Daily Posts. Colorful Ideas & Inspirations.
Our team of writers brings you daily trend coverage, new products, inspiration, information and fun ideas. With an archive of more than 1,862 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!
Meet Shannon, a new author soon to be seen frequently on our Wedding Channel (mainly). She has over 23-years of floral experience and is so deliciously creative with her art, that we had to snag up some of her talent for our benefit!
Besides owning and running, Flourish, located in Sacramento, California, Shannon also blogs and manages, FancyPantsWeddings.com, a fantastic resource and fun place for wedding tips, floral advice and you name it.
Shannon has been a COLOURlover since September 2010 as FlourishShan, and constantly refers brides over to COLOURlovers.com to first create a palette before deciding on flowers. We'll get to learn more about her flower advice and a little DIY in the coming posts. Give her a big welcome and feel free to hit her up with any wedding flower related Q's! Enjoy! - Molly Bermea / Blog Editor
Hello, from Shannon herself...
Hi! Let me start my intro post by saying that I LOVE color! Color has always been a defining element in my life. I clearly remember the color of my childhood bedrooms, the color of my high school's corridors and the colors of my own bridal bouquet. Color drives my passion for floral design. I consider the way I combine colors in my creations to be my strong point as a designer. That is why I am so drawn to the COLOURlovers site and the tools it offers to myself and other color-philes (is that a word?).
Since society seems to be moving at an ever-increasing speed towards going all digital, the thumb drive is like the file folder of the past, except more compact and much more stylish. Retailers have cashed in on the market for people's desire to have cool gadgets in their pockets, and you can find all manner of interesting flash device out there.
However, when you combine storage space with something like an MP3 player, ask your favorite designers to come in and finish it off with a great look, you may just find you have a product on your hands that really catches people's attention. Such is the case with Mugo, a line created by Aaron Atchison that features big name artists such as Julie West, Shin Tanaka, Jon Burgerman and more.
When I found out that one of the photographers that I stalk, I mean uh, follow on twitter wrote a book on the subject of wedding photography, I had to buy it. I really didn’t even think about it. I saw the post that Fine Art Wedding Photography was released, immediately went to amazon on my phone and Jose Villa’s book arrived 48 hours later.
So was it all I expected?
What I expected was a book of some of his favorite images, how he goes about his day and then maybe some pointers. It is a comprehensive book about his whole career. He goes through all of the types of photos he takes during the wedding day, the technical aspects of it (down to his camera settings and film choices), his business practices, marketing, and how to move your business up to the next level. It is much more detailed than I anticipated… to the point that in some instances I thought, “I can’t believe he’s sharing all of this with everyone.”
One thing that I’ve always had a hard time doing is marrying my fine art background to wedding and portrait photography. Jose does just that, and does it beautifully. He taught me to not be afraid of grain or blur… that it can sometimes give life and energy to the images.
i.e. – this shot of the bride and groom dancing (on left). The groom has a bit of motion blur to him, but it shows the energy of what’s really happening.
For this shot, I upped the ISO and lowered the aperture for the low light. I love that the bride and groom have a little motion blur to them but you can still see the great expressions on their faces.
For reception shots he really focuses on capturing emotion. One of my favorite things is to capture those moments that nobody thinks anyone is watching.
The black and white image on the left page is an example of this with the focus on the emotions and reactions to the couple dancing. My take on emotion photography is similar.
Far Left // These ladies have such a different reaction to the dancing going on that it is one of my favorite images and makes me smile every time I see it.
Top Right // With the bride and groom dancing in the foreground, the parents of the bride look on. The mother wipes her tears away.
Bottom Right // The mother of the bride dancing with her new granddaughter-in-law.
I love the sweetness in this image. It takes a simple hug and turns it into a palpable moment between the bride and flower girl.
If you could only have one word to describe Jose Villa’s work I would say it would be elegance. There’s a beauty and sophistication to his images that comes with time and hard work.
One of the little nuggets of information that he gives is sections called “Lessons Learned” where he shares times that he’s made a mistake or two and what he’s learned from it. This gets a big “Hallelujah” in my book that even great photographers like Jose Villa can be real enough to share their mistakes. I applaud him for these little sections and make notes for myself.
During the marketing section he talks about getting featured on blogs and magazines. Most of the publications like to see lots of detail pictures. These are some of my favorite things to photograph because it brings individuality to each wedding. It also shows the bride that you’ve noticed all of her hard work in the small details of her day.
