Bloggers

Meet Instagrammer Cestmaria

December 17, 2014

If you love creative and cohesive instagram accounts, beach scenes, melty ice cream, balloons and lots of dreamy pastels, Maria Marie is one to watch — Such a great eye! My friend Leslie Shewring taught a styling and photography workshop last month in Mexico and returned with wonderful stories to tell of adventure and the people she’d met, including her wonderful students. One immediately interested me because I’d been following her surreal-ish pastel playground on Instagram (@cestmaria) along with 40K others, and was pretty convinced she had been working in a creative field for many years.

Meet Instagrammer Cestmaria

That’s why when Leslie told me Maria Marie is 27-years-old and not even doing what you see in her photos for a living, I was amazed and had to learn more because those who are working day jobs and filling their creative cups at nights and on the weekends totally inspire me and I’m sure, so many of you out there. Would you like to meet Marioly Vazquez, known online mostly as Maria Marie? That’s her above – so cute!

Meet Instagrammer Cestmaria

 

Hi Marioly! It’s nice to “meet” you here. can you tell me how you are using the internet to share your creativity?
MM: Yes, of course. I don’t formally blog, although I would love to someday. I am microblogging though using Instagram and Tumblr because I love how fast and intuitive their interfaces are and it is so easy to stay in touch with everyone, share instant moments, and report in on the current projects I’m working on. I also have a website here.

Meet Instagrammer Cestmaria

 

Where do you live and what do you do for a living?
MM: Currently I live in Monterrey, an industrial City in the North of Mexico with beautiful mountains in its surroundings. I’m currently working at a museum and a foundation, I love being involved in multidisciplinary projects related to art and culture which supports society’s development. Although my days are quite busy, I always find time for my real passion, photography and styling, which I do as a freelancer. I’ve had the opportunity to work with diverse clients for different campaigns, and I’ve done some editorial work too.


Meet Instagrammer Cestmaria

 

What do you love about photography?
MM: The possibility of saying a million things with just one image. Being able to provoke different emotions in people and leave them with a feeling of peace and happiness, is one of the most gratifying things. More than just taking photographs, I also love creating the perfect moment and scenario, being playful and capturing it. More importantly I love how photography gives me a sense of peace and purpose and I hope I can transmit that in my work.

Meet Instagrammer Cestmaria

Meet Instagrammer Cestmaria

 

What inspired your passion for photography?
MM: My father used to be a hobby photographer and he used a film camera, it was a lovely Canon AE-1. He photographed my brother and me during our holidays, family vacations, or any other milestone event. I remember being so captivated by the sound of the shutter, I instantly wanted to get my hands on the camera. So my father very patiently started teaching me the basics of photography. I got so excited picking up our developed film, it was always an amazing feeling not knowing what would come from the pictures we took together. After several years I received my first digital camera (2.0 megapixels back then!) and that day everything changed. I took my camera with me everywhere, I loved shooting whatever captured my eye. What I loved the most about digital cameras was that I didn’t have to spend so much time caught in technicalities, and was able to focus on the composition and concept of my images instead.

Meet Instagrammer Cestmaria

 

When and why did you begin styling?
MM: This started as a necessity, I’m such a wanderer, always imagining worlds, places, moments and beautiful color combinations. I would go out on weekends always trying to discover new places or pretty things to capture, but I never found places I imagined inside my head, and that’s when I discovered and started styling. There is no better feeling than giving life to your ideas and imagination. I started drawing and putting together my ideas on paper which helped me conceptualize and organize my projects better. Once I had a complete idea, that’s where the fun part began, prop searching! I started creating vignettes in my kitchen, backyard, bedroom, anywhere I could find beautiful light. Since then, styling and photography are things I enjoy and love to do.

 

Meet Instagrammer Cestmaria

 

You recently took a class with Leslie Shewring, what did you do there and what was your takeaway?
MM: Yes I took her photography and styling class in Baja. Leslie is amazing, and she is so talented and creative. She has a very beautiful aesthetic that is very coherent in all of her work. We learned to work under pressure while styling — for instance, we did a photo shoot with different popsicles under the sun and also took photos of a giant ice cream, which believe me, in those conditions every second counts. I also learned how to take advantage of all the things you have on hand in that moment and to work in very different situations which you did not have in mind. One thing I also enjoyed very much was visiting Patricia Larsen’s home for an interior styling photo shoot. I learned a lot about etiquette when you photograph a stranger’s home. It is amazing how you learn to see things in different perspectives, it is very fulfilling when you are working with people, and everyone can capture the same moment but each with their very own point of view. That made me understand very well what makes a good photographer and stylist; Leslie’s creativity, imagination, eye for the detail and a unique perspective.

