ALC Design Studios 380 S. Lake Ave. Pasadena, CA 91101
Are you guys ready for summer? This is the last week of school for my kiddies. I’ve been lying low, dealing with some health issues, + taking a break from social media among other things. I haven’t been able to get to the studio regularly so I’ve been working from home a lot. I posted the picture above to remind myself that dreams really do come true. For years I dreamt of having my own space to work from and I just realized that in a few short months I will have been at the studio for a year! It sounds crazy, I swear this has been the fastest year of my life! God is so good. I just have to give thanks.!!! Anyway, I’m excited about summer’s swift approach. I’m looking forward to our schedules relaxing a little as far as drop offs + pick ups go, and I’m excited about lazy summer evenings and beach sunsets. How about you? Do you have any trips planned? What are you looking forward to this summer?
Consider this:: Mix + Match pattern styles for Spring . . .
So I guess I just need to face the fact that Spring is here. The trees outside my window are finally full again with big, beautiful, fresh green leaves. Birds are chirping, and butterflies are flitting about. Albeit, I never got the winter I so desired (El Nino, anyone?) I am glad to see the flowers and leaves return. In honor of the springtime feeling that is in the air (at least here in Cali) I put together this #ootd style inspo for pattern mixing. There’s nothing that gets me more in the mood for a season than choosing the clothes to wear during it, LOL. Hope this inspires you to take a few chances with patterns in your wardrobe this season!
Where do you seek inspiration? Traveling is one of my favorite ways to renew myself and garner inspiration. Since I can’t always travel as much as I would like to, I do a lot of reading. I love reading about how other people achieved their successes, you learn so much from an authentic story of trial and error because no journey is ever without it’s highs and lows.
Another way I seek inspiration is via Pinterest and Tumblr. The images + information I have found via these sites has been priceless to a visual addict like myself. Photography has always been a side addiction for me as well. Taking pictures of things you find interesting + beautiful . . . seeing the textures and colors of nature up close and personal can be a great way to trigger new ideas.
Fabric + leather swatches and a blank sheet of paper are great motivators for me to design something new. Just the mere feel, or smell of leather can get my pencil moving on paper. There are so many different things that can be done with leather textures these days, and the PU (faux leather) textures are pretty amazing as well. If you are looking for ways to get inspired I have listed 5 Ways to Find Inspiration Below . . .
5 Ways to Find Inspiration
Travel:: You don’t have to go far. You can even visit the next city closest to your town, or your own city for that matter. Just go somewhere you haven’t been before. Notice the buildings, types of plants + trees, landscaping and what people are wearing. If you’re able to get out of town, notice what customs or rituals are taking place around you. Do people speak with accents? What are they wearing? What colors do you notice recurring?
Read:: Books, magazines, blogs + newspaper articles can all be great sources of inspiration. Some of my favorite reads are foreign fashion magazines (even though I often can not read the articles, the editorial styles, typography and fashions are different enough to be inspiring). I also read a lot of business related materials. Some books that have been most helpful to me are the 99U series, Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work + Steal Like an Artist , Blogging Your Way to the Front Row by Yuli Ziv and Hijacking the Runway by Teri Agins. There are so many books I love, but those are a few gems I keep on hand at my desk. I am also a coffee table book adddict (apparently I have many addictions) but a beautifully bound book with stunning images gets me everytime.
Go for a walk:: (Similar to #1) Just getting out of your immediate surroundings, ie. your desk or office, can open up a world of inspiration. The fresh air and sunshine on your face will do you a world of good by allowing you to momentarily take your mind off your work and put it on your surroundings. Conversely, taking a walk in the rain will do the same thing. (I favored rainy day walks more as a child, these days I hate being wet with clothes on, but that might be something that floats your boat! And you’ll never know if you haven’t tried it so keep an eye out and an umbrella handy for the next rainy day!).
Old Black + White Movies:: I love a good old film noir. Give me the the bad girls of Old Hollywood any day over the newbies of today. Joan Crawford, Betty Davis + Gene Tierney are amongst my favorites. I love looking at the clothes they wore, how they spoke, what the houses and cars looked like and even how the men + children were dressed. Loads of inspiration abounds in Old Hollywood . . .
Get Quiet:: Information overload is real people! Don’t get me wrong, I love the era we live in. The answer to any question you may have is right at your fingertips with the help of google or Siri, but sometimes you just gotta shut off the tech and get into the peace and quietness of the moment. Let the sounds around you take the forefront, listen to your breathing and clear your mind. See what ideas pop into your head. See who’s voice you hear. Talk to God. You never know what inspired ideas you may be missing because you haven’t stopped to listen!
I’m always reading up on branding and marketing here and there or taking a webinar for something business related. Last week I finished an online course to help jumpstart the launch of my line. I will share more about it in an upcoming post, but one of the assignments we were given was to create a manifesto for our businesses. I love manifestos. They really give you an up close and personal view of what a company is about . . . at least the good ones do. Anyway, I have been putting together a company vision book over the past few years. In it, I paste images, words, quotes and anything that relates to my business vision. I have written ideas and blurbs about my company and what we believe in in different places throughout the book, but never really brought it all together. So actually sitting down to create a manifesto was an interesting assignment and I loved it!! I can’t wait to share it with you. While I was writing it, I realized that my manifesto was really just made up of my core values and beliefs. (duh) The quote I made above is born of one of my core beliefs. Often, it is easy to overlook the gifts around you, or even to be annoyed by them! Some of the gifts we possess we are not even using to the fullest extent. Take today to be on the look out for the gifts around you. Have your own treasure hunt and seek them out amongst those you know. You might be surprised at what you find. Many of the gifts of our friends and family members are complementary to our own, and the ones that are not, can actually help us to grow!
Happy Thursday friends! Despite the fact that I have been feeling challenged in so many areas lately, I know there’s lots to be thankful for. I hope you will share one thing you are thankful for in the comments below . . .
Today I am thankful for . . .
God’s grace + His word
the sunlight shining through my window and lighting up my room as I type this
the reality of Hope in situations that look, taste, and feel hopeless
my family ♥
my health + the health of my family
inspiration for my new collection
good hair days (though lately, they have been few and far between :/ )
my sketchbook + pens
instagram (yea. i’m addicted. it makes me happy)
road trips (can’t wait for Frisco next month!)
What are you thankful for today? Share your thankfuls in the comments below!
Last week was a hard week for our family. My husband’s father passed away. Been doing a lot of reflecting and thinking about life in general. It’s a gloomy overcast day today, but it’s actually just the sort of day I love. Cool weather in Cali for a change. Just wanted to bring a little color into the day, so I made a collage of a color that always tends to inspire me, (though I usually only wear it as a lip color). Red.
Back in the day when I had my clothing line, I was an avid consumer of Vlisco fabrics. Their Wax Hollaindais prints were a constant source of inspiration for me and I incorporated them into some of my favorite dresses and garments in the line. Since that time, Vlisco has grown and incorporated their own fashion and accessories collections. I am in love with many of their pieces, just looking at their line gives me that designer’s itch . . . . it almost hurts!!! . . . . Simply Gorgeous!!!!
The rich colors and patterns remind me of some pieces in Burberry’s recent Spring 2012 collection which I posted on back in November. The last 2 Burberry Prorsum collections have been on my wishlist since they debuted. The Spring collection is a wonderfully contemporary way to do prints . . . but I digress, yall are lucky my alarm just went off, I could’ve added another 2 paragraphs to this post!!!