Far Left // Guests grab a glass of champagne after the ceremony
Top Right // Bride putting on her shoes
Bottom Right // Grooms shoes
Some of the other topics that he discusses are the importance of the bridal portrait, bride and groom portraits & family portraits. Here are a few of my favorites from recent weddings.
I think that the book says without actually saying, that there are lots of photographers out there that will create images that are very “now”… but will they stand the test of time? Fine art photography will always be beautiful and will always "wow". No need for gimmicky editing or post effects. No need for quirky props or backdrops. Even though those can still be fun at times, creating your business or selecting a photographer for your wedding that does high-end fine art portraiture will always stand the test of time. You’ll never look back at your photographs and think, “what were we thinking?”
His book is an instant classic for me and a definite “go-to” for inspiration. I will definitely be flipping though it again and again as a refresher and bout of encouragement before all of my weddings.
True wedding photography is a fine art. And Jose Villa is a fabulous artist.
|Share this Post||Tweet|
Want a Copy Signed by Jose Villa? We have three!
Basic rules to be a contestant in a random drawing from the comments:
- - You must leave a comment with either your photography website/blog OR a photographer's site you adore.
- - We'd also like to hear why you think you deserve/want this book.
Contest will run from today, Thursday, May 12th through Thursday, May 19th, 2011. You must be a COLOURlover to be entered (to be able to leave a comment) so register if you need to!
Jose Villa is one of today's most in-demand wedding photographers with his cutting edge style of fine art wedding photography. Fine Art Wedding Photography shows you how to produce the lush, stylized images modern brides love. Complete with lessons learned and camera detail settings, a must have book for every wedding photographer.
Etsy.com allows people to sell in many different ways. An excellent business model is selling your creations as PDF Patterns instead of the actual item itself. It requires almost no overhead so to speak since you are selling a digital file for the end-buyer to print themselves. It allows you, the seller, more creative time by simply selling the method rather than trying to keep up with demanding orders.
Featured Etsy seller, English artist Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams, does just that. She does it very well in fact by showcasing a few different finished products as eye-candy for each pattern. Versions of these creations shown in the store are merely examples of how cute these plushes can look, but the fabric choices are up to you, so you can make these projects look any way you want. Each purchase comes packed with a PDF pattern and instructions on how to create it. Sarah also provides some extra bonus links and advice for sewing dolls, along with your purchase.
Opening More Doors for Cashflow
Sarah's business model not only sell's cute doll patterns, but also provides a way to dress these dolls up with upselling. A very smart move and works beautifully for her shop. As soon as you see these guys in their outfits you can't help but want to also accessorize!
Sell the Idea - Make it Tactfully Visual
These doll's aren't anything small either at 18.5" tall! Sarah does an excellent job showcasing her product. She doesn't just provide a single image of one doll, with a note that it's a pattern. She showcases a great picture of the main product - the Owls three in a row, sitting and standing. Then an up sell image of the owl's dressed in clothing - sold separately - and finally a representation of size by having a child in the picture holding one. I couldn't wrap my head around what this 18.5 inch doll might actually represented until I saw the image of the child.
Recapping this selling structure:
- Include nice, clear, un-grainy pictures. Sarah does a simple white background (a piece of posterboard can work). Colorful items are best shown on a simple background.
-Include a variety of inspirational looks. Sarah does this with many different fabric variations of the Owls.
-Include visuals to how big the item is: a quilt - show it on a bed, a doll - show it in your hands or a child's (try to represent it in real life, not against a ruler), an outfit - show it on a real body, etc.
-Finally, if there is a way to accessorize your item show it, but make sure to note that the PDF does not come with such and such items, but you can [link] get them here.
Etsy sellers create many types of products, not only in the sewing or PDF world. A couple of different scenario's to add upselling to your product pages would be:
Jewelry - Selling a necklace? Show an image with a ring and earrings that match....note links to those products...run a special to buy all three, etc.
Sewing Patterns or Clothing and Accessories - we've covered a lot about the patterns as the main topic in this post, but putting doll's aside, things like clothing could include accessories such as a purse, belt or other clothing accessory that might go.
Lastly, don't be afraid to start networking with other sellers to create a cross-combo upsell. Wow, does that sound complicated? It's easy, if you make dresses and skirts and have no interest in making purses, connect with a fellow seller and work out an agreement. If you only make necklaces, connect with someone doing more:
-Simple Exposure Trade - each of you post a product and link in another product page for upselling to the other user.
