Monday, 11 April 2016

Spring sunshine mixed with Christmas carols

It's kind of weird to work on Christmas designs when Spring is finally here! But that's what I did last week.
There is a new challenge on at Minted, for Christmas cards. In fact, there are more holiday challenges coming up, so this blog might look a lot like Christmas in the next weeks …

This first holiday contest, the “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” Religious Christmas Photo Card Challenge is for designs with religious or spiritual themes and greetings. The cards will be personalizable with the customer's name and own photography. There is a foil pressed and a non-foil version of the challenge.

I felt this was not an easy brief but an interesting one. While I am not overly religious I liked the idea of working with a spiritual text. Back to the basics, so to say!
I had to whipe off the dust of my calligraphy brushes – it's been a while that I worked on handlettering and calligraphy – but after some trials I really got into it. I aimed for cards that have a fresh, spontanious, expressive and uplifting look. Here's my three faves! (All photos are courtesy of Minted.)

"Bold Brush Hallelujah"

"5 Blessings"

"Bold Night Divine"

I hope you'll like them!

Votes are very welcome :-) You can vote for the designs in this blogpost just by clicking on the title of the image – the link will lead you directly onto my submission on the Minted page. You as well can have a look and vote for all my designs (6 of them) here on my voting page. Voting is open until Tuesday, April 19. Thank you so much!!!

Monday, 28 March 2016

Happy Easter! … and an early Easter present

Just popping in to wish you a good one! (Quickly, before it's already over again …)

And to show you my early Easter present …
Last week, the results of the Minted Drawing and Sketching Challenge from January were reveiled. Finally!
And I had a fab double surprise:
My aquatint etching "The Melancholy of Stones" won! It came up 7th within the top 20 winners.
And my watercolour "Lush Coast Kenmare Ireland" received an Editor's Pick!
Thank you so much everybody who might have voted for me! And thank you, Minted editors!

Both works will be for sale as art prints on Minted soon. My Minted Wall Art collection is growing :-)
You can find out more about the challenge and see the gallery of all winners here.

Now off to have a very lazy second Easter day tomorrow :-)
Wishing you all a nice bit of sunshine and some time to relax and be together with family and friends!

Friday, 18 March 2016

Revisiting an old love

This week I've done my first two stationary designs since 16 years! It was a lot of fun! Have to do this more often.

Guess what I did it for? Yes … they are for a new Minted challenge: the "Sweet Celebrations Quickfire Kids' Birthday Party Invitation Challenge". This blog is becoming a kind of Minted blog lately ;-) I am still pretty happy that I started working with them and I love how the challenges make my creative muscles stretch!

The brief is for all kind of kid's party invitations really. But it mentions some special interests:
photo card designs (as well as having personalizable text areas they are as well customizable with people's own photos) and designs for autumn birthdays. I love all things spooky! So here are my invitation designs:

"Spooktacular Wreath"

"Spooky Gallery"

I hope you'll like them! And like always, votes are very welcome! (Please just click on the title of the images, that'll lead you to my submissions on the Minted site.)
I am curious really if I can manage to get into the Minted Stationary Collection as well …???
Voting is open from now until Tuesday, March 29. Thank you so much :-)

P.s.: And now you wonder why stationary is an "old love" of mine? I used to do a lot of stationary designs when I was living in London around the year 2000. I was freelancing for Camden Graphics (which is now a part of UK Greetings). It was a fab time and I loved to work in their Islington studio. Oh sweet memories :-)

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Contest No.3: The Minted & Pottery Barn Kids + Teen Wall Art Challenge!

Wall art contests seem to come in threes as all good things do! The Minted & Pottery Barn Kids + Teen Wall Art Challenge is the third one on Minted since 2016 has started. Not sure if it is a good thing though … we are still waiting on the results of the previous two contest …
In this contest Minted + Pottery Barn are looking for art prints for boys and girls and for the whole age range starting with baby up to teenagers.
I am a bit exhausted contestwise but I just couldn't miss this one! Wall art for kids really is one of my fave subjects. It would be nice to build up a kid's collection on Minted. And to have a print been sold by Pottery Barn would be totally awesome! Well a girl can dream ;-)

So ok, I went ahead and submitted 16 pieces. Like always I will be showing you my faves here and I would be delighted to get your votes! Please just click on the title of the images, that'll lead you directly to my submissions on the Minted website. Thank you so much!

"Roaming Free"

I really love the playfulness and freedom vibe of this painting! It's a beautiful print for horse lovers of all ages. And it fits well to the brief as two of the themes asked for are animal prints and hobby themed prints.

"How to catch a Winter Star"

Two little winter bunnies in sweaters make a soft and tender nursery print for the holiday season – which is another theme asked for in the brief.

And here now are two fun prints for boys:

"Counting Crocodiles"

"Submarines Ahoi"

"The Craftsman" is originally an illustration done for a German fairytale. Works for both genders I think. I love the European and old times vibe of this one.

"The Craftsman"

Finally two romantic prints for girls and young ladies:

"Framed in Petals"

The inspiration for the watercolour print above came from Art Nouveau cameo brooches.

"Wake up in Flowers"

And this mixed media painting was inspired by our rooftop garden, that literally grows into our  bedroom windows in the summer …

I hope you like my submissions!
Want to see more? I have posted all my submissions on the "Voting now" page, so please just hop over there to take a look! Thank you again!

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 …