Meet Instagrammer Cestmaria

 

What do you ultimately want to do with all of your creative talent?
MM: There are lots of projects I want to do, I’ve always been so fascinated by beautiful homes and spaces and would love to style interiors, and design sets for photo shoots someday. I wish to continue creating and experimenting either for my personal projects or for a client. I love working and collaborating with different creative people, because you always end up nourishing your head with fresh ideas for new creative and artistic projects, campaigns or editorials. I want to keep collaborating also with different magazines, publications and agencies and eventually publish a book with all my pictures and creative processes inside.

Meet Instagrammer Cestmaria

 

Where do you turn when you are not feeling creative?
MM: Talking about creativity is a really complex subject for me, but I love it. Normally it is creativity that finds me at the most unexpected moments! I’ve ended up writing my ideas on concert tickets, napkins or even in the palm of my hand. Now that we have cellphones it is obviously easier to take note of whatever comes to my mind. When I have specific projects and I’m not feeling that much creativity it always helps me to just listen to some good music, get away from the computer, grab a beautiful illustrated book or just simply change my perspective. This helps me get away the pressure of creating something instantly and it relaxes my mind and eventually ideas flow. Also a great source of inspiration is Pinterest and Issuu, but I risk on spending too much time on them and not creating, so I limit the time I spend.

Meet Instagrammer Cestmaria

Meet Instagrammer Cestmaria

Thank you so much Marioly (and also Leslie!) for this chance to get to know more about you. I hope to see a lot more of you online and wish you heaps of success today and onward!

(images: Marioly Vazquez)






Trends

Micro Trend: Dipped Paintings

December 17, 2014

Dip, baby dip! Dipping anything from forks to baskets, glassware to plates, is most definitely a trend when it comes to decorating. I’m not sure if you noticed it yet in your part of the world, but to add to the dip trend I’ve been seeing more and more dipped paintings – where paintings (usually thrift shop finds) are literally dipped into enamel paint revealing only a small part of the original work. Some handpaint, but the results aren’t the same. And while it’s a micro trend now, this definitely has legs to become more common in certain parts of the world. Have you noticed this? What do you think about it? And I wonder where it originates (Oliver Jeffers maybe?) because it’s quite clever and it must have gotten it’s start from one brilliant mind out there. Do you know? Here are some that I’ve seen and liked. Please click on their links below to view more.
Micro Trend: Dipped Paintings

Oliver Jeffers dipped paintings and details about his gorgeous work and process here. Breathtaking.

Micro Trend: Dipped Paintings My Dear art shop, “Dipped Girl“. Also stunning.

Micro Trend: Dipped Paintings
Inside Closet – Fun and creative.

Micro Trend: Dipped Paintings

Around the web from bloggers…. 1. Brit & Co DIY dipped frames – not the same but sort of an inspired by idea. 2. This one was made by Something Savage. 3. Another DIY for dipped artwork, this time from DIY Candy — and look! There’s my book Decorate! 4. More dipped art DIY’s on Homeedit by Francesca Stone from Fall For DIY.

What do you think? Do you like dipped art? Would you try this at home?

I’d like to try this with old photographs that I find at the flea markets here in Germany. I know, I know… Lots of vintage fans would HATE that thought but in my opinion, some photos are just not that pretty for display and are being stored in bins and drawers anyway so why not give them a new spin so you CAN display them again… Hmmmm. Makes me think about a little craft project I could try now. :)

(images linked to their sources above)






Arts + Crafts

Hand-Lettered Silhouettes By Pommel Lane

December 16, 2014

When I found these hand-lettered silhouettes the other day on betype by Hannah at Pommel Lane, I nearly fell off my chair. So original, clever and gorgeous. I’d love to frame one for my wall. Silhouettes is a blog series where Hannah takes Creative Commons photography by other artists and applies her own hand-lettering to create one-of-a-kind portrait images. Check out these beauties…

Hand-Lettered Silhouettes By Pommel Lane

“Whatever makes you weird is probably your greatest asset” – Joss Whedon.

