Real Life Lettering Inspiration Vol. 2

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Another long due interview- the Real Life Lettering Inspiration Vol. 2! So excited to have this published! Meet Christina, Isabel, Nicole, Agnes and Myda! All these ladies have their own unique take of creativity and life in general. Let’s hear what they have to say! In no particular order- let’s meet:

CHRISTINA

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m Christina, mom to two amazing men, director of children’s ministry at my church, and an avid doodler. Recently, I’ve taken my love for drawing and began a part-time business as an illustrator.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What sparked your interest in art and lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

I can’t remember when I didn’t draw. In fact, my mom kept a picture she bought from me at 4 years old. But there was a huge period of time that life, kids, marriage, work, shifted my heart from drawing. But it’s back now. And through posting on social media, it’s so easy to look back at see progress. I still have much to learn, but I’m happy with where I am at the moment.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What are your hobbies? (apart from art, of course!)

Honestly, I love my real job…serving in children’s ministry. I work with a great team, minister to some wonderful families, and have a lot of fun! Between running a home, working full-time and starting up an illustration business, my additional time is about zero. When I can manage, I’m a fan of road trips, visiting the coast, board games, movies, and reading.

 

Favourite art tools and supplies?

Not really.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally, in life?

I enjoy following the lettering community on Instagram, and do my best to keep comparison and self-critique at bay, but my real passion is art…I dearly love the works of Norman Rockwell, Claude Monet, and James Hance.

 

Any advice for art and lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

Have fun. Try new things. Seek to understand your strengths and spend time growing those, rather than picking apart your weaknesses. And start…being creative fuels creativity in other areas of your life.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

Every day. For the last few years, I’ve been dealing with some significant life challenges, and a brief bout of depression. What I’ve learned is to enjoy what you have, appreciate moments as they come, and recognize that so many things are all too fleeting.

I am a complete introvert, but all the memories that make me smile involve my family and friends. Cherishing the people around you is probably the best advice I could give.

 

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

Semi-professionally. Currently, I have my work in Tightrope Boutique, in Puyallup, WA and I have opened a store on Etsy.com

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What book are you currently reading?

I am currently reading a manuscript by TJ Scar. Hopefully it will be released as his second book sometime this year.

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINA:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/cwillettdesigns

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cwillettdesigns

Twitter: www.twitter.com/cwillettdesigns

Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/cwillettdesigns

ISABEL

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hello everyone, I’m Isabel and I live in the beautiful city of Vancouver. I grew up here after moving from Taiwan at age ten. My Clark Kent alias is an Investment Associate in brokerage and wealth management. A far stretch from being “creative”, that’s for sure! Basically we invest large sums of money and try not to lose any of it. My current excitement (and anxiety) is my upcoming wedding in October held in Hawaii! Six months to go and I am definitely getting nervous about how much I still have to get done! That includes writing the calligraphy for the invitations of course!

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What sparked your interest in art and lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

I had a solid background in fine arts through extra-curricular training, and a passion for typography developed through creating and coding my own blog in the early 2000’s. It was and still is an obsession how much I care about things like iOS updating the system font (I am pro-San Francisco, haha!) It has been 3 months since I started practicing calligraphy, and I am very happy with my progress. I may have had an easier start because of my background, but I encounter the exact same frustrations as other letterers in our community. It does take courage, faith, and a lotta practice to work through those obstacles. A hard lesson to learn! Some days you just have to drop your pens and walk away.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What are your hobbies? (apart from art, of course!)

I love food, movies, puzzles, beaching, and travelling. I can’t imagine not living next to a coast where I can see and feel the water. My most memorable trip was to Germany with my fiancé Terry. His parents lived half their lives there before meeting in Canada. It was mind-blowing and amazing: the architecture, the culture, the food, the sights, the smells, you name it, I loved it.

Favourite art tools and supplies?

My oblique pen holders, Noodler’s Ink (I read that it’s intended for fountain pens, not for dipped pens, but heck it works great for me!), Zebra G nib, and the trusty Rhodia Dot Pad! Recently I just picked up the Rhodia Blank Pad because the smoothness just can’t be beat for pointed pens. Also of note are my Rembrandt chalk pastels and Winsor & Newton watercolours… I should really dig those out!

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally, in life?

My favourite artists have all passed – Renoir, Degas, and Mucha are absolute visionaries. Their work have such a soft and romantic quality that I adore. In the calligraphy and lettering field, there are some amazing people on Instagram whose artwork I’ve encountered. It is astonishing how much talent is out there and I look up to so many of them.

 

Any advice for art and lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

My best advice is, do what feels the most right to yourself. Take everyone’s advice humbly, even try it once, and then decide for yourself. One prevalent practice that I don’t agree wholeheartedly with and therefore don’t do, is drilling. I think if you are conscious about what you are doing, each letter and word you write becomes your practice. Write slow to give yourself time to think ahead before the next stroke. Have a plan for how you want it to look like. Then “air-write” it before you touch pen to paper. This way your one letter is a much more developed and intended thought than writing it mindlessly down the page 100 times.

