Happy Tuesday Inspiration Den readers! Some of you may remember when we interviewed Dianna of DAVIE ART in the Den a few months ago, I fell in love with her little characters and now they are coming to life in her new Children’s Book, WILD ONE!
For the month of November, artist DAVIE will be crowdfunding to publish her children’s book, WILD ONE. Take a look at her kickstarter page and support a your local artist.
WILD ONE pushes her audience to live brave and wild lives. It acts as an art book perfect for a coffee table and a family’s nighttime ritual before their little ones fall asleep.
DAVIE has been doing art for the last 3 years. She started doing street art and her work quickly evolved into shows at galleries and a freelance business. Her style has simple black lines and a classic aesthetic. To view DAVIE’s portfolio, visit her website!
Instagram: @davieart #makewildone
I’m so excited to feature my friend Melinda Hagman in The Inspiration Den! Some of you might have recognized Melinda’s work from a previous feature/interview I did with her way back in 2011 on my old blog Jesse’s Girl . During that time Melinda was in the middle of her “Flowers” cycle. I was immediately drawn to her art, and had to share it with the blogosphere. It was around that time I got the idea for The Inspiration Den. I love the idea of sharing other artists’ points of view and what inspires them. The excerpt below is from the Jesse’s Girls post and below that is all about Melinda’s new art! Enjoy + Be Inspired!
Amber: Why did you decide to do this “flowers” project and how long are you doing it for?
Melinda: I got the idea for the “flowers” project from a friend. He was writing a short story once a week for the year. It was the first week of the year and I had just painted one flower painting and the idea hit me. So, I told my friend that I was going to steal his idea and do a flower painting once a week for the year. It was exactly what I needed to do. I had stopped painting after my first child was born almost eight years ago. For the last 3 years I have been saying, “I should start painting again.” I would do maybe one painting and then that was it. Now I have made a promise and that I will keep.
Happy Monday everyone! Today I have the opportunity to interview and showcase an amazing artist… Scott Coppersmith Designs! I have a huge respect and love for those who have the ability to maintain a green lifestyle and also appreciate the arts and those rolled into one make for some amazing work. This year I went to UNIQUE L.A., where I first stumbled upon Scott Coppersmith Designs. I was totally drawn to his work. It’s not only up-cycled materials, but also an amazing piece of decor that I’ve rarely seen in homes or stylish events. I think Scott has started a new revolution in the wedding + style world with his unique designs and am so privileged to have him in The Den!
Amber-The Inspiration Den // Scott-Scott Coppersmith Designs
Amber: What inspired you to start designing and building Lighting + Furniture pieces out of up-cycled materials?
Scott: I used to be a builder and 2/3 of America’s landfills are construction debris. I saw it everyday and decided to do something about it
Amber: How do you prepare/get inspired for designing a new project?
Scott: Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. You just have to be open to it. Don’t discredit or discount things before really thinking about them. It’s a lot of brainwork but I see it as that’s what I’m getting paid for.
Amber: Out of all the pieces you’ve created is there one in particular that you love a little more than the others?
Scott: They all have they’re fun bits. I usually like the latest more than any other simply bc it’s fresh and new to me, too. But I am constantly evolving my art so as I push boundaries I am more proud of each piece. I still one of the first ones. I know I’ll always keep it. I suppose that despite it being a total price of shite it reminds me of a) where I’ve come b) how far I’ve come c) why to keep on going when I think I’ve made something crappy (sometimes you have to make 20 before there’s a good one worthy of the market).
Meet Mark + Candice of Mark Brooke Photography! This Husband-Wife team was one of the first photography companies to bring some hip, funky, fresh, and artsy images to the wedding world. They have taught new up and coming photographers through their seminars and workshops. If you have a love of weddings, photography, and art you’ll love Mark Brook Photography!
Amber: The Inspiration Den // Candice: Mark Brooke Photographers
Amber: What does Inspiration/being creative mean to Mark Brooke Photography? How do you find inspiration?
Candice: Inspiration can be found anywhere…. actually when we first started our business 6 years ago we promised ourselves that we would not find “inspiration” in other wedding blogs, but in everything else. We love good design… so in that we find our inspiration from a well designed work space, an art book, a random poster, to the sound of a good band. I know that might sound silly, that is always where we have pulled our inspiration from. It’s actually fun to follow Mark’s pinterest because most of his boards are filled with amazing art pieces and prints.
Amber: What has been your favorite project/event/person to photograph?
Candice: Wow, this is a hard question, I feel like it’s a trap, lol. Well… the truth is (I hope I don’t get in trouble), any wedding shot at the marvimon, smog shoppe, or an artful venue makes for some of our favorite shoots. We could never choose one specific couple or person but we still to this day have clients we will never forget! Our clients have left a lasting impression on us and we feel so grateful to be in this industry
Amber: How did Mark Brooke photography get started?
Candice: Mark Brooke Photography started almost 6 years ago. Mark was shooting a little bit of fashion and bands (since he is a music major). Then a cute couple in one of the bands asked him to photograph their wedding. The funny part is we said no. LOL. I love that part of the story because the reason why we said no was because we were under the impression that if you were a wedding photographer you had to take crappy, out of focus, and lame photos. Finally we decided to cave and shoot the wedding… We LOVED IT! We brought our own artistic perspective and decided that wedding photography could be awesome! That was years ago and we could not be more happy that we are now full time wedding photographers.
