Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Creativity Booster: Learning to Let Loose!

When I was a kid, my mom gave me a lot of creative freedom. Both my mom and my grandma are artists, so I started drawing and painting at an early age. Pretty soon I was painting and drawing on other things, too, like the walls. I don’t remember her ever getting upset with me, though. She was always proud of me. I didn’t realize this was such an unusual thing until I began to see how other parents reacted to the same situations. Then I realized I had it good!

One time I was in school and the teacher handed out a bunch of pages from a coloring book for everyone, along with boxes of crayons. Apparently, I refused to color with everyone else. The teacher was frustrated with me and called my house. When my mom asked me why I wouldn’t color, I said, “somebody else already drew on the paper, mom!” I was used to being given a blank page.

Another time, my best friend and I were drawing pictures with magic markers, and we got bored and decided it would be more fun to draw on ourselves. We spent a good hour drawing pictures all over our arms, our chest, our faces, our legs, and our feet. We were so proud of our work. I still remember the reaction when her mom saw us. She was furious! She sent me home and immediately made my friend take a bath. I went home and my mom was delighted. “Oh, look how creative you two are!” The contrast between parenting methods has stuck with me to this day.

Now that I’m an adult, I still see remnants of both worlds in everything; the creative freedom that I was always given is definitely not the norm. It seems that not just parents, but most environments – work, school, and home – have strict rules that must be upheld and certain ways that things must be done. It is only more recently that creativity has started to become more prized than ever before. Work environments like Google have been born and people are realizing that having fun doesn’t hinder our performance; it actually improves it!

What old, outdated rules are you still following? Where could you break out of the box and allow yourself to let loose a little? Maybe we can’t always change our work environments, but we all have varying degrees of control over our personal life. The negative voices in our heads that put us down and say, “you can’t do that,” are the very barriers that keep us from making creative breakthroughs!

When you give yourself permission to color outside the lines and paint in places you’re not “supposed” to, you set your creative self free. Think about how you can let loose and allow yourself to express your creativity without fear of repercussion or criticism. Give yourself a chance. Be a little kid again, and let yourself be free to just play.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Providing Art for Hill Partnership, Inc.

The OC Designer Source Art Team has recently been able to provide art for Hill Partnership, Inc., an architectural studio in Newport Beach! We are so excited about this venture.

Hill Partnership Inc. was founded in 1975 and offers facility programming, master planning, architecture and interior design. They have a wide variety of projects they have completed and continue to work on, including hospitality, education, health care, civic, commercial office, and retail.

One of the coolest things about this company is that they are very client-oriented. They go out of their way on every project to make sure that they are providing design excellence; creating effective solutions and tailoring the building to their client’s needs. Making sure that the building is able to fulfill their expectations is their main priority.

Hill Partnership has a fantastic team of people who are all working hard to fulfill the company’s mission and a long list of awards that the company now has to their name for doing just that. They have a truly amazing body of work, as you can see by looking through their portfolio on their website. We are so pleased to have the opportunity to provide high quality art for them.

They were interested in consigning art from some of our artists in their main office, and we were more than happy to oblige! So far, two of our artists have been featured. Ricardo Vela showed off some of his beautiful abstracts, and Marsha Tudor showcased her breathtaking floral scannography. We are looking forward to continually providing them with more high quality art in the near and far future.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How Interior Design Affects Your Well-Being – Part 2

Last week I shared with you some of the ways that interior design affects your overall mood and your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. I also promised you that this week I would get into more detail and share with you some of things that can benefit you more specifically, based on your personality. So here you go!

1. The Doer: Are you a very active, action-oriented person? Do you leap out of bed in the morning feeling optimistic and enthusiastic about life, ready to take on the day? Are you very practical, logical, and organized? Are you competitive, disciplined, and driven? Are you working towards something that is very important to you?

If so, you will most likely benefit from an environment where you get to enjoy simple and somewhat rustic décor. Clutter will drive you crazy and tidiness and organization will bring you a sense of peace and clarity. You would probably love living in a log cabin style home or house with lots of gorgeous wood flooring, walls, or décor. Art or photographs of nature feed your soul more than anything.