Hand-Lettered Silhouettes By Pommel Lane

Make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you. Know your worth even if they don’t.

Hand-Lettered Silhouettes By Pommel Lane

Sometimes you just have to let go and see what happens.

Hand-Lettered Silhouettes By Pommel Lane

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

Hand-Lettered Silhouettes By Pommel Lane

I either eat too much or starve myself. Sleep for 14 hours or have insomniac nights. Fall in love very hard or hate passionately. I don’t know what grey is. I never did.

Aren’t these all just so amazing?

(images: pommel lane)






Arts + Crafts

Artist Belinda Marshall + Artist’s Statements

December 16, 2014

I learned something today, that artist’s have something like what a business has, a mission statement or more appropriately, an artist’s statement. I didn’t know that and I’ve been working with art and artists for over ten years now. I’ll get more into what these statements are in a moment but first, I want to talk about an Australian artist, Belinda Marshall, whom I found over the summer and quickly fell in love with. In fact, I’ve added some of her paintings and prints to my online shop (here) and I stock her 2015 wall calendar too. My very favorite piece is this first painting shown below called crystal, a print of an original painting of hers, that I think is absolutely delicious. I just adore the almost acid yellow in this size. Yum. I dream of this print at night, that’s how much I love it. It makes me crazy happy.

Artist Belinda Marshall + Artist's Statements

I also really like her work shown on these pieces of fabric, hung as banners. What a gorgeous piece this is.

Artist Belinda Marshall + Artist's Statements

Artist Belinda Marshall + Artist's Statements

Artist Belinda Marshall + Artist's Statements

Artist Belinda Marshall + Artist's Statements

Artist Belinda Marshall + Artist's Statements

 

I love Belinda’s artist statement, “My work is an exploration of emotional reactions to the beauty within my immediate environment. A connection to my experience of an idyllic country landscape during childhood drives the need to portray the beauty found in domestic settings and urban landscapes in my work. My works depict my vision of a perfect world – a calm, meditative space – communicated through layers of colour blocks and sections of representative imagery and repeat pattern. I focus only on what resonates and draws me in. By expressing observations of beautiful objects and moments in my work, I aim to create a space for the viewer to form a deeper connection to his or her surroundings and to access the contentment that can be experienced from this process.”

And a big by the way, do you know what an artist statement is? According to wikipedia, “An artist’s statement (or artist statement) is an artist’s written description of their work. The brief verbal representation is about and in support of, his or her own work to give the viewer understanding. As such it aims to inform, connect with an art context, and present the basis for the work; it is therefore didactic, descriptive, or reflective in nature.”.

I think we all need a statement, artist or not, in any field we’re in. What would yours be?

(images: belinda marshall)






Inspiration

12 Creative Things To Make & Do – Sei kreativ

December 16, 2014

I’m working with the new Pinterest headquarters in Berlin (weee!) on an amazing campaign and it includes putting together some pinboards for them. One is all about Creativity and it’s called Sei kreativ. You can see it here but I want to share 12 creative things to make and do below. These are definitely some creative and inspiring ideas. I really love the twinkle twinkle hand lettering on the glass cabinet. I have some white glass markers and a glass cabinet so I’m going to totally try that this week and Instagram it for ya (Follow me if you’d like @decor8).

12 Creative Things To Make & Do - Sei kreativ
1. Writing on cabinet doors with white glass markers – Dutch photographer Ernie Enkelaar

12 Creative Things To Make & Do - Sei kreativ
2. Installing a wall of empty frames and vintage mirrors. This is photographer Mari Eriksson’s home.

12 Creative Things To Make & Do - Sei kreativ
3. Make some colorful trivets. Sugar & Cloth and their super awesome DIY Colorblock Trivet diy.

12 Creative Things To Make & Do - Sei kreativ
4. String some ornaments grouped by color. Sugar & Cloth *I love her blog*

12 Creative Things To Make & Do - Sei kreativ

5. Use a wall-mounted kraft paper holder. So good for busy families or a cafe seen on Design Milk. You can buy this beauty by George & Willy here.

12 Creative Things To Make & Do - Sei kreativ
6. Make your own gift wrap using photos you’ve taken. Fall for DIY *awesome blog, must read* I love this photo gift wrap.

