Katy designs graphics and textiles for Tea and is a self-proclaimed wildlife conservationist. She loves discovering beautiful things and finding inspiration in unexpected places. When she is not working on one of her too many creative projects she enjoys rollerblading to musicals, pretending she can surf and watching Disney movies. Katy has traveled around the globe to work with creatures that have lost their homes to rainforest destruction. Her most memorable trip was to Malaysian Borneo working with orphaned orangutans, next up is sloths in Costa Rica, and hopefully one day Mountain Gorillas in Uganda.
The Nahual, pronounced [nah-wahl] is a mystical creature who acts as a spiritual guide in many Mesoamerican religions. While every person has a nahual, they need to seek out their spirit animal to connect with it. Many believe the way to find your nahual is to find a isolated and peaceful place to sleep, and the animal that appears in your dream will be your spirit animal. The spirit animal can be any animal, or a mixture of animals. It is often depicted as a lion-like creature with human features, like in the Mexican ceramics above. We loved these creatures, so chose to make our nahual in a similar style. We hope he’ll inspire you and your children to find your own animal spirit!
Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. For more Behind the Designs click here.
Amate bark paper-making is a Mexican craft that started in pre-hispanic Mexico. The craft risked being replaced entirely by more modern European paper production. When amate paper started getting attention from scholars, the Otami saw the opportunity to revive the craft. They began selling the paper in Mexico city where the Nahua poeple started a “new indigenous craft” by creating paintings with the paper. Nahua paintings (above) are now one of the most popular crafts from Mexico.
images from Montgomery schools, Mexican Art Dealing
Are you familiar with Picasso’s work in clay? I didn’t realized that Picasso was so passionate about clay. His ceramic pieces ended up being some of my favorite. They inspired many of our graphics for our Catalonia collection.
Peacocks were popular in the Modernisme and Art Nouveau movements (right). We especially loved these lesser known drawings of peacocks by two of Spain’s most famous artists (left), Salvador Dalí (top) and Joan Miró (bottom).
“To draw, you must close your eyes and sing” -Pablo Picasso (this quote is featured on our Daisy Graphic Tee)
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” -Pablo Picasso
I loved the above Picasso quote, because it was exactly what I needed to do when I was designing our Spring 2011 Catalonia collection – reconnect with the artist of my youth. This was a great lesson for me and something I hope stays with me over time. I try to instill these ideas in my younger cousins who I often have drawing/art sessions with. The younger of the two is 5 and she fully embraces her inner artistic child. She draws with no fear and complete creativity. The 12 year has started having doubts. He’s constantly self critiquing his work and wants to be able to draw more realistically. He has the desire to grown and learn and I want to encourage that. I do my best to encourage them and to hopefully lessen the fear of failure.
Here’s some things I do to help them feel special about everything they do:
1. Frame their artwork. Kid’s love this. It makes it feel like their piece is really appreciated. My grandma would do this with everything we painted. We wouldn’t bring any art home until it was framed – which made us so proud to show them off!
2. Ask for help. I often admire the way they draw and ask them to show me how to draw like that. I’m an adult, they have the impression that I know what I am doing, so when I ask for help they know they must be doing something really unique if I can’t do it.
3. Turn their art into something. Last year I had them both design t-shirts. I took their drawings and got print on demand t-shirts with their designs. They were so excited when the shirts came in. I remember the younger showing it off to my aunt, “Look grandma it’s a REAL shirt!!!.”
How do you encourage the young artists in your life?
An example of how great decorating with your children’s art can look! – found on Pearl Street
Sometimes I feel like there is a collective design unconscious, a subset of Jung’s collective unconscious. There are unfortunately the obvious cases of designers blatantly ripping off other designers/artists, but then there are times when multiple designers come up with totally different versions of similar ideas. We are all obviously inspired by trends and events going on in the world, but sometimes it’s just crazy how different designers can come up with the such similar designs.
This seasons Tigre Graphic tee is a perfect example. I remember designing this. I didn’t see any kind of fragmented tiger that inspired it (at least not till after I designed it). I was seeing the trend of triangles in design and was just doodling shapes and thought “ooh I could make a cool tiger out this!” I thought my fragmented tiger was a totally unique idea I came up with in my head. Wrong! At the same Tea’s fragmented tiger shirt came out, two other children’s clothing companys came up with fragmented tiger tees! CRAZY! Has anyone else had this experience?
Last week it was too beautiful to stay inside, so a few of us snuck off for a little walk on our lunch break. It was such a nice view we asked a passer-by to take our picture. He asked us where we were visiting from. We told him we were from the bottom of the hill.