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Art + Design

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I’ve had Sydney-based typographer, illustrator and artist Georgia Hill on my radar for ages now. I keep hoping just the right book cover project will come along and I’ll be able to hire her, but in the mean time, I really want to share some of Georgia’s incredible work!

The posters above were created for agency Vault49’s New York office. You can see the full series on Georgia’s website.

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Illustrated lettering for Good Things Are Everywhere. Check out the progress shots—I always love seeing how artists work, especially when that work starts with a pencil.

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Last year, Georgia created this gorgeous mural for the Australian coffee roastery Single Origin Roasters, as well as an illustration for their “Random Acts of Art” coffee bag series. So cool. (Single Origin Roasters has a very nice interview with Georgia on their blog, by the way!)

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I’m really into this mural, “Can’t It Be So Simple,” painted on the back of the (now-defunct) Tate Gallery. I have no idea what goes into translating art from the page to a wall, but it must be amazingly satisfying to see your work at that scale!

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Holy. Moly. When I look at work like this, I kind of just feel like putting away any drawing/painting implements I own and forgetting that I even have hands, because…it’s just that good. This is a poster Georgia created for Travis Egnor. Beautiful.

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And finally…woah. This is part of Georgia’s Instant Slow Jams series, and I’ll be staring at it, glazed over, for the next four hours, while listening to this.

Make sure to check out more of Georgia Hill’s work on her website. She also has a great Instagram where she shares lots of progress shots and sketches and stuff!

All images via Georgia Hill.

I don’t know if it’s because of the time I recently spent in Marfa with Daniel, or it has to do with all of the still-living (!) plants in my apartment, but lately I can’t get enough of cactuses. Cacti. Whatever. Or maybe it’s succulents in general, since I can never seem to remember what makes a succulent a cactus.

Anyway, I put together a little collection of some of my favorite cactus-themed stuff. I want all of it! Greedy, so greedy…

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1. Amelie Mancini / Cactus tote
2. Budi Satria Kwan / Cactus print
3. Sea & Asters / Geometric Cactus Planter
4. Simka Sol / Cactaceae leggings
5. Confetti Riot / Cactus print tea towel and pillows—white and peach
6. Visual Cities by Mariadiamantes / Cactus print

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1. Banquet Atelier & Workshop / Ten Cacti and Paddle Cactus screenprints
2. Sian Keegan / Cacti phone case
3. The Kingpins / Michael Cera Cactus button
4. The Black Vinyl / Early-1800s illustrated cactus chart
5. Nuukk / Cactus stamps
6. Make-Ready / Cactus print

Speaking of cactuses (I’m having a hard time with the word “cacti” for some reason), when was the last time you listened to 3rd Bass? I had The Cactus Album on heavy rotation during 1989 and 1990, and then 3rd Bass just kinda…evaporated. It’s a FANTASTIC album, though, and it still sounds great (maybe even better) 26 years later.

As an interesting (debatable) aside, did you know that 3rd Bass and The Smiths have something in common? Other than being white guys with tall hair, I mean. They both used the same sample! If you skip ahead to the 22:18 mark above, the beginning of “Triple Stage Darkness,” you’ll hear it: You are sleeping, you do not want to believe. You are sleeping… Now, if you’re a Smiths fan who appreciates Morrissey’s excellent use of samples, you’ll know that this is the very same sample used at the end of “Rubber Ring” (3:33 mark). Crazy, right? And considering how obscure the source of this sample is—a flexi-disc included with a 1971 book about communicating electronically with the dead, written by a Latvian psychologist named Konstantin Raudive—I think it’s mayyyyybe safe to assume that someone in 3rd Bass was a Smiths fan, and that mayyyyybe they actually took the sample from a Smiths record and not from the original source…but what do I know! Those crackles sure sound like they line up, though. Cool.

(How’s that for a tangent?!)

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One of the things I’m hoping to accomplish with my new blogging schedule is taking the time to post about graphic design I love. Despite the fact that I design stuff for a living, I’ve kind of shied away from posting about commercial art here on the blog. My hope is to focus primarily on print, packaging, and other tangible objects, but my only real guideline is that the end product was designed for a consumer market.

I’m pretty sure I discovered Toronto-based Greenhouse Juice Co. through Anabela’s (gorgeous) Instagram feed. However it happened, my eyes glazed over as soon as I started looking at their bottles, and then a fresh juice company had a new admirer…a mere 500 miles outside their delivery zone. Maybe someday I’ll have a chance to actually try one of these delicious-looking juices, but for the time being, I’m happy to just look at these lovely bottles! Greenhouse Juice Co.’s brand identity was designed by Sarah Dobson.