-Commission - Instruct buyers to mention a code in the special instructions field at checkout for the item on the other sellers product to get some sort of benefit (%/$ off next order, etc). Basically create a way to track that they bought from both of you.
Overall, the PDF to Print business model is an excellent way to keep loving your craft, broaden your market and have more time ultimately for creating new products for your line. A would almost guarantee that selling a pattern over the actual dolls will gross ten times more. Opening your pattern license up to allow others to sell the finished products provides even more of a draw.
As an Etsy buyer and crafter myself, I would much rather spend $10 on a pattern than spend $25+ on a single doll. Remember, Etsy is a creative community. Most of the users who sell on Etsy most likely buy on Etsy - and those people like to create.
One look at the patterns in the Dolls & Daydreams store, and you can easily imagine yourself spending a long and lazy Sunday with your sewing kit out, creating these precious little plushes.
Handmade plushes always give me a rush of delight. As a person who loves craft and collectibles, there's something about owning an item that has been created by hand that feels better than purchasing a mass manufactured item. It's a similar feeling to receive a gift that's been made by hand.
All images copyright Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams.
|Share this Post||Tweet|
This post was written in collaboration with both Colette Bennette & Molly Bermea
Welcome to The Design Minute, a new feature on the COLOURlovers blog where we take a quick look at an inspired design, whether it be on a canvas, a t-shirt, a billboard or a passing elephant, and have a quick chat with the artist behind it. Today's design is called Color Wheel, and it can currently be found at ultra-cool t-shirt design site Threadless. Creator Ross Zietz has a few other designs under his belt, but this one was perfect for our color-obsessed readers (and yes, I'm talking to you).
COLOURlovers: Give us three words that you feel best describe this design.
Ross: vivid, bicycle, kaleidoscope-ish.
COLOURlovers: Do you have a current favorite Threadless design? If so, what is it?
Ross: Dead Pirate by McBess. Nice and Simple. Sorry it's not too colorful but it's the one I wear the most.
COLOURlovers: You have to create a design in under five minutes, using only words to describe it. Go.
Ross: Ha... A wide open shark jaw, just the two jaw parts (top and bottom)... The teeth look like normal sharp shark teeth from afar but when you look closer at them, you realize that they are actually sails to a bunch of tiny sailboats. I think i'm actually going to design this tonight!
Don't go anywhere!!! There's a super fantastic book giveaway after our feature presentation!
Just holding this book makes me go, "ahhh..."
Everyone is raving about the quality of book #2 compared to book #1 (or published media in general). I don't blame them. I almost didn't mention it, because everyone else has, but that was ALSO my initial thought upon receiving my copy of the book. Straight from the box, I instinctively noticed these things in this order:
First, I noticed that I can plop it in my purse, no problem (and I don't carry an overly-large purse!). It's not too heavy or too many square/cubic inches. That's important, because I dread getting a great book, but eyeballing how thick it is sometimes hurts as I rarely have time for reading real books. My arms aren't going to fall off trying to hold it up while I'm laying in bed reading it.
Second, most definitely the quality. Smashing Magazine did not skimp on getting this little ditty published. Quality, stitch-bound, hard cover and hefty pages that produce sharp graphics. It's a nice tight number that you'll probably keep on your desk or prop on a shelf just because it's so pretty.
Third, artwork and graphics, amazing! They seriously couldn't go wrong with using Yiying Lu (yes, forever known as the creator of the famous Fail Whale from Twitter.com). But seriously, who can resist that kind of work, I know my three year old can't! What three year old do you know peruses a web and graphic design book with focus and interest? I will admit mine has a great attention span, but still... I'm caught flipping through the pages simply studying the chapter artwork. I have to laugh at myself.
Fourth and last, the cutest little ribbon bookmark comes attached. What a nice little touch! I bet this is the most talked about ribbon bookmark in the history of books. I suppose I will not be lazily dog-earing my new book.
So hands down on the book construction and makeup. Smashing you get a full applause in that area (I think everyone else would agree, no?)!
My thoughts from reading & perusing...
