Sunday, December 16, 2012

the xmas ladder

if you may remember, i mentioned a while back about an idea that i wanted to create a xmas ladder in lieu of a traditional xmas tree. this is what i have come up with as a result of that idea.

since i've been desiring something different and unique during the past xmas holidays, i found this idea while perusing the internet and immediately fell in love. imagine my surprise when i came across it. i knew this would be my next xmas project. it was something cool, colorful, and of course, something different than the traditional xmas tree that fills most homes during this festive time of year. once i added lights, it brightened the look and feel of this "tree" even more.

i mentioned the idea to my family about 6 months ago and thought they'd look at me like i was completely crazy—maybe i am to a certain extent, but wanted to test it out and see their reaction. they loved the idea and insisted i go further with it once the holidays approached. 

before i decorated the ladder with ornaments and lights, i wanted to be certain that this is what my family still wanted to ensure they were still on board. they protested that this was something i needed to do, if only for my psyche, but their enjoyment as well. they couldn't wait to see the final outcome. 

even i was excited myself.

although the pictures don't give this creation justice, i'm happy with the end result nonetheless. 

athough there currently aren't any presents under the "tree" as of yet, we're excited to add another dimension to what appears to be a new upcoming festive holiday tradition for hopefully years to come.

if you're tired of the same common traditional xmas, and want to add some excitement and flair, why not try many new approaches in lieu of a xmas "tree" instead. your own artistic and imaginative conception will satisfy you, if not in a traditional sort of way.

here are some more xmas "tree" ideas from other creative persons.

the big city

even though i haven't had the luxury of traveling the world, creating these pop art cityskapes definitely gives me that opportunity to "think" i am. i realize it's not the real thing, but it pleases me to give a visual account of what i'd like to see with each city that i desire to visit. although london and new york city are the only cities i've been lucky enough to see, i still include them since they're a few of my favorite regardless.

creating pop art has been a personal past time of mine for a few years now. i've even been lucky enough to sell them online, as well as create personal custom pop art designs for prospective clients. with the cityskapes that i have recently created, i only hope it will add a new dimension with a unique perspective to my work and my designs.

i'm very pleased with the final outcome of these designs and hope that i'll be able to sell them in hopes of producing more. different cities throughout the world that have become well known for their culture, size and of course, large population.

by incorporating a variation of color combintations, it gives me an aesthetic view of what i would interpret of these cities—the vibrance and culture that permeates throughout their alive energy. historical accounts of what transpired centuries prior. an architectural account of impressive magnitude.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

vintage or bust

if you've been following my blog, you will know that i love vintage/pre-own objects—because i love what they encompass and their history; knowing there's a story there. although i may not know the history involved in these objects, it pleases me nonetheless. it's a part of the cycle of life as we continue with the future ahead of us. a desire that ensures our peace of mind. in lieu of buying new (for most objects, of course), we decide to continue with our search of that one single vintage piece in hopes of changing it to what pleases you the most.

as i fill my home mixing new with old, i always add a bright color which only transforms my surroundings. although color won't solve how i may feel at that moment, it makes me happy regardless. something about color encompassing my home gives me a sense of peace. whether it's short-lived or a part of who i am, i know that bright colors filling my life and my home will brighten my day. even if it's only temporary.

my latest obsession has become the busts of small statues. whether or not they're of famous people such as Beethoven, et al, i find the retro creation of a design aesthetic spray painted with my chosen color(s), describes my personality in a way that cannot be explained verbally, but visually instead. maybe in a therapeutic sort of way, it explains for that moment in time, how i feel and how i may look. a funky outlook of something unique that permeates my soul.

as i walked through my local Goodwill, i found these busts sitting lonely on the shelves for a low cost waiting to be loved. since the colors were of a dull patina, i couldn't wait to take them home and give them new life. with spray cans of bright colors sitting on the shelf inside my locker, i couldn't wait to get started on a new project i have been craving for some time now. i knew once i added color, it would bring them a look that may have been unacceptable during its time.

although i still rummage through local eco and second hand shops, i was pleased with the final outcome overall. as i continue my search for vintage busts—or anything of interest, for that matter—i realize that these searches can be beneficial for me, especially allowing me to recycle and create new life to such an old piece, or pieces. a feeling of satisfaction as i salvage another composition of an aesthetic work of 'art.'

