work for them too. 

Here are some examples of how different a design can look when the palette is switched up for different uses. Which would you apply for wallpaper?Stationery? A shower curtain? The possibilities and uses are endless! 


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

 

 

 

 

Latest Guildery Collection - Beaufort

On the heels of yesterday's CountryLiving feature, I have more Guildery news.

It's blue and green forever!  Two of my all time favorite colors together in my latest collection Beaufort. I hope you enjoy all the new items that are now available on Guildery.com. You can always search KATJA and you'll find all of my collections in one spot! They recently added some new products such as wrapping paper and table linens. I ordered some paper for the holidays and it is GREAT quality. Go there and get thee some and enjoy! 

 

Country Living Jan 2016 Feature

Woo wee!  I just learned one of my designs (available on Guildery.com) was featured in the Jan/Feb 2016 Country Living Magazine. Pretty cool I say! I also used the same design (as a runner) up in Sonoma on my friend's table.

     My Static design, here in Reverse Skin, is available on  Guildery.com . There is a wide variety of colors and fabrics to choose from.

 

My Static design, here in Reverse Skin, is available on Guildery.com. There is a wide variety of colors and fabrics to choose from.

     Static on the runner, and my Tepee design shown here on cloth napkins.

 

Static on the runner, and my Tepee design shown here on cloth napkins.




November Instagram Fave: Alea Toussaint

Alea Toussaint on Katja Blog

I stumbled upon this Instagram feed and was immediately taken with the incredible patterns that Alea Toussaint makes out of a variety of objects. Whether it be flowers or peppercorns, pens or sequins—she makes one stop to take a closer look. Just beautiful!

She is a graphic designer and pattern artist based in Minneapolis. If you would like to see more of her work, visit her website here www.aleatoussaint.com

And you can buy prints of her work on Society 6 here.

 

 

 

 

All images are used with permission of the artist ©2015 Alea Toussaint

 

Artist Spotlight: Javier DeRiba

I found the artist Javier DeRiba on thisiscolossal.com. I have always been drawn to colorful street art and this stood out to me. It combines a few of my other loves—color, pattern and tile work. It's different than the in-your-face art you see on walls out on the street. His work is behind the doors and on the floors of dilapidated buildings. He brings the floors back to life, recreating tile work reminiscent of what might have been there before, by stenciling and spraying the patterns right onto the concrete floors. Cool!

Original article by Kate Sierzputowski & Images: thisiscolossal.com

On My Inspiration Board

Do you love Pinterest? Do you collect a gazillion images but then never look back through them? Women are gatherers after all. We love to scoop up pretty things and then store them away. It's in our nature.

I make a point to go back through my boards and gather up images that are speaking to me at that moment. Obviously I love them all because I chose to hoard them in the first place. But it's fun to think of a theme or trend you are feeling at the time and revisit them. 

So what have I been feeling this week? What's on my inspiration board and speaking to me right now? Well it's definitely bold and bright—did you expect anything less from me? 

 Click through to my  Fabric Textile Print and Pattern  board for sources 

Click through to my Fabric Textile Print and Pattern board for sources 

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

Moyo Magazine - Issue 8

I've just been reading the latest issue of Make it in Design's Moyo Magazine. If you are a lover of all things patterntastic, then take a look through this great FREE online publication that the site offers. It has 112 pages of great interviews, insider tips, tutorials, Q&As with people in the textile industry, and more. Click here for access to Make it in Designs's Moyo Magazine's Issue 8 and prepare to get inspired.  

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