My second piece of advice is, if you find yourself needing to practice a certain letter (you’re not pleased with it, it’s not a letter you use frequently, etc), practice it in conjunction with another letter. For example, if you really dislike your g’s, write it in conjunction with an h. I found that in beginning to write, it wasn’t the letterforms that challenge me as much as the connections between each letter. Where does the g end, and where does the h begin? Again, this relates to making your practice mindful and purposeful. Rarely are you going to end up writing a letter on its own, on your final products!

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

Oh yeah, big time. Recently when I got my first commissioned custom calligraphy job. I jumped up and down and danced and screamed “I’M A PAID ARTIST!!!!!” All I wanted to do when I was little was to become one of those portrait artists in the park (haha!) I was SO ecstatic to have been approached, and to be offered a commission to create something for them

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

You never know! One day I may just walk out of my office saying: this job is just too much stress and too much math and too much UGH! In which case, I most definitely will be pursuing art as a profession! For now it remains a hobby and just something I do for me.

What book are you currently reading?

This is going to be embarrassing, but I am reading (studying) the Wealth Management Essentials textbook from the Canadian Securities Institute. This is part of my official licensing as an advisor. Did everyone just fall asleep? Sorry!!!!! I appreciate you even making it this far down this interview, only to not be rewarded by the boring book I am reading! The last thing I read that I truly enjoyed was the Golden Compass trilogy. What can I say, I’m a sucker for fantasy!

CONNECT WITH ISABEL:

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NICOLE

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hello everyone! My name is Nicole Bourque. I am 27 years old, born and raised in a small central Minnesota town where “everybody knows your name.” Up until this past November I have always lived in Minnesota. Now I am a newly wed living in New Mexico helping my husband start up his dog training business! For the past 6 years I have been living with an unknown chronic illness, which has made it hard to stay motivated with my art up until lately. I am starting on a path to healing (FINALLY) and have been using art to help motivate me through.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What sparked your interest in art and lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

I have been interested in art since I could hold a pencil. It was my favorite subject in elementary, high school and I went to college for Graphic Design. I’ve always loved the idea of hand lettering, but never had the motivation to try it. I always felt more comfortable designing things on the computer. However, now that I’ve gotten started with lettering I can’t get enough of it and am proud of all the progress I’ve made since I started in March.

 

What are your hobbies? (apart from art, of course!)

My hobbies include going on walks, training dogs (thanks to my husband), hanging out with friends and family, making crafts, decorating, singing and spontaneous dance.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Favourite art tools and supplies?

Tombow fude, Tombow dual brush pens and my water colors are some of my favorite art tools that I currently use. I’m new into lettering so I have a ton of other tools to check out!

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally, in life?

In life, I look up to my older brother. He does nothing with art or lettering, but he has been my biggest supporter in my art journey ever since I got serious with it when I was 16. When it comes to being driven and successful, my brother is the poster child. He has overcome many odds and he continues to inspire me every day.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Any advice for art and lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

My advice to art and lettering enthusiasts would be to never give up, don’t get caught up in perfection, and most importantly HAVE FUN!! I used to get so anxious about everything I did to be perfect. Throughout my journey I’ve learned to let that go and have realized that there is so much beauty in imperfection. And, it is less stressful 😉

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

On my most recent birthday, which happened to be my golden birthday, my brother called me and asked me to be the Godmother of his daughter (my first niece). I was beyond honored and the happiest woman that day! Best birthday present, EVER! Then that night I played Apples to Apples with my husband, cousin and mom who was visiting for the week.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

Currently I am in the process of figuring out how serious of a role art will be playing in my life. I’m working on opening up an Etsy shop in the next couple of months (hopefully sooner!) and that could help me determine how serious I want to be about it. I’ve always wanted it to be my profession, however I haven’t had the energy to withhold that due to my chronic illness. Right now I feel like I’m getting a second chance at conquering my dream of making art a larger part again.

 

What book are you currently reading?

Since I just got married, I’m reading “For Women Only” so I can understand men better! Hopefully it’ll help my husband and I to stop sounding like an old bickering married couple 😉

CONNECT WITH NICOLE:

INSTAGRAM: @nabourque

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AGNES

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Agnes and I’m 40-turning-40. I’m a single mom to a 18yo son. I live in Sunny Island Singapore. And my day job is an Administrator in one of the local polytechnics.

 

What sparked your interest in art and lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

I know I love art. As my son gets older, I have more me-time and thus able to do the things I enjoy. And one of them is art.

10 years ago, I chanced upon digital scrapbooking and I’m still at it. Three years ago, I chanced upon lettering and I love how the words can be beautified into eye-catching art pieces

I am not progressing at all in terms of my lettering skills & techniques. But I am progressing in the sense that I know what type of art & lettering I wanna do.

 

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What are your hobbies? (apart from art, of course!)

My other hobbies are digital scrapbooking and cross-stitching. Well, more like hoarding cross-stitch patterns & materials. Cos the last time I stitch a cross was 5 years ago, I think.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Favourite art tools and supplies?

As I am still a newbie, I do not have a favourite art tool and supplies. Plus I don’t dare to invest in the branded supplies.

