Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Breathtaking Nature Photography of Terri Leo

"Awake" © Terri Leo
Terri Leo’s gorgeous images evoke serenity and stillness with their elegant simplicity and insight into nature. Clean, soft lines and shapes form dreamy abstractions, portraying the essence of the natural forms that she captures with her camera. As you take each piece in, you cant help but feel overcome with a sense of enchantment and peaceful wonder.

Leo first became interested in photography through her career in modeling. At 14, she worked after school doing modeling for local stores and catalogues and was later discovered by famed illustrator Antonio Lopez. Soon she found herself in Europe working for French Vogue and Elle as well as doing shows for designers such as Chloe, YSL, and Thierry Mugler, among others. After spending a year in Paris, she moved to New York where she stayed for the next ten years.

"I Am" © Terri Leo
Throughout her modeling career, she spent a great deal of time traveling to exotic locations and working with some of the most iconic photographers of her time including Norman Parkinson, Horst, Avedon, and Demarchelier. Being surrounded by so many photographers and talented artists in the fashion industry, Terri found that it quickly became a passion for her as well. While she worked, she absorbed as much information and knowledge as she could from them, including lighting, technique, and composition. In fact, most of her knowledge of photography comes from her years in modeling. She took a lot of photographs at the time and worked on developing her own body of work.

Influenced greatly by the fashion industry, Terri started out photographing people, doing portraits, fashion, and headshots for mostly up-and-coming models and actors. But she was always experimenting and taking photos and searching for the perfect light. Over time, she began delving into new subjects and themes and discovered an interest in photographing more natural elements that eventually evolved into her own unique style.

"Sacred Bath" © Terri Leo
Leo is especially inspired by the sea – the sound of waves crashing, the light on the water, the salty air and the sand underneath her feet. It is one of her favorite things to photograph, but also a place for her to return to and continually draw inspiration from. It is the way that the ocean and nature in general makes her feel that she works to capture and imbue into her photographs – not just the way it looks, but also the way it feels to her. Her hope is that it will stir something inside of others on a deeper level end evoke the same feelings of passion within them.

“I always say, approach your art with as much preparation as you can— and then, just let it happen. You have to be willing to push the limits…and then let go. I seek in my art to internalize nature. My body of work is an extension of my heart... timeless, and simultaneously grounded in this moment.” – Terri Leo

"Diva" © Terri Leo

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer 2012: What’s Hot in Interior Design?

Today is the summer solstice (I know… it’s here already!? Can you believe it?) and the sun is shining on a gorgeous green world out there – at least here in Southern California. With all of the warm weather and gardens in bloom, every day seems like the perfect day for a walk on the beach, or an afternoon relaxing on the patio with a nice cold glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade.

That delicious summer energy seems to pervade everything, and interior design is no exception! There are a lot of wonderful trends that are hot right now in the interior design industry, and at the moment many of them have a very summery feel to them!

The feeling of summer is open and inviting. It has lots of clean lines, elegant tones, and minimalist furniture. Designs that are in right now start with light, warm neutrals (lots of white and off-white!) and bring in splashes of bright, summery colors like yellow, gold and orange; or oregano and lemon; or blue offset with a warmer color; or turquoise with accents of purple. During the summer, everyone wants to be outdoors, so the interior designers are drawing on those same summery feelings to make interiors more inviting.

Another thing that’s really big right now is ikat! Ikat is a dying technique used to pattern textiles that employs a resist dying process similar to tie-dye but with an entirely different end result. Ikat can be applied to a number of elements in a room, but are especially hot on furniture, rugs, and even walls.

What’s also HUGE right now is going green (and I don’t mean the color!) Though this is nothing new, it seems that lately everyone’s thumbs have been favoring a green tinge as people swap out fake plants for living ones and invite greenery and even small water pieces into their interiors. That fresh, living energy makes a still interior feel more open and peaceful, and people are recognizing just how important living plants are not just to our ecosystem, but also our health and mindset. People are tending to their gardens and bringing fresh flowers into their interiors and discover that they brighten their mood just with their presence.

These are the major trends that have taken hold these last few months. Other things that are popular right now are hardwood floors, natural elements like wood and natural stones, wallpaper, patterns, and everything animal-related!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Creativity Booster: Saying No to the Negative Voice

Have you ever been sitting around, brainstorming ideas with several people, and no matter how long you sit there, there’s that one person that loves to tell you why every idea that you come up with won’t work? Even before you’ve gotten the chance to really explore it fully? Have you also noticed that sometimes it’s not someone else – sometimes there’s a negative voice in your head that kills off your ideas before you’ve given them a chance to grow?

We don’t always realize it, but that negative voice can be a real creativity killer if we don’t keep it in check. Don’t get me wrong, it has it’s place and time. But for the sake of really boosting your creativity and increasing the quality of the creative ideas that you come up with, it’s often very important to just say no to the negative voice.

The main reason for this is that even though at first glance an idea might not seem like it will work, there might be an outside the box solution that you are not thinking of. But by veto-ing the idea before you’ve even fully considered it, you might be missing out on an idea that is absolutely perfect.

Try this: next time you’re having a brainstorming session, write down a great big list of every possible idea that you can think of – even if you already know the idea won’t work. Let your imagination run freely. Even if the negative voice in your head says, “no, that won’t work,” just write it down anyway. Give your brain a chance to be completely creative without stopping it partway through or putting limits on it.

Then go through your ideas, and instead of crossing off the ones that don’t work, ask yourself: is there a solution that I might not be seeing? Is there another way of doing this? What am I assuming about this idea that might not necessarily be true – or is there something that I could change that will make this idea viable?

Doing this on a regular basis will boost your creative thinking and improve the quality of your ideas. You will begin looking at things in a new way. The great thing about this is that it applies to any creative endeavor, and you don’t have to be brainstorming or making lists for it to work. You simply have to be willing to not take the negative voice at face value – be willing to ask yourself questions and find out if there is another way of doing things that you hadn’t thought of before.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Are you interested in becoming an OC Designer Source Artist?

OC Designer Source’s Art Team is experiencing rapid growth and we are finding an increasing demand for new and different types of art. At the moment, we are looking to fill several different art niches that we don’t currently have. We are looking for:

  • Very unique art that is outside the box and different than what you see in most galleries; this can be extreme or avant garde, or modern or something that completely breaks the mold – just nothing extremely sexual, vulgar, hateful or offensive, please.
  • Detail art or tattoo art; stuff that is hip and modern and very pop culture.
  • Zen, Asian, or Eastern art.
  • Sculpture or other three-dimensional art.
We are also looking to form an alliance with someone who can create large-scale organic art sculptures, installation art, or architectural art.

If you are interested in being considered to join our art team and want to read more about who we are, what we do, and the submission process, please take a look at our Art Submission Page.