Amy van Luijk is one of those illustrators that just makes you smile. Her designs are nostalgic and evoke a certain whimsical charm to them. The color palettes, shapes, 2D style and subject matter, all reductive yet come together in a way that is warms the heart. Taking inspiration from her surroundings and picking up new colored paper everywhere she goes, Amy’s process includes a lot of cutting and pasting followed by hand drawn detail work. A pattern designer first, Amy has a breadth of experience under her belt including working for Meri Meri, which for any stationery junkies, is pretty much the holy grail of handmade cards and party favors. Below are some of my favorite designs, both from personal and commissioned pieces. Find Amy’s work on stationery, ceramics, canvas bags, book illustrations and more. Personally I think a few of these would make lovely wallpapers for children’s rooms especially the illustrated maps which you could customize for family heritage and interests. Possibilities are endless and the good news is, she is open to commissions and her patterns are licensable! Check out her entire portfolio here.
I often daydream of Ireland, romanticizing of the raw beautiful landscapes, cold damp weather and effortlessly country chic aesthetic. There’s just something so beautifully wild about it. Not to mention the Irish accent that makes me weak in the knees! – but that’s a topic for another day. 😉
Superfolk is inspired by Ireland and all of its romanic glory. Located on the West Coast of the Island, Design Duo Gearoid Muldowney and Jo Anne Butler are dedicated to creating simple, beautiful, material-led designs and homewares.
If there is one thing that I like more than a big, deep, relaxing bath, it’s a big comfy, fluffy, white bed. Now, combine the two and you’ve found your way into this girl’s heart. Since the weather has been so dark and dreary I’ve found myself searching for these two comforts. Hopefully, one of these days, I will be able to make a bath-in-the-bedroom a reality for myself but until then, join me, by drooling over a few of my favorites sourced from the World Wide Web below. I can feel the inspired relaxation warming over me already.
I’ve been seeing a trend lately in textiles that I’m love, love, loving. Designers are utilizing photography to create beautiful abstract textiles that are used for everything from dresses to totes, to clutches and scarves. Ink & Tailor is a master of this intersection between visuals, textiles and design, and in their case it’s in the world of oversized, beautifully-handcrafted scarves.
Each scarf is born from a photograph, taken by the founders themselves. Some are wide open natural landscapes, some are industrial scenes and some are macro objects but all are beautiful and take on a completely new life when coiled around your body. It’s the ultimate transformative piece. The fabric is a blend of cotton and silk and has a wonderful delicate strength that each image seems to defuse within. And with the entire collection being made in the USA, what’s not to fall in love with?
Like I’m seeing with a lot of new small batch creative collections lately, brand voice and imagery are extremely strong and Ink & Tailor is no exception. Their logo is simple, modern and the concept behind it is lovely. Ink & Tailor is a collaboration between Maya von Geldern and K’era Morgan. Two lifelong friends who met in Art School over 20 years ago, August 28th 1993. Living in Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles, CA their logo is inspired by a postage stamp and that’s no coincidence. Deeply rooted in the Ink & Tailor philosophy is the respect for travel, new ideas, the convergence of cultures and, of course, the effect it has on our souls. Each scarf is accompanied with custom tag detailing where the image originated; a nice connection, rooting scarf and image in a deeper purpose.
They’re new on the block so show them some love and follow them on Instagram for everything from a new way to tie your scarf to daily reminders that beauty is all around us. And make sure to check out their e-commerce site. To welcome fall they’re offering 20% off for the rest of September with code SEPT20, so shop till you drop. Gift giving season is just around the corner. That’s if you have enough self control to buy one for someone else and not yourself!
Check out images below from their inaugural collection along with the photographs that inspired the textile design.
I love a good clutch, tote and of course, cross body messenger. Couple great styling of these with thoughtful handcrafted textiles that are independently designed and you’ve got a lifelong fan in me. Lee Coren hits the mark on every level with her dynamic collection of everyday essentials.
Each Lee Coren piece is created from handmade, screen printed fabric originally designed or printed from photographs. I’m currently obsessed with textiles of any kind made from photographic imagery and her Landscape Clutches are no exception. Depending on what design the textile is used for each piece of photography takes on a new abstract form. It’s a modern way to transform organic visuals.
But better yet, is the diversity of her collections. Each take on their own distinct personality but are still rooted in the urban and natural juxtaposition from which the label was born. My favorite collection is below, Lookbook 3, because it makes me think of summer which we are currently basking in. But her Fall collection in Lookbook 4 is moody and organic yet urban and sexy. Pretty much what Fall is all about, right?!
Lee Coren is handcrafted and designed in Tel Aviv, Israel. But don’t worry! You can purchase online here. And for those of you in Portland, you can find a few handpicked pieces at our favorite local jewelry design boutique, Betsy & Iya.
I first came across MEEP! in my Instagram feed, while actually MEEP!’s illustrations. I’m a huge illustration fan and when I see things for kids that are both sophisticated and beautifully produced I take notice. With further research I found out that the illustrations are in fact for an interactive children’s book and the inspiration behind the book will make you want to buy it on the spot.
