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Entries in artist (68)

Wednesday
Apr132011

milan 2011: designers and artists

Just when we think it’s presidents and economists who shape our world, we return to Milan for the Salone and remember it’s really the designers and artists.

Designers who solve problems through ingenious design and artists who add beauty—who provoke thought through compelling imagery, music, prose—while making our world more awesome.

We’re constantly thrilled and amazed by their ability to imagine a lamp that’s not just a casing for electric light, a bookcase that not just shelves— but one that’s breathtaking, sexy.

And while we’re extremely grateful to be working with creative and talented designers and artists, we remember the engineers who make their ideas a reality and just how equally important it is to laugh… to take fifteen minutes and four euros to enjoy a toy a designer created for us to play with.

We can choose to think of a swing as rope and a piece of wood or an old tire… or our castle fortress as a simple cardboard box… it’s all in allowing ourselves to imagine possibilities, and to enjoy them.

Thursday
Mar032011

artist profile: hector lopez

Hector Lopez was born in 1968—in San Francisco—where he still lives and where he’s been a member of the Creativity Explored Studio since 2006.

His gregarious personality is reflected in large landscapes and portraits that are just as colorful and dynamic. Preferring to paint on pieces of wood, his palette ranges from fiery reds and yellows to violets. 

His ‘highly populated’ artworks—such as a recent series of autobuses with buses so large they fill the picture plane and contain multitudes of people behind the windows—also reflect his love of the crowded, bustling art studios of Creativity Explored. The place where he’s surrounded by ‘amigos’.

To spend one minute with Hector Lopez in the Creativity Explored studio, go here.

Thursday
Feb242011

one of a finds: knead it side table

Inspired by the centuries-old red lacquer wood kneading bowls of the Chettiar in Tamil Nadu, India, each knead it side table is handpainted in an optimistic burst of bright calligraphic squiggles and brushstrokes.

The striking designs are hand-painted by artisans in the northwestern state of Rajasthan—one of India’s largest regions—in the city of Jaipur. Their skills were once used to support India’s huge signboard industry, but with the rise in technology these painters have been replaced as companies turn to computer graphics and digitally designed signboards.

One of a Finds are offered one time only in a small reserve for collectors and enthusiasts— this table is from a limited edition of 500.

Friday
Feb182011

artist profile: marcus mcclure

In partnership with San Francisco’s Creativity Explored—a nonprofit visual arts center where artists with develop­mental disabilities create, exhibit and sell art—Marcus McClure’s two-dimensional artwork is reinterpreted as a hand-tufted wool rug.

Marcus was born in 1984 and has been a studio artist at Creativity Explored since 2006. Motivated by the physical process within the process of creating his works, he starts with geometric drawings and builds layer upon layer of thick acrylics.

For his abstract works, he usually prefers earthy, muted palettes from burnt oranges to olive greens—which work incredibly well on the watermarks rug over a sea of vibrant blue and turquoise.

To spend one minute with Marcus McClure in the Creativity Explored studio, go here.

Wednesday
Feb092011

artist profile: bret grafton

What’s your favorite element/possession?
My camera.

What do you drive?
I don’t have a car. I take public transport for the most part, and I occasionally rent cars for business.

What one item do you wish you owned?
A portable jet pack

Your personal decorating style is?
Russian prince hiding in Louisiana… is that a style? Eclectic.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
My kitchen, I have a huge framed vintage cafe print in French advertising coffee hanging on the main wall, and I painted the room in warm, vibrant tones. It feels like a coffee house in New Orleans, and cajun is my favorite kind of food.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Books, I read constantly. Great branding. Vintage toys. Tattoos. I sometime think my brain is a snow globe, where each flake is an image or idea and I just shake it up to get inspired.

Where was your favorite place to live?
Other than Chicago…. Rome. I spent 2 weeks there on an artist’s sabbatical. I spent my days eating panini and gelato, and my nights with a tripod and an old film camera. I shot some of the most beautiful photos of the city and the Bernini statues.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
The iPhone. I’m kinda crazy about the thing, I can update my blog, work with clients, show my portfolio, and use Hipstamatic to make art with my phone.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
DIY. Half my furniture is second hand and re-pourposed. I have a great sideboard made from cherry wood with beautiful grain that I got at the Salvation Army for 50$… it took me 2 days to strip the paint off the thing. I also have a 3 drawer coffee table that I picked up from a flea market. It was in great condition except for the top surface, which had some heavy scratches. I got a piece of mdf and some batting that I covered with a thick black leather and attached it to the top. Then I popped steel wheels on the bottom, now it’s a rolling banquet for when I need extra seating.

Who are you design icons?
Way too many to name (here’s a few) Jonathan Adler, Frank Loyd Wright, Hayao Miyazaki, Mondo Guerra…

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Do something artistic—something you’re not getting paid for—every week.

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