Driven by self expression over trends, Boston photographer Francine Zaslow has a welcoming and beautiful online portfolio sharing her work… pages to turn, buttons to click, and music with a very hip lounge vibe making the experience transporting and relaxing. I recognized some of her work instantly from catalogs and websites like Fresh and Mariposa.
(images from francine zaslow)
I came across this jaw dropper of a loft today on Loftlife magazine and nearly died. Badda bing! Can you imagine living like this? Sheesh.
This is the loft space of interior designer Andrew Flesher who loves to mix in antiques and vintage finds into his contemporary in Minneapolis. Soaring 13-foot-high ceilings, white concrete floors and an entirely open floor plan, his traditional upholstered pieces look beautiful combines with his vintage treasures. Gorgeous. See more here.
(images by Gunkelman Flesher)
I found a blog that I really connected to awhile back but then I forgot all about it until last night when it showed up again. I seriously could not take my eyes off of the many images and I started to think about creating pretty collaged papers myself. All of the photos that you see in this post are my own work inspired by Record the Day.
Do you know this blog? It’s lovely. I create books with images inside but lately I hadn’t felt much like doodling and pasting in my inspiration books. Plus my books are so permanent and I wasn’t feeling creative at all last night when I created the collages shown in this post. At least at first. The more I started to play around, the more inspired I became! That is the beauty of sometimes not over thinking something and just doing it! Record the Day encouraged me though her concept is a little different as instead of using words to blog she uses collected images glued to a piece of paper to show her readers what she is feeling or thinking or seeing on that particular day. It’s very cool. My idea was to use a similar technique to hopefully inspire me and it absolutely did!
Looking at the collaged images on Record The Day, I sat down last night with a stack of torn images from magazines, found papers, old wallpaper, some ribbons, a stack of old file folders, and a glue stick and for two hours and I just glued and cut. No music on, no television, my iPod touch and cell phone on ‘off’ tucked away in my handbag… just me in a quiet living room on the floor cutting and pasting. I thought about what inspires me and tried to include a lot of those things into each collage. I tried to think of feelings and experiences that I recently had. Suddenly my manilla folders came to life. I was only going to do one but completed eight. Perfection or artistic skill is not needed (as you can see), just a desire to have fun and enjoy the process.
It felt good to play a little, so today I’m going to encourage you to do the same if you can make the time for it. It was an easy, inexpensive, no frills way to inspire myself and have a little fun in the process. I was also looking for a quick fix, nothing that I needed to work on for days or weeks at a time. Just a quick session and I was finished.
Now I’m thinking of how much fun it would be to ask some of my friends to bring over collected images and things so we can sit around and do something similar as a small group. I guess it’s like scrapbooking or knitting circles… but less fuss and cheap (mostly recycled) materials. Maybe I could call my ladies night “Creative Cut + Paste” and serve some fun cocktails and homemade cookies.
What do you think? Could this be a fun hobby for you? Or maybe a fun girly night with your best buds? I’m always looking for easy, no frills but hands-on ways to get inspired…
(images by holly becker for decor8)
Speaking of spaces where women create, Tamar from Nest Pretty Things in Vermont contacted me over the weekend with photos of her newly designed arts and crafts studio – it’s full of positivity and warmth! I’ve been thinking about having my own room again dedicated to creative pursuits, an idea that I plan to put into motion in the months ahead. It also means I will have to move but I’m okay with that because I’ve realized that I can no longer accept my current space as being sufficient enough. It’s not, I need the space. I work from home, it’s important to have plenty of room for the many projects I have my hands in right now. I fantasize about how I want my dream room to look, I can see it so clearly… but until I can touch this dream I’m living through others, planning, thinking, and saving money!
Do you currently have a “you” room in your home? If so, would you like to link to it below in the comments section? If you do not, tell me about your dream room or point me to a photo of it online. I’d love to see and exchange some inspiration today! You can see more images and read about her studio space here.
Thank you Tamar for sharing!
(images from tamar at nest decorating)
I’m so pleased to be sitting here with all of you today to discuss creativity and how to better tap into it. I love writing the Creativity Series, I feel like all of us are really connecting through the comments and because I read each one, I’m clicking on your links and learning about your blogs, what you do for a living, and many of the things that are important to you. Thank you so much for your participation in this series thus far!
For those just catching up, the first week we discussed the benefits of tapping into childhood and how mind mapping as a good way to do that. Our second week was all about exercise, and week three focused on the benefits of keeping a journal. So what will we talk about today? I’ve invited Marisa Haedike of Creative Thursday to visit us and share her personal experiences, which she does after my thoughts below, so let’s get started. I also can’t wait to see what you have to say on this topic, Marisa and I will be reading your comments and answering any questions you may have.
