meet & greet: laurel howells

Everyone, meet Laurel Howells! I really like Laurel's style, what she makes and the pictures she curates. She has a sweet Christmas collection right now in her etsy, and a bunch of pretty things in her portfolio. We are lucky that she shared with us about her work and philosophy and showed us some pictures of her work space!

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as bold, linear, geometric, illustrative and intriguing.

Your portfolio displays a lot of different mediums: poetry, design, photography and graphic design. What is your favorite medium to work in/which one do you think you express yourself best in?

I love collage and low tech film photography, capturing shadows and geometric compositions. I love shapes, edges and geometry and capture this within all mediums including collage and illustration. I always have pushed the boundaries of what graphic design actually is and love expressing myself with the handmade elements of collage and illustration, which I think I express myself best with – however I feel most zoned out and relaxed when producing repeat pattern illustrations which have led to my Christmas card designs this year.

What has been your favorite project/thing you've done in your creative career so far?

My favourite and most exciting creative venture so far has been selling my own designed items and artwork online and at fairs. I only started this aspect in September so it is all very exciting. I feel so happy persuing something that I am passionate about as a career and selling things that I have wholly designed and made is really rewarding. I am really excited about developing the Laurel Howells brand even more so in the new year.

Love all your darling Christmas items in your Etsy! What are you most excited for about Christmas time?

Thank you! I really enjoyed producing some Christmas product lines in my style – I always look forward to wrapping presents and this year I'm extra excited about experimenting with jute string and fabric and I'm going to incorporate some neons into my wrapping, contrasting with the traditional Christmas colours, I have been finding a lot of cool Christmas wrapping ideas on pinterest this year and may even have a go at making some little knitted pom poms to add to my gifts. I have been looking at some vintage 50s wrapping paper on ebay as well which could contrast really well.

Tell us about your relationship with triangles.

I have always been fascinated with triangles and it all started with doodling triangles during idea generation at uni. I find the triangle wholesome and somewhat therapeutic. I love the patterns they create and the way the pen moves on the page when they are drawn. I guess the triangular shape has just followed me through my design life because of its comfortable qualities and visual strength. They are bold and unafraid when on their own, yet can create pretty and intricate patterns. I like to incorporate them with collage compositions as they draw the eye easily and help layout the collaged aspects onto a page. My other fascinations include neon colours and typewriters and I could write another paragraph each about them alone! (but I won't).

What are some of your favorite blogs to read?

I love browsing through tumblr at the moment to get visual photography inspiration and I love patternity and printpattern for pattern and shape inspiration.

You are a star on the rise. What are you plans for the future?

I aim to develop my brand further with regards to selling my homemade wares! I would also like to expand my collage artwork and collage illustration. I feel I can express myself quite well in this medium. My big life dream is to open a cool shop stocked full of products from my favourite designer makers and etsy-ians from all around the globe. It would be amazing and unlike any shop out there, it would have a really welcoming environment and it would even hold a screen printing club in the evenings.

Any advice for others interested in pursuing graphic design?

To enjoy everything you do and make sure you are pushing and squeezing every boundary of what graphic design is perceived to be. Even though I studied graphic design at uni, my work includes photography, illustration, collage and textiles and more! Do not be afraid to have fun and do not just go down the route that everyone else is. Don't be normal, normal gets you nowhere in life -- well it does, but it doesn't get your soul anywhere. I want to be old and look back on my creative path and think 'YES I'm glad I did what I did and inspired people'. When networking, the key is to “create conversations” not to just sell and market yourself – BE yourself, talk about what you have been doing and what you like, people are more likely to respond to a designer with a personality and interests.

Thanks so much, Laurel! Adore More readers, be sure to check out her portfolio and visit her etsy, and use the code ADORELAUREL to take 20% off until the end of December.

oh, PAIRS: orange

Hey friends! Can you believe that it's December already? It's true. Time flies when you're having fun and I am having waayyy too much fun these days. I like this picture set because it calms me down and makes me feel warm. And that is exactly what I need as Portland is currently loving the cold and the rain. Here's to a happy Monday!! xoxo.

the collection: pinecones

thank you stefania gambella, minato, leigh ellexson, ines perković, karly, eleanor hardwick, ana friese, svimmel_, nadya ka.

It's happening. Winter, that is. It's getting cold for reals and don't I know. I am using my parent's '96 Honda Accord. The hot air doesn't work, so I drive every morning to work with freezing air blasting, and then I walk to my office in an old building with windows that let the air blow through. So, I am feeling the coldness all the time. Don't get me wrong though. I am very thankful for those two things -- those are probably two of the biggest things I am constantly thanking God for. 1) A job. 2) A car to get to my job. God is good. And if I get to experience with goodness with the cold, then I want to be freezing!! Ha. Love you & cold wishes! xox.

meet & greet: bianca tschaikner

Bianca Tschaikner is a world traveler and a world illustrator as she draws what she sees and what she feels. I was drawn to her work because of it's sense of romance mixed in with a sense of reality. It's magical because I feel like I get to see a different part of the world in every piece. Very charming. Sweet Bianca shared some more about herself and her work -- I know you'll find her charming as well!

What is your background in illustration?

I studied media design in Austria and Chile. I always liked drawing, and my thesis was an illustrated cookbook about South America, and from there on I focused on working as an illustrator.

Can you give us a mini summary of your career and your favorite highlights?

I have been working as an illustrator for three years, I began doing illustrations for some Austrian newspapers while living in Morocco, and then I continued working from wherever I was, illustrating for different newspapers, magazines and some books. One of my favourite anecdotes from my career: I once was looking for a room in Berlin, and one person I contacted took a look at my website linked in my mail signature, apparently liked my work, and some weeks later he actually commissioned me for a great job in Switzerland. That was really funny.

What is your favorite medium?

Ink pen on paper.

What country/trip has most influenced your work?

For the past, probably Morocco, because this is where I seriously began sketching the things around me, keeping some sort of visual diary. I sadly lost my first sketchbook in a train robbery and after that I began sketching like mad, wanting to create, in an attempt to get over the loss, even better drawings than the ones they stole me. So during my time in Tangier, which is a city equally absurd and inspirational, I filled a whole pile of sketchbooks sitting and drawing in street cafes. At the moment, my work is greatly influenced by Uzbekistan, where I spent last September.

What advice would you give an aspiring illustrator?

Work hard. Draw every day.

What is your favorite thing about traveling?

I just love being on the road, the feeling of being detached, being far away, and exploring new, unknown worlds.

Can you tell us your favorite thing about Florence?

I really like the whole atmosphere, the great art and architecture everywhere, the medieval cobblestone pavement, the old palazzi, the beautiful parks, and all the little bars and food shops.

What is your favorite thing about life?

That it is some sort of land of endless possibilities.

Don't forget to check out Bianca's work online. It is so fun to go through herportfolio -- I could spend forever looking at it and her blog. But then you can also look for your favorites on her etsy! Too much fun.

And until the end of December Adore More readers can get 15% off with 'VOYAGE'. Take advantage of this and get some great gifts!

Thank you, Bianca!! :)

And I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!