Andy Geppert, MEEP!’s author, illustrator and creator, found himself consoling his six year old daughter one day after school because she was being teased for being small and her friend for having red hair. The fact that this was happening so early in his daughter’s life made him sad, got him thinking and the rest is history. So, beside’s being aesthetically beautifully, MEEP! has a purpose and was born from a pure place, to celebrate the differences in each of us and promote sharing. MEEP is about individuality and being proud and confident to be, well, you.
Andy worked in Advertising as an Art Director for ten years before changing to focus solely on producing beautiful digital illustrations that speak to our inner child. His first book Little Big Tree, was a joint winner of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Crichton Award 2010 and his digital illustrations are displayed in boutiques and galleries. Which means you can also purchase prints. Fabulous.
Lucky for us because Andy has generously agreed to make MEEP! free for STH readers for two weeks from this post date. So hurry up and download the app here!
He also has created a handful of beautifully designed printable activity sheets (displayed below) that are available for free download here. And if you’re in the market for some affordable prints for your child’s room, check those out here.
I love a good statement necklace, so you can imagine my delight when I came across this rope necklace collection, Neon Zinn. It’s almost an injustice to just call them necklaces; they are far more than that. Part architectural, part sculptural, these necklaces are works of art in their own right. The collection, hand crafted by Artist/Designer Seth Damm, is inspired by the unique and particular in all of us; each necklace acting as a communication vessel with our creative potential. And with that I say, all abroad!
Starting with plain 100% organic cotton rope, each section is hand dyed in small batches. Using different techniques of twisting and braiding the rope is then fastened together with twine, thread and ribbon helping to anchor each piece.
The use of color and material is just outstanding. Structural because of the way the rope is bound together yet wearable because of the material, cotton rope. Add some beautifully placed color to this juxtaposition and we’ve got a winner. I’m obsessed.
I’ve picked a few of my favorites below along with an image to show scale. They androgyny of them is just another check on my list of loves. These pieces truly are wearable art.
To check out more of Seth’s work jump over to his site.
I don’t know how I missed this but imagine my absolute delight when I opened by J.Crew Style Guide last night to find Sophia Webster has teamed up for a colab. Her designs are fun, fresh, original, sporty, sophisticated, modern (I could go on) they mix prints, break rules and are anything but boring. I’ve been in love, love, love, with her designs since she hit the scene a few years back.
To shop the collection head over to J.Crew.
To learn more about Sophia and see the rest of her creations head over to her site.
Just 90 minutes south of San Diego across the border in Mexico resides a beautiful boutique hotel that is spearheading a movement called the “antiresort”. This term may not be new to some of you but it was for me and as a lover of boutique hotels for their charming, smaller and more intimate flavor, it was music to my ears.
Encuentro Guadalupe is absolutely stunning. Set on a secluded hill in Baja California’s Valle de Guadalupe it’s located just east of the port city of Ensendada. Nestled perfectly into the hillside are 20 free standing, modern eco-lofts and a clubhouse that are intentionally meant to weather and age over time in the same color pallet of valley; slowly blurring the line between dwelling and nature. The design of the antiresort is modern and minimalist with clean lines and simple decor allowing for guests to relax unwind and recharge.
Situated in a Mediterranean microclimate (one of 5 in the world) the weather is much different than the rest of Mexico, as we know it, and is home to Mexico’s wine country. I know! News to me as well, Mexico has a wine country. Therefore, the hotel features it’s own tasting room as is surrounded by vineyards. The antiresort also features numerous on-site organic gardens that grow the restaurant’s vegetables. Add a pool, bar, jacuzzi and complimentary wifi to that and I’m sold. #antiresort from here on out!
The hotel was conceived by Baja entrepreneurs Juan Yi an Alfredo Acosta with the help of Mexico architectural firm Gracia Studios.
To lean more or book hop over to their site here.
As a gifted fashion illustrator in the 1980’s, Tony Viramontes worked with the best (Chanel, Dior, Valentino,YSL, Pierre Cardin, etc) and rapidly grew a cult following. Soon other works followed including editorials for Vogue, The Face and Le Monde, album covers for Arcadia and Janet Jackson’s 1986 “Control” as well as portraits of movers and shakers of the time (René Russo, Paloma Picasso and Isabella Rossellini to name a few). To this day his bold and angular work stands out against the more delicate fashion illustrations that have become the norm. Not to mention that they just looks so 80’s which I absolutely love (insert René Russo here.) Unfortunately his gifted life was cut short by aids in 1988 at the age of 31.
Lucky for us, this month we’re paying homage to the master of illustration. If you’re in the market, twenty-five of his original works went on sale yesterday on 1stDibs. If only a girl was so lucky! Bergdorf Goodman is also doing a Viramontes tribute in their windows this month and next month a monograph of his life hits shelves, “Bold, Beautiful and Damed” (Laurence King, $50).
For a great piece on the artist, check out 1stDibs introspective story here.