Develop a positive support system.
I know, easier said than done since friendships grow and change on a daily basis, often by no conscious choice due to relocation, pregnancy, marriage, and changes in employment. With so many friends on the go, it’s often challenging to schedule a 10-minute coffee break so most of us get little quality face time with our friends. How does one form a support system?
Here are a few ideas that I’ve tapped into. You can reach out to your local community by joining a group with similar interests through a website like Meetup.com. You can also take advantage of the many social networking websites to stay in touch, try Twitter (my current obsession), Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Another idea, join a book reading club or form a knitting circle. (And if you think a knitting group may be boring read Unravelled by Robyn Harding!) I’ve done this in the past, host a clothes swap or decorating swap! I made up the decorating swap idea, it’s where I invite over friends and we trade stuff from our homes, trading a Jonathan Adler ceramic for a design book for instance,that kind of thing.
Another way to form connections with others is to seek those online that you feel a connection to through blog reading. That is how decor8 was born. Comment on the blogs that you love regularly so their authors can get to know you. Find out if they are using the same social networking sites that you do and request to become their friend and follow their work. I’ve had lots of decor8 readers send me cards through snail mail along with their business card, I keep every single one and refer to them often.
Looking for good blogs? For those of you new to the blogworld, you can locate thousands organized by genre at Delightfulblogs.com. There are blogs written on nearly every topic imaginable, the topics span from crafting to interior design, architecture, creative writing, DIY, IKEA hacks and beyond. There is even a magazine devoted to artsy blogs called Artful Blogging and it’s a beautiful, informative publication where I have been introduced to many lovely new faces online.
Once you start reading blogs, you may feel inspired to author your own as yet another way to build a supportive network. You can attract many like-minded individuals once you put yourself out there as either a blogger, a regular commenter on blogs, or both.
For those of you who already read blogs or author your own, how do you take it to the next level and form a friendship?
I’ve invited Marisa Haedike from Creative Thursday to share from her personal experience as an artist and blogger. Take it away, Marisa!
“Just the other day I had lunch with a new friend and the main topic of our conversation was the importance of human connection. And while this particular lunch was in person, my first introduction to her was via the internet.
It is now becoming the norm for me that many of my closest friends here in Los Angeles are actually friends I initially “met” by coming to know them through their blogs. This is when you realize just how powerful the internet is in opening our possibilities to connect in such meaningful ways, becoming a community of support to one another.
It seems obvious that human connection is vital, especially in person. But now we are all fortunate to be part of a time where you realize that human connection has the potential to extend across the continents on a daily basis.
And that is key in building your community online, recognizing that there really is no difference between connecting online and making friends in person.
Which brings me to my first and most important recommendation in building your community of support online. Choose to be yourself. Start connecting from who you truly are, and this way you will build that kind of community that will be the most genuine. The beauty of connecting online is that now more than ever you have the chance to meet so many wonderful people.
Just say hello. It all begins with willingness to say hello to the people you want to “meet”, reaching out to the people who inspire you. Also be willing to offer your support to those who inspire you and do so unconditionally. When you do reach out, or offer support, you may hear back from some and not from others. Remember, if for some reason you don’t hear back from someone, not take it personally, just trust that the community that will resonate the most with you will find you, and you will find them.
And when you do find them, be a friend. Friendships are an exchange between people and it’s the same online. You have to be willing to open up. Of course, I don’t mean revealing parts of yourself that you choose to keep private, but you have to be willing to share who you are.
This is where I can’t say enough about blogging. I don’t think the importance of having a blog or a web presence that you can update regularly, like facebook or flickr can be stressed enough in terms of building your community. A web presence where people can leave comments is especially good. Having a place that you call “home” online is the only way the friends that you are wanting to connect with will have a chance to “meet” you and over time come to “know” you just as you would with an in person relationship. Even if all you have is an about page attached to your blog ~ that’s something, it’s a start.
And you may be wondering why I’m focusing so much on friendships and less on the business connections, because going back to the conversation I had over lunch with my friend, we both realized how business connections are built from human connection, which starts with the willingness to be a genuine friend to someone.” – Marisa.
Building friendships, having a support system with others who ‘get’ you, this builds creativity. Exchanging ideas, a process, a fear, a success.
Now it’s your turn readers. Do you have a support system? Online, real time, or? How did you build it? What is missing that you wish existed? How does a support system help you to feel inspired, to be more creative?
(photo by holly becker for decor8)