For lettering, I’m using the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner (latest buy), Micron Pens, Zig Millennium Pens, Sharpie Marker, Pentel Colour Pens & Zig Clean Colour. I’m thinking of buying more Sharpie Markers cos right now I only have one (1) black.

For watercolour, I think I had fallen in love with the Pentel waterbrush. And recently I had found an Instagram account that uses Pentel watercolour paint and her art pieces are gorgeous. So that reassure me that I had made the right choice with my Pentel watercolour 12pc set paint. Now I’m contemplating to get the bigger set. Cos I suck at mixing colors. LOL !!!

I am also using the Staedtler watercolour pencils. I might upgrade to the Prisma or Derwent.

Another watercolouring tool I’m using is the Zig Real Brush. But I’m still learning how to use them.

The latest addition to my watercolour stash is a 165gsm sketch pad. And I’m loving it, because I can do wet-on-wet with it. Most importantly it is making my watercolour pieces turn out to be what it’s supposed to look like. Next I’ll be getting the professional watercolour papers to try.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally, in life?

I do not have a specific person in mind where art & life is concerned. Each of us has something to teach the world. So I just pick and choose the ones that speak to me at that moment.

As I have just started on a watercolour journey, I am browsing the Instagram for inspiring watercolour feeds.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Any advice for art and lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

As I am still a newbie and trying to find my style, I don’t have any advice to share. It’s more like me looking for guidance from the seasoned players.

 

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

Yes. My first over-the-sea solo trip to London in Jan 2015. And my son’s first-over-the-sea school trip to Cambodia in June 2015 . The next memory will be our first over-the-sea-mother-son-trip to London in June 2016.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

One of my other hobbies is cross-stitch. And I had created a few DIY mini projects for friends. So I do have the intention of converting my art and/or lettering into cross-stitch patterns. Or cross-stitch them myself. And put them up for sale online. But if that fails, art & lettering will be just a hobby for me. And I’m fine with that. But for now, I just wanna concentrate on enjoying the process.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What book are you currently reading?

I’m not reading anything now. My last read was the Corps Security series by Harper Sloan.

CONNECT WITH AGNES:

Instagram: @purlz76

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MYDA

 

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hi my name is Myda and I am a 41 year old mom of 4 children with ages ranging from 23 to 7. I love anything that has to do with creativity. Creating gives me an outlet when I’m stressed or just want to be alone. I love to paint & hand letter, (whether it’s on paper or my iPad). I love looking at all kinds of different art. I own Kinkade paintings and I have several art pieces from different Instagram friends including, abstract, mixed media, and wood pieces. I love supporting people in the arts. My husband and I own a muscle/classic car restoration shop and on the side we like to make furniture. My children all have a knack for arts as well so I encourage them with art supplies and classes!

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What sparked your interest in art and lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

I’ve always loved art and lettering. Lettering was something I did a lot of in high school. I don’t know where it came from, it was just something I had inside of me. I’ve always loved art and would sketch and doodle mostly in high school. I stopped doing it after high school, which was back in 1993, and I have started again just a few years ago. I took a class with Tamara LaPorte called Life Book and that has helped me with learning about different mediums and how to draw better. I feel I have progressed a lot and am hopeful that I can become better with practice.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What are your hobbies? (apart from art, of course!)

I also love photography, wood work, movies and music. My latest hobby or stress reliever is playing piano. I started piano lessons in March of this year and I’m loving it! I love making my little essential oil holders and painting them with chalk paint. Photography is something I love to do whenever I can. I mostly use my iPhone but also have a Canon t3i which takes great photos. I love all kinds of different movie genres and music genres.
Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Favourite art tools and supplies?

Right now my favorites are my Zig Clean Color Real Brushes and Tomboy Fude hard and soft pens. I also love using my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Perfect for on the go!

 

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally, in life?

In the art/lettering I say this in all honesty, I love Aaria’s work! I love how she blends her art with lettering. I also have so many lettering friends that do such amazing work and am just in awe of their lettering and techniques. I love Amanda Arneill @amandaarneill, Vanessa @calligra_vee, In the iPad lettering world I love Karin @ipadlettering and Teela @everytuesday, I love Christie Macey @christie_macey, Laura @laurafedorowicz, Leah @little_lief_creative and Amy @lilylaneart… there are just way too many to name!

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Any advice for art and lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

Just keep swimming. Encourage yourself and watch your self talk. Anyone can do anything over time and practice. Try to do daily challenges which push you to improve. Interact with others who have the same interests and always encourage and uplift others!

 

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

Honestly, i know this is cliche, but when I think of my kids and the funny things they do or say, that always brings a smile to my face.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

I would love to pursue it professionally! Yes, for now, it is a hobby I love!

 

What book are you currently reading?

Harry Potter Chamber Of Secrets – the whole series actually but I’m on the 2nd book now.

 

CONNECT WITH MYDA:

Instagram – @mydastouchletters (for lettering), @mydabug (for art), @mydas__touch (wood work – with 2 underscores), and @mydastouchphotos (photography)
 
 

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/mydas_touch/

 
 
www.mydastouch.us photography prints
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Thank you for sharing! Wishing you all the very best in your creative journey! -Aaria 🙂 Read more about them and see their artwork on this interview over on surely simple and this one too.

