Monday, September 1, 2014

Interview with Dari Design Studio

Dari Design Studio Fun is What I do

I am so excited about this month's Lovely Ink created by super artist sister duo, Dari Design Studio. Their piece is bold, bright, and playful just like them! Just looking at this piece puts a spring in my step and reminds me of that sweet anticipation of the first day of school (no not highschool, I am thinking more like 1st and 2nd grade when it is all new and fresh.) And imagine how cool this would look in a white simple frame in your work space. What a great reminder!

If you want to receive a free 8x10" printable and desktop wallpaper of this "Fun is What I Do " print sign-up for Lovely Ink here. Every month, Lovely Ink delivers free inspirational art to your inbox.

I have this super special interview to share with Dariana and Dariela. Peak inside their creative process and their inspiring and harmonious collaboration. Enjoy! 


Dari Design Studio Photo Portrait 2 sisters

Take us through your creative process of making your piece for Lovely Ink?
A lot of the times we realize we enjoy very small details of life. For example we love staring at a cute corner we just decorated in the house. Or when we move we will spend enormous amounts of time browsing for pretty home office decorations for the new space. It is hard to explain how much satisfaction of just staring at cute furniture put together in a space can give us. We have learned to notice these joyful sparks, because we know that attraction is a huge resource of our day to day inspiration.

Dari Design Studio Hearts and Arrows Pattern

In this case, we found ourselves going through lots of online places trying to find nice furniture pieces and other elements for the home office. We thought of how important it is to have an inspiring space to work from, specially when you work from home. That made us think of all the people out there also working from home and hoping to make their space better and more inspiring. When we put those two thoughts together Boom! The idea came to life! We started designing an art piece that could add a unique touch to a working space (we drew most of the pieces we wanted to buy) and that could also remind others (and us) that when we love what we do is such a joy to work.

What drew you to the inspirational saying you used in your Lovely Ink piece?
To us there is no other way to design and express art. It has to be happy!! We can't help but to work with bright and happy elements. The quote really came from what we feel when we design, and since design is what we do, it just made sense to say "Fun is what I do". Also we try to keep quotes handy as a reminder, inspiration and motivation. Remembering what our passion is and how good it feels to do what we do can serve us well on those days when business doesn't seem as fun.

Dari Design Studio Amulets, Tee-Pees and Arrow Pattern

Was there a moment in your life when you first fell in love with making things?
Yes, we both fell in love with crafting since we were young girls, we made little drawers to place our jewelry in paper mache together and we were always creating new things for our rooms out of paper or any other materials.

Where in your life do you find the most inspiration for your art?
Dariela: I find it in those unexpected moments, for example when I’m running outdoors I look at my surroundings and I get inspired to design based on what I see: the beach, the home decorations, the lifestyle of where I am at.
Dariana: In nature, in my enjoyment for the things I like, in the experiences I treasure, in what I eat, in my relationships, in amazing and easy flowing color palettes and in the streets

Dari Design Studio Bikes and Triangles Pattern


What would be your absolute dream project - no limitations?
To create and design a big line of bedding, home decor and stationery

Who are some of your favorite artists, illustrators or surface designers?
Jessica Swift, Helen Dardik, Elizabeth Olwen, Erica Hite, Masha Manapov, Dinara Mirtalipova, Lotta Jansdotter, Joy Cho, Jen Ramos, Susan Kitchen and many more!

Dari Design Studio Red Blue Modern Floral Pattern


What are your favorite design or art blogs that you would like to share with your fans?

Made by Girl: http://madebygirl.blogspot.com/

Meisi: http://meisi.es/

A Beautiful Mess: http://abeautifulmess.com/

Oh Joy: http://www.ohjoy.com/

Design Love Fest: http://www.designlovefest.com/

Dari Design Studio Maps and Hearts Pattern

Free Inspirational Art Free Desktop Wallpapers and Free Printables

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Imaginary Cats, Month of Cats, and Studio Sale to Come

Watercolor Painting of a Anime Cat by Nicole Piar

I have really been delighting in these little fuzzy friends that keep visiting me through the portal of my watercolor brushes. I am  doing a Month of Cats for October in celebration of Halloween where I paint one cute meow each day.

