Friday, 5 February 2016

The Minted & West Elm Challenge

And now here's already a new contest: the Minted & West Elm Challenge!
Both Minted and West Elm are looking for all kinds of new art (including photography) to add to their wall art collections. I have submitted mainly photography this time, so I'll focus on this for today.
Minted has announced a special "Around the World" award – a good chance to show off some of my travel photography …
Please vote for my entries if you like them! Thank you! Just click on the title of the image to go directly to my submission on Minted. Here are my favourites in the challenge:

"Devon Beach Tea"

I loved this café in a wooden beachhut, selling fine teas to the bathers at a beach in Devon. It seemed so quintessentially english to me! Quirky, a bit old fashioned and romantic, a little bit melancholic, but friendly and inviting at the same time … Composing the image I left a lot of space for the sky – lots of blue for a real "seaside image".


"The Evening Bath"

This shot was done on the Isle of White, England, on a beautiful evening after some days of heavy rain. I loved the small hub of energy of this group of bathing children against the quietness of the vast turquoise sea. The water was icecold! They really could only dash in and then right out again. The image makes me think of youth, carelessness, high spirits, and the summers of my own childhood.


"Bird on Stonehenge"

I guess this image of Stonehenge is dear to me partly because it didn't come so easy. When visiting Stonehenge, I was very disappointed at first. With a big motorway in the background, the distant but persisting sound of cars and pretty bad weather on top there was next to no atmosphere … But playing with close ups sparked my interest – these stones really are majestic! I then decided I needed a living accent, but it took a while to convince the bird to fly to the right spot … I like the contrast between huge and small, ancient and living/ moving, and the fact that the image is a bit more unusual than other Stonehenge photographs.


"Approaching the Royal Albert Hall"

Speaking of the unusual: my motivation for the picture above was to find a new view on the famous Royal Albert Hall in London. The allegorical statues of Asia in the foreground are part of the Albert Memorial, and I pictured them in a dynamic composition, as if moving towards the hall. I used another set of spells on the pigeons … and they obeyed ;-)


"Connemara reflections"

Well I simply had to squeeze in a shot from Ireland! One of my favourite destinations ever. This picture shows the amazing reflections on Lough Kylemore, Connemara. Mountain becomes water becomes land again. And oh this little his house … what an amazing place to live! (Have I mentioned yet that I am a romantic soul? Just can't help myself!)


"Old Town Bruges"

This view on Bruges/ Flanders is a calm and modest picture, but I think it captures the essence of this historic city quite well. It quietly speaks of old paintings, the times of the Hanse, of rich merchants, old traditions and hardworking craftspeople. To me, it is a strong image of the "Old Europe".

I hope you'll like this little trip in pictures! I as well have listed ALL my entries on the "Voting now!" page, if you'd like to vote for more … or simply to have a peek :-)
Voting is open until Friday, February 12. Thank you so much!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Hurray for the foxes!



Hello, here's a happy surprise! My little "Woodland Foxes" won! Hurray!!!
They came up on the 6th place in the Minted Child's Play Fabric Challenge (within the top 20 winners). Thank you so much everybody who might have voted for them!
Now the foxes soon will be roaming around on throw pillows to draperies to lampshades and everything in between for nurseries and kid's rooms! Really looking forward to see them on there :-)





If you'd like to know more you can view the winner's gallery here and read a bit about the inspiration for my woodland designs here.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Heimtex trends 4 - "Wellbeing 4.0 - Enrich"

The fourth and last Heimtex trend post is about the trend theme called "Enrich your soul". The key word here is opulence. And a lot of it!

Theme Park … Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera
Source - WGSN

Enrich is about "opulent me time", about indulgence and luxury. The source for this theme can be found in the society's trend to value oneself, to do oneself good, to feed one's senses to the max …  and this means to invest in one's surroundings, to buy quality products that will last a longtime.

Think classy, eye catching, shimmering materials. Lots of metallics, and highly decorative elements. For this theme, more is more!

Source - WGSN

Origin luxury wallcoverings … Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jean-Luc Valentin

Source - WGSN/Shutterstock

Theme Park … Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera


Colourwise rich tones are key: there's the red spectrum ranging from bronze orange to carmine red to plum. As well as the metallics: gold, brass, bronze. Blues and cool colours are rich too: deep dark blue, turquoise, dark rich greens …

Source - WGSN

Koninklijke Textielfabrieken J.A. Raymakers & Co B.V. … 
Quelle - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jean-Luc Valentin


Patterns come on strong! They are opulent, decorative and ornamental. Oriental influences are important. Based on cultural references designs play with classic patterns, sometimes staying close to the original, sometimes doing their own modern interpretations.

Origin luxury wallcoverings … Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Thomas Fedra

Beijing Jinboxiangqi Cloth Co., Ltd., Hangzhou Aico Home Textile Co., Ltd., Hangzhou Huachen Flocking Co., Ltd. Huatex International (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd., Linan Beibei Household Textile Co., Ltd., Suzhou T-land Textile Co., Ltd.
Tongxiang Yidong Textile Fabric Co., Ltd., Zhejiang Innovation Textile Co., Ltd. 
Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Thomas Fedra

M/s. Tal  … Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

I love it :-) Lots of possibilities for pattern designers!

That's it – my little trend series is now complete. I hope you'll enjoy it!
To read about the general "Wellbeing" trend, the other 3 trend themes and some general info about Heimtex, just scroll down to my last posts.