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Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers

september wildflowers

Hello everyone.

Today, we have Ruth Speer who creates the most wonderful art under the moniker of September Wildflowers.

Her work is just so beautiful and it’s impossible not to say, “Whoa! You painted that?!”

She also strikes me as a person who really loves what she does- and works hard at it. Also, she works with different media: pencils, oils, acrylics and watercolours-so there’s variety and exploration in both her work and journey as an artist.

There’s something striking and just kinda awesome about it all- read on to hear what Ruth has to say!

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Ruth, and I’m an artist, learner and all-around creative dabbler who loves flowers, tea, being outside, books and listing off things I like.

What sparked your interest in art in general? How long have you been practicing?

I’ve been drawing and painting ever since I can remember! Really, I always knew I wanted to be something creative when I grew up.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

How do you interpret the presence and significance of art in your lifestyle?

I truly believe art can be found anywhere and everywhere, if one is only interested in discovering it. In a person’s freckles, or the way they take their coffee, or the combination of colors and textures in a building, or ivy creeping around a window, or even pretty words like “effusive” and “scintillating”. Finding beauty in the little things is a favorite lifestyle choice of mine.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

(photo by Ashley Rose Productions)

What is your general process while creating an art piece? 

I usually begin with an idea or several elements I want to put together. For example, I might think of bird wings and gold paint and brown paper and wistfulness and come up with the piece below. As I didn’t have any large pieces of brown paper, I found a paper bag and trimmed it. It’s now hanging in my friend’s living room!

The last example was a spontaneous project that I completed in a few hours, but typically, especially when working with oil paint on canvas (which is what I use for most portraits), I’m a very slow painter. It can take months to finish a piece as I add layers and ideas. It’s like embarking down a path you’ve marked out and going off-route every two steps to enjoy the scenery. Time-consuming and worthwhile!

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

How do you balance running a creative business along with maintaining your natural creativity?

Remember why you started! I wanted to bring more beautiful, colorful, thoughtful things into the world, and every once in a while I have to remind myself of that fact. The logistics and business and marketing sides are fun, but it can become a distraction when all I need to do is sit down without a plan or strategy and just play with colors. Artists (myself included, obviously) can take themselves way too seriously – art can be serious and contemplative, but it’s also play.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

It actually depends on the medium and purpose!

Commissions, which I usually do with watercolors, take longer because I like to make sure the client loves the piece; and this requires a lot of back-and-forth emailing for different stages. It usually takes several weeks, or up to 2-3 months if I’m busy.

My own pieces, when I use watercolor, ink or pencil, take only a few hours. As I mentioned above, however, when I’m working with canvas it’s a different story! On average, oil portraits emerge over three to six months.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

 

Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite ) piece of art you remember creating?

I have several favorites! One of them is this orange-haired lady. Last September, I was in Europe for two weeks, and in a little London art shop I bought a 6B graphite pencil. The day after I got back home, I sat down and drew this piece with my new pencil. I mostly remember the sunshine through the window and Edith Piaf playing in the background.

I’ve since lost the pencil, but the portrait is still hanging in my studio.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

 

What do you do in your free time (when not drawing)?

I love music, reading, exploring and picnicking in the woods near my house, spending time with my wonderful friends and Jesus, and finding new coffee shops and book stores. I’m also a freshman Studio Arts major at George Fox University in Oregon!

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

 

How did you create a more or less consistent style with which you draw?

Personally, I don’t think I’ve developed a totally consistent style yet – it’s still in flux a bit. But I do think having a consistent style all comes down to creating and drawing and making consistently. If you make one or two pieces of art a year, you won’t get very far with recognizing what you love to draw or make, which I think is the key element to developing your personal style.

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

On most weekdays I have several classes at my university, which, including homework, take up a lot of my time and energy (as they should – I love learning!) I try to get my assignments for coming weeks done fairly early, so that I can take time to paint and draw and not feel like I ought to be working on something else! It’s a bit ironic, as I’m going to school for art.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

What’s your outfit staple and flower and colour?

I love so many colors! I love pale periwinkle blue, deep orange and shades of green and rose. I love peonies and daphne. I like wearing dresses!

 

What are some themes/topics that are inspiring you nowadays?

People and their stories, always. I’ve been wanting to paint wings – bird wings and dragonfly wings and butterfly wings. I like the color violet. And I’ve been wanting to use metallic gold oil paint.

 

What are some of your favourite art supplies and art media  you use?

Vivid oil colors are always my favorite! I use Gamblin and Blick for the most part. I also use Schminke watercolors and have recently discovered the magical properties of gouache through my art classes.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

I love your colourful canvases and the precision with which you draw! Could you share any tips for aspiring artists who want to make original and distinctive drawings?

Why, thank you! I would still describe myself as an aspiring artist, so this advice is for myself as well: look at a lot of art and see what inspires you the most. What catches your eye about it? What makes you think “Dang, I want to run home and make something now!” Don’t try to replicate it in your personal style (though you can practice by recreating a particular style, and it’s really fun, and it helps add stylistic tools to your mental tool-box). Try to recognize what you love about other art (bright colors! Human subjects! Peaceful landscapes!) and see if that’s something you want to work with.

