The Design Cookbook: Recipes for a Stylish Home – Kelly Edwards
A visual feast of appetizing and controversial design elements, just two of many aspects that make this book a great success. Kelly Edwards has skillfully taken design elements and broken them down in a step-by-step process. She gives us all the ingredients, spice, and character of various designs formatted in cookbook style. I think this is a fantastic way for the everyday home designer to explore interior design. The imagery of interior spaces are glutinous with elegance and style. The Design Cookbook has defiantly inspired me to try out some these fabulous recipes for design. Check out what I found out in speak with the Master Chef herself…* Who was your intended audience when creating The Design Cookbook? Can you break down the format for me? I wanted to create a book that everyone could enjoy. From the high-end designer to the DIY’er, I wanted something for every skill set. Actually it was my dad came up with the idea. One day I was telling him that I wanted to do a design book and he said, "Why don't you make one that looks like a cookbook?" I thought, “That's ingenious!” Truth is... people love to read cookbooks even if they can't cook. It's such a great approach to design. If you give someone a photo, a recipe and a list of ingredients it makes it so much easier to complete a room! I wanted to show people that with a recipe for a room, they can be their own designer. * Where does your inspiration for design stem from? I get inspiration from other designers. I have about a million magazines. Whenever I’m looking for inspiration I turn to them. Some are even 10 years old. I can find plenty of ideas in all of them. Even if I can’t find something I’m looking for I may see a color pillow and think, “That’s the color I’m painting the room.” I also love Pinterest. It’s truly the Mecca of ideas. *DIY Projector Art (pictured below) - Using chalkboard as a design element has really taken hold, what are your thoughts of the chalkboard as an element of design? Do you feel the chalkboard is a lasting ingredient in design or a temporary fad? Chalkboards have been around for over a hundred years. It’s slowly transitioned from the classroom to the home. I think it’s a classic staple that will be around forever, similar to school house chairs. I love them!* How did you decided on the designer featured in your book? For me it was about getting a variety of different designers so there would be an array of different designs styles. If I did a book only on color, people who love rooms that are more neutral couldn’t relate to the photos. I wanted everything from mid century modern, to rustic, to traditional to be incorporated. Even though I have the most eclectic mix of designers in the book, I still tried to keep the photos consistent enough so that each page could transition in to the other. *Are you formally trained in interior design? What is your design history before HGTV? What made you want to pursue interior design? I actually have a business degree. I was living in Chicago when I just picked up and moved to LA. My first job in television was sweeping floors for the set of the Power Rangers. I thought it was so cool. I knew I always wanted to work on the set of a design show though. I came from a home where Bob Villa was a staple on TV every Saturday and an extremely handy Dad. I learned everything from him. Eventually I started working behind the scenes on Design on a Dime as a Design Coordinator. Two years later they asked me if I was interested in co-hosting the Chicago team. The rest is history. It’s the most amazing life I could’ve imagined! The Design Cookbook: Recipes for a Stylish Home is currently available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. This truly is the perfect gift for any occasion, especially makes a great house-warming present. ;o) I encourage you to check out Kelly’s book (some of the amazing images from the book below) and for more about the designer herself check out Kelly Edwards inc. Happy baking!
Erin Martin Kitchen
Kelly's Chalkboard Art Project
Youth and a propensity for music, what a perfect combination for a voice of talent rich with soft notes emulating angelic tones. Fairly new to the music scene Ian St. Pierre has a voice of grit and velvet, with a flavor of sound somewhere in between Jack Johnson and John Mayer. I sense a bit of an old soul in the voice of a man birthing his career in music.
Here is some of what I learned In my attempt to unearth the man behind the melody of "Virus' and 'Little Tin Pieces'.
How long have you been playing guitar and writing your own music?
I have been playing guitar for six years. I have been writing music for three; however, this past year is when I have begun getting really into it.
Are you formally trained?
Yes, I started off playing the electric guitar; I took electric guitar lessons for a year and then stopped. After that I picked up an acoustic and felt like it was more my stlye; haven't put it down since.
Where does your passion for music come from?
I come from a very talented, musical family. My parents were supportive with guitar and choir. I just love music and how it can have such an effect on people's lives. I simply just love music, it fills me with happiness and inspiration, so I write and play to try and spread some of that inspiration.
Who inspires you (musically)?
There are a few artists who really inspire me. One is Mat Kearney; his sound is very down to earth and I love his style and lyrics. I think our styles are kind of similar. I also really like the rap group AER. I listen to rap a lot because rap music uses lots of good poetic techniques and styles. I like songs that rhyme, I think it sounds better and is more attractive.