On another note, voting for the Minted + West Elm Round 4 Art Challenge has started! If you'd like to vote for me, please find my entries on the "Voting now!" page. I hope you'll like them! Thank you so much!
Will tell you a bit more about some of my favourite entries next week …

Friday, 29 January 2016

Heimtex trends 3 – "Wellbeing 4.0 – Nourish"

Here's my third trend post on the Heimtex trend "Wellbeing 4.0". Today's trend theme is called "Nourish your body" and is based on the human need for a natural environment.

Now this one definitely is a very "me" theme :-)


Theme Park … source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera


"Nourish" is derived from the growing interest in sustainable life, in protecting nature, in planting green spaces, in urban gardening: reclaiming abandoned areas to plant new life. It is the ecological vision of uniting city and country, man and nature.

Source - WGSN


Theme Park … source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera


Think sensory and nature oriented designs. A purist but earthy elegance, a quality feel, products that are handcrafted and/or using pioneering techniques. Transparency and natural materials are key.

Source - WGSN


Hermann Pichler GmbH + Co. KG … Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jochen Günther


Christian Fischbacher Co. AG
Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jochen Günther

Curt Bauer GmbH … Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jochen Günther

Sander GmbH & Co. KG … Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jochen Günther

 
Colours are all about plant life and the soil, and use the whole natural palette of greens, beiges, whites, browns and greys.

Source - WGSN


JAB JOSEF ANSTOETZ KG
Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jochen Günther



Patterns show mostly natural or nature inspired, abstracted motifs, like stone, wood textures or plant motifs.

Rioma S.A. … Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jean-Luc Valentin


Handmade and craft is getting more and more important. The source – the way things were made, the "story" – is as important as the final product.

Fiorete Group S.p.A. 
Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jean-Luc Valentin

Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera
 
I think that's a very good direction for all us independent designers, and especially for those who are designers/makers. It as well tells us how important it is to share our motivation/ our story and to show our work in progress!

The next and last theme is "Enrich" … coming up soon!
If you'd like to read about all themes, just scroll down! You'll find the "Protect" and "Energise" themes in my two previous posts.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Heimtex trends 2 – "Wellbeing 4.0 – Energise"

The second theme under the main trend "Wellbeing 4.0" is called "Energise".
It is quite an opposing influence to the first "Protect" theme.
This time it's not "switch off", rather "switch on" – and energise your being!

Theme Park … Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

















At the core this influence originates in using modern technology for wellbeing, for enhancing our  lifes. The offline and online worlds get more and more blurred. The internet gives us "digital dreams", offers inspiration abound and opens up larger worlds, providing us with new levels of energy.

Theme Park … Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

Theme Park … Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera
 



Think high energy, brilliance, bold and loud designs.
A lively aesthetic, dynamic shapes and a good dose of humour too.
Colours play with contrasts, fluorescence and intense, electric shades.

Source - WGSN

Source - WGSN






Source - WGSN



























Light is used as a "material", so designs play with gloss, refractions and reflections.


Theme Park … Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera


Theme Park … Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera



Patterns are bold and vivacious, and sometimes kaleidoscopic.


Muller-Textiel BV …
Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jean-Luc Valentin


Abbas Nishaburi  …
Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jochen Günther

Kayoom GmbH  …
Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jean-Luc Valentin


From a personal view this theme is not sooo much my cup of tea … still I think accents in high colour and bold pattern can be gorgeous. If contrasted with neutrals I even like fluorescence. It really depends on the dose I guess! But ok, that's just me … there are certainly lots of people around who like it more bold! And if it really gets too much? Well ok, then switch off again ;-)

Novartiplast Italia S.p.A.  … 
Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jochen Günther


















Next post is about the "Nourish" trend theme.
To find out about the first theme "Protect", please just scroll down to my previous post.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Heimtex trends 1: "Wellbeing 4.0 – Protect"

As promised – though a bit later, sorry! – these are the 2016/ 2017 trends from Heimtex.

Rather than showing several different trend directions, this time a strong overall "umbrella" trend is predicted, called "Wellbeing 4.0"

Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera














 


It's all about a "better life": more relaxed, more calm, more comfortable, less cluttered, less complicated … well who wouldn't want that? The international trend table (let by the WGSN Group from the US) sees a design direction with a stronger appeal to the senses, bringing the human factor back into design.

Within this overall trend, there's 4 different themes: Protect, Energise, Nourish and Enrich.

The trend "theme park". Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

The trend "theme park" was located in a big hall with lots of space around. All themes were displayed in different "circles". I felt they were like cocoons in itself. And though this theme park might not have been as spectacular as former presentations, I liked the concept of centering information within these cocoons – while at the same time they stayed open and accessable, like the 4 themes flowing into one another.
I as well loved the display/collections of textiles on little tables placed all over the hall, inviting the viewer to check out all kinds of combinations and touch the materials as well.

The trend "theme park". Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

The trend "theme park". Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

I'll show you the first trend theme here today (and then progress to the other ones post by post in the next days).

Source - WGSN/Shutterstock
 
So now … switch off! "Protect" your mind …
"Protect" is the antidote to our modern 24/7 life, to being online and available all the time, to being constantly connected, taking in information, acting and reacting. It's all about having quality "me time", about relaxing, detoxing and keeping your mind fresh, uncluttered and sane.

Think purity and silence. 
Quality materials, a clean aesthetic, cocoon shapes, sensorial and often understated designs. 
Colours are mainly light, or neutrals and black. 
Patterns are pared down and often textural, like 3D weaves or knits.


Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jean-Luc Valentin

Source - WGSN

Source - WGSN


Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

Source - WGSN/Shutterstock

Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera



"Protect" is based on a real psychological need and because of that I personally think it will be a strong design influence for quite some time.

So far for today …
if you'd like to have some general information on Heimtex and my visit there take a look at my last post (please scroll down a bit to get to the part about the fair).
And then it's the "Energise" trend theme next up!