Sunday, September 9, 2012

letters as love

i love letters, so naturally as a graphic designer, i love typography as well. since the past several years i have chosen to make painting my hobby and my love (no pun intended here), so i decided to collide both 'loves' as a personal project. in my mind, a successful one as well.

as i contemplated this impending undertaking, it finally hit me—why not small canvases with each individual letter displayed as a way to display both of them together. but how to execute it. at first, i tried something different than the final outcome, and wasn't satisfied with what i came up with at all. as i headed back to the store to buy new canvases—which weren't cheap—i knew i needed to continue my personal project or i would be dissatisfied until i completed it. 

i was on a mission.

i've never really sketched before i painted or started a design project, as i just went with it, but this time, it was different. i had an idea, but didn't know how to engineer it, so sketching was the next best thing for me.

success abound, i continued to work continuously and came up with an idea which you will now see here. an idea that i ultimately loved.

even though paintings like these are not for everyone, they worked for me and worked for the space where i eventually hung them. it was a perfect solution.

the sides of each "cube" were left to the original color that are underneath the thick applied black paint, to make each painting 'pop.' since i was satisfied with the final result and know that i can continue to create more—which i did with the first letters of each of our names in my family as well (haven't taken a picture of those yet). 

as i combined my passion for typography along with painting, it was a personal success. if you've ever thought about something intimate and small, maybe figure out a solution to incorporate the spelling of your favorite word, your last name, or even your first name as a way to display something simple and cherished. whether you choose to use a small canvas such as mine, or a mixture of letters you find through recycled materials, you can also create these symbols of endearment.

Monday, August 27, 2012

old to new

as i've mentioned before in prior posts, i love mixing old objects with new. i've always felt it adds such an eclectic mix throughout my loft and adds a unique flair that isn't seen anywhere else. it's my creative imagination, and my "design" overall.

this past weekend, i found a table for our dining room that was a perfect fit for our small space. i've always loved the look and feel of a quintessential 50's diner style chairs, tables and barstools, but unfortunately where i live, there aren't exactly a plethora of that style where i can mix and mingle this look. however, as i was browsing the for sale section of craigslist, i found this vintage 50's dining table that looked—as my husband labeled—as though we were eating cheeseburgers while being served by a beehived waitress named Flo. for a mere $40, i knew i had to at least go look at it in person.

when i arrived at the gentleman's house who was selling the table, it was covered in—what i call—a bunch of crap. including his TV set and computer. among the dark lighting throughout his small apartment, i knew right then and there that i had to have that table for our dining spot. it was exactly what i had hoped for.

the dimensions were perfect at a small 56" x 32" rectangle which included a rare leaf for such a diner-styled table, which would have fit perfectly for such a small space in our loft. perhaps it did come from an old diner that was appreciated many decades ago by patrons of a retro hangout, which only appealed to me even more.

even though he asked me to pick it up a few days later so he could prepare it for departure, i couldn't wait to arrive with my car ready to load for the trip to its new home. i wanted to leave with it right then and there, but instead, my patience won out and i was forced to wait two whole days.

as we were carrying the table outside to my car, i saw the many stains that permeated the tabletop as though paint had been spilled over several years of wear—but it still didn't discourage my purchase. i couldn't wait to get it home and enjoy our new table for our dining experience.

once my husband and i carried it upstairs, both he and my daughter showed nothing but distaste for the look and feel of the table—a table where we would spend many nights enjoying our dinner. 

or so i thought.

to say the least, i was disappointed with their unhappiness with something i had been so eager to share with my family. it still didn't prevent me from trying to convince them otherwise.

the next day, as i noticed from the sunlight shining throughout the upstairs area, the dark stains that showed its wear over time made me finally give in and reluctantly agree with them. not with the style, of course, but the stains on the tabletop which what i felt, took away from the vintage appeal but only showed dissatisfaction instead. 