2. The Dreamer: Are you a very independent person who needs your freedom? Are you often reflective and dreamy, with excellent intuition? Do you like philosophical discussions about life? Are you artistic or creative, or maybe just a little bit dramatic? Are you single-focused, determined, and tenacious?

If so, you will most likely benefit from an environment where you get to enjoy the peaceful beauty of water in some way; whether it’s simply living near the ocean or on the edge of a lake, or having a small waterfall or fountain in your home or garden. You thrive in wide spaces and large, open rooms, so doing things like adding large mirrors in some of your smaller rooms can help in that department. Luxury is also very important to you; having a great big bath tub or extremely comfortable mattress will make a big difference in your well-being.

3. The Nurturer: Are you grounded, diplomatic, and patient? Are you thoughtful, caring, generous, and helpful? Do you sometimes care more about other people than you do yourself? Do you love family get-togethers and spending time with friends and networking with people? Do you appreciate the creature comforts in life? Do you enjoy travel? Do you treasure the things that hold sentimental value for you?

If so, you will most likely benefit from an environment that is warm and cozy. You love having all of your favorite things around you: photographs of family and friends, collectibles, souvenirs from your travels, and other mementos. You need a big comfy chair that you can relax in at the end of the day and enjoy a snack and a movie or good book. You also love having a comfortable space where friends and family can come visit you. A nice kitchen is likely important to you. You will feel best when you can maintain the balance of keeping all the things around you that you love and being able to keep it somewhat tidy as well.

4.  The Sensitive: Are you very aware of your environment—perhaps more so than most people? Do you enjoy having things clean and tidy, and feel frustrated when things are out of place? Are you very tuned in to the people around you, and always seem to know what they are feeling? Are you a gracious, charming host who enjoys people, but you absolutely cannot live without your own space? Are you somewhat of a visionary, and a little bit idealistic?

If so, you will most likely benefit from a very minimalist environment where you have plenty of extra space. You feel best when you are around monochrome or pale colors, and neutrals or metallic colors. Ideally, you would choose to live on the top of a hill or just somewhere with a wide, sweeping view. You need to keep things neat and tidy in order to feel comfortable.

5.  The Lover: Are you exuberant and joyful, filled with a passion for living? Are your family and friends more important to you than almost anything else? Do you have a boundless store of energy and excitement for experiencing new things? Do you enjoy change and having fun? Do you seem to come up with more fantastic ideas than you know what to do with? Are you great at starting new projects and getting everyone else inspired as well?

If so, you will most likely benefit from an environment where you get to enjoy unusual architecture and décor. You feel best when you are in a unique environment with avant-garde furniture, eccentric or unique art, and vibrant colors. Since you probably have several projects that you are working on right now, you would benefit most from having an office with multiple desks, giving you the ability to work on one thing for a while and then move on to the next without having to clear the space and clean things up, allowing you to pick up right where you left off next time you sit down.

Friday, October 14, 2011

How Interior Design Affects Your Well-Being – Part 1

Most people are aware by now that the environment you live in affects your health. The things that surround you on a day to day basis affect your mood and emotions, which in turn has a dramatic impact on your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. A cluttered home with too many contrasting colors can cause stress and anxiety, while peaceful, calming colors and textures can bring more serenity and relaxation into your life.

Just color in and of itself has a huge impact on your mood, as we talked about before in one of our previous blog posts: How Color Affects the Energy of a Room.

But what else has a dramatic effect besides color?  Believe it or not: everything! Granted, different things affect people differently. If one person had a bad experience in a home with a certain style of décor, it can affect them negatively-- while that same décor can bring another person endless peace and joy, and vice versa. But beyond the obvious, living in a beautiful environment that suits your personality and preferences can have a greater impact on you than you know.

Tailoring each room of your house to the specific activities that you intend to do in each one can help bring greater productivity or relaxation, depending on what those things are. For example, an office can be enhanced for productivity by keeping it tidy and using primarily a lot of white space with splashes of light blue to bring peace and calm, and gentle accents of orange and yellow to stimulate enthusiasm, excitement, and help you to feel uplifted. Stay away from reds here, as they can simulate frustration and anger, something you definitely want to stay away from while you are working.

