Tag Archives: random acts of inspiration

June 6, 2011

Random Acts of Inspiration: The Burning House

The Burning House” is an art project started by Foster Huntington. After posting a photo of what he would save if his house was burning, he got such a strong response that he began recruiting friends to photograph what objects are most precious to them. If running out of a burning house, what would they grab? I have to admit it’s something that regularly crosses my mind (to the point where all my photo negatives are boxed up in a bag near the door).

The McMillans

In Foster’s words “If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It’s a conflict between what’s practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.”

Laura Pritchard

One element that really stood out to me in all these images is how many pieces of clothing are included. Shoes, shirts, football jerseys…so many people have a sentimental relationship with specific articles of clothing.

Henning Heide

What would you save? And what articles of clothing could you sentimentally not live without?

June 3, 2011

The Tiny Doors of San Francisco

A slow but constant buzz has started in San Francisco regarding a number of small doors that have popped up throughout the city.

It seems there’s a few different artists at work. The doors above are done by Jeff Waldman of the blog Where’s Waldman. Jeff states “The idea is to install small doors, unexplained portals, throughout the city. These doors are scaled down to a size that is cognitively possible but whimsically improbable. ”

The second type of doors are smaller and a little harder to spot – locals to the Noe Valley neighborhood are calling them “fairy doors”.

photo by Sally Smith

photo by Mike Adamick

photo by Pamela Girard

The origins of these doors are slightly more mysterious – no one has come forth yet as their creator, but they’ve been appearing around San Francisco off and on since 2009. Mike Adamick and his daughter Emmeline are experts at tracking down these fairy doors – to see more images visit Mike’s blog here and here.

What secrets does your city have?

May 31, 2011

Paper Clothes

Today we have a guest post by Lydia, who works in wholesale customer care at Tea.

Walking into the Legion of Honor special exhibit “Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave”, I did not know what to expect. I had only heard that she crafted costumes entirely out of paper. Naturally I was curious. Well, my curiosity was rewarded with rooms filled with meticulously crafted, historically rich paper costumes, garments more beautiful than anything I had ever seen before in real life.

Lengths of paper are elaborately painted with patterns and carefully sculpted into garments that mirror those found in paintings hanging in museums all over the world.

Isabelle de Borchgrave working in her studio

At the Legion of Honor, each room represented a certain period in time and fashion, and I was transported into the world of the Medici family during the Renaissance, then surrounded by the fantastical and exotic designs of the eccentric 20th century designer, Mariano Fortuny.

Accompanying the paper creations were beautiful tapestries and lengths of lace. Often I could not tell the difference between de Borchgrave’s paper copy and the real thing!

After visiting this exhibit, my mind was racing with ideas for crafting my own paper creation! If you’re in San Francisco between now and the 12th of June, this exhibit is definitely worth a visit.

(all photos courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)

May 30, 2011

Random Acts of Inspiration: Pencil vs. Camera

Ben Heine is a Brussels-based photographer and illustrator who was born in the Ivory Coast.  His playful images capture the idea of “manual photoshop”, and while fun, also carry a poignant level of idealism.



You can find more of his images here.

April 4, 2011

Random Acts of Inspiration: They Draw & Cook

I don’t cook. I just draw. But if anything was ever going to get me to cook, it would be this awesome website.  Recipes hidden within pretty drawings. Love it. (Make sure you check out their map, to see recipes from all over the world.)


March 28, 2011

Random Acts of Inspiration: Ink Calendar

This calendar, created by Spanish designer Oscar Diaz, uses the capillary action of paper to draw ink out of the bottle. Designed to migrate across the sheet daily, the ink fills in each set of numbers with color to represent each day of the month. Different months are represented by a range of colors – greens and yellows in Spring, and reds in Summer. The ink calendar has been exhibited at various design shows around Europe – I wish it was actually in production!

March 17, 2011

In Celebration of Tiny Art Directors

If you’ve never seen the work of illustrator Bill Zeman and his daughter Rosie, you’re in for a treat. At the request of his daughter, Zeman illustrates scenes that she dictates and lets her judge the results. Some pieces are grudgingly approved, others adamantly denied, as Rosie does her best to pull “good art” out of her father.







Tiny Art Director started as a blog, and was published as a book in 2010. While humor is the main goal of this work, Zeman also raises an interesting point about encouraging children to view art critically. Recently Rosie the Tiny Art Director has learned the best way to express something is to do it herself. How do children express their imaginary worlds? What art do they like and not like – and more importantly, why?

March 11, 2011





Cristobal Balenciaga Eizaguirre started his first fashion boutique in San Sebastian, Spain in 1918, at the age of 33. Following great success after the Spanish Civil War, Balenciaga relocated to Paris, where his revolutionary designs became hot commodities, dressing royalty and celebrities. Despite his move to France he never lost his love of Spain, and many of his earlier items were heavily influenced by flamenco dresses and historical Spanish garb.


Balenciaga never gave an interview during his career, and so for many existed as a man of mystery. After his retirement in 1968 the house of Balenciaga stopped all production until 1986, when Jacques Bogart re-opened it with the goal to create a new ready-to-wear line. Bringing designers from all over the world, the Balenciaga name is at the forefront of modern innovative fashion.






If anyone is visiting San Francisco between now and July 4th 2011, be sure to check out the De Young Museum‘s exhibition Balenciaga and Spain. This retrospective examines the ways in which Spain as a nation influenced Balenciaga’s designs over the years.