Amber: Do you have any advice for the young artist/photographer just pursing their dream?
Candice: Go for it…. but know it is HARD. One of the biggest misconceptions is that photographers only work weekends, or that it’s easy to make a living as a photographer. Mark and I work very hard to continue to do what we do. If anything it’s more than a full time job. But in the end it is worth it!
Not sure about you, but when I have fresh cut flowers in my home, in my studio, or at an event, I feel inspired. Flowers can evoke a feeling of love, happiness, and joy–especially when given to you by that special someone.
I’ve been so eager to share this sweet interview + these amazing photos. Aly’s story, from dream to reality, is an inspiration to aspiring artists, florists, or entrepreneurs. I hope you enjoy her story, and do feel free to peruse her site for more amazing arrangements.
Amber – The Inspiration Den // Aly Morford – The Vines Leaf
Amber: Can you tell our readers the story of The Vine’s Leaf and the Journey it has taken to get where it is today?
Aly: My dream of being an entrepreneur started at a very young age and has never stopped growing. I always knew that I wanted to own some kind of downtown shop and be within the hustle and bustle of the people. When I was in college, I started a college job at a busy flower shop in the heart of San Luis Obispo and fell in love from the very first moment. I kind of created my own perfect curriculum through my college experience and earned my degree at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in Agricultural Business Marketing with a minor in Ornamental Horticulture, while learning everything first hand through the flower shop. Everything about those 4 (ok, maybe 5) years in college molded my career and the path it would take. After I graduated, I decided it was time to head back down to Southern California and start planting my roots. I dove right into the Orange County Wedding Industry with a super busy Newport Beach wedding florist and loved every second of it! I realized how much I DIDN’T know the second that I started. You see, I was working at a flower shop, NOT a wedding florist before…two totally different things! By day I was soaking up every bit of experience that I could and by night, I was writing my business plan for The Vine’s Leaf. Fast forward a year later, I was signing a lease for a beautiful new shop in San Clemente…I was ELATED, my dream was coming true! Hold on, not so fast…Three months into our lease, the economy decided to take a nose dive and was down for the count….beginnings of a very tough year. We tried to ride it out in the retail market, but being brand new and in a very new area there was just no way to make it work. The positive side to all of this was that despite a major lack in retail business, by wedding business was booming! If ever there was a silver lining this was it. We decided to close our doors to the shop and re-establish the business as “The Vine’s Leaf, Custom Blooms” specializing in weddings and events. As hard as it was to say goodbye to the shop that I built my dreams on and put my blood, sweat and tears into (literally ALL three) it was the best move I ever made, personally, financially, and spiritually. I have now fully immersed myself into the wedding industry and can totally focus on growing this business into exactly what I want…it’s invigorating and exciting to watch it blossom. I love working one on one with my Bride’s, building relationships with the many fabulous wedding folks, and having the energy and resources to be fully creative again and most of all, I love the flexibility that it gives me with my family.
Last week I was able to sit down with singer/song writer/ worship leader Allison Escalante to discuss her first full length album, dropping January 18th! Allison’s openness and vulnerability with her music is encouraging for all artist. Enjoy the interview and hope to see you at the CD release shindig and snag a copy of her album for yourself!
Here’s a sample of one of her favorite songs from the album; I Need Your Help
LWF: Little Woodland Friend (Amber)
AE: Allison Escalante
AE: I have two… The first is “We Want to Bless You” because it takes on whatever particular emotion you are feeling at that time, happy or sad. I listened to this song in my car for 2 full days over and over again once the cello had been tracked. I literally went from being blown away by how awesome the cello sounded against the layered guitars on the instrumental part, to crying my eyes out listening to it in the evening. It somehow took on this incredibly tragic/romantic sound. My second favorite song is “I need Your Help” because it was written for a really good friend who’s wife cheated on him and then left him. This was a way for me to comfort and encourage him.
LWF: Why are you a worship leader?
AE: I know God has blessed me with this gift and I know I’m called to usher His people into His presence through song. I take it very seriously. I’m very aware of the shape peoples hearts are in. I know they come into church broken and burdened and just want to hear God’s heart for them. I know this because I’m in the same boat. For a time, I didn’t take Leading Worship seriously. I was disgusted at my heart and how I had somehow come to the conclusion that I offered the Lord something amazing and that i somehow made things “Better”. I quickly realized how wrong I was and decided to stop being involved in music all together. I had no intention of ever picking my guitar back up again, much less singing in front of a congregation again. But God Restores! I now stand with my guitar and sing from a place of vulnerability in an attempt to encourage people who are also going through hard situations.
LWF: Any Advice to young musicians?
AE: I think practice is a huge part of honing your craft. It’s too easy to let yourself go. Also, make sure to expand your musical interests. Don’t box yourself in. Learn other styles and genres. Don’t just do it because you know how to, but let things you don’t know influence you. I think it’s important to be musically smart as well. There is a huge difference between a musician and an artist. Anyone can pick up a guitar and learn a few chords.. Last weekend I had the privilege of driving to the mountains with another musician to play for a group of 18- 25 year olds. We were listening to music as we drove and I sat there listening to him pick song after song apart. Initially it was slightly annoying, but as time went on I found myself incredibly interested and blessed to sit next to him and just watch. There was something musically smart about him- a definite artist. So often I don’t pay much attention to songs. I know I should, but I don’t. It was easily a car ride that changed my musical perspective.