- #1 The Principles of Great Graphic Deisign
- #2 Visible vs. Invisible Design
- #3 Designing Mobile User Experiences
- #4 Sketching, Wireframing and Prototyping
- #5 Red Flags (Warning Signs) in Web Development
- #6 The Future of Web Typeography
- #7 Applying Game Design Principles to User Experience Design
- #8 When they Click: Psychology of Web Design and User Behavior
- #9 Design Patterns in e-Commerce Websites (Study)
- #10 How to Make a Book (Like this One)
I realize that you can make something look pretty dang great, but fill it with garbage. Not in this case. I might be a bit bias because I am a HUGE fan of Smashing Magazine and the fantastic information they continue to provide to the design and web communities.... I will note, however, that the previous Smashing Book #1 seemed somewhat of a letdown to a "few" folks, which has become more prevailiant with Book #2 being such a positive hit and maybe with more of a comeback in the comparisons being made.
My primary area is Design. Both in print and web. And I will openly admit, I'm not ever going to be in the one of the top designers of the world because of this and that - so a book like this is absolutely PERFECT for me. I think anyone who wants a nice review, more insight
What I enjoyed in the first chapter was the correlation between the two, how different and yet similar they are.
"It stands to reason, then, that the process of design involves making deliberate and appropriate graphical choices in order to best communicate the intended message. This applies as much to designing for the Web as it does to designing for print." - excerpt, page 15
What I most enjoyed about this chapter was it's focus on using design effectively and timelessly. When I was reading through the pages of Timeless Thinking - which included talk about simplicity, adding too much gaudy junk (aka ornaments), minimalism, contrast, space and tension... it really brought me back to the basics in art school and working with drawing techniques. Sometimes I feel that I start a project over-designing and after I get that part about needing to impress the client out of my system and go minimal, it never fails to be the winning pick - this chapter was a kick in the pants refresher.
Then I read on to variations of Type and its effectiveness as well as the role it plays. Overall, a golden chapter to set your path a little straighter or teach you a few things.
"While a good graphic designer works to create an attractive design for the client, a great graphic designer pushes further, striving to understand the crux of the project's objective. The great designer builds on the various concepts ..." - excerpt, page 44
My other favorite, is chapter 7: Applying Game Design Principles to User Experience Design. What I most enjoyed was the play off of understanding the correlation between the two to make an easier way to think about UX Design. My favorite part starting with the section, The Name of the Game which goes through each of the five key attributes of the "game" of online interaction. It became a fun way to think about UX Design.
In conclusion, I like that the end of each chapter will sum up with a number of useful resources, about the author, some history from that section and even a nice extra Reading List for more in-depth study on a subject if interested - actually, I would have liked more reading resources at the ends of more chapters. I thought that was very helpful and resourceful to place in one area, instead of having to dig back through my dog-eared and highlighted pages and notes to locate a good resource I just know I marked.
I do find that this book is something I will be keeping on my desk for some time to reference and re-reference when my mind is fogged or fighting to go a direction my gut knows I shouldn't.
Are you tired of hearing me blab blab blab about the book? Are you just dying to get your hands on your own copy? Well here's your chance, we have 3 copies in our giveaway!
Contest Rules are simple. This will be a random drawing of three lucky commenters who provide the following information in their comment:
Please provide what your specialty is be it Design Warlord, Freelance Web Designer or Couch Potato... but seriously, I would like to know what you do for money or fun in the relationship to wanting the book in your grubby little paws.
The contest will run from March 10th, 2011 through March 18th, 2011 - Winners will be announced the following week, Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011. Winners will also be emailed via Love Notes on COLOURlovers.com so make sure you turn your notifications ON for both in-site and email so that I can collect your address and get your prize out ASAP. Contest is for COLOURlovers.com users only, so if you aren't a member, get signed up and get commenting!
update: Did I forget to mention you can of course buy the book here (at SmashingMagazine.com) as well as preview a sample from the book and get other details. Pop on over and check it out!
But wait there's MORE! Apparently there was just too much good stuff to go to print, so Smashing Magazine is GIVING you a FREE eBOOK called The Lost Files (free eBook).
*********SUBMISSION TO THE CONTEST IS CLOSED*********
Results will be posted Tuesday, March 22nd (unless they magically appear on Monday the 21st. ;) Have a great weekend everyone!
The details are out about the latest book from ALARM PRESS, and i'm thrilled to be sharing them with all you color lovers, but to insure this book makes it to print we need to show a little love before April 8th, 2011 and pre-order or select one of the other support options on the project's KICKSTARTER page.