What are your aspirations for your music, where do you want this to go?
Inspirations for my music come from many aspects of my life. They come from my family, girlfriends, things I hear people say, things I read and many more. A lot of the time I will hear or come up with a line that I really like and just run off of it. I have a few spiral notebooks full of lyrics; however, I am really picky and only a handful usually make it onto a track.
I would love to be able to do this as a career. I don’t care for the fame, or the money; if I could perform and just make it by, I would. I love playing for people and seeing their reactions to my songs. The feeling I get when I am on stage sharing my stories with people is unlike any other.
Where are you performing next?
I am performing next in New York City. My manger Nick Carey has been making calls at bars and coffee shops for me. Starting March eighth I will be in the City playing as much as possible!
Spontaneity doesn't come easy for me when it comes to deciding what to wear for the coming day ahead. From the moment I was able to dress myself I have been crafting my daily wardrobe the evening before. I have, painfully at times, learned that if I don’t consider my attire before the day arrives … well lets just say a little film plays out “War of the Wardrobe” where the main character is antagonized by her inner conflict and aggression. ‘She’ faces aggravation, lack of confidence, and indecision… and at the end of the film she is always late.
Today was one of “those” days, I had one of those indecisive moments…I put on the clothing I had considered, took one look in the mirror and screamed to my internal self “Oh, No You Didn’t!” So for the next 10-15 minutes I went through the agony of changing from one outfit to the next tossing clothes on every inch of the floor… At these times in my life I wish I had the guidance of my good friend Jessica Barrios. Her style is forever fiercely fashionable and she always knows exactly what to wear. So I guess that's why she has made quite the career for herself…
Based in the New York Metro area, Jessica Barrios is the founder and president of Solo Image Consulting. Continually in high demand Jessica’s knowledge and expertise began early and I’m positive her time spent around the family business (a bridal salon) had a fervent hand in developing her creative eye. Jessica has worked as a costume designer and wardrobe stylist for many years, in varying genera’s. As the resident stylist for the famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Jessica has worked with high profile celebrities and her designs have been featured on stage as well as a few reputable periodicals.
I had a moment to speak with Jessica and investigate more specifically what she offers as a stylist and consultant. Can you give the readers some in depth insight as what an image consultant does? An image consultant works with a client to define style elements that are essential to their daily life, their work schedule, business activities and social calendar. There is a time and place for everything but it's important to always dress for the occasion. For example, an outfit that you may decide to wear to a club will not be the smartest choice for a job interview. It still surprises me that not everyone understands that concept. Think of me as that special friend that will spend hours with you finding the right looks for any occasion. I will give you my honest opinion and not be pushy about making purchases as a sales person might. I don't work on a commission. When a client comes to you for help what can they expect?
They can expect one-on-one specialized treatment. The first thing I ask is what their needs are and why they are coming to an image consultant. It's different for everyone. Some people just need help parting with clothing in their closet that no longer suits them. Others need a total overhaul because of a new job or because they've been wearing the same clothes since 1985! What is your favorite aspect of the job as a wardrobe stylist? I absolutely love helping people and making them feel good about themselves. The greatest feeling is when a client looks in the mirror and loves what they see ESPECIALLY if they weren't inclined at first to trust my suggestions.
I know that you have had the opportunity to work with some pretty established people, is there an experience that you’d like to share of who has been your favorite?
I work with high profile celebrities but I also work with regular folks. Sometimes it will be a bachelor Wall Street type that doesn't know how to transition from business to weekend wear. Other times it's new moms that need help finding new styles to flatter their new bodies. I don't have favorites but I love it when anyone that comes to me has an open mind about trying something new, even if they end up not liking it. It's OK to try it AND THEN decide.
What is the biggest thing that influences your work? Everything influences my work, my family, my friends, my clients, my peers, my neighborhood, my dog, my yoga instructor. NEW YORK CITY inspires me though. I love the passion and energy that stimulates all the dreamers and shakers here. It seems as though everyone is on a mission to accomplish so much with their lives. That's very powerful AND exciting! I love it!
Can you share a little about your new endeavors in accessories? Oh yes, my accessories. I have been making accessories since I was in 1st grade. I would sell them in the schoolyard during recess! It's been ever evolving. In college I made leather jewelry, then I started up Solo Tu Accessories with these beautiful hand-embroidered silk scarves. A couple years ago, I got into wire wrap jewelry. This year, it's men's accessories such as ties, bow ties, pocket squares and suspenders. I LOVE menswear!
