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Art and Artists

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Makeover Your Bedroom with Area {A Giveaway!}

DesignPublic.com

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If you’re not already familiar with the amazing modern bedding from our friends at Area, then you should remedy that, pronto.  Area is a small independent company that creates products for the modern life.  They have an incredible line of furniture and bedding that is based on the modern Scandinavian concept of good design for everyday living.  Area started as a collection of screen-printed cotton duvet covers and has expanded immensely since their inception in 1990, and now they make a wide variety of products such as organic cotton sheets, linen duvets, and blankets made in baby alpaca.

I was able to speak with Area’s designer, Anki Spets, on the phone about a month ago and was struck by her dedication to a product that encompasses beauty, simplicity, modernity and practicality in design. Her talent for imbuing her products with both refined design sensibility and a human touch is what makes each collection truly distinctive.

Anki and I spoke about the most important place in the home – your bedroom.  A bedroom should feel comfortable and peaceful, and your bed is the place where that comfort begins.  I was recently researching Feng Shui for the bedroom and stumbled across an article which states “a ‘good looking’ and well-balanced bed is very important in creating a perfect feng shui bedroom. A good mattress, solid headboard and high quality sheets from natural fibers are also very important in creating harmonious feng shui energy.

What does your bedroom, and namely your bed, look like?  Are you creating a peaceful environment for your mind and body to rest and recharge or do you have a mish-mash of bedding products that just make you look, well, confused?

Area wants to help you by offering one of our very lucky readers the chance to do a little spring cleaning in their bedroom, and give their bed a complete makeover. The winner of our giveaway will receive the following from Area - 1 fitted sheet, 1 flat sheet, 1 duvet cover, 1 blanket, 2  pillow cases, and 1 body pillow with insert.  That’s a value of over $1,000.

To celebrate, we’re also offering 15% off of Area’s new EDITH & SWEA lines which are both gorgeous and decadent.  Also, don’t let the giveaway stop you from purchasing something – if you win the contest and you’ve purchased the bedding, we will fully refund your money – so make sure you snatch it up now while it’s on sale!

Ready to enter – we have lots of ways to win!  See the entry form below — good luck!

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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Exhibits: Bill Traylor at the High Museum

Becky

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This week I had the pleasure of heading to one of my favorite museums, The High Museum of Art here in Atlanta.* While the biggest current draw is the exhibition Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters, I was headed over to see Bill Traylor: Drawings from the Collections of The High Museum of Art and The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Traylor was a self-taught African-American folk artist. Born a slave in 1854, he finally left the plantation to move to Montgomery Alabama around 1928, sleeping in the store room of a funeral home at night while drawing on the sidewalks by day.  He would sit outside and draw the world walking by, usually on the back of old cardboard ads he found on the street and in the trash. His media of choice (and availablilty) were pencil, watercolor, poster paint, charcoal and crayons. He was able to capture so much movement, emotion and personality with such simple drawings. While they are distinctly folk art, there are a lot of qualities that are at once primitive and modern, from the way he abstracts silhouettes of people to his use of color.

The cardboard is the back of an old sign advertisement for Sensation cigarettes, thus its odd size.

If you have chance to catch this show, you really should not miss it. It combines collections of the two museums. What’s so wonderful about standing 12 inches from one of these works, separated only by a pane of glass, is that you can see the dirt, wrinkles and tears on the cardboard. You can see the rhythm of the pencil strokes up close. You can see where the artist’s finger smeared the charcoal. I hadn’t been this moved by a show since I went to see the quilts made by the women from Gee’s Bend.

Learn more about Traylor and about Charles Shannon, a fellow artist who collected and preserved Traylor’s drawings ever since meeting him in 1939 at highmuseum.org.

All images via highmuseum.org.

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Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Art on Atlanta’s Beltline

Becky

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I have plans to take a little artwalk with a friend today on Atlanta’s Beltline. I was planning on bringing my camera, but it seems better photogs than I have been sharing their work so I thought I’d direct you to it as well. Here’s just a little sample of what’s going on during this early phase of Beltline construction:

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Monday, August 8th, 2011

Inspiration Monday: The Work of Eric Hopkins

Becky

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Are you familiar with the artist Eric Hopkins? His beautiful renderings of Maine’s landscapes continue long tradition of artists being inspired by the sublime landscape there. This list includes Edward Hopper, Fairfield Porter, Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth, Alex Katz, Winslow Homer and Neil Welliver. If you’re lucky enough to be in Maine this summer, check out his gallery in Rockland (a stone’s throw from The Farnsworth Museum) and/or his show at Isalos Fine Art in Stonington, Maine.