Most importantly; I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times more: make things. All the time. As much as possible. Make things you despise, make things that you come back and change, make color palettes and experiment with the same compositions, make a billion and one paintings and drawings and your style will reveal itself.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

What do you think makes a good, satisfactory piece of art (which the artist feels happy about the end result)?

Feeling happy about the end result is really a personal thing, and I think it depends on what the artist was originally setting out to do and whether they think they achieved that end goal, or even reached a different, better one. As an art student, I’ve been gaining wonderful insight into the technical part of what makes art look like a good art; but in the end, I always come back to this quote from Amanda Palmer: “You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.”

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

A little insight about your name ‘September Wildflowers’?

I was born in September, and I love wildflowers! It’s pretty simple – I chose that username a lot time ago for something inconsequential, and it’s stuck with me ever since!

Thanks Ruth for sharing! You can find Ruth over at her instagram and on etsy.

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Modern Style from Maple + Mauve

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

I am big fan of anyone who really adds something new to style in jewelry. Also, total respect for someone who actually dares to do something different. And that’s why I’m so happy to have on the Inspiration Series- Sera of Maple + Mauve.

I was so drawn by the bare simplicity of her work and the sheer minimalism that makes it so chic. The minimal trend has caught on, and I’m totally on board with it.

However, Sera’s work is not just the normal minimal- it stands out like pieces of art in a stream of manufactured ‘minimals’. She’s also got a sharp eye for aesthetics, and I love how that reflects in her work. My perspective on her beautiful jewelry would be : modern, unaffected, focused and rare. Read on to her what she has to say!

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Sera Rogers and I am the owner of Maple + Mauve, a Seattle based jewelry studio specializing in concrete, wood, and ceramic wares. I started Maple + Mauve in 2012 when I decided to make minimal and architecturally inspired jewelry for myself. Then I started sharing it with the world. This little video highlights a closer and more intimate look at my making process.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

I love your minimal and cool style! Do you have a particular theme for each batch of jewelry you create? Is it planned or more spontaneous?

Thank you! Each piece is quite planned. I usually conceptualize my designs at night before I go to bed. I think my mind starts to quiet then and I can visualize my creative direction more clearly. Typically, I start with a sketch and then I will either 3D print, or cut the mold from wood, then start the casting process. Often I’ll make my designs out of paper first to get a sense of shape and scale.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

What was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

The hardest part of starting a business, in my opinion, is convincing yourself you can. I have gone through so many personal ups and downs throughout the process. Being part of such a talented, yet very saturated market, it can take some convincing that you belong. Whenever I feel stressed or start to second guess myself I look for personal support from friends and family. My dear friend Becky famously assures me, ‘you are lovable and capable.’ I try to repeat this to myself as much as possible. It helps me remember to be kind to myself. No one gets anywhere alone, and my friends and family are as much to credit for my success as I am.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

I am probably happiest at the very beginning of the creative process, or for me, the idea-generating part. Ideas usually flow when I am most relaxed and most often when I am traveling and exploring. When you can achieve a mindset that is completely open to new ideas, regardless of what barriers you think stand in the way, creative opportunities become completely endless. This mental place is where my best work comes from.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Could you give us a glimpse in a typical day at work?

No two days are exactly the same. I usually wake up and immediately make a cup of coffee. Then, weather permitting, I walk around Greenlake (a lake very close to my neighborhood) with a few of my whip-smart and inspiring girlfriends. It’s important for me to get out of the studio and into the fresh Seattle air, both for my creative mind and my social needs. If I don’t make a conscious effort to do that, I can very easily go the whole day with my head down working inside and then, come nightfall, I am very grumpy. After that, a typical day involves concrete casting and clay molding, often in the morning and then again in the early evening. My afternoons are usually consumed with emailing, shipping, photography and bookkeeping. I try to stick to a fairly structured schedule, especially because my husband keeps fairly 9-5 business hours and I want to be able to spend evenings with him. If I don’t consciously make that effort, I can easily work all night.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 ConcreteTriangleEarringsBeckyBaseGreywithTanScarfWhat qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

Confidence, hard work and humility are needed to keep up with being a small business owner. Being able to admit that you don’t know everything, asking for help, and allowing yourself to be open to constructive criticism are certainly key to growing and improving. As far as enjoying running a business, being your own boss certainly has it’s advantages. A flexible work schedule is probably the best part. That, and creating work that I can call my own, and that I am proud of is incredibly gratifying. I work more than I did when I held more conventional jobs, but for me, it’s much more rewarding.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

(Love the peaceful vibes of Sera’s studio- all the greens, blues and whites!)

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I would love to have a larger studio space, and an assistant!

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

What motivates and inspires you the most?