It is important to ask yourself what makes you personally feel good, and what you like. Experiment with colors and see how you feel after looking at them for long periods of time. You may discover that a redesign in your dining room might cause more fun and good conversation around the table at dinnertime. Or you might find that a shift in your living room helps you to relax more easily. Or a color change in the entryway of your house makes guests feel more welcome.

In Part 2, I’m going to get into more detail and share with you some of things that can help you more specifically, based on your personality – so don’t miss it!

One last tip before I go: to bring more joy and peace to any environment, try bringing in a bouquet of fresh flowers. My Aunt has a passion for roses, and has more than a dozen rose bushes in her backyard. Since they bloom all year round, she is constantly trimming them and making bouquets all over the house. I remember one Thanksgiving where her house was filled with no less than twenty overflowing bouquets of roses, and everyone was walking around going, “why do I feel so good!?” It sounds simple, but it has a dramatic effect on your well-being. Fresh flowers have an incredible ability to uplift our spirit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Art With Texture

"Awakening" © Wendy Froshay.
What is it about three-dimensional art that is just so cool!? I’ve been enjoying it a lot lately, and been trying to put my finger on exactly why. What is so special about those extra layers of texture and shape?

For one thing, it’s not very common. Most canvas or print art that hangs on the wall is flat. Although original paintings do have some texture to them, it’s not the same as a three-dimensional piece of art. There’s something really enjoyable about being able to walk up to an original painting that’s hanging in your dining room and run your fingers over the bumps and lines, seeing the pieces of rough rock, smooth metal, or speckles of sand that have been embedded in the piece, or layers of wax that make it up.

It takes art from just being a visual experience to a multi-sensory one. It encourages you to really look and explore the painting even more so than you would if it were one dimensional. It walks the border between painting and sculpture, making bridges and stirring up conversations.

"Silent Spaces" © Elizabeth Khorey
Two of our artists have created a large collection of three-dimensional art on canvas: Elizabeth Khorey and Wendy Froshay. Khorey specializes in encaustics, which is an ancient European method that involves layers and layers of wax. Froshay focuses on embedding physical objects into her paintings. She has a series of geometrics that are more mechanical in nature made up of metal and wood as well as paint. Her other style is abstract naturalism, colors and paint that simulate aspects of nature that leap from the canvas and are made up of more organic materials, like sand and shells.

If you’re looking for something really unique and truly against the grain for your next interior design or hospitality project, nothing will wow quite like these do. There’s something about them that just catches the eye and draws you in. You can’t help but get involved in the colors and texture and shapes. There are a variety of different color schemes to choose from to complement any interior.

The only downside to these fantastic pieces is that only one of each of them has been created; it is a concept that cannot be simulated by a print. Though prints can be purchased, they do not have the same power and effect as the three-dimensional original. So if you see something you want, it’s best to get it quickly, before someone else does! Once an original is sold, it’s gone.

"Timeless Grace" © Wendy Froshay

"Something About A Dream" © Elizabeth Khorey

Friday, October 7, 2011

Oh what a night!

We are so happy to announce that the Food & Wine Tasting Networking Event put on by OCDesignerSource and KIVA Kitchen & Bath on Wednesday evening was a smash hit! We had a dynamic group of around 80 people mingling and networking at KIVA down on Van Karman Avenue and it was so much fun.

The turnout was wonderfully diverse. There were interior designers, suppliers, architects, contractors, builder industry professionals, marketing gurus, artists, and more. We were very happy to see such a great crowd having a good time and making new contacts.

The highlight of the event was the vendors who gave us an exclusive peek at the newest technology in appliance manufacturing, and getting to see them in action as they showcased their cooking skills. Not only was it fun to watch and learn about all of their amazing technology, but the food was absolutely delicious!

Viking showcased their amazing ovens which have always been known for chef quality and fast heating, and served mouth-watering vegetarian lasagna and crabcakes.

Sub Zero showed off their commercial quality refrigerators, and Wolf (owned by Sub Zero) displayed their beautiful commercial quality ovens with red knobs in a residential setting to give the perfect chef look. They prepared bacon wrapped dates and barbeque tri tip sliders.