while glancing at the table and the surroundings of my loft, the color red immediately sprung to mind. i felt by painting the top red with a gloss coat, would only complement the vintage and retro-diner style instead, thus covering the horrible dark stains.

i was on a mission!

after two coats of paint, i stood there and admired the completion of what looked like a brand new table. i knew this is what was needed to give love and gratefulness as if i purchased it brand new.

i was happy and now, as we continue to eat on our patio as we wind down from the summer months, i'm eager to christen our 'new' table with plentiful amounts of dinner enjoyment and conversation.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

courage. display. success.

today is a new day for me—i'm very excited because last night i posted the last of my paintings at a local hamburger joint in the city where i live. i know it may not seem much since it's just a local hamburger & hotdog restaurant, but for me, it's a matter of pride and self-worth. this is the first time that i have ever exhibited my paintings—or artwork for that matter—anywhere in a local setting. so yeah, it means a lot.

straight view of "pablo," abstract "crazy  mind," 
 & "francis francis espresso machine"

side view of restaurant and paintings

full view of restaurant as you walk in

"pablo," "crazy mind," "francis francis espresso machine,"
"harry potter," "pablo's bowl" & "pablo's bone"

"harry potter," "pablo's bowl," "pablo's bone" & "sting"


it's new for me and i have to admit, i'm a bit nervous. although these particular paintings are not for sale, i'm hoping with the advertising of my business cards beside my work, that someone will call me for that one ideal commission for that one perfect custom painting. but only time will tell.

when i was a senior in college, the art department gives their graduating seniors the opportunity (for extra credits prior to graduation) to host a senior exhibit. i, however, chose not to participate. i was too nervous and too insecure to get involved which ultimately could have turned into something so skittish and apprehensive, that i chose not to participate in fear of getting criticized and rejected. i had no idea how it would have turned out, so i didn't try. it's something i always regretted and wish i could have followed through with instead of running away from it.

do i regret it? absolutely. what did i have to lose? nothing but criticism from local professors and students. although i was a graphic design major, i always enjoyed painting as my "hobby." since i had never studied painting for a foundation course prior to my concentration, i was afraid my amateur status would come to fruition thus causing a public embarrassment for me and my work. 

i was scared.

i've learned over the years, that unless you try something different, you won't be recognized for this divergent step in your career and/or your work. unfortunately, it took me 7 years since i graduated to realize this. although i am filled with regret for this decision, i now know in order to succeed, i have to give it the ole' "college try" or it won't take me any further in my career to feel confident and proud to be an artist. regardless of what the public may think of my work, it's a reflection of me and who i am when i paint and i love it. 

it gives me satisfaction.

when this local restaurant advertised for local artists to showcase their work, i immediately dove in and went for it. i decided to go for my 'oyster' as i had nothing to lose, or gain if i didn't at least try. now i know, as i gaze at my paintings from afar upon walking into the restaurant that i'm excited and i'm proud of myself for going for it. because again, what did i have to lose? nothing, nothing at all.

perhaps this is the start of my career as i know it. whether it be graphic design or as a freelance painter, i know it needed to be done. at least for me and my psyche. although there's the chance that my work may never go farther than these four walls at a local hamburger joint, i can still feel proud that my work was displayed publicly and proudly. 

i showed courage. i displayed my work, and i now have inner success. that says a lot.

One Girl Creative on Twitter

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

i did it

i finally did it. i submitted my project to the denver art museum's upcoming exhibit, open for design. i'm excited and i'm eager to see my idea as an exhibit at this prestigious showing for the public to see. 

this is new to me, and apart of me is nervous, but i know that it will not only enhance my portfolio and resumé, but my psyche as well. it's what i will need to move my work and my fine art skills forward in life and push me to create more, instead of the frustration and disappointment that normally surrounds me as an artist. the frustration that i typically feel on a daily basis.

