17 April 2016

Read. Enjoy. Repeat.

Hello Friends!

With tax time behind us, we can finally get to the good stuff... summer!

So here are a few book recommendations for those upcoming leisurely summer days, when you know you’ll be looking for something to read while laying on your new hammock, hopping that plane to Costa Rica, or sitting poolside in Palm Springs.

Whether you’re a CEO, a marketing specialist, business owner, artist or just someone with a lot on your plate, there’s something for you. The list I've compiled is about the art of business, being creative, getting things done and and done well! If you put just one book on your reading list this month, let it be one of these to spark new ideas, get on the right track or grow your business. And if you finish one of them, let me know how they made a difference for you. Happy reading!


People Over Profit by Dale Partridge
Dale Partridge, founder of Sevenly, is living proof that new, socially conscious business models are not only imminent but also surprisingly profitable. He distills years of personal experience and market research into the seven core beliefs shared by consumers, starters, and business leaders who are breaking the old profit-first cycle and crushing it in the marketplace by doing good.

Creative Confidence by David Kelley and Tom Kelley
Two of the leading experts in innovation, design, and creativity on the planet show us that each and every one of us is creative. In an incredibly entertaining and inspiring narrative that draws on countless stories from their work at IDEO, the Stanford d.school, and with many of the world's top companies, David and Tom Kelley identify the principles and strategies that will allow us to tap into our creative potential in our work lives, and in our personal lives.

Essentialism by Greg McKweon
Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized? Are you often busy but not productive? Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist. The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. It’s a whole new way of (yes!) doing everything.

Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
In the New York Times bestseller that the Washington Post called "Lean In for misfits," Sophia Amoruso shares how she went from dumpster diving to founding one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world. Amoruso spent her teens hitchhiking, committing petty theft, and scrounging in dumpsters for leftover bagels. By age twenty-two she had dropped out of school, and was broke, directionless, and checking IDs in the lobby of an art school—a job she’d taken for the health insurance. It was in that lobby that Sophia decided to start selling vintage clothes on eBay. The rest is girlboss history.

Persuadable by Al Pittampalli
As a leader, changing your mind has always been perceived as a weakness. Not anymore. In a world that’s changing faster than ever, successful leaders realize that a genuine willingness to change their own minds is the ultimate competitive advantage. Drawing on evidence from social science, history, politics, and more, business consultant Al Pittampalli reveals why confidence, consistency, and conviction, are increasingly becoming liabilities—while humility, inconsistency, and radical open-mindedness are powerful leadership assets. Pittampalli doesn’t just explain why you should be persuadable, he shows you precisely how.

01 January 2016

A Fresh Start

Hello and Happy 2016 friends! I know, it's been a very long time since you've heard from me here. And there's no explanation really other than I really lost steam for writing and blogging and that's the honest truth. It happens, and I've already let it go. In fact, in my New Year's post one year ago today, I said I can do anything, I just can't do everything. And obviously this past year, blogging wasn't a priority. At some point over the last 365 days I started wondering what the hell am I blogging for? Do I want to continue with a blog? Where am I going with my blog? I marinated on it for a while and decided, yes, I do want to continue with my blog, but will make a few changes in the coming months. Which brings me to my 2016 intentions! Last year I set several intentions and I'm happy to say, I was able to bring most of those to fruition. And this year I've got a few more that I hope will bring me as much fulfillment and happiness. So here we go!

1. Learn hand lettering once and for all - This is an ongoing project, a lifetime project actually. And while I took a couple of workshops with the talented Nicole Miyuki and Jenny Rainey, it's true what they say... practice, practice, practice. My problem is, I would much rather wake up and know how to create beautiful lettering. To be continued...

2. Get away from the computer - I've jumped right in for this one and already booked a slot in March at the new Broad museum and I'm already looking forward to it!

3. The 52 Lists Project - I've always been a list person. I enjoy getting everything out of my head and down on paper, it's cathartic and keeps me focused on what I need to do both personally and professionally. Moorea Seal's The 52 Lists Project is something I look forward to doing every week in a cozy spot with a cup of tea.

4. Drink more tea - Because it's good for you and has a soothing quality no matter where, when or how you like it.

5. Learn a new skill - I've been a huge fan of Swedish artist Lotta Jansdotter's work for a long time. So when I saw she was going to be in Los Angeles teaching her surface printing techniques at Poketo, I didn't hesitate to sign up. And just like getting out to The Broad, I'm excited to have the opportunity to learn something completely new with my hands from someone I admire deeply for their extraordinary creative talent!

I wish you all a most enjoyable, healthy and happy 2016! Make it a year to remember and find time to do the things that bring you the most joy, whatever they may be!