Perlick impressed everyone with patented technology that allows them to cool more effectively with custom diversity in-shelving. Then they showcased the ultimate man cave toy: a beer tap, and served cold beer to a delighted crowd.

Jenn Air shared with us an oven that had an incredible step by step screen that guided you through cooking a meal – a sort of cooking for dummies that would turn anyone into a chef! They then sampled some amazing tri-tip that had us all completely sold.

Miele displayed their washers and dryers along with an amazing potion from a keg tap that everyone was raving about, a crazy Kahlua drink that everyone ended up going back for more because it was so good.

Thermador made an impression on everyone with their cooktop known for star burner technology that spreads the flame evenly across the bottom of the pan.

And last but not least, Dacor showcased their beautifully designed chef quality ovens and shared that they were still a family owned business. They completely outdid themselves by feeding everyone tri tip blue cheese on bread, “real mac and cheese” (it was sinful—a once a year food for us older folks), bacon wrapped stuffed mushrooms, and custard with fresh fruits.

At the end of the night, there was a raffle and several lucky people won a variety of prizes: a faucet from Hansgrohe, a faucet from Newport Brass, a Viking blender, a Miele Wash Kit, a Dacor gift basket, and the grand prize: a state-of-the-art GE wine cooler. Congratulations again to all the winners!

We were so glad to see you all there (and for those of you who couldn’t make it, we missed you!) is known for its networking parties and we’re already looking forward to the next one.

Special thanks to Suzette Richards & Marsha Tudor for these wonderful photos!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Press Release: Art Library Launch!

Today on PR Web -- OC Designer Source Press Release:

Yorba Linda, California (PRWEB) October 04, 2011, an innovative online resource center offering unique interior design products and services in the field of interior and exterior design, is pleased to announce the launch of their new art library for licensing for hospitality and publishing with their team of talented art providers.

Headquartered in Yorba Linda, California, is the culmination of its two founders’ 25 years of industry expertise and is a highly respected resource for interior design, serving consumers with the best, most reliable talents in the art and interior design industries.... (Read more)

The Urbanic Art of Emelina Figueroa

Emelina Figueroa creates beautifully intricate and yet strikingly simple paintings that embody a warm, loving presence. Her work is soft yet bold, featuring a signature repetition of shape that varies from piece to piece. Her “woven paintings” give the viewer the opportunity to imagine a world where the sky is made of thick ropes or balls of yarn looped together.

She also has a gallery of textural abstracts that speak to our emotions and allow us to get lost in a world of pure feeling. The imagination has an opportunity to explore as the canvas becomes a field of freedom to run and play in.

This talented artist was born in Hermosillo, Sonora Mexico. She discovered early on that she had a gift for a variety of creative media, and loved to paint. Her artistic education began with her first oil painting teacher, Olga Quinones, who gave her work a thorough foundation. Later, Figueroa moved to Arizona and adopted a new teacher, Beth Lacour, who encouraged her to incorporate natural, environmentally friendly processes to her painting -- something she still does to this day.

Emelina’s paintings are made up of a blend of acrylic and water based art materials as well as organic materials such as sand, wood, seeds, marble powder, coffee, grains, fibers, and other recycled materials. It is the latino influence of her background and this unique mixed media technique that merge together harmoniously in a beautiful dance of color and shape to give her work it’s own special flavor that she calls Urbanic (or Urban-Organic.)

Her work has been featured in exhibits in Arizona, California, and Mexico. National and international collectors have purchased her work and she licenses her art through OC Designer Source to the interior design industry. Figueroa has received several awards, and she teaches both public and private workshops and classes, as well as a monthly TV art lesson segment on AMAZ, channel 7/cable 13.

Her many paintings are inspired by nature, spirituality, personal development, science, art, the celebration of life, and above all: love. Emelina Figueroa’s style continues to evolve as she uses the styles and techniques that she has learned from her teachers and then experiments and explores with her own new ideas. For her, each painting is a visual reminder to herself, inspiring and encouraging her to feel what she desires in life.

Emelina Figueroa is currently represented by