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

Inspired by TV Textiles

A lot of things inspire my designs. Being outside and walking around town or in nature are big sources of inspiration. But on days when I'm stuck inside or just enjoying some TV time all cozy on the couch, I still can't stop myself from noticing patterns wherever I look. I have even saved a few images over the years on my Instagram feed #tvtextiles.

I love the series The Durells in Corfu (PBS Masterpiece Theater). It's set in 1935 and I am so in love with the fashion that is depicted on the show. I can't help but take snapshots of special patterns I notice as I watch. Afterward, I will look through the images and make little sketches to see a theme arise.  Attached are (blurry) examples of my captures and the sketchbook entry, then design, that followed. Inspiration has no boundaries! What's your secret source of inspiration?

One of my inspired design

One of my inspired design

Artist Spotlight: Bunnie Reiss

I love seeing art out in public spaces and especially when it is a creation by L.A. artist Bunnie Reiss. I discovered her vibrant art recently and right away had to have a piece of my very own (see gloves below). It makes me so happy to see them on my wall, as her artwork has all the elements I love, and some of which I incorporate in my own work. Decorative folk elements, check. Bright colors, check. Strange birds, check. 

She not only paints amazing wallscapes, but also works with textiles, odd materials, creates installations, illustrations and more. See more of her work here on her site.  

 Images were obtained courtesy of artist. All images © 2016 Bunnie Reiss.

© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
My very own pair of Animal Gloves! Sigh.

My very own pair of Animal Gloves! Sigh.

 

 

 

June Instagram Fave - LIVINGPATTERN

Wow! I love to see how people are influenced by nature and this feed by Jenny Kiker is full of lush botanicals along with the sketches and paintings they inspire. She is a botanical artist who started Living Pattern "to connect herself and her audience to the still delicateness of nature and to themselves." I feel like I'm breathing fresher air just looking at these!

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

Minted and PBKids / PBTeen - Vote on February 19th!

Vote for my
design on minted.
Botanical Garden
see more from Katja Ollendorff
vote for me!
Check out my competition in Christmas photo cards and Save the Date cards at Minted.

I've entered another contest through Minted.com—this time it's a collaboration with PBKids and PBTeen. My artwork is inspired by a trip to the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Hope you like it! If you do, you can vote on February 19th. Click on the button to the right  and rate my design a  "5" to ensure a high vote tally for me. Thanks for supporting!

Have bloomin' great day!

I woke up super early again and decided to do my "morning design flow" exercise. I get out my sketchbook first thing every day after waking to see what comes. I used to keep a dream journal, but now I'm letting my thoughts come out as designs. Here's what happened today.

At 6:00 AM I began sketching, and by 7:00 I had a motif I thought I could play with.

© Katja OIlendorff
© Katja Ollendorff
Flowerflw3.jpg
© Katja Ollendorff

 

Then I brought the motif into Illustrator and did an image trace so the lines were nice and clean.

I dragged the motif into PS and worked on the layout and then the color. 

A few hours later...and voila! 

A pattern is born. 

© Katja Ollendorff

© Katja Ollendorff

© Katja Ollendorff

© Katja Ollendorff

© Katja Ollendorff

I couldn't help but make some coordinates to go along with the primary design. And then a gazillion color changes later... I landed here.

Letting It Flow in Black & White

The "letting it flow" piece.

I was in a bit of a creative slump so I decided to just sit with a large white page for a bit. Instead of worrying about a palette, I got out some black free-flowing acrylic (love that stuff!) and just filled a large round brush with it. I wanted to see what would happen if I approached a design with absolutely no intention—no aforethought as to what I wanted the design to become. Most times I go in with an idea or vision of what I want. 

It felt really good to let the ink just flow on the page and see what would happen naturally. I had been using Sharpie's lately to draw motifs and it felt great to switch mediums and try something different. Something looser. Before I knew it, I had filled my page, and I was super pleased with the result. It actually got me excited to do more, so now I can confidently say my block is down!

Through this experiment for myself, I have learned that starting a design not thinking about the end result, allowed my inner creative voice do its thing. I urge you to try it the next time you don't think you have anything left in you, because I bet you do!

Wine Time

How cool is this!?  My friend Scott Lucas of Just Cook Foods (a super duper delicious spice blend company) created 300 bottles of a Rutherford Valley Cabernet and asked me to design the label. How could I say no!?