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OK, packaging design aside, do you not feel like drinking ALL of these things today? I know I do. I keep looking at the subtle ombre of the Piloto and wishing a bottle of it would materialize on my desk. I mean…Brazil nut milk and cold brew coffee? How could that not be delicious?! Gimme. That Pink Milk blend is fascinating, too. I can’t even really imagine what it tastes like. A cool, creamy borscht, perhaps?

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Even if you, like me, live too far from Greenhouse Juice Co. to be a real customer, I still recommend following them on Instagram. Their beautiful photos make me want to drink more juices, which is a good thing. They have a really lovely blog, too, with articles about wellness and tons of great recipes, most of them vegan. This wild mushroom and leek stew is so up my alley.

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Of course, if you do live in Toronto (lucky you!), you can visit Greenhouse Juice Co. in person and drink as much juice as your wallet can handle! All of their locations look super cute.

All photos via Greenhouse Juice Co.

Around this time last year, I put together a collection of furniture and housewares for sale through Chairish. Since then, Chairish has grown to include a pretty mind-bogglingly impressive selection of not only furniture, but art—vintage, antique, and new.

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When Chairish came back to me recently asking if I’d be interested in creating another collection for them, this time consisting of art pieces, I didn’t hesitate. (The also asked if I’d like to do another giveaway. Yes, of course! Scroll down for the details on that…)

You can see my entire collection of 50 pieces of art over at Chairish, but here are a dozen that I particularly love…and covet.

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1. Alexander Calder – ‘Red Sun’ lithograph
2. Vintage black metal letter A
3. Arc de Triomphe paint-by-numbers
4. Heather Chontos – ‘The September Collection No. 9′ painting
5. Pierre Soulages – 1972 Olympics lithograph
6. H.R. Bresel – Haitian Farm Scene painting

By the way, if you’re interested in selling art (or anything!) through Chairish, you can get all the details on how it works in their Seller Guide. They also have an iPhone app (direct link, in case you’re reading this on an iPhone) that makes the whole process seamless, from photographing your stuff to getting it listed on the site.

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1. Silk-screened moon
2. Bronze Kinetic Sculpture – Dancing Man
3. Pair of Native American weavings
4. Maija Isola/Marimekko – ‘Lokki’ wall hanging
5. Mid-Century Scandinavian tapestry
6. 19th century lake scene painting

Giveaway time! Here’s how it works:
Enter your email address on the Door Sixteen + Chairish giveaway page.
Entries will be accepted from March 25th through April 8th.
One lucky winner will receive a $200 site credit to shop at Chairish! Yay!
If you’re the winner, I’ll notify you via email.

If you win the giveaway, you can spend it however you want—either on artwork I selected for my collection (I made sure to include a number of of pieces under $200!) or on anything else for sale at Chairish.

This post was written in partnership with Chairish, but all words, opinions, and selections are entirely my own.

“The Cinematic Portrayal of Graphic Designers in Film & Television”
Film by Ellen Mercer & Lucy Streule

HAHAHAHAHA. Well, what can I possibly add? Nothing other than this, I guess…

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Image source unknown, possibly created by magic

Yes, it’s a shirt. And yes, this is a subject I’ve delved into a few times on the blog in the past in the context of my approach to home renovation and my own self-image (side note: I need to re-read that post today), but James Victore—designer, artist, teacher, truth-speaker, all-around hero—nails it on a regular basis:

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Feck Perfuction

“Designers are too concerned with the idea of ‘perfection.’

“Perfection is the death of creativity. Perfection lacks spontaneity and surprise, instead it assumes ‘knowing’ and certainty. Creativity is about being OPEN and curious but perfection is closed tight in its search for an answer. ONE ‘right’ answer—but creativity is not math. Perfection also assumes that you are smarter than your audience because you know the ‘right way’ and the ‘rules.’ But this attitude leaves no room for your audience to be involved in your process. Creativity, like a good joke, slowly pieces together in your audience’s brain until it explodes with ‘A-HA!.’

“Perfection stops you from starting projects or even relationships because you are not ready or perfect. And it stops you from finishing or shipping projects because they are not ready or perfect. The weather, the economy, the atmosphere will never be perfect, your timing will never be right, you will never be perfect. But you know what’s better than perfect? Done. Done is better than prefect.”

#DesignLikeYouGiveADamn

Boom.

I’m currently taking James Victore’s Bold & Fearless Poster Design course at CreativeLive, and it’s FANTASTIC. I don’t care what you do for a living, what you wish you did for a living, or how much experience you have in whatever it is that you do: This course is for everyone. Highly, highly recommended!

UPDATE: I just got an email alert letting me know that Bold & Fearless Poster Design is now 25% off! Use the code Victore2015 before 2/1/16 to get the discount. Nice!!

I took his Radical Typography course on Skillshare last year, too—also incredible. Sometimes you just need that push toward fearless imperfuction!

