Thursday, June 21, 2012

Color Flavor: Honeysuckle

It's a popular fragrance for soaps and lotions and in the spring and summer, it sweetens the breeze and entices the bees. Honeysuckle comes in tame and wild varieties and doesn't just smell good, it's a great source for color inspiration. This vine can be considered a pest if not controlled, but if you've walked by a bank of it after a rain, you know the scent is like none other. If you stop to study further, you'll notice tones from smooth butter to lively magenta and all tones in between.

In design, these colors are a dream for something fresh or feminine. A bakery or candy shop would be a fitting use for the buttery yellow and zing of fuchsia and tart green. The brightness of these hues would also do well in the branding for a specialty children's store.

Home is for comfort and these warm tones do just that, comfort us in the arms of a summer day. Use a lighter honeysuckle yellow for the walls. Here, I've used Behr's Manila Tint (310A-3) with a more intense hue for accents (Flame Yellow: 360B-6). Splash around the greens and purple (Brook Trout: 110E-2) to bring attention to certain areas. Warm wood would further brighten the feeling where a contrasting use of cool metal would bring balance.

Honeysuckle yellow is a color that can almost instantly trigger a perfumed memory. The scent alone is a beautiful thing, but the kaleidoscope of colors in the bloom of a honeysuckle are just as amazing.

Patterns can be found here, here, and here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Chase Away the Creative Blues

"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way." -Edward de Bono

One of the pitfalls of creativity is the shin-cracking stumble of being uninspired. How many times have you had a really productive streak and then nothing? If you're anything like me, ignoring your creative dry spell is harder than ignoring a giant spider crawling across your face. So, how does one remedy the drought? There are many ways to tempt your spark back out into the daylight. Generally, people have to find their own cure, but here are a few suggestions.


Whether you have a regular '9 to 5' or work from home, it's easy to get into the routine of bottom in chair, eyes on the computer. Though this is fine when all your cylinders are firing, but if you've run out of ideas, it's time to go idea shopping. The trip doesn't have to be lengthy or really have purpose. Put on your walking shoes and stroll around the neighborhood. Visit a green space or if that's not your style, sit at a coffee shop or bookstore. Whatever you do, distance yourself from your usual working area, enjoy some peace, and observe life around you. The kick-start you need may be in the colors of a pretty day or the smile of a stranger.

Hat Trick

I've used this method many times in the past. Write some random words on slips of paper and place them in a bowl or basket. Draw out a word; ready, set, create! Ignition may not be immediate, but when it comes, you'll be back to normal in no time. Sometimes, the brain needs a hard restart. When you're hung up on something or just lacking drive, forcing your mind to think the  unexpected can really help.


In the same vein as 'random word in a hat' is the shuffle. So many of us employ a steady set of skills in our field. Some of us code websites all day while some toil over layouts and illustrations. Sometimes, when our usual work bores us into stagnation, we need to shuffle to something unusual. How about getting creative in the kitchen? Find a recipe and make something. Interested in gardening? Get a new potted plant. Do a word puzzle or play a game. People have a plethora of skills, we just don't use them all in one day. Skills need a break just like pulled muscles.


Being uninspired, though seemingly monotonous, is something that can push your stress level to critical. Escaping to different surroundings may help in some respects, but remember, there are a lot of parts to the machine that is you. It's important to do diagnostics on everything. Have you laughed today? Has something made you feel like a child again recently? Cutting loose and being silly is great medicine. Shaking the snowglobe of your mind with a little laughter can really help things settle more clearly.

Creative silence can be deafening. It's important to keep perspective and not let the blank page get you down. Success and refreshment is never far. The trick is to not be dissuaded by the time it takes to get back on track.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Idea Seeds: the Olympics

They are a symbol of peace, civilization, and excellence. The Olympics are the pinnacle of society; athletes from all over the globe participating in friendly competition, living together in a 'village'. This show of goodwill and skill is also an inspiration to artists and why the Olympic Games star in this Idea Seeds post.

Athletics is akin to art in sculpting and grace. From the balance of a gymnast to the lines of a diver; the chiseled beauty of an eventing warm blood to the blurring colors of racing oval, the games are stuffed with creative energy.

The Olympic games boast a number of year-specific creative items. The medals themselves are sculpted especially for each Olympiad. The opening and closing ceremonies are a spectacle of dance, music, and color. Posters have long been a way for artists and designers to show their tribute and skill. You see in this collection a sampling of some of the best Olympic and Olympic-related from the first half of the 20th century.

The games of the XXX Olympiad will take place in London this year. There's no better time to enjoy the events how you may and be spurred to create. I created this piece to reflect the depth and movement of the games. The stylized rings are like sails moving us forward while echoing back to remind us of how far we've come. The motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger) and it gives us the fire to keep going, to keep achieving things we didn't think possible. How can you be better today?

Faster, Higher, Stronger
Original vector art
© Rachael Sinclair, 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Amongst the Stars

I stumbled on the poem The Old Astronomer to his Pupil by Sarah Williams a while back and haven't been able to get it out of my head. In particular, this line: "I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." The Saturn V carried us to the moon and helped us make one giant leap for mankind. There is no better craft to represent this amazing bit of poetry and the sentiment that you should not fear the unknown. The sky is vast and can be frightening, but possibilities are endless if you're brave and your love is strong.

Amongst the Stars
Original vector art
© Rachael Sinclair 2012

Note: You can see my NASA STS (shuttle) piece here.