I love traveling throughout the Pacific Northwest and pull inspiration from the people I meet and the places I am fortunate enough to explore. I feel so grateful to live in a vibrant city that supports local artists. There is so much talent here! Alternatively, I find myself feeling inspired by old oddities. I love to go to vintage markets, consignment shops and estate sales. It’s a small thrill for me to imagine the relationship people had with certain objects before I interact with them.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

How long has jewellery making been your hobby? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

I’ve been making this kind of jewelry since 2012, but I’ve been a maker my whole life. I thought I could make it a business when people started asking where they could purchase my designs, but I was creating and selling my work for almost 2 years before taking the leap and transitioning Maple + Mauve into to a full time career.

 Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 GlobeConcreteNecklace11

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 SquareCuffLinksJustin

 

What present would you like to receive? (For any occasion)

Probably a membership to audible.com, so I could listen to all the books on my ‘to read’ list while I work! I love to read but can’t always find the time; and there are so many mornings when I am very much in a book listening mood while I am creating. I don’t know why I haven’t just broken down and done this for myself already, I most likely will just go ahead and do so after this interview.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 WoodandConcreteNecklace1

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Any insight on your name Maple + Mauve?

I once read a story in a children’s book about William Perkin’s accidental invention of the color mauve while mixing chemicals. I liked that a beautiful color was created by chance and then went on to inspire, and in a way revolutionize fashion. I found that optimism inspiring and wanted to have the same approach with my products. I thought “mauve” seemed lonely by itself. Since I knew one of my mediums would be wood, ‘maple’ followed quite organically.

Thanks, Sera, for a glimpse into Maple + Mauve! Wishing you all the best ahead! -Aaria

Find Sera on Instagram and on the Maple + Mauve  Website.

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Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

Hello! Today on the Inspiration series, we have Charlotte Lloyd, the creative mind behind Charles of Lloyd. She creates the most colourful and quirky designs on home ware- and these vibrant patterns and tropical vibes can definitely brighten up any room! When I saw her website, I had to contact her to get some insight on her colourful process! She’s persistent and a real go-getter.

I like her distinctive pieces and more than that, I was just impressed by her whole outlook on finding inspiration, her can do attitude and her methodical routine- to create such a varied range of colours and patterns. Read on to hear what she has to say!

Please tell me a little bit about yourself. 

My name is Charlotte Lloyd; I am the founder and designer behind ‘Charles of Lloyd’, which is a London based homeware brand. I am a self-taught textiles designer. In 2012, I left a career in fashion and licensing to pursue my love for pattern. I create fun, vibrant textiles prints that aim to raise a smile and project a positive approach to design.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

A little insight on your company name ‘Charles of Lloyd’?

It’s a bit of a spin on my actual name and a nickname that had been thrown around in the past. Having a very British surname really helped to play on the formal nature of the brand name and give it a sense of heritage. It gives the impression there is a rich history as it almost sounds a bit regal, but in essence its sums up the history of my family history, journey and making.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

I love your colourful creations on cushions and bags! Do you have a particular theme for each batch of design you dream up? Is it planned or more spontaneous?

Thank you! Well I am on the cusp of launching my second range and while I’m still learning where my comfort zone is in the design process, I don’t think the learning ever stops. My initial range was very off the cuff and around images and subjects that at the time were of interest. There were various designs that were so well received I have put a twist on them to carry them forward into the new line.  The second range was more around  tropical summer feel, based on the time of year it was launching to hit spring/summer trade shows.

They all begin with doodles and lots of magazine clipping to make colour pallets from. While I have only just launched the second range, I already have a plan around a colour palette of primary colours for the next range. I’d say a lot of the early planning is around colour rather then print, but in the excitement it’s easy to deviate!

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

What was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

For me, I was starting a business whilst learning a trade at the same time. I had a very real gut feeling that this was something I had to explore, but had to juggle this learning along side paid work to get to a point where it felt like a real possibility – rather then an experiment. I think research is key and you should feel confident in asking as many experienced people for pointers, help and suggestions as that can save you months.

The hardest part is to keep going. It can be very testing running a business. I’d advise surrounding yourself with the positive people in your life. I also read a lot of designer interviews that inspire me to keep going on things like design files, design sponge etc. They are priceless.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

When I get samples and fabric back. It’s like Christmas when you see your design become a real tangible thing. It’s always so nerve racking as well, but that’s what makes you feel alive and kicking right? Hearing that someone likes something you have made is always a lovely feeling too. It’s those little memos that really do keep you chipping away at it. I see Charles of Lloyd as a bit of a left field brand. It’s a bit bonkers and playful, so to know there are people that relate means it’s resonating with strangers. What’s not to love about that!

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

Could you give us a glimpse in a typical day at work?

-Wake up at 8 with a fair idea of my jobs list for the day having thought about it before bed. Scan my emails on my phone so I know of anything vital.

-Make a nice juice as we just got an exciting juicer (nerdy i know) or my boyfriend and I walk to ‘Expresso Hut’ on Chatsworth road. Best coffee going FYI!

-Mornings -10 – 1 – The days can be really varied from shooting new products for the website (to get the best morning light), fulfilling and packing orders, answering emails, giving comments on samples. Only yesterday, I got asked to look at making some bags for a wedding in LA, so my inbox often has some really fun surprise projects in store. I also just started trading on Not on the High Street so I am waiting to see how this will effect the admin element of my day.