Image via James Victore’s Instagram

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Medicine Cabinet from Habitables

This sweet medicine cabinet reminds me of the one I painted for my own bathroom years ago—only much nicer. The size is perfect, and I love that the cross is a cutout. Perfect for small bathrooms! (Madrid-based Habitables makes all kinds of other great stuff, too.)

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White Plus tea towel from Cotton & Flax

Oh Cotton & Flax, how I love thee. I received this lovely tea towel in gray as part of a limited edition collaboration Erin Dollar did with AHeirloom last fall. Both the tea towel and the cutting board are very gorgeous.

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First Aid utility pouch from Apple White

I have a zippered pouch obsession, and this guy is next on my list. How perfect would this be for stashing bandages, hand wipes, and a little sewing kit in your bag? So perfect.

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Cement cross ornaments from LaNique Home

I have no idea what I would do with these, but I want them anyway. I keep picturing them turned into some kind of mobile. I really like the soft pink paint, but they’re also available unpainted or dipped in black if that’s more your thing.

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Safety First earrings from Melanie Favreau

I couldn’t wear these earrings because my ears are lame and I can only wear gold-filled jewelry these days, but I really wish I could. I have a whole bunch of ear-holes, and I love the idea of a whole line of these in black or brass running up my lobes.

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Muslin Swaddle Blanket/Scarf from Modern Burlap

Fritz and Bruno aren’t really into being swaddled, but this sucker is huge (47″ square!), and in my estimation, it would make an awesome scarf. If course, if you have babies or swaddle-loving pets, I’m sure it’s great for that, too…

EDIT: Sometime between last night and now, this item disappeared from Modern Burlap’s Etsy shop. Weird! It’s still available directly from their website, though.

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Cross wood bangle from Voz Collective

I’m not a chunky bracelet person. I’ve tried to be, but as much as I love how they look, they get in my way any time I try to use my hands for anything—which, as I’m sure you can imagine, is not an infrequent occurrence. That said, if I were a chunky bracelet person, these would be first on my list!

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Swiss Cross quilt from Sazerac Stitches

Ooooooh. I don’t know anything about quilting other than that it looks like a lot of work. This pretty quilt is available in six sizes, from lap all the way up to king. Something for the Chihuahuas, something for the Great Danes.

What’s on your Etsy wishlist right now?

Yesterday I took a peek at all of the new things coming to IKEA next month (some of these things have been available in Europe for a while, but we’re slow to get new stuff here in the US sometimes), and I am so blown away that I almost don’t even know where to start. I’m sure lots of other blogs will, of course, be showcasing the new lines in their entirety, so I’m just pulling a bunch of my favorites. There’s so much good stuff. Sometimes IKEA just really nails it, you know?

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✚ DALSHULT/SLÄHULT table, $189 Solid birch with white laminate top
✚ KRUSNING lamp shade, $9.99 Paper / design by Sigga Heimis

I adore this dining table. The trestle base is so quintessentially Scandinavian, and immediately brings to mind Hans Wegner’s classic X-leg design. The shape of the top makes me think of Piet Hein’s Superelipse tables. It’s a gorgeous combination. I really wish I had somewhere to put this table to use.

The lamp is the work of Malmö-based designer Sigga Heimis, and it’s made of paper. It can be shaped however you like!

Because I know it will come up, let’s talk about the much-beloved FROSTA stools pictured here. They’re clearly heavily inspired by Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60 (years ago, I modified a pair to make them even more Aalto-esque), but they’ve also managed to become an IKEA classic over the years. Sadly (some might say traumatically), IKEA discontinued FROSTA in the North American market a couple of years ago. They made a comeback of sorts in 2014, but only with tops painted yellow and red. It’s really a shame, because the banded-ply edge of the unpainted version is really what made it so nice! It’s still available in the European market, though, so if you had to cram a couple in a suitcase…

IKEA, if you’re listening, bring the original FROSTA stools back to North America!

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✚ REBBESTAD/RYGGESTAD table, $179 Black-stained solid pine
✚ RISATORP kitchen cart, $59.99 Steel & solid birch handle / design by Wiebke Braasch
✚ RISATORP basket, $12.99 Steel & bent birch veneer / design by Wiebke Braasch

Another great dining table with nice legs! I’m really happy to see IKEA incorporating more true black-stained pieces like this and the OLOFSTORP cabinet I hung in my dining room. It’s a very nice change from that weird brown-black color that’s been prevalent on their darker furniture for so long.

I’m really digging the whole RISATORP line. That combination of birch and powder-coated white steel gets an A+ from me. I can see using that cart in any number of rooms, from kitchens to bathrooms to art studios to entryways.

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Another look at the RISATORP kitchen cart. Those wheels are beautiful!

