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Meet the creative mind of Instagrammer @cestmaria

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.

Marioly Vazquez from Maria Marie @cestmaria on decor8

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!

Marioly Vazquez from Maria Marie @cestmaria on decor8


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.

Marioly Vazquez from Maria Marie @cestmaria on decor8


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.

Marioly Vazquez from Maria Marie @cestmaria on decor8


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.

Marioly Vazquez from Maria Marie @cestmaria on decor8

Marioly Vazquez from Maria Marie @cestmaria on decor8


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.

Marioly Vazquez from Maria Marie @cestmaria on decor8


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.


Marioly Vazquez from Maria Marie @cestmaria on decor8


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.

Marioly Vazquez from Maria Marie @cestmaria on decor8


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.

Marioly Vazquez from Maria Marie @cestmaria on decor8


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.

Marioly Vazquez from Maria Marie @cestmaria on decor8

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)

Posted in interviews on December 17, 2014

Micro Trend: Dipped Paintings

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.

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

mydeer_readinggirl_3_1024x1024 My Dear art shop, “Dipped Girl“. Also stunning.

Inside Closet – Fun and creative.


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)

Posted in trends on December 17, 2014

Hand-Lettered Silhouettes By Pommel Lane

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…


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


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.


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


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


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)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on December 16, 2014

Artist Belinda Marshall + Artist’s Statements

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.


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







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)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on December 16, 2014


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