I submitted my idea & sketch about how I would love to turn an old vacant dilapidated building or wall into a childrens mural of art! with donations from local art stores, craft stores or hardware stores for any kind of paint—from spray paint to tempera paint—children can paint whatever they want. even graffiti will be accepted & welcomed.

this mural will be one-of-a-kind and it'll brighten up any inner-city neighborhood, especially for children whose art classes or programs have been cut by the school district due to funding, this will give them the creative outlet they have been wanting for so long.

there's something so raw about freehand & graffiti art that I have always loved and admired, so including an art display of this magnitude, will increase their confidence and for that one moment in time, this glorious memory that will stay with them for the rest of their lives with give them pleasure.

illustration of an example of my submission

the idea of seeing inner-city children—or any child for that matter—painting abstract works of art, or even as a realistic point-of-view, would be a more pleasing visual than a blank canvas on a wall or building instead. it would bring color to the neighborhood and a little bit of pride for these children as they gaze upon their work for weeks, or months, to come.

as long as the wall or building remain vacant, they can start over with a simple white painted wall over the mural, maybe to include a whole new group of children to showcase their talents as well. another outlet where they can express their thoughts and inner-feelings within this neighborhood project.

as i enjoy this self-acclaimed greatness, i know my confidence will increase exponentially.

as this coming week approaches, i will be exhibiting my paintings at a restaurant for local artists to showcase their work, and although this is a simple display, it's meaningful to me regardless.

i will persevere through my insecurity and add another notch to my portfolio and my resumé to ensure my confidence will increase in time.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

industrialize anything

even a boring lamp that you purchased from a furniture store. a lamp that was mass produced and will be displayed the same when you're visiting someone's home with the same lamp, can be altered to bring a new approach to a once dull design. 

now, this kind of lamp that i'm talking about—mine, for instance—is not exactly a popular style, per se, but this can probably work for any mainstream lamp as well, not just a modern one. it's whatever you choose and whatever you want to work with. either way, it's a unique twist to something simple and even characterless.

i've had these two identical lamps for several years now, and only came up with this idea a few months ago as i stared at them in hopes of replacing them, but one day as i was admiring these particular lamps, i was already contemplating a replacement of both. i wanted something different and i wanted it now! but how? money was tight and most floor lamp styles are expensive—well, at least the ones i wanted.

as i was watching my favorite design show, 9 by design (no longer in production on the bravo network) based on a couple with 7 children who live in NYC who routinely incorporate their design approach old—if not with recycled materials—with the new. a design technique i have adhered to for many years, so i thought it would be the perfect solution to a much needed change to my identical floor lamps—adding an inexpensive fix to my dilemma, by removing a few of the store-bought globes (if not all—depending on how your lamp is designed) and replacing with round bulbs or whatever you want instead. by replacing those boring overused white lightbulbs that are sold at your local grocery store or walmart, and are typically hidden in view, i knew by replacing these bulbs with clear ones instead, by purchasing the round circular ones added an even more industrial twist.

the style is different, and your own twist on a common floor lamp that is mass-produced elsewhere will create an unrivaled end result instead.

i love the final juxtaposition with my art and style of my loft, and of course, it works for me. it may not work with your design of floor lamp, but you can still change things up even with a different bulb, regardless if your lamp doesn't have a style of globe similar to my lamp that seems to work.

even though i wanted something a little more industrial, i still wanted to incorporate a little color to spice things up and also make it more unique to mimic the art and decor of my upstairs loft. as a result, i left a few globes of different colors on each lamp for a more accented style as opposed to a more plain method. not only does this add a unique flair to my lamp, it gives it an even more individual industrial look to give it that extra flair that it would need.

for my particular modern stye of lamp (shown above), with the funky personal bending of the "arms," i'm able to personalize it even more by bending them as shown, whereas each household that have purchased this exact lamp, would be unique, thus allowing me to parody the same idea to incorporate the industrial look, as well.

enjoy playing with your style whatever that may be and you can change things up in your home without spending a lot of money—if any—to embrace these changes.

be imaginative and innovative, and if you don't like it, then bring it back to its original design.

