I’m delighted to share the work of English illustrator Alice Melvin today. Alice grew up in northeast England but today calls Edinburgh, Scotland her home – a place I long to travel to since Scotland has long fascinated me. Her work is inspired by a love of creatures both on land and in the sky along with text and pattern and everyday objects like teacups. How nice.
Alice adores paper and the process of screen printing images by hand which is still an integral part of her work — in fact the entire production process is her “thing” and so she produces lots of her own work from start to finish. She even makes fantastic cut-out kits and sells them in her online shop. I’m guessing that Alice is trying to promote the process of making through such kits, it only makes sense that she wants to share the act of creating something by hand with her adoring fans. There is so much joy that comes from making something with your own two hands and the best thing about crafting something is that your self confidence grows the more you practice and produce. In addition to her online store, Alice also sells her work in shops like Plaisir, where I originally learned about Alice.
Aren’t these bird stamps wonderful? I want to order some to stick on journals and cards.
“Her first book An A to Z Treasure Hunt was published by Tate in 2007 and was an interactive alphabet book for children. Since then she has worked with the Tate on a second children’s title, Counting Birds, and two children’s merchandise ranges. Alice continues working with a range of clients as well as developing her own products and prints. Her hand printed artists’ books are held in private and public collections including: British Library, Tate, and Centre for Fine Print Research at University West of England Bristol.”
I hope you have enjoyed examining Alice’s portfolio with me for a moment — you can see lots more on her gorgeous website.
(images: alice melvin)
I’m so impressed and feeling quite creative after reviewing my mile long list of “people to blog” because I have collected many amazing creatives out there that I can’t wait to share with you over the next few weeks! I have to show you the work of Swedish photographer Pia Ulin today. And while I’m at it, I’m going to share some ideas from each collection I’ve pulled below with some of my own tips on decorating, styling and even some notes on relaxation. I think this is a nice Friday post… :)
Try this at home: Paint your heat registers jet black, collect glass vessels on your windowsill, try mixing gold with indigo blue, craft a big flower-like piece of art for your wall.
Pia is based in Stockholm and is represented both in Sweden by Agent Bauer and in New York by Thomas/Treuhaft. I’ve had several editors contact the photographers that I’ve featured on decor8, so if you are from a magazine (or anyone else out there sourcing for a great photographer) Pia is a great one to consider. She has some gorgeous work on her website — my favorites shown come mostly from her interiors portfolio though I managed to slide a few lifestyle shots in the mix to create a little more visual interest.
Try this at home: Pair two coffee tables from the same collection in two different sizes, collect lace doilies and with a little starch craft them into pretty bowls, place framed art on your kitchen counter, stack some magazines and top with a candle placed a little to the left (or right, just not dead center).
Try this at home: White dinnerware always works and as you can see above, you can change the palette of your dinner table quite easily since you don’t need to work off of the patterns and colors of your china to create a theme. Why not have a few sets of dinnerware, one patterned or with color and another in fresh white? Why not? Also, add green to your home to give it some life – there are some beautiful plants out there that don’t require a green thumb to maintain and look lovely placed in the right vessel.
Try this at home: Don’t be afraid to display some of your prettiest dresses and smartest shirts in your bedroom. I always air dry my silk blouses by hanging them on the rod above my window and love how the patterns look in the room through the filtered light. If you have a few favorite pieces, photograph them in your bedroom and see if you can create some pretty photos for either your blog or personal collection of images. Lay a dress casually on a bed. Take a few dresses on hangers that look nicely together and layer them against a door. Hang a gorgeous dress in the window from the rod. This exercise can also help you to see what certain colors and patterns can do to a room, often a dress hanging on your closet door can wake you up to a stunning new palette for the bedroom. Oh and try to use linen, whenever possible, in your home. It breaths so well and drapes beautifully. On tables, as tea towels, on beds, curtains, shower curtains… and it’s such a forgiving, durable fabric.
Try this at home: Remember when you were little and still in grade school and the teacher called a “time out”? That usually meant you were to put your head down on your desk and take about 10 minutes to nap, day dream… as long as the pencils were down and you were not talking. Sometimes, as adults, we need to take a time out during our work day. If you are at home working from your office there, get up and stretch, pour yourself some hot tea, sit on your porch, or simply put your head on your desk for 10 minutes and just chill out. Relaxation promotes creativity. If you want better, more authentic ideas you must take some time out moments each day. Why do you think the French are so creative? It’s those lingering lunch breaks! Another tip, if you are showing a photo of your bathroom on your blog or in a magazine, fill it with bubbles and a plop a big sponge on the rim — nothing more inviting that that!
Lots of these shots where stylist by Stella Nicolaisen, whom I’ve talked about before on decor8. I hope that you enjoy my picks today from Pia’s magical portfolio and I hope that you’ll visit her website to view many more gorgeous photos that are not shown here.
(images: pia ulin)
Are you familiar with the work of American pro photographer Philip Ficks? I first discovered him back when I was writing for Cookie magazine, but he has also appeared in other publications like Real Simple and has shot for clients that I love like Hable Construction as well. His still life work is my favorite, you can see some of what I like below but you’ll need to visit his portfolio online to access all of his beautiful photographs for your viewing pleasure today. :)
Philip Ficks was raised in Cincinnati and studied painting and then went on to study graphic design at Parsons. In New York, he worked as an art director for 10 years, most recently at Real Simple. While working with so many photographers over the years, he felt drawn to their work and realized his own unique ability to express his vision and creativity through this medium so he transitioned from art director to photographer. Great story, isn’t it? He currently lives and works in Brooklyn and works with a diverse group of clients ranging from editorial to advertising and commercial.
I love stories like these… people changing directions and trying new careers and finding success. It’s lovely and definitely flattens the old school way of thinking — studying something and sticking to it for life no matter how much you’d prefer to be doing something else! Why bother? Transition and move forward! Those of us who have done this are happier for it, this is a fact!
(images: philip ficks)
You can be inspired by so many different things from the wings of a bird to a corsage on your blouse! Ban.do is a small business that specializes in creating beautiful corsages and other decorative pieces to embellish your wardrobe — it’s exciting to peruse their website because you can always find something lovely but you also can find inspiration for your next decorating project! How so? Take inspiration from the colors, patterns and textures and translate those things into a room — it’s all about letting your imagination play and giving yourself the freedom to explore something new — who would have thought that a brooch pinned on a vintage dress could inspire a wall of plates? But it can.
These images above, paired with the corsages, were not inspired by work of ban.do — though I’ve paired them to appear as such. This is merely an example to support my point so that you get an idea as to exactly how this sort of thing works. Now it’s your turn. Here are some more lovely things from ban.do below. Perhaps you can use them to inspire a room in a your home now, or someday?
Let your creativity run wild, inspiration is all around you if you pause for a moment to simply see it.