All images via Erichopkins.com, property of Eric Hopkins. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Designer Interview and Studio Tour: Kim Sly of Albie Designs

Becky

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Tired of the corporate rat race, Kim Sly decided to take her passion for illustration and transform it into a career. Her products now include graphic tops for children, illustration prints for all ages, and a custom line of paper goods. We recently sat down (well, virutally) with Kim to learn more about her inspirations, her studio, and how we can be like her and quit working for the man!

When I look at all of your prints on our Albie Design retail page, the fact that each city has its own very specific color palette jumps out at me. Can you please give us an example of a city or two and what inspired the color choices you made?

I don’t normally start out with a color palette in mind, but typically it evolves as I build each city in a sketch.  In the case of  NY– I knew I wanted a yellow cab driving up to the city, and I love the image of NY in the Fall, so I decided to use yellow & brown as my two main colors..  Also, as I strive to stay true to my mission to make “fun & personal” art I want to keep the colors bright and vibrant to reflect each city. For example to me San Francisco is one of the most colorful/happy cities in so many ways, and nothing says “happy” more than red & yellow together! My hope is people don’t take my art too seriously.  I’ve had people say to me “oh the mountain in the back of your Portland print really shouldn’t be so big”….typically my response is I am not trying to create a map here ….:-)That being said, I do try to make each city recognizable at a glance, therefore they usually end up mostly true in building/landmark placement.

Similarly, you feature a few iconic buildings/landforms/landmarks that really just nail the character and personality of each city. Do you start with a bunch and narrow it down? What is your process for showcasing each city?

Great question, it takes me several months to complete each city for that very reason. I typically start with many hours/weeks of research which includes, combing the web for images & maps to reference and find inspiration. Also, if I am not really familiar with a city, I reach out to people who have requested that city in the past and ask them for help. After the research, I play around with perspective. For example with Chicago I went back and forth on the perspective because there are so many amazing landmarks/buildings in that city, and there is no way to capture them all in one perspective without it becoming more of a map print. I landed on the river perspective, as I just LOVE how the river winds through so much brilliant architecture and I knew I wanted to include a few of my favorite Chicago buildings (Wrigley & Corn Cob). I truly do strive for a unique & fresh perspective -I think it’s pretty easy for people to find good silhouette cityscape art, but I wanted to create something with a bit more of each city’s unique personality.

What is your studio like?

My workspace is far from ideal. It currently is a guest room/play room/laundry room/office/studio. The only benefit is that allows me to do my work while still making sure that my kids aren’t coloring all over my couch!


How do you break out of a creative block?

I spend a lot of time on various design blogs, and I am constantly amazed and inspired by how many talented artists and designers there are out there.  We are lucky to live in a day and age where there are so many resources and avenues in which to share our work & learn about other artists on a global level. Just 20 years ago we were somewhat restricted to libraries and local artists , but now we can learn & be inspired by “real time” artists that are changing the face of design/art today.  At times it’s overwhelming, but I think this emerging design online community has really helped many artists find their platform in which to thrive (including myself).

What things can you NOT live without in a workspace ?


For me, I can’t live without an inspiration board. I have a large cork board that is covered with images that inspire me.

Please tell us about your latest series of prints!

Inspired by my own love for all things food & drink, I wanted to make some fun and modern prints for the kitchen or casual dining area.  Committed to staying true to my mission I am hoping to create art that is fun & personal for every age, simply put I hope it makes you smile.

Here’s a peek at the beautiful dining space that helped inspire the new prints:

Do you have any advice for those who want to take the plunge into starting their own design business?
In the words of my former employer Nike, “JUST DO IT”!  I can’t tell you how many people close to me said, just wait to do this until you kids get older and are in school, it will be so much easier than juggling being a mom to a baby and a toddler and starting your own design business. There is not doubt in my mind that it would be easier if my kids were in school and I could do this more as a full-time job. In fact, after the birth of my second son I almost went returned to my “real job” as a corporate recruiter where I would have had full-time daycare, and put this on hold for a few more years. However, because of a series of major events  that happened in my life I decided  life is too short to not just go for it!  I know that sounds nice and fluffy, and in actuality there is a lot of planning and logistics that need to happen before anyone “quits” their day job, but for us we saw an opportunity for me to pursue my passion, and stay home with our children while they are young. In short, it was a calculated life decision based off of one of my favorite poster saying’s “LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE”!!

Thanks so much to Kim for sharing her work, her workspace, and her advice with us! Click here to shop Albie Design.

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