Author Archives: Tea Collection

About Tea Collection

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.

July 20, 2011

Behind the Design: Amate Art and Tea

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.

amate art otami nahua mexico painting

images from Montgomery schools, Mexican Art Dealing

Our designers loved the style of this paper art, and you can see its influence all over our Modern Mexico collection!  The Amate Aves Raglan Dress (above) was inspired by this Mexican craft, as was the Amate Aves Layered Dress (below).

Finally, our sweet and subtle Mística Pajarito Tee which is perfect for Back to School layering over skirts, pants, or leggings.

 

 

 

July 11, 2011

Random Acts of Inspiration: The Boy’s Brain

Every Monday at Studio T we showcase fashion and art projects we find inspiring. Have a look at our previous Random Acts of Inspiration here.

boys brain dinosaur lions robots bears

I love this illustration by Grady McFerrin. Since I design most of Tea’s boy’s graphic tees this is also what my brain looks like most days – dinosaurs, robots and bears!  Check out McFerrin’s website, full of tons of great stuff. He also does a lot of fun stationary for our fellow San Francisco company Chronicle Books.

June 21, 2011

Drawing Lessons from Picasso

picasso flower floral child drawing

“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?

children art decorating

An example of how great decorating with your children’s art can look! – found on Pearl Street

June 16, 2011

Collective Design Unconscious?

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?

Fragmented Tiger tees from left to right: H&M, Soft Gallery, Tea Collection.

 

June 8, 2011

World Oceans Day

Today is World Ocean’s Day!  Show your commitment to protecting the oceans by sporting tees featuring our favorite marine animals:

ocean shirts

images credits: Pelican, La Pelica Graphic Tee, Cangrejo Graphic Tee, Crab Swimming in Blue Water by Sami Sarkis, Turtle in the Sea, Tortuga Graphic Tee, Tiburon Graphic Tee, Tiger Shark by Roger Horrocks

What else can you to help the oceans?  It’s easy, just remember the 7C’s (Seven Seas, get it? ha!):

1.)Commit to making a real difference

2.) Conserve in my home

3.) Consume consciously

4.) Communicate my interests and concerns

5.) Challenge myself daily

6.) Connect in my community

7.) Celebrate our Ocean!

Here are some great ideas to get kid’s involved!

May 4, 2011

Tourists in Our Own City

san francisco tourists with skyline

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.

(pictured from left to right:  Erin, Katy, Laura)

April 20, 2011

Costa Brava: Cadaqués, Spain

Costa Brava Cadaques, Spain

For our Costa Brava collection we were inspired by the colors and icons of Cadaqués – a coastal fishing village in Catalonia.  The town had a distinctive color palette of whites, blues and sunny yellows – which we used to create fun summery pieces. We love the vintage nautical feel, which inspired the silhouettes and graphics of the season.