-Have lunch around 1-2. I live just off the vibrant Chatsworth road in Hackney, so there are always great places to grab a snack or get supplies to cook at home. My boyfriend is the chef in our home so he tends to whip something fab up to keep us going as we both work from home.

-Afternoons can entail the more admin based stuff like –  revising pricing, working on the website, researching or visiting new suppliers, trade shows, shops, or visiting workshops etc.

-Generally we finish up about 6/7 and try and consciously close the door on the studio. But it’s never that simple and can often be a late one. Some days I will try and fit in a swim or a coffee with a friend to break it up.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

What qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

Perseverance definitely, you need a really strong mind to keep going. There will be lots of exciting little things that lift you up but they fade. You need focus to keep pushing through to the next big milestone. Passion is essential; as without that unconditional need to do what you are doing – it will be harder to keep going. Organisation is also key. Working with people requires the ability to make your interaction with them as easy and effortless as possible. Make peoples’ lives easy by being organised.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd


Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I’ve been in London for 12 years now so I think a move to the seaside is in the works. I am also about to train as an upholsterer as an additional leg to my business. So in 2 years, I would hope to be running this arm of my practice – offering my fabrics across an array of beautiful vintage chairs and items.

 

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

What inspires you the most?

My inspiration in terms of designing fabrics really comes from all over the place: from exhibitions, photographs, magazine tear outs for colour palletes, charity shops for vintage fabrics and car boot finds. Its just about being open-minded every time you leave your front door and being equipped to document it whether it’s in notes, photographs or rubbings. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and Instagram but find this can be detrimental – as it can overwhelm as well.

I also absolutely dig all the amazing African church goers in East London. Every weekend, I see the most insanely beautiful fabrics and colour combinations. Head to toe pattern in every colour under the sun! It makes me feel the way I hope Charles of Lloyd makes people feel. I’d love to do a shoot one day with a selection of these women using COL fabrics. A lot of the fabric they wear is Vlisco – which is a Dutch printer with a rich history in producing these wax fabrics.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of LloydWhat tools do you work with to create your illustrations?

Various types of black ink pens, charcoal, paints and a good sketch book. I either import various marks, doodles and scans into photoshop to construct my prints in layers on screen or do some designing in Illustrator. I also do a bit of hand printing and this is mainly drawing directly onto tracing paper in individual layers, they are then exposed and built up directly onto fabrics using screen printing.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

What present would you like to receive? (any occasion!)

Hmm, that’s a tough one! I don’t generally have items or things that I get hooked on and I’m pretty practical so if it’s got a use, thats always nice. The only thing I have wanted for years is a French Bulldog but that’s one pricey present. Once thing I always always love are scented candles. I burn them daily in our home and am a big fan of wood scented smells.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

Thanks, Charlotte, for a little glimpse into your colourful world at Charles of Lloyd! Wishing you all the best ahead! -Aaria

Find Charles of Lloyd on her shop and here on Instagram.

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An Artistic Vision by Ashley

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Hello! I’m pleased to have another feature on O9, and this time, it’s about an artist who really makes life as her primary inspiration. Ashley is one of those people who use art as an outlet for positivity. I have always appreciated people who work not for themselves, but for social progress and the community at large! It’s great to talk to someone who puts their time and effort towards helping others and also invests in her own creative progress. Ashley’s art is colourful and frank, and she also uses watercolours (which I absolutely love!) so I contacted her to get some insight on her process.

Read on to hear what she has to say!
An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Ashley Churbock and I am the creator and artist behind Rock, Paint, Scissors.  By day I am a licensed professional counselor and work in an urban middle school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana running a drop out prevention program.  Besides that, my heart lies with art and being creative.  My work consists mainly of digital prints but I also dabble in painting and paper products.

 

What sparked your interest in art in general? How long have you been practicing?

I have always been into art and took advantage of taking art classes throughout school and into college. I have always been told that I have a natural gift and talent in art and found that it was a great way for me to express myself in a safe and healthy way.  I started out interested in drawing, which turned into a love for painting.  I only recently took up graphics and digital design within the last year.  It helps me create work more quickly, efficiently, and produce affordable work for others.   It is a different type of art that I happen to really enjoy and see a great potential in.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

How do you interpret the presence and significance of art in your lifestyle?

Being a counselor by trade, I know the importance of self care.  Art has always been an outlet for me to express myself and be creative which is extremely important to me.  I love sharing my passions with others and this is a great way to do so.  I have always created my favorite pieces for those closest to me and proud that I can give them something unique, special, and one of a kind.  Art has been and always will be a vital part of my life to keep me sane, motivated, and inspired!

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

What is your general process while creating an art piece?

First I identify my inspiration and vision for a piece.  I am constantly having ideas pop into my head and I jot these down in my phone to keep a running list of what I want to see transformed into art.  From there I choose which media I want to use (Illustrator, drawing, painting, mixed media, etc).  Then I decide on color palette, font, and dimensions (what size canvas or print).  Next, I gather other materials needed such as paint, paint brushes, canvas, etc. (if needed).  Then I begin!