09 May 2015

Rough and Stylist

Hello friends! It's been some time since I last posted, but you know how it goes, life and work just always seem to get in the way. I've also been spending time developing my Pinterest boards and now that I'm feeling better about having more then a handful of pins, I can get back to other things, including the blog. While scoping out the overwhelming visuals of every kind and creating a board of 'Textures', it reminded me I wanted to post about a stylist new stay in Rome called G-Rough that has the most wonderful architectural textures. Owner Gabriele Salini opened a 10-suite hotel in his family's palazzo just 100 yards from Piazza Navona. The building was built in the 1600's and remodeled two centuries later, but as the names suggests, Salini preserved many of the building's imperfections; worn 16th-century tile floors left untouched, deliberately unrestored frescoes, walls sanded down to reveal layers of history. A sheer treat for the eyes to take in all the layers of history, literally. While the bare textured walls are worthy enough to pass for art, Salini added a curated selection of iconic Italian pieces from the 1930's to the '60s, giving G-Rough unconventional luxury with a personal touch in the Roman hotel industry. And... my bags are packed!

Images: We Heart

12 April 2015

Visual Letter Tricks

London-based graphic designer Silvia Baz has some very interesting visual projects, like this one called Typeworks, a set of black and white alphabetical prints. At close distance the letter designs are hard to see, but become more visible when standing far away. The prints convey the fundamental aspects of visual communication, or the use of basic graphic elements to describe visual patterns. The alphabetical prints, made with various sized black dots, were inspired by this quote from Goethe, “The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.” I love how Silvia's graphic prowess stimulates our visual senses, all with simple dots!

Prints they are available on the Typeworks website. All prints are 297mm x 420mm (A3) in size, printed on Mohawk Superfine White Eggshell 270 gsm, a smooth, uncoated environmentally friendly paper and are hand-signed by the artist.

Images: Silvia Baz website

24 March 2015

Illustrator Extraordinarie: Anna Simmons

Well friends, since I started my intention year, I definitely feel its presence! I'm happy to say, I've taken steps towards the goals I set and they are starting to blossom in many ways. Spring has surely sprung and it's wonderful to feel the benefits and see the rewards!

One of the goals I set was to learn some new skills. There are so many things I want to learn, I could literally take a year off! But you need to start somewhere right? So I wrote a list and said one project at a time. The first was honing my lettering skills thanks to a quick Skillshare class from the one and only Jessica Hische, (thank you Ms. Jessica!). I'm almost ready to reveal the finished piece, but you know how it is, just... one... more... final... tweak. But my next project might be mapmaking. I love the illustrative quality of handmade maps and when I saw the work of illustrator Anna Simmons in a recent issue of Traveler magazine, my heart skipped a beat. Her beautiful Oslo map made me want to move the mapmaking goal up a few notches on the ol' list for sure!

My first foray into mapmaking certainly won't be as beautiful as Anna's work, if ever, but I have to start somewhere, and that's as beautiful as it gets!

Images: Anna Simmons

12 March 2015

A Classic For Two

The classic Eames DSR Side Chair now has a sibling. The Raleigh, North Carolina-based design team of Clark Nexsen reimagined the legendary molded plastic chair with a wire base into a seat for two, appropriately dubbed the DSR2. The DSR2 comes from the idea that "Good design is meant to be shared" and I completely agree. The new two-seater also won the People's Choice award at the 2014 Good Design Challenge that was hosted by Herman Miller and Alfred Williams & Company. Congratulations to the team at Clark Nexsen! Read more about the process and creation over at Design Milk.

Image: Clark Nexsen

08 March 2015

The De-Cluttered Desk

De-clutter your desk with this simple natural wooden tray that holds a mug and saucer, memo pad and smartphone. I'm thinking every desk needs one of these!

Image: Spoon and Tamago

07 March 2015

The Jameson St. Patrick's Day Bottle Has Arrived!

Whiskey really isn't my thing, but if all whiskey bottles had illustrative qualities like this, then I'd have quite a collection!

Jameson, the world's most celebrated Irish whiskey, creates a little something special each year for St. Patrick's Day. Fifth in its St. Patrick's Day series, this years limited edition bottle was designed by award-winning, Dublin-based illustrator Steve Simpson. The 2015 design depicts imagery of landmarks such as Trinity College and Clery's Clock, and also features real Dubliner phrases on a map of roads to represent the lifeblood of the city: the people and their passion for Dublin.

The bottle will be available from March and sold in 33 markets around the world, demonstrating the global popularity of Jameson with its St. Patrick's Day campaign.

View more of Steve's plethora of amazing work here.


Images: Steve Simpson

04 March 2015

Leading Women

Recently, my savvy girlfriend Helene sent me an interesting link. It was an opportunity to participate in the CNN International Women's Day and celebrate the wisdom of women with an open call to artists around the world to illustrate inspirational quotes from leading women. Sounds pretty cool right? So I jumped right in, sent an email to CNN and received a quote from Oprah Winfrey to illustrate, and this was the final result. I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of such a huge audience and cause for leading women. You can view all the beautiful submissions at the CNN International Women's Day Pinterest board and read a little background over at CNN. Here's to the leading woman in all of us!