At nearly 400 pages of full-color artwork and editorial, Chromatic: The Crossroads of Color and Music, is a dynamic print presentation of independent musicians and artists who are using or exploring color in unorthodox ways. Packed with vibrant images and colorful perspectives, the book includes content on: musical synesthesia, audible color: the proposed mathematical correlation between color and pitch, psychedelic color and music, timbre, blue notes, the chromatic scale, concept albums based on color, performers who use color to add to their stage presence, polychromatic cover art, bands photographed in their favorite colors, wild illustrations of musical notes translated into hues to create elaborate geometric works of art, and if that wasn't enough, there is a chapter with guest editors Seripop, the eccentric Montreal based printing and design duo. What filters through, with the help of the high aesthetic standards of ALARM PRESS, is the line where color, music, art and design meet, and ultimately how the experience of color and music is unique for each of us.
Sneak Peak | Chromatic: The Crossroads of Color and Music
You know, the computer screen just doesn't do any of this work justice, but that's certainly not going to stop me from gushing. And this year there's a number of innovative twists on this old-timey medium which always makes for compelling work. So, here you are, best of the best (at least from my seat) printed pieces of 2010.
This poster is most memorable for it's darling childish hand and classic message. A father & son collaboration, by Studio on Fire and Koen (age 6), the doodles were assembled digitally and letterpressed 14x20" with yellow and gold ink. $30 for sale here.
White Fungus is an experimental arts magazine based in Taichung City, Taiwan. Featuring writing on art, music, history and politics, plus original artworks, poetry, fiction and comics, White Fungus is an ongoing experiment in community media art. As the spores have been released its creators look forward to seeing which way the wind blows. The only thing more uncertain than its future is its past.
白木耳雜誌 是一本發源於台中的當代前衛藝術雜誌， 內容詳細介紹了關於來自世界各地的前衛音樂 、歷史、 政治、 原創作品、 詩、 短篇小說 與漫畫。白木耳雜誌本身既是一個社群媒體藝術的實驗過程。當這些實驗性的孢子逐漸成熟而散落，雜誌創刊者十分期待風會將這些孢子傳遞至何方，但關於未來，一切則充滿了新的生機與各種可能性。
For Matthew Hoffman it's all about identity. On the casual outward glance he's a 9-5er, a career oriented young chap, probably unknown to some as...shhhh....an artist. But over wayside he runs Multi-Polar Projects, a rep house for artists Sighn, H. Mathis, Ervin Orion and Mateo. An art collective of four dudes pursing their own separate works. Which is bad-ass alone, yet is ostensibly all very straight-forward, until you learn the entire Multi-Polar Projects crew is just a single person. Hoffman. Which then begs the question, where is the artist and where is the person? And also how? And...When does the sleeping happen?
It's not really a question that needs answering, it's a delightful enough proposition on its own. It's seems to be merely the only way Hoffman knows how to be an artist. It's ingrained in his process and can't be teased out.
Better still? He's dropping a new project after a year-long art-making hiatus.
What ensued was an extensive back-and-forth between myself, Sighn, H. Mathis, and Multi-Polar Projects. Hilarious because Hoffman's playing all the parts from separate addresses.
Sighn's the moniker responsible, working in his typical text-only emotive style. ITSOKCOLORWAY is the rainbow-hued edition of his ongoing ITSOKAY Project. As the Tweeps and Facespaces erupt with millions of electronic blurbs per day and viral campaign after campaign goes zipping into internet obscurity, he's busy carving pithy witticisms out of wood with a life-long goal of 1 million wooden ITSOKs. It's a permanent snap-shot of communication, forged from materials that once grew in the earth. Part sculpture, part talisman, all parts delicious typography and wordplay, you'd have to be a cyborg not to have feeeeeeelings when taking in the work.
I shot Sighn a request to answer some light-hearted interview questions, and what ensued was an extensive back-and-forth between myself, Sighn, H. Mathis, and Multi-Polar Projects. Hilarious because Hoffman's playing all the parts from separate addresses, poking fun at himself the entire time. In the end it ended up as a snarky not-so-subtle, and entirely unintentional, jab at long annoying email chains. Oh my stars and garters kids, this email at its most artistic (and meta) indeed... For this designer, blogger and typography geek, that's the black hole of perfect.
So here you go: H. Mathis' illustrated responses to Sighn's interview questions. By Matthew Hoffman. I think.
6. A love letter to your favorite snack:
I guess this is what I call reinventing being an artist. Old schooling the new school. And there's no tells just how far this kid can go. It's mayhem! Mania! It's going to rule, bro. Someone please save me from myself, before there's ecstatic-induced vomiting like that kid in Adam Sandler's Big Daddy.
Learn more and order your own piece here. ITSOKs come in 10 colors, plus natural unfinished bamboo or basswood. $20 each.