Monday, July 23, 2012

graffiti for the soul

my favorite type of art is graffiti art. why? because there's something about its rawness that captures my interest as i'm in awe taking part in viewing one of these masterpieces. it's not the illegal aspect of graffiti that i like, but how these artists will go to such great lengths to create their art, even if it means stealing spray paint from their local hardware store.

i never knew that buying spray paint would be such a bone of contention until recently when i had to purchase a few cans myself, when they asked me to present my ID. apparently, you now need to be at least 18 years old to purchase spray paint. when did this start, and most importantly, why? right then and there it was clear to me how in this society, the public feels that graffii art has become problematic. 

do i think it has? no, i don't. now don't get me wrong, i realize there's a difference between vandalism, tagging and graffiiti. but as an artist, my point of view is that graffiti is actually art, not just  all the bright colors permeating throughout the piece that appears to be vandal and meaningless, but i love how the magnifying colors glows from afar. i love how their continuous use of color only brightens an area, not dulls it. whether it be a dilapidated wall, building, or even on the side of a train that travels through town heading its way to its next destination. i find it pleasing and i enjoy viewing it, if only for a brief amount of time.

but i realize i'm different because i've never really liked the 'fancy schmancy' type of art, but the rawness of street art as a whole. the kind of art that is displayed and for sale for an outrageous amount of money that not many people can afford, but as an artist myself, that has never been something i've enjoyed or even appreciated. i don't like that kind of art or its pretentious affluent perspective that permeates our souls—and our wallets—while we're viewing it at an overpriced art gallery. but for me, i prefer buying art off the street in NYC from a local artist who struggles through life and bills by selling their art on the street. as a struggling artist myself, i can easily appreciate their devotion to their craft and only wish i could financially support all of it.

one artist who became famous from this illegal street graffiiti was the late keith haring. haring was a master at his craft and never stopped regardless of it being illegal or not, because it was in him and he had to release his artisitic tendencies in order to persevere with what he believed in—street art. like most graffiti art, it brightened up a neighborhood with his dazzling colors and playful pop art designs. as you admire his style and his unique sense of playfulness, you can appreciate what he was trying to convey with his work. 

nyc subway - 1983

as you can appreciate his cause and what he was trying to do, it was obvious that for haring, awareness meant everything to him, so much that he was willing to risk getting arrested (which he did on a number of occasions) just so he can paint to generate interest and understanding for the world to see. that's what was important to him. 

growing up, haring was always inspired by other artists and began to draw what he enjoyed the most. in 1976, keith haring enrolled in the ivy school of professional art in pittsburgh to study commercial art, only to realize soon thereafter that becoming a graphic artist was not what he wanted to pursue, so after only two semesters, haring dropped out.

later that same year, haring enrolled in the school of visual arts (SVA) and moved to NYC where he soon touched upon a thriving art community—outside of the museum and gallery system, by producing his work in the downtown subway systems, streets, spaces in clubs and former dance halls. for haring, this was his calling. he quickly became part of the 1980s new york city street art culture.  

tribute mural 50th anniversary created by haring in 1982 on 
bowery & houston streets in downtown nyc

in 1980, haring found a unique opportunity that allowed him to communicate through a much wider audience when he noticed many unused advertising panels covered with black matte paper. for haring, this was the perfect medium for him to display and create his own style by using white chalk to cover the black paper as his means of communicating his work for the public to appreciate and enjoy—free art! between 1980 and 1985, haring produced hundreds of these public drawings, sometimes creating as many as forty "subway drawings" in a single day. these drawings quickly became familiar to new york commuters, who would often stop to engage the artist when they encountered him at work. 

it was during this time that haring's work quickly exploded onto the NYC art scene.

according to haring, the subway became a "laboratory" for working out his ideas and experimenting with simple lines. his famous sense of artistic style that he became famous for.

both sides of the crack is wack mural on the handball court walls, 
from the crack is wack playground created by keith haring in 1986

original haring artwork created on a vintage coca-cola sign, 1983

throughout haring's career, he devoted much of his time to public works, which often carried social messages. between 1982 and 1989, he produced more than 50 public artworks, in dozens of cities around the world, many of which were created for charities, hospitals, children's day care centers and orphanages.