12 Creative Things To Make & Do - Sei kreativ

7. Get craftin’ and make some candlestick holdersDIY candlesticks from Design For Mankind by Laura Parke.

12 Creative Things To Make & Do - Sei kreativ

8. Make some cardboard playhouses for your kids. I saw this on BKids and went bonkers. So sweet.

12 Creative Things To Make & Do - Sei kreativ

9. Think of a word and put it on your cozy sweatshirt. This sequin sweatshirt diy is from A Beautiful Mess. Oh yeah.

12 Creative Things To Make & Do - Sei kreativ

10. For your next party, make up some glittery ice cubes with edible glitter. A Subtle Revelry has a great diy up so check it out.

12 Creative Things To Make & Do - Sei kreativ

11. Make some massive tissue paper flowers for a celebration. These are from Mokkasin *the world’s most amazing mother of a small tribe and small biz owner to boot*.

12 Creative Things To Make & Do - Sei kreativ

12. Create a lovely jewelry display above a dresser in your bedroom. This is a mere branch cleaned down to the bones, photographed by Garance Dore.

Aren’t these great ideas? I thought so too. Tomorrow I have a lovely share for you from a student that my friend met in one of her classes recently far, far away. I can’t wait to introduce you to this very creative, amazing woman and her photos and a short interview, too. See you tomorrow.

(images: linked to their sources above.)






Blogging

Become Your Own Blog Star

December 15, 2014

Hello friends! Last Monday I kicked off a new 20 week series (#20blogtrends) to run on decor8 where I talk about some of the blog trends I’m seeing. My first column was all about Slow Blogging – quality over quantity. What did you think about that topic? I really enjoyed reading the comments, it was an interesting discussion! This week, let’s talk about another trend – becoming your very own blog star or web celeb.

Become Your Own Blog Star

This is the exact flip side of last week’s slow blogging trend discussion, but pushing for fame is very alive and well and for those who aren’t interested in the slow movement, and you want to hustle like hell, you could jump on the extremely fast track and go from zero to hero pretty fast thanks to your talent, some good ideas, follow through and a ton of hard work.

I see lots of bloggers who have and are currently becoming web celebs, i.e. their own version of reality stars by simply using their blog, social media platforms and/or other services like YouTube, Vimeo, etc. These ambitious folks aren’t satisfied with merely writing a blog post. OH NO. They want to become a pretty big deal (good for them!) and are willing to put in the time for it at any cost, even sometimes to their health, family life, social life and LIFE in general (many I’ve talked to say that outside of their web life they don’t have much else going on). BUT still. For some this is totally worth it and they are pushing because they want to accomplish certain goals for themselves. Some are producing their own photo shoots, hiring props and teams of people to produce videos for their blogs, opening up studio spaces and getting staff, partnering with companies for products to include in their posts to pay for their more elaborately produced content, starting their own product lines, pumping out fancy classes that they can then turn into even fancier blog content, doing amazing things on their YouTube channel… the magic goes on and on.

When it comes to becoming your own blog star, the key thing is that EVERYTHING BECOMES CONTENT. Your lunch with a friend. Your calligraphy class. Your mani pedi visit. Your dressing room try-ons. It’s all one big blog post, video, selfie, Instagram moment. For some people, particularly those who have a bit of a reality star trapped inside of them, this really works. I see some become pretty influential and cranking in 6 figures each year. If they are continuously providing value to their audience and can keep the pace, or even increase it, their fame quota and earnings become a byproduct of all of those amazing selfie shots, how-to vids and photos of their cute kids.

If you think you’d like to be your very own blog reality star or web celeb, I advise to look at the bloggers out there who are doing it already and see what you could add that would make your approach unique and fun. What do you want to share? I also advise to not over think things. Then fear takes away what could be a really beautiful spontaneous moment of enjoying that “I have nothing to lose” approach. You may want to think of a few ideas and just start doing one of them and see where that takes you, right?

So what bloggers do you think have done this very well and what do you like about what they are doing? Or do you have questions on this topic? What are some problems with blogging with a goal to really become a big name? Remember, you can comment below and also keep the discussion going online elsewhere by simply using hashtag #20blogtrends.

(image and lettering: Hannah at Pommel Lane)






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