26 August, 2011

Interview with Alanna Cavanagh

Many of your works are portraits of everyday objects, like the fabulous, overscaled scissors. Is there a story behind this piece?

Yes, there is. Anna, you have chosen to ask about the print that means the most to me. Scissors are a humble yet very effective object. One can do some very creative things with a pair of scissors, for example give yourself a new haircut, make a collage or a table cloth... or a dress... so for me the scissors are a celebration of making things with limited resources. I am very interested in limits - that is why I use the scissors in my logo.
Also, when I was growing up, we didnt have a lot of money but my mom always kept me well supplied with crayons, markers and scissors - so the piece is also a kind of homage to her.
In addition, I find many everyday objects like shoes, penguin books and cutlery to be very beautiful. It's fun to change the scale and celebrate them.

I remember you did a print of a vintage bakelite phone you saw at my blog last year... I liked it a lot. The Scissors print takes me back to my Grandmas sewing room, full of fabrics, threads, lace scraps... and fashion magazines. My friend told me once: "you should have been born a 100 years ago". And when I saw your silk prints, I thought, and take it as a compliment: "this girl is a designer from the 60's".

That IS a compliment! Thank you.

Your style reminded me of the graphics from the magazines our Moms and Grandmas used to read. Printing technology was not so advanced back then, but the graphics, for example in advertising columns, were so much nicer... What inspires you?

My squiggly drawing style is very influenced by illustrators from the 1950s including Andy Warhol and Miroslav Sasek. (The guy who did the "This is Paris", "This is London" books) Other big mentors are: Paul Rand, Tibor Kalman, Denyse Schmidt, Lucinenne Day, Tina Fey, Hillman Curtis, Paula Scher. I am also inspired by fleamarkets, antiques, books, film, illustrations and graphics from the 1950s, Shelter magazines, documentaries, textiles, wallpapers, patterns, and... bold people that take chances!

Do you think we are all a bit tired with digital media, with photoshop-airbrushed perfection? Do you notice that there is more and more interest for traditional techniques, hand-created, alive art?

Yes, for sure. I myself was working digitally but craved something more tactile - so I began silk screening. In this crazy, buzzed out, info overloaded world we live in, it is very therapeutic to get your hands dirty!!! I had chosen silk screening because it was more inky compared to the dry quality of working in front of a computer which I had been doing for years. I love the process.
I feel we're living in an interesting time where there is a blurring going on between the design, decoration and art world. For example - Spanish artist / designer Jaime Hayon had solo exhibitions of his work, but also designed lighting fixtures, ceramics and furniture. I find this blurring exciting as it's breaking down the traditional hierarchies. I also love collaborations as I believe cross pollination is good for creativity. 
Tell me something about your newest projects.

Most recently I illustrated a cover for Penguin books and some ads for Target. I also painted a fun mural in the window of a boutique food shop here in Toronto.

What are your plans and graphic-design dreams?

In addition to continuing with the prints and murals I would love to do more surface design work. Surface design is really firing me up these days! I'd love to collaborate with someone on a line of whimsical wallpaper, rugs and ceramics! I'd also love to design a hotel room or perhaps an entire hotel interior! Hey... one can always dream!
Sounds great! Are you planning to make more large-scale prints? Your graphics decorate all types of interiors so nicely, each one a great centerpiece. Is it possible to buy them?

Yes, I love working LARGE, and have many ideas for large prints in the future. The graphics are all for sale. The prices and sizes are listed clearly on my website under the silk screen print section. I offer a 20% design discount to interior designers and those in the industry.

I would definitely want one of your beautiful silk screen prints in my living-room! Alanna, thank you for the interview!


photography: Donna Griffith (top image) and Janet Kimber

25 August, 2011

Barn renovation by Russell Groves

Modern rustic... cosy yet very elegant. An old, historic barn transformed into stylish and comfortable home. I like the use of materials here: natural, coarsely textured fabrics compliment raw wood and stone finishes. Eclectic mix of custom and vintage furniture balances the rustic feel with a modern, sophisticated touch.


seen at: casa tres chic

24 August, 2011

White apartment in Markveien

This creatively decorated apartment embraces the atmosphere of Grünerløkka - a colorful, lively area of Oslo, where the cafes are buzzing with students from the nearby Art Academy and The Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

Different shades of white and grey make the interiors feel airy and full of light. This monochromatic background was injected with some deliciously contrasting accents of wooden and black surfaces. Look closely at the table in this wonderful, open-plan kitchen. It was made from old wooden doors. Hilde took it from her grandfathers house... isn't it a beautiful symbol?

photography: Sveinung Bråthen, via: BONYTT

23 August, 2011

Residência Artigas photographed by Pedro Kok

Modernist architecture: residence in São Paulo, Brasil, 1969.
Still fascinated by João Batista Vilanova Artigas!


22 August, 2011

21 August, 2011

Jean-Marc Palisse

Interior photography by Jean-Marc Palisse. Sublime light.


20 August, 2011

Raft by Norm Architects

Softly rounded edges inspired by drift-wood shapes... unique Scandinavian design straight from Copenhagen - Raft table and stools by Norm Architects.

via: Contemporist