in 1989, a year after haring was diagnosed with AIDS, he established the keith haring foundation which provides funding and imagery to AIDS organizations and children's programs. unfortunately on february 16, 1990, haring died from AIDS-related complications. 

perhaps before we judge a graffiti work of art on public display, we should internalize what keith haring made aware to the public and what that message means, not just the outcome, but the communication that was meant to be interpreted.

keith, i will always miss your work, and your inspiration to all artists will carry on its legacy.

keith haring sculpture, 'three dancing figures' - san francisco, california 1989

keith haring — may 14, 1958–february 16, 1990

Friday, July 20, 2012

got milk?

in this case, no, i don't have milk, because for this particular project, i don't want, nor do i need milk. it's an idea that i accidentally came upon just from eating at our local hamburger spot.

about a month ago, my daughter decided that she wanted to get rid of her large dollhouse that was given to her by my parents at the age of 6. now that she's 12, it was time to move on as she will soon embark on her teen years. however, once we removed the dollhouse, nothing but an empty blank wall was now present, so we realized that coming up with an idea might be a challenging one. the next visualiztion in lieu of our typical painting or piece of art, was to replace that empty wall with shelving. we thought it'd be the perfect solution to replace that area with something where she can display her old dolls, but for other random items as well.

but money was tight for us, so typical shelving units were just too expensive to even consider, and of course, they also weren't modern enough than from what i typically love. since i have always had a fondness for modern and simple decor, one thing i have always adhered to for any sort of display, is the eclectic mix of recycled/pre-owned objects with a modern twist while sharing new objects in my home. i prefer it this way, because it's my way of incorporating the old with the new; a way of being resourceful of discarded items in our city. 

i've always loved this mix of decor and i find it important as a way to recycle materials throughout your home.

why not? why does everything have to be traditional and common? why not be creative and experimental and inventive instead?

for an inexpensive idea—or free for that matter, shhh!—that i came up with in lieu of regular shelving for her bedroom, but not just something creative and cool looking, but resourceful, because let's face it, isn't it about how 'cool' something looks, and not your quintessential piece of furniture that you see in most people's home?

for me, the answer is definitely! it's how i've always rolled when it comes to decorating my loft. even my paintings are more colorful and funky than the typical common art that you commonly see anywhere else.

lime green, anyone?

as i started my quest to get my project started, i knew it would be a challenge to 'find' what i needed to look for—milk crates! yup, you read this right—because i thought milk crates would be a perfect solution to a much complex situation—and of course, an inexpensive one as well.

since those cool bratz dolls that were so popular not too long ago are no longer in production, it was another fix where she could save them with hopes of turning them into collector's items in the future; perhaps an idea that she wanted for displaying them properly for her friends to see!

why not turn more milk crates into side tables as well? a perfect solution for a limited and sparse space, displaying one on each side.

with adding old style and pre-used milk crates to her bedroom, i realized how much i liked this idea for her small bedroom, so i also integrated the milk crates throughout my loft. why not?

our bedroom is also limited on space so adding an industrial-style shelving unit 
($80 at sam's club) with a few milk crates for added storage of sweaters & other winter items.

a perfect solution for a small space in our laundry area

although these particular locations where we utilized the pre-used milk crates was practical, i knew i wanted to add a little something newer and a lot more colorful to mimic our upstairs living area, so tossing in newer crates would be a little more fun than the plain black or blue crates that you would typically find at your local grocery store. what better way to make use of our much larger wasted space above our kitchen sink than fun colorful ones instead?

for some, this idea might not be an acceptable one, but that's ok, maybe it'll give you the inspiration you'll need to get started on an upcoming project, if not an unusual decorative idea throughout, because if not within your home, maybe just an idea overall.

even though money might not be a problem or a concern for you at this time, or maybe you just want to bring forth a different and unique perspective to your home, this pioneering approach that you won't normally see anywhere else, will generate a buzz as a result of this innovative verge, because i assure you, your friends WILL be impressed.

it's not just for college dorms anymore.