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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.

Wednesday
Jan262011

artist profile: valerie jenkins

wood birds pillowValerie Jenkins is a native San Franciscan who joined the Creativity Explored studios in 2001.

When she talks, it’s as if she’s speaking in the form of a poem. So it’s not surprising that the lines in her beautiful visuals seem to be drawn from her innate lyrical quality.

Valerie works predominately with watercolors, ink and colored pencil on paper and her subject matter is varied—usually inspired by photographs—and sometimes letters, words, or numbers are incorporated in the final piece.

To spend one minute with Valerie Jenkins in the Creativity Explored studio, go here.

Friday
Jan212011

a second look: matthew lew

Last May we featured a profile of artist Matthew Lew—but almost a year ago did we have any idea of the quantity and the diversity of the projects we’d collaborate on?

To get the very latest on Matthew, see his profile in the CS Interiors, Winter 2011 issue and check out these new pillows and rugs on cb2.com.

Wednesday
Jan192011

todd selby exhibit: atlanta

What: Photographs by Todd Selby
When: January 21 thru March 25, 2011
Where: Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta

Opening reception with the artist, this Friday, January 21st, from 6-8pm.

There will also be an informal artist talk, Saturday, January 22nd, at 11am.

Call ahead!

Monday
Jan102011

designer profile: michael solheim

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
It depends on your definition of design. Modern Formula 1 cars are the best designed item from an engineering perspective, and maybe some of the Apple or OXO products from a usability perspective. But for pure aesthetic sensibility I like Jasper Morrison’s Low Pad chair for Cappellinni, the 1961 Ferrari 250 Berlinetta, and Naoto Fukawasa’s humidifier for +/- 0.

Form vs. function?
Both, but function comes first.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Music, movies, traveling, art, and culture. Often I try to think about products I’d like to own myself. I recently saw an exhibit in Tokyo called Memories of Cartier, which was very inspiring.

What one item do you wish you owned?
A vintage wooden bar.  It would be fun to play bartender and mix a few drinks for friends.

Where was your favorite place to live?
Rome is hard to beat for all of its history, art, design, and food. I spent a summer there learning Italian, traveling to see art, drinking espresso, and making friends.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
The kitchen. I love food and drinks.

What’s your favorite possession?
My espresso machine.  Morning with a good cup of coffee is my favorite time of the day.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Travel.  I indulge in going places rather than buying things.  My recent travel indulgence was subletting an apartment in Tokyo for a month.

What is your signature?
Lacoste.  I have a baby picture where I’m wearing a green Lacoste polo, and I’ve loved the brand ever since.  Happy to wear the clothes whether they’re in or out of style at the current time.

What’s the best career advice you ever received?
My Dad always told me “work hard, be smart, have fun”.  It’s also important to dream big.  You will have setbacks, but never give up.