Side note: Mmmmm, Brussels sprouts. I’m going to have to make my mapled Brussels sprouts recipe this weekend!

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✚ NORNÄS queen bed frame, $299 Lacquered solid pine
✚ NORNÄS nightstand, $89 Untreated solid pine

First of all, hats off to the stylists who put this room together. The combination of bare plywood walls and a painted floor (that blue!) is perfection.

The solid pine pieces in the NORNÄS collection (seen here and and the next two photos) are the work of brother and sister design team Marianne Hagberg and Knut Hagberg. All of the wood used to manufacture this line is sourced in the far north of Sweden, cut in a waste-minimizing manner from well-managed forests. IKEA has received a lot of criticism in the past for deforestation practices, and I am glad to see them taking some steps in the right direction. It may not be everything, but it’s something. (I’m also pleased to see even more solid wood in IKEA’s collection, since those are the pieces that can absolutely last for generations!)

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✚ TNORNÄS table, $199 Untreated solid pine
✚ NORNÄS bench, $89 Untreated solid pine

Like many of the pieces in the NORNÄS line, both the bench and table seen here arrive unpainted, made of untreated wood—the legs of the bench have been painted black for this shoot. Yes, that means you’d have to treat the top of the table with something (wax, poly, whatever works best for your purposes), but it’s so nice to have the option to easily paint or stain this type of furniture. I personally love the look of pine, but imagine that table with the legs painted white, or the bench painted entirely yellow. They’d take on a whole new feel.

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✚ NORNÄS wall cabinet, $79 Untreated solid pine & tempered glass

Man, how I love a good wall cabinet. There are several good glass-front pieces in the NORNÄS line, three of them wall-mounted and one with legs. All have really nice beveled, mitered corners, and again, the untreated wood allows you to paint them however you wish.

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✚ SPRUTT cabinet, $89.99 Powder-coated steel / Design by Marcus Arvonen
✚ SPRUTT knob rack, $24.99 Powder-coated steel
✚ SPRUTT cart, $39.99 Powder-coated steel & plastic

The SPRUTT collection is so much fun, and fits right in with other great powder-coated steel IKEA stuff like their ubiquitous PS locker and the cork-topped KVISSLE office storage series, a personal favorite of mine.

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The SPRUTT cabinet is particularly cool. What is it about things that resemble card files?? I guess it’s the promise of being SO organized that you require not just one or two separate drawers, but nine. And labels. To be honest, labels kind of stress me out, so I like that they’ve just used colors and shapes in this styling shot. I can get behind that. Where do you think you could use a cabinet like this? It’s pretty substantial at 12″ deep, so it could even work in the kitchen for storing extra flatware, napkins, jars of spices…it’s a great piece. So many possibilities!

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And finally, the SPRUTT knob rack. How can you not love this?! Ahhhh, that bright yellow. So good!! Keys, necklaces, dog leashes, scarves…this thing would be great in an entryway where you don’t have much clearance since it’s less than 3″ deep—but at 63″ wide, it’ll still add visual interest. I could even see just mounting it on the wall as a decorative object, honestly.

Also, I now need white Swedish headphones.

All images courtesy of IKEA

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Just a quick note to let you know that EVERYTHING (prints, shirts, iPhone cases, mugs, pillows…everything) in the K IS FOR BLACK shop is $5 OFF this weekend! There’s also FREE shipping (yes, worldwide!) on almost everything.

You must use this link in order to activate the promo discount. (Or just go to doorsixteen.com/kisforblack, which will automatically redirect you.)

For the 8th year running, I have made a personal commitment to buy gifts for my friends and family from local and independent artists, designers and crafters this holiday season. As I have done in previous years, I’d like to invite independent hand-makers to post links to their shops in the comments. Please refer to the guidelines below before sharing your link. Thank you!

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Share your shop link:
Please keep all links limited to the spirit of handmade goods from independently-run businesses.
To make things streamlined, please follow this format:
✚ NAME: Your shop’s name
✚ URL: Your shop’s address
✚ DESCRIPTION: Briefly tell us what kind of goods you sell
✚ DISCOUNT CODE (if applicable): If you are running any kind of promotion (discount, free shipping, etc.) for the holidays, please include the details and discount code. Codes specific to Door Sixteen readers are welcome.

(If I don’t approve your comment right away, that probably means I’m away from the computer. Don’t fret!)

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Small Print: Door Sixteen/Anna Dorfman does not personally endorse any of the shops linked to the comments section of this post. Links have been tested for functionality and to ensure that the goods for sale are in keeping with the spirit of handmade goods from independently-run businesses, but beyond that no verification or endorsement is implied. All comments are moderated. Comments containing faulty URLs or which are not in compliance with stated guidelines will not be published.