Then, I would put all my original watercolor cats up for adoption in a one week flash Studio Sale the first week of December. What do you think of this idea?

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to enjoy my #MonthofCats
and if you really LOVE CATS, you can sign-up here to receive a daily email with a pic of the daily cat painting and a little quote, poetry or story snippet for the month of October.

Pink and Brown and purple Cat Illustration by Nicole Piar Anime

Pink Blue Grey Anime Cat Painting by Nicole Piar


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Blank Canvas Blog Hop: Coming Soon in September


I am so excited to be participating in the The Blank Canvas Blog Hop September 8 -22nd. A group of diverse visual artists will be sharing their techniques for beginning a new piece and facing the endless possibilities, trepidation, and the unknown. How do we begin and how does that effect the artistic journey that we take?

There will also be many give-aways so you have a good chance of getting some cool FREE STUFF!
For instance, I will be giving away a $100 gift card for art supplies at Dick Blick.

So mark your calendar for Sept. 22 and come visit my blog for a chance to win and have everything you need for a creative extravaganza!



P.S. I made the Blank Canvas Blog Hop logo/badge. Hope you like it!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Interview with Jessica Swift: August Lovely Ink Artist


This August, our Lovely Ink art is generously provided by the acclaimed artist and designer, Jessica Swift. Drink in the rich golden hues and savor the warm inner glow of happiness and excitement. Let this piece remind you to explore the radiant world this summer. Even if you are not traveling to far-off exotic locales, look a little closer at the world right around you and discover the complex and unique sensory delights right under your nose.

As William Blake says, "To see a world in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour. "

If you want to receive a free 8x10" printable and desktop wallpaper of this golden inspirational painting sign-up for Lovely Ink here. Every month, Lovely Ink delivers free inspirational art to your inbox.

I was lucky enough to interview Jessica Swift and share it with you here. She shares a childhood memory of art-making, her exciting dream project and more. Her enthusiasm for life and art is contagious. Enjoy!

intuitive abstract painting by Jessica Swift

Take us through your creative process of making your piece for Lovely Ink?
My pieces start out with creating a mixed media textured background out of materials like paper, acrylic paint, cut paper, oil pastels, stencils, etc. I then scan that artwork into my computer, manipulate the colors digitally (sometimes!), and layer text on top. Voila! That is the process, plain and simple.

The world needs what you have to offer sweet one by Jessica Swift


What drew you to the inspirational saying you used in your Lovely Ink piece?

I love to travel, and there is so much beauty in the world. I was inspired by the idea of exploring, and 'radiant' is one of my favorite words.... thus, the phrase was born.

Quiet Calm I love you by Jessica Swift


Was there a moment in your life when you first fell in love with making things?

I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my mom when I was probably about 3 or 4 years old, while she drew crazy birds in my sketchbook. I'd copy her birds, we'd color and name them together.... it was the best. That's one of my earliest art-making memories, and I've loved making things ever since.

Abstract Nature Intuitive painting by Jessica Swift


Where in your life do you find the most inspiration for your art?

I find a lot of inspiration in just STARTING. The process of putting paint brush to canvas, or playing with color palettes on my computer screen, starts the creative process for me. It's all very intuitive, and I never know what something is going to look like -- the element of surprise, for me, is very inspirational.

Let the Kiss of the great mystery sweep your soul towards its deepest calling by Jessica Swift


What would be your absolute dream project - no limitations?

Gosh, there are so many! Here's a recent one: getting paid to travel around the world, finding inspiration in different cultures, with the ultimate goal of writing/illustrating a kids book about the experience.

Gold and pink intuitive painting yoga Jessica Swift


Who are some of your favorite artists, illustrators or surface designers?


Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality. Jessica Swift


What are your favorite design or art blogs that you would like to share with your fans?

I don't read many blogs these days, but I always love Print + Patternand I've been really inspired by Little Green Notebook lately, too.

Yoga Intuitive Painting by Jessica Swift

And if you are interested in learning about making beautiful and functional patterns, Jessica Swift will be launching a brand new e-course called, Pattern Camp. You can sign out to get on the waiting list today.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wandering through the World: Watercolor Paintings and Ink Sketches

Fairy Tale Watercolor Painting by Nicole Piar
In the Winter Wood by Nicole Piar
I have been making a lot of intuitive watercolor paintings where I just begin to paint and see what scene or creature emmerges. I have doodled and sketched like this a lot in ink but doing this in watercolor has been a fun way to expand and explore. Also watercolor occupies this liminal territory between intention/order and accident/chaos.

Ink Sketch doodle flowers girl meadow nature Nicole Piar
Through the Meadow by Nicole Piar
I have noticed a theme starting to reoccur (aside from magical cats which I will share later :) It is of a figure traveling through nature and discovering what lies beyond each bend, each hill and each grove. This theme of entering and wandering through contains such a sense of wonder and mystery for me. It is a perfect metaphor for the creative process as well:  I enter my inner world, peer inside, and journey to imagined lands.

If you would like to see my watercolor and ink doodles as they are created, I often post them on my instagram. You can follow me here: http://instagram.com/ghostkittenart

Magical Painting by nicole Piar
In the Last Light of Day by Nicole Piar

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Interview with Anne Bollman: Lovely Ink July artist


Anne Bollman, of Anne was Here, is gracing our July with the cheerful courage of this flower-maned lion. Her illustrations depict a world inhabited by quirky, friendly characters who nestle into our hearts and make us giggle and play – the perfect thing to get us into the spirit of the summer and bring out the child in us all. 

If you want to receive a free 8x10" printable and desktop wallpaper of this sweet lion and his striped-tail mouse friend, sign-up for Lovely Ink here. Every month, Lovely Ink delivers free inspirational art to your inbox.

We were lucky enough to have Anne share some of her inspiration and creative process below. Enjoy!



Take us through your creative process of making your piece for Lovely Ink?
I started with the quote and broke it down into the key words of creativity and courage. Next I brainstormed imagery that I associate with those words. One of the images that I associate with courage, from growing up watching The Wizard of Oz, is a lion. Since I love drawing animals I went with that one! Then I thought about how I could make him a creative lion and had the idea to have his mane be made up of colorful flowers. I start in my sketchbook and draw many iterations until I have one that I am happy with. Then I scan it and bring it into photoshop where I use the sketch as a template for my design. I draw right on top of it using my Wacom pen and tablet. Once I'm done with the drawing I add texture. Then I tweak the colors too many times until I need to go to bed and that's when I know I'm finished!



What drew you to the inspirational saying you used in your Lovely Ink piece?
I have always loved this quote by Matisse. I think it is especially meaningful for artists who have to have courage in so many facets of their life in order to pursue their passions. We give up financial stability and also put ourselves out there for the world to criticize in a way that many people never have to do.













































Was there a moment in your life when you first fell in love with making things?
I can't remember because it's been ever since I learned to use my hands. My mom has saved all of my early creations to prove it! I once made a robot costume out of a brown paper grocery bag, an old Kleenex box and some markers. I later used a picture of myself sporting this costume for my resume and somehow got a job with it.

Where in your life do you find the most inspiration for your art?
The world around me! It took me way to long to figure this out though. You really have to open your eyes and heart to it to see. I recently went to the zoo with my two year old nephew and it was so fun and inspiring experiencing it with him. Imagine you've never seen a zebra before....seriously. It is a horse with crazy high contrast stripes all over his body, who has a mohawk that is also striped. It blew my mind seeing the zebra through my nephew's eyes. Expect an Anne Was Here collection featuring zebras soon!