For digital prints, I typically like to start and finish them within one time frame if possible.  With paintings, I typically grid my paintings and work in layers so that I can blend and make changes as needed.  I usually post my work on Instagram and Etsy at the same time, get feedback, and make necessary changes from there!

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

What keeps you motivated creatively?

Usually it revolves around 3 things: love, work, and humor.  My boyfriend, family, and those that I am close with constantly inspire me.  Relationships are the utmost importance to me. Without them, nothing would be possible.  Work gives me a lot of motivation and drive and purpose in life. Working with kids constantly inspires me.  I work with students who are underprivileged and live in poverty, high crime areas.  These students show me what true resiliency looks like and make me a better person on a daily basis. I know I was put here to do good in the world and help others.  And humor keeps me going.  You have to be able to laugh at yourself and at the world when things are tough.

 

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

Typically my paintings take anywhere from 8-10 hours (smaller canvas typically 2-4 hours) and digital prints it varies greatly depending on the amount of detail and layering involved.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite ) piece of art you remember creating?

My favorite piece was a large painting I did for an ex boyfriend of mine.  He had served 2 tours in Afghanistan and there was a picture of him that I thought really captured him and his experience.  I was determined to paint that picture for him to honor him and his service.  I am very humbled and in awe of our military men and women and can never express my appreciation for all that they do.  His tours are a major part of who he is, what he has overcome, and molded him into the great man that he is today and I wanted him to have an original piece to represent that time in his life.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

I work full time at a middle school trying to change and mold the youth of America! Typically I attempt to create one digital print a day after I get off of work. I also exercise 5-6 days a week to keep myself in shape.  I like to keep myself mentally and physically healthy and really enjoy my free time to do the things I truly enjoy outside of work.  Spending quality time with my boyfriend is also important and building my relationship with him, as well as my friendships.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

(Ashley’s black and white gallery wall- her inspiration at the moment)

How do you balance your creative thought while maintaining a business approach when it comes to selling your art?

Honestly, creativity comes first.  I create art because I love it and business comes second to that.  I approach the business aspect as a bonus to doing something I love to do!  I created my Etsy shop to share what I love and allow others the opportunity to purchase and enjoy the art just as I do.  My reward comes from knowing that my art can contribute to a room, office, or home that is special to that person and makes them feel comfortable, cozy, inspired and at peace.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Just for fun: what’s your outfit staple and flower and why?

This is a hard one!  I love, love, love my white converse because they are so versatile and classic.  My favorite flower is an orchid.  There is just something beautiful and powerful about an orchid that I love.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

You have a very watercolour and typography inspired Etsy shop! What motivated you to start a creative business?

I have what I like to call a torn artistic heart.  I love the abstract feel of watercolors and the clean lines of typography.  I think you can appreciate both for what they are and felt that others, like myself, would really appreciate a shop that allows you to download prints and use them as they see fit. The majority of my downloads are $2, which is a very affordable and budget friendly version to buying expensive prints.  I have always lived on a budget and found it was difficult to decorate my apartment the way I wanted.  I have always relied on my own talents to decorate my apartment and thought it would be neat to see my work in others’ homes.  Once I found Illustrator, I realized I could create my own prints in a very cost effective way and felt that others would appreciate this option, as well! Prints can easily be downloaded and printed on a home or office printer or can be sent to your local Walgreens, CVS, or other print stores that can print the JPG for a very low cost.  Pop these into a cute frame and you can make over your room for $10 or less!

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

What are some themes/topics that are inspiring you nowadays?

Change, and the ebbs and flows of life, are really inspiring me lately.  I have had a year full of change that has me feeling very hopeful, grateful, and positive.  Last year (2014) was a very hard year for me and I decided that I really wanted to take control of the things that were in my power.  I wanted to ensure that I was mentally strong and art has helped me cope with life’s stressors and obstacles.  Through building my business, I feel more empowered and encouraged for my future and excited to see where it takes me.  It is never too late to go after your dreams!  I have always dreamed of art being a major component of my life and excited to see where the venture takes me!

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

 

What are some of your favourite art supplies and art media you use?

Adobe Illustrator, acrylic paint and watercolor paint are my top 3 favorite medias.  Illustrator allows for such amazing shapes, lines, textures, and possibilities.  Acrylic paint is great for blending and abstract and watercolor is a beautiful challenge and sharpens my skills.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Could you share three tips that make a good, satisfactory piece of art (which the artist feels happy about the end result)?

Art is so subjective and I can be a little perfectionistic!  My three tips would be:

1- Do what feels right to you.  Part of the beauty is feeling the artist through the piece.  Being yourself and creating art that is unique to you and your vision is the most important.

2- Choose your media wisely- do what works for you!  I would love to work with wood but I have no idea how to use a saw properly.  It is important to have goals and try to better yourself artistically.  But, in the meantime, do what you know and do it well.

3- Accept feedback- use the feedback you are given to drive your work.  Trends change so often and you have to change with it.  This does not mean you only do what is popular, this means listening to your audience and allowing outsiders help inspire you!

Thanks Ashley, for a little glimpse into your art at Rock, Paint, Scissors! Wishing you all the best ahead!

You can find more of Ashley’s work on Etsy and Instagram.

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