27 February 2015

Stamps To Love

There's one thing, among many things, the United States is truly bad at. One of those is stamp design. Stamps are something I rarely think about because there are very few stamp designs that have caught my eye over the years. I'm not a collector of stamps, but I have amassed a whole three sheets of stamps because they were what I would consider well designed, and interesting. And probably because they were in the design realm: sculptor Louise Nevelson stamps in 1999, the Peanuts stamps in 2000 (I'm a huge Peanuts fan so no matter what the stamps looked like, I probably would have bought them anyway!) and the Eames stamps in 2008.

Now, I'm thrilled to add Jessica Hische's 2015 Forever Hearts Stamps, released in January, to my collection. I would have to imagine it's quite a honor to design such beautiful stamps for your country. In the future, I could easily see myself collecting stamps if the USPS continued to print visually interesting and unique stamps. 

The USPS even did a cool video with Jessica who shares her musings on the stamp design. Bravo Jessica!

Image: USPS

16 February 2015

Before + After: Maria Brophy

When Maria Brophy contacted me to give her logo a refresh, I was thrilled! Maria, as well as her husband Drew Brophy, are well known in the art scene both locally and nationally, each in their own right; Maria is an Art Business Consultant and Drew is an illustrator, muralist and surfboard artist.

After more than a decade of building her Art Consulting business, Maria decided it was time to freshen up her brand with a new logo and website to compliment her business direction, which included more speaking engagements and collection of ebooks. Maria's previous logo didn't fully capture who she or her business was anymore. When we sat down and talked about what she wanted in a new logo, “authentic”, “sophisticated”, “simple” and “down-to-earth” were key attributes to incorporate. And since this would be a typographic wordmark, void of a logomark or icon, the font selections would be essential. Because Maria caters specifically to artists on a variety of business matters and shares her own personal experiences, it was important to convey the who and what clearly, in a very straight forward approach, but with personality. The end result is warm, approachable and professional, just like Maria herself!

If you’re an artist who needs valuable business advice, guidance, expertise and encouragement, then you need to contact Maria. She knows the Business of Art and will help you find success on every level!

“Lynne took the time to get into my head and understand my brand, my needs and my personality. She was friendly, patient and professional. In the end, she created a design that perfectly captured the essence of my brand.” - Maria Brophy

If your logo or brand could use a little refresh too, get it touch and let's do it! There's no better feeling in the world for me, then when a client is delighted with their new look!

10 February 2015

A Longing for Letterpress

The Mama's Sauce card
The studio of The Aesthetic Union

Kristine Arellano of Presshaus LA
My business cards don't wow me. There I finally said it. Do you know how embarrassing it is for a designer to admit that? So... things are about to change. Goodbye old cards, I'm designing a new card and I'm on the hunt for a printer who will print a card that will wow with a capital 'W'. In thinking about what I want, the final product needs to be incredibly tactile and memorable, the feel of the card needs to be amazing. I'm a letterpress junkie and lover of heavier weight paper, so these attributes will require a special print job from a seasoned printer. I've narrowed my search to a few favorites and I want to share them with you. Here are some of the best in the business if you're looking for the ultimate business card to hand out and stand out. Because business cards are still important and potentially be the first touch point a prospective client might get from you.

Mama's Sauce - What about Mama's Sauce isn't to love? They have a reputation for some of the best printing in the country and designers love them. Based in Orlando, Florida Mama's Sauce has churned out some of the most memorable business cards, posters, stationery and invites. Just take a look at their Instagram feed.

Aesthetic Union - This San Francisco-based print house works with designers to flesh out ideas using traditional printing methods resulting in timeless ephemera. Printmaker James Tucker specializes in letterpress work, and designer Risa Culbertson of PapaLlama (her personal line of stationery and gift items) have teamed up to open a printing/studio/shop/gallery space offering a bevy of paper products. They carry locally and specialty made cards, notebooks and writing desk hard goods. And all their paper products shine with goodness.

Presshaus LA - Kristine Arellano learned the craft of letterpress printing in Germany. Vandercook anyone? She. Knows. Printing. And her passion for printing is clear. Just watch this video of Emma Dime's Lovely Lady Studio Tour Series of Kristine's letterpress journey. Her LA-based bespoke letterpress studio produces timeless pieces, and I suspect her soon-to-launch line of paper goods will be just as fabulous! Oh, and her sidekick Bagel is the cutest pup in print!

These are just a few of the many incredible letterpress printers out there who's work I greatly admire. If you're looking for a letterpress printer in your area, you can find an extensive list of top notch printers over at The Beauty of Letterpress.

I haven't decided which printer I'll be going with yet, sometimes the design needs to fit the right printer and vice versa, but I'll keep you posted on the final results!

Images: Mama's Sauce, The Aesthetic Union and Presshaus LA
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