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Entries in artist (70)


artist profile: matthew lew

Where was your favorite place to live?
This is tough…I love Chicago, but I also love San Sebastian, Spain and Kauai, Hawaii. If I could do all three throughout the year, that would be great!

What’s your favorite room at home?
I just bought a new condo, so I’m not quite sure yet. I have my design plans all together and I think the powder room is gonna be pretty amazing because it’s small and you can just do some out-of-the-box design styles with it to really make a statement.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Travel. Something that makes me laugh. Color combinations. Chicago architecture. Music.

What do you drive?
I ride the CTA buses and trains, or I use an i-Go car.

What are your interests outside of design?
Too many to name so I’ll just name a few: I love PB and J sandwiches, speaking Spanish, reciting the lines from my favorite movies: Goonies, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and Tootsie. Mimosa brunches—also known as Sunday Funday!

Who are your design icons?
LOVE Jonathan Adler (whimsical, fun and bold…he can do no wrong in my book), Antonio Gaudi (brilliant architect and designer, I love his unique and highly individualistic designs as well as his mosaics), Gio Ponti (amazing furniture with fine lines as well as funky unique pieces).

Form vs. function?
Both. Success is a balance of form and function together where both help deliver the idea and create the ultimate consumer experience.

Your decorating style is ____?
Masculine Bohemian meets Vintage Modern meets Happy Graphic

What’s your favorite element/possession?
My 1912 Vintage Bank Safe that I turned into a secret bar!

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Sour Gummy Worms or Sour Patch Kids—but I only eat the red and orange ones.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Make a mosaic statement on an accent wall using 8.5x11” black and white photo copies of a repeated image. It can be done without damaging your wall, and for under $25 depending on your wall size.


artist profile: brian everett

Where was your favorite place to live?
So far it’s been living in Kansas City. It has a small town feel, with all the offerings that larger urban areas have. Fantastic restaurants, and the art & music scene is very impressive.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Without a doubt it’s music. I can’t go a single day without listening to something. I’ve been playing the guitar for about 10 years, and used to play in a small band in college. Music is such a huge influence on my life, and sometimes I wonder if I should have chosen a career in the music industry.

Who are your design icons?
Definitely the Eames and Raymond Loewy as early examples. One of my favorite current designers would have to be Tom Dixon.

Form vs. function?
Function—which isn’t to say you can’t have both. I don’t think it is necessarily one or the other but for me, form follows function. You could design the coolest looking chopsticks on the planet, but if they can’t pick up sushi, what’s the point?

What’s your favorite element/possession?
A Saarinen side chair—that I found!

What one item do you wish you owned?
Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House. Does that count as an item?

What are your sources of inspiration?
Anything in my day to day life can trigger inspiration for me, but one of my main sources would have to be nature. I am forever obsessed with trees.


artist profile: parvez taj

What are your sources of inspiration?
Human expression.

Form or function?

What is your signature?
Stan Smith tennis shoes with the green back.

What is your personal decorating style?
Reclaimed rustic infused with modern.

Do you have a favorite possession?
My computer is the most important.

What one item do you wish you owned?
A house.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
I have the most fun in my bedroom—but I can’t say I have a favorite room.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Use nails and string to make interesting patterns on a wall or ceiling. I once covered a 1000 sq ft popcorn ceiling for $100.—and it looked cool.

Where was your favorite place to live?
I lived in Goa, India with a big group of friends for over 6 months. We lived in an old Portuguese mansion on the beach and watched the sun set everyday.

Favorite artist? Designer?
I define an artist as someone who’s expressing their sense of self—regardless of the medium. So belief in the individuals’ human spirit is the only common tread between my favorites.

My favorite artist is always changing but right now it’s Lil Wayne. I think his music is exceptional and I believe in him.

What’s the best career advice you ever received?
Richard Branson’s biography is full of great advice.


one of a finds: madhubani painting

madhubani painting

The naive art form of Madhubani painting has been passed down from mother to daughter, generation to generation, exclusively by the Hindu women in the remote Mithila region of northern India. For centuries, paintings were created on the walls and floors of village homes to designate auspicious spaces for festivals and rituals. After this agricultural region suffered a severe drought in the 1960s, the women began selling their paintings on paper to provide food, clothing and education for their children.

This one of a find is a limited edition of 440 original paintings by artist Lalita Devi. Lalita grew up painting at her mother’s side but has been paralyzed for the past 19 years. With the help of family members who steady her hand, she continues to work her craft and share her vision.

In this piece it’s of a jungle where prey and predator live together in harmony. The brilliant colors are made from natural spices, leaves, flowers and soot, and are applied with a cotton-wrapped stick.

It wasn’t easy choosing just one from so many wonderful pieces, but each time we view the painting we’re awestruck knowing there’s so much more to the story depicted and we’re thrilled to share it.


creativity explored

Creativity Explored is a non-profit visual arts center in San Francisco where local artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit, and sell their artwork. Initiated in 1983 by Florence and Elias Katz based on the principal that all people have the ability to create, and that artistic expression is a viable means to self-growth, they support artists with workspaces, materials, and studio sessions.

Over a year ago our San Francisco store manager asked the staff how they could connnect with local organizations, and voila they discovered Creativity Explored. They soon coordinated an in-store event where select artists were invited to paint one of our bentwood dining chairs; they were then auctioned and profits directly benefited the organization (two examples are shown above).

We loved the chairs and continue to admire the artwork and artists on their website. So starting this Fall, in an effort to combine our eco- and social-conscious causes, we married the two and came up with a reusable canvas tote featuring artwork by a participating artist.

For our first collaboration, a limited edition of 2700 gallery totes will feature “Houses” by artist Antonio Benjamin; and for every tote produced, a percentage of the proceeds will go directly to Creativity Explored. Each tote is made of 100% unbleached cotton with lead- and cadmium-free inks.

Would you like to know when our next project debuts? In the meantime, Creativity Explored has themed exhibitions planned through 2009. Check out their website for the roster and selected works available for purchase.

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