As an accessorizing diva I look forward to checking out more of Jessica's design influence. And Jessica when you make it back to Cali. I think I need some help ;o)
These carefully chosen words describe an innovative being named Aixa Renta-Deluca...
.....And who is Aixa you wonder? She is a wealth of inspiration and expression, someone who taps into the expansiveness of her creative source. Aixa expresses life knee deep... no neck deep in the river of original thought. And I’m positive that is why I sit at the side lines taking notes on what she’ll produce next.
There are few people in my life willing to explore art, expression, innovation on any and every level. Most stick to the gift of talent they are best at. But Aixa walks the path of a soul filled journey of what I like to call the “Creative”. Here is what I found in conversation with Aixa.
What is your favorite artistic expression?
I can't pick a favorite. Each one allows me to be creative in a different way and each medium, whether photography, painting, soap making, etc. allows creative expression in a unique way.
Who or what inspires you?
How did you get into Photography?
I think I might have been born with a camera as a third appendage. I have always loved taking pictures. I was the designated photographer for middle school and high school. I became a professional photographer in 1997 and worked mainly on photojournalism for several newspapers but did it all (except weddings). My passion is photojournalism and wildlife.
What are some graphic design piece you've worked on?
Wow, hard to list, let's say from ads to billboards to buses in New York.
How does your background/history lend itself to your paintings?
I just love the creative process and am always looking for a new challenge or something new to try or learn.
When did you start painting?
My perfectionist nature always steered me away from painting as I was never satisfied with the results after taking classes and several attempts, even though I enjoyed the process; until one day about 4 years ago, when I decided to take a 16x20 canvas and some oil paints and leave behind any preconceived notion of the end result and threw out the window any expectations to do it right or make it a great piece. I was just going to enjoy the act of painting until the painting felt finished even if I didn't know what it was, a total abstract-expressionistic piece. That was the ticket for me, no expectations. That first painting received first price on oil abstracts at the Ventura County Fair a couple of years ago. Who would have thought!
Are there any current or upcoming projects that your working on?
My life seems to be a project and work in progress... One of my paintings is on a juried exhibit at the Ventura Harbor Gallery and three others at the Ventura Community Memorial Hospital at this time.
“Despicable Me"....... “9”...... “Beauty and the Beast”........
The Hunchback of Notre Dame”......
These are just a view of the films that Christophe Vacher has worked on. Christophe has worked professionally as a colorist, visual artist, and art director in the animation industry since 1989.
Born and raised in Vichy, France he is an award-winning artist who has traveled the world. With an elaborate schedule he still manages to find the time to produce his own personal artwork for galleries and buyers on a global scale. I sat down with Christophe for a brief interview…
When did you begin studying art and what inspired you as a child?
I think as far as I can remember, Art was always part of my life. I was drawing before I knew how to write (and my mom taught me how to write before the age of 5). I was fascinated by comic books, and more particularly the adventures of Tintin. That's what I always wanted to do -which, funnily enough, got my mom really worried, because deep down, I think she really hated comic books. But she never stopped me from going in that direction, because she could recognize my passion for it.
What is your process for designing the visual aspect of a film?
Well, it depends on what I have to do on the movie. If I am only doing art direction (lighting, color and texturing), although it does require research and preparation work, it doesn't require as much research and preparation as if I do both design and art direction. With the lighting, usually, after talking a little bit with the director, you quickly start getting a feeling of what the light should be (dark, dramatic, soft, etc...) and how it could work in conjunction with the color, the saturation of colors and the texture on characters, landscape and objects. When design is involved, there can be a huge amount of research to be done. For instance, on the (aborted) movie "Heroes and Monsters", on which I was production designer, I had to come up with a visual signature that was marrying several different architectural and artistic styles. Like production designers usually do on such projects, I had to go back into artistic history, see what was available out there, and find a way to bind all these styles together. I also think that every movie is different, so, although some aspects of the process can be similar, eventually, the visual style of the movie will be dictated by its story, historical frame and theme.
What has been your favorite film to work on?
Definitely the movie "9", produced by Tim Burton and directed by Shane Acker. Not only because the gothic and off-the-beaten-path, unusual style of the movie, but also for the adventure it represented, that the public will never know, the fun I had working with my friend Robert St-Pierre (who did an absolutely amazing job on this film) and all the people I met, the memories I will keep with me for ever.
How do you come up with a concept when designing a piece for a gallery?
This is a totally different process, because it's my own world, my own little bubble.
Very often, it starts either with music, or with traveling, or with both. It can also come with a combination of shapes and light I see in a totally different context. And it triggers something in my mind that gives me an idea for a new painting. Then, I have to draw a quick sketch on paper, so I keep the idea and will refine it later. It can also happen that I will abandon the idea later because I just feel it's not strong enough.