What would be your absolute dream project - no limitations?
I am so new to this I'm sure my answer will become more grandiose with time, but for now, I would love to illustrate a children's book with a reputable publisher.












































Who are some of your favorite artists, illustrators or surface designers?
Dr. Suess, Helen Dardik, Emily McDowell, Mike Lowerey, Lisa Congdon, Ashley Goldberg, Gemma Correll, Carolyn Gavin, Lotta Jansdotter, Nate Williams, Oliver Jeffers, Jon Klassen, Mary Blair, Muxxi, Steve Simpson and Mark Ryden - Just to name a few. ;)

What are your favorite design or art blogs that you would like to share with your fans?
Print and Pattern, Design Milk, Orange You Lucky, Today Is Going To Be Awesome, Love Print Studio, The Alison Show




Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lovely Ink Artist: Kat Kalindi Cameron Interview

inspirational art kat kalindi cameron
June Lovely Ink piece by Kat Kalindi Cameron
Welcome to the RAINBOW magic world of ultimate cuteness that is Kat Kalindi Cameron's art. She is our June Lovely Ink artist and will be proving a myriad of eye candy for us all. This month take a moment to see yourself with fresh eyes and relish all the ways you amaze yourself.

If you would like a free 8x10" printable or desktop wallpaper of the piece above, please visit my site and sign-up for Lovely Ink here.

Enjoy this interview with the lovely Kat Kalindi Cameron: licensing artist with Forest Foundry, illustrator, surface designer and maker of cuteness~

Take us through your creative process of making your piece for Lovely Ink?
Well I knew I wanted to make something fun and bright that would stand out and I really like the idea of coloured rain. I have a thing about umbrellas and rain and rainbows so I wanted to include that in one piece. I also like having cute girls with different hair colours, so this one worked well.

cat mushroom umbrella happy kawaii illustration
"I have a thing about umbrellas and rain and rainbows."
What drew you to the inspirational saying you used in your Lovely Ink piece?
I had been playing with the idea of 'I believe in you' but it didn't seem enough to me. I think quotes are inspirational and best when they are received by someone else, I thought it would be much more fun for someone to be told they are 'All KINDS of AMAZING" - so i merged the two together and came up with this! 

rainbow bird kawaii inspirational illustration
"I've always loved doodling"
Was there a moment in your life when you first fell in love with making things?
Gosh that's hard to remember, I've always loved doodling but never really took it as a sign I could make it as a career. I think I fell in love with it even more once people actually started to ask me to create art and wanted to pay me for it!! I couldn't believe my luck! 

Kat Kalindi Cameron art cat butterfly flowers cute
A unique blend of kawaii, mid-century flavor, and a playful, colorful whimsy
Where in your life do you find the most inspiration for your art?
I do love japanese culture - mostly the cute and quirky. Also i love mid century design and vintage childrens illustrators. Although I do find since having my kids they make up cute stories and have the most amazing ideas, they seem pretty trivial, but to me I think 'oh that's gold', i have to draw that or make something inspired by that! 

children's illustration girl playground bunny


What would be your absolute dream project - no limitations?

Dream project? hmmm having someone that would bank roll my own collection of products. I would create an entire collection of bedding, homewares, stationery and knick knacks. It would be full of cute icons, glitter, bright colours, quirky quotes, rainbows, clouds, animals and lots of love! 

angel cute mid-century christmas illustration



Who are some of your favorite artists, illustrators or surface designers?
I love the work of Mary Blair, Junko Mizuno, Sanna Annukka, Orla Kiely, Hello Kitty

cuckoo clock illustration art cute kawaii


What are your favorite design or art blogs that you would like to share with your fans?
I used to check out blogs daily, no hourly, but now with all the social business going on, i find everything in about 2 places, either through facebook and pinterest! I have liked so many of my favorite blogs on there, that I get it all in one place! BUT some places i like to frequent around the blogosphere are http://www.meetmeatmikes.com


cute little girl kawaii bunny art illustration
cute girl flower illustration


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