I created the artwork for the label and worked in partnership with Jenny Doll, a talented designer who specializes in wine labels. Check out some of her work here Jenny Doll Designs. It was a really fun collaboration.

Back in June I posted a photo of me painting outside at my friends' home. Well this is their backyard, where I did my concepting for the label. It's so fun to see it come full circle. It will be a few months before it will be ready to drink and I can't wait to try it!

Katja Ollendorff
Katja Ollendorff
Source: www.katjaollendorff.com/blog

Strike Away Show a Success

The Strike Away show at Paxton Gate Kids is over, and it was a big success with over 100 pieces sold (still waiting to hear if mine was one of those). But in the meantime, some pretty cool articles popped up about it. 

Check them out on SF Art Enthusiast and Jealous Curator

My piece for the show

A variety of artists' works.

Chelsea Wong



Justina's Jungalow Prints

She had these printed on Shutterfly. How cool and so fresh!

She had these printed on Shutterfly. How cool and so fresh!

My homegirl has been on a crazy roll lately. Not only is Justina Blakeney's latest amazing book out, (check out The New Bohemians with photography by Dabito) but she has taught herself how to create patterns. I just love how she makes things happen. I mean, she got it in her head that she wanted to do this and then figured out a way. No formal training—just a vision and some confidence. How admirable is that!

Her patterns are a reflection of her jungalow lifestyle—full of lush greenery, palm fronds and flowers (and a lovely hint of Josef Frank). She not only painted the designs, put them into repeat, but then had them printed by Shutterfly and made into products that she can have around her home. To top that, she then did a collaboration with a local LA designer, Eva Franco to make a line of clothing. Now that's what I call an inspirational mover-and-shaker. 

Exclusive Eva Franco dress with Justina's pattern.

Exclusive Eva Franco dress with Justina's pattern.

Images are via her website and Eva Franco.

Strikeaway Show

Do you like art? How about tiny art? How about art the size of a matchbox? If you said yes to any of those questions, then come out and enjoy some tiny matchbox art at Paxton Gate Curiosities for Kids tonight from 6:00-9:00. I have a piece in the show and so do my talented friends over at Falconette. Hope to see you there! (And if you can't make the opening, the show runs til June 20th).

Photo: Courtney Cerruti - Strikeaway Show 

Photo: Courtney Cerruti - Strikeaway Show 

Inspiration Abounds

50watts.com is an unbelievably rich resource for illustrations from around the globe and throughout the years. It has the most incredible collection of images, end papers, posters, children's illustration, vintage advertisements and more—I could peruse this site for hours! Here's a small sampling of the amazing treats you will find here. Have a great time getting lost for a while.

Skandias 1924 - Sweden

Skandias 1924 - Sweden

Shigeru Hatsuyama - Thumbelina 1925 - Japan

Shigeru Hatsuyama - Thumbelina 1925 - Japan

Lev Tokmakov for  Katya in Toy City  1973 - Russia

Lev Tokmakov for Katya in Toy City 1973 - Russia

Carlos Mereida 1939 -   Dances of Mexico 

Carlos Mereida 1939 - Dances of Mexico 

Kenojuak Ashevak 1959 - Inuit

Kenojuak Ashevak 1959 - Inuit

1955 Shiseido Advert - Japan

1955 Shiseido Advert - Japan

Carlos Merida 1947 - Guatemala

Carlos Merida 1947 - Guatemala

Bente Miltenburg - Holland

Bente Miltenburg - Holland

Einar Nerman 1950 - Sweden 

Einar Nerman 1950 - Sweden 

Takeo Takei 1969 - Japan

Takeo Takei 1969 - Japan

Friendly Encouragement

Challenge - Day 1

Challenge - Day 1

Challenge - Day 3

Challenge - Day 3

Challenge - Day 5

Challenge - Day 5

I'm enjoying the design challenge that I see going around Facebook these days. Friends are challenging each other to post an original design each day for 5 days and to nominate another friend to do the same. It offers a nice excuse for creative types to open up and showcase their work where they might not feel inclined to otherwise. My talented friend Dayse Gagne encouraged me to take on this challenge and I've had a lot of fun with it. Here are the five designs I shared.   Now who can you put to the task?

© Katja Ollendorff. All designs are my own and copyrighted. They are created with love from original hand drawn motifs.

Challenge - Day 2

Challenge - Day 2

Challenge - Day 4

Challenge - Day 4