What current projects are you working on?
Well, for studios, I just wrapped up season 2 of "Transformers Prime" that has started airing on The Hub channel. As for my personal work, I am trying to finish a 4x6-feet painting for a museum project for Imaginary realistic painters in Vegas. And I am also working on a painting going to an art auction hosted by Michelle Obama for the Centennial of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. The proceeds will go to the Japan Tsunami relief fund.
(I love this piece! It holds such elegance..... Absolutely amazing!)
What does the future hold for Christophe Vacher?
Well, only the future knows. But hopefully, a free, vivid and inspired mind, and not a minute of boredom! :D
Needless to say Christohpe is an amazing and introspective designer whose inspired passions move through many different artistic endeavors. I for one look forward to watching and viewing his future projects.
For more information about Mr. Vacher please visit his website.
And the Emmy goes to....
All photos property of Christophe Vacher.
Photo property of Jeff White
Have you ever had your soul... trapped in awe of something so beautiful, so brilliant? When you look at that which has capture your attention, every feeling in your emotional orchestra bubbles to the surface of your skin and you know that something deep inside your spiritual being has been altered?
Well that is what I felt when introduced to the artwork of Jeff White. His work is dominant and demands your attention. He pushes at your emotions to wake you from the deep sleep of your daily life. His use of color has such a profound insight; it’s as if there is a secret message written inside each stroke of paint. The illumination of his work whispers a depth of field that begs you to come forward and walk into the landscape. (In his piece called “Dancing with the Moon” you really get a sense of this.)
There is an impulsive essence in the way the atmosphere is manipulated by enlightenment beyond comprehension…. the clouds inhabiting the fierce hue of the sunset or the tranquil stillness of salacious water… There are not enough words to express what is felt when gazing into Jeff’s work. Here is the artist in his own words….
“Within nature there are forceful, intelligent elements that coexist beside and in spite of humanity. They can not be reasoned with or controlled and have always survived and outlived mankind.”
If you haven’t figured out by now Jeff is a landscape artist and the subject of his work is the brilliance of nature. The merciful flow of a river or the brutal crashing of a storm ...this is the substance stoking the emotional cord when viewing a piece by Jeff White.
I was gifted the opportunity to investigate the man behind the art and here is what I discovered…
Did you always know that you wanted to be a fine artist? When was the “moment” you knew this is what you were meant to do?
No I didn’t always know, in fact I wanted to be a scientist for a long time. I wanted to be an inventor. Then my high school art teacher, Jean McCullock, took me aside and told me I had a natural gift and suggested that I could make a living at being an illustrator - that’s when I started to entertain the idea of pursuing art as a career. But it was really after I had established my career as an illustrator, that becoming a fine artist hit me. I remember the exact moment. I was driving through Central Oregon right after a slash burn from the logging, and I was very disturbed because what was once natural beauty was being destroyed. The beautiful landscapes I had always known now appeared to be left with scars from the logging. It was then that I decided I was going to make it my passion to capture the beauty that exists around me.
Who influenced you as an artist? Who was your mentor?
There are so many artists that influenced me. In chronological order from childhood to present moment here they are main ones: Charles Schultz, Frank Frasetta, NC Wyeth, Michael Angelo, da Vinci, Jacques Louis David, Maxfield Parrish, Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller, Green and Green brothers, Monet and JW Turner, Andrew Wyeth, Albert Bierstaadt and the Hudson River Painters. As far as mentors go, it’s hard to say because there are so many who I’ve encountered along the way, but all in different aspects from painting, to business, to ingenuity to spirituality.
Are there any hidden messages in your work?
Not direct hidden messages. But there are symbolism in my paintings. For the most part, I would call it personal footnotes through my journey in life. I start each painting with a certain experience or memory, and then without really thinking about it, I just let my paintbrush be a conduit for whatever comes to me, and let the fine artist in me be in control.
Does the current nature of our society have any reflection on your work, if so how?
When it comes to nature, absolutely. Nature has a course and I love trying to capture it. As humans, we also have a course. When I see our society depleting and stripping the landscape it just makes me want to capture it faster. I’d love it if my work someday influenced society’s decision about clear cutting.
How does design relate to fine art?
I think design has a purpose in fine art. But, it can also be a hindrance because it is so formulaic, and fine art is so nebulous. “Form follows function” is a design model I learned, whereas painting follows the heart. I like to bridge the two and bring them together. When I find the balance, it’s always a beautiful union.
Henry Ward Beecher said… “Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” I encourage you to view the soul behind Jeff White and consider yourself blessed if you find yourself trapped by emotions of profound measure.
There is a quote by Charles Eames that describes his insight on design, he states that, “Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as to best accomplish a particular purpose.”
I sat down with layout artist and production designer Robert St. Pierre to find out his views on Eames statement of design… How is Eames quote significant in layout and production design? Production Design and Layout are two different stages, or disciplines, within the field of animation. Production Design is the phase where, essentially, the visual style of a show is created. Production Designers can draw on inspiration from a variety of sources such as nature, or preexisting design and art, which serves to inspire the “look” or “style” of a new film. Production Designers essentially reflect on the characters and their “personalities” in the film and design around them using design choices that best reflect a given character’s personality and the world in which they live in. Simply explained, villains and their respective environments and props might be designed using more angular shapes and with a darker, foreboding tonal and color palette. Such shapes and color palettes might help reflect the sinister nature in a character in the audience’s eye. Heroes and heroines, conversely, might be designed with contrasting design features such as softer curves and more warm, vibrant or appealing colors. Socially, people are more inclined to associate certain colors and shapes as either pleasing, or unsettling, and so a Production Designer tries to capitalize on associating those social preconceptions of design into their decisions when designing for a film. In animation, “Layout” refers more to the background drawings used within animated films. Composition is one of the most critical design considerations that a background Layout artist uses when designing an environment or a scene. Another term widely used in film, and especially in layout, is the word “staging”. Staging is essentially the area, or areas, where the character acting will take place. Layout artists must compose their designs in a manner that leads the audience’s eye to the areas where the action plays out. While background drawings should always have a sense of visual appeal, and should always help to carry the story in terms of reinforcing the character of the environment, they should never design the environment as to obscure or upstage the animation. A good background layout always serves to spotlight the animation, and composing a shot to emphasize that is a necessary design consideration. When working on a project how do you come up with the design? Are the parameters given to you and you work form that or do you have the flexibility to bring fourth your own artistry? During the conceptual design phase of a show, often referred to as either “Blue Sky” or “Visual Development”, there are few constraints or parameters that inhibit the artist. While some Directors may have some basic guidelines that they’d like the artists to explore, for the most part, this phase is the time where artists have a lot of artistic license to experiment with a variety of influences that might help them in developing the stylistic look of a show. Once the Blue Sky, or Vis. Dev. phase is completed, and the “style” of the show has been agreed upon, the final established look is considered complete and those final designs are what are often referred to as the show’s “Visual Bible”. Once a visual bible has been established the only other factors that will influence the artistic process are the dictates of a story script, or specific shots depicted from a storyboard. When story scripts are written, they specify new and incidental locations that wouldn’t have been necessarily explored during the Visual Development phase, and so a layout artist must read the script, analyze any specific details that must be incorporated into their design (such as if a character walks through a door and sits in a chair, or walks up a flight of stairs), then designs/creates a new location incorporating visual design aesthetics already established in the bible. How is Eames quote relevant to your work on the film “9”? 9 would be no different in its design challenges that any other film. The one unique quality about 9, however, was the scale of the ragdolls and therefore the placement of the camera to document the story from their perspective. While camera would have been required to be just a few inches off the ground for many of the shots, we had to compose our designs essentially from the doll’s perspectives, and by incorporating, and composing, with objects that were at a human scale. What are the most important elements of design? In order for any design to exist, it cannot exist on its own; rather, it can only exist by comparison. Even in the most basic of terms, a straight line can only exist against a background, such as a piece of white paper, which would imply a sense of positive and negative space. While design cannot be limited to one element, I think the most fundamental elements of design can be reduced to two words; that of contrast and affinity. The principal of contrast and affinity are practical in their application and provide a foundation for comparison. Dark against light, sharp against smooth, straight vs. curved, red vs. green, simple vs. complex shapes, textured vs. non textured, etc. For any object, it requires something to compare itself to in order for it to exist and be a measure of critique. What do you think the purpose of design is? The purpose of design depends on its function, whether that be aesthetic or practical. Assuming we’re limiting our focus on design in the aesthetic sense, Design should appeal to its audience’s sensibilities. It should invite the viewer in, and provoke, or solicit some form of engagement.
Robert is currently working on a show for Disney called “Sophia” set to air the Fall of 2012. He is most noted for his work on “9”, “The Princess and the Frog”, and most recently “Winnie the Pooh”. He is by far one of the most elegant and intricate designers in his field. To view more of Robert's work check out the link below! https://docs.google.com/present/view?id=dgjrn5vq_14cq9b2qcw&pli=1