Instagram Inspiration

There’s so much to say about Instagram I thought it needed another post. I feel like all people use Instagram a little differently but there have been some fun things I have discovered. Here’s my little breakdown:

Challenges vary in scope. Sometimes they can be daily challenges, weekly challenges, or challenges for the month. They can be used by a company for a chance to win something or they can be geared toward sparking your creativity. I think challenges are fun because they make you think about what kind of photo you’re going to post. Everyone loves a good challenge! Here are a few I thought were fun:

  • It’s My Week :: This account gives you a weekly theme like places or food and you interpret it however you feel for a chance to be featured on their account. Even if you don’t want to participate this account has beautiful photos.
  • 100 Days of Happy :: This isn’t just for Instagram but the challenge is documenting what makes you happy for 100 days in row. In turn you’ll be happier. I’m all about the happy.
  • Capture Your 365 :: If you need a little more direction, Capture Your 365 lays out daily challenges each month. You also have a weekly prompt if committing each day is too burdensome.
  • If you need more ideas, either google or search in Pinterest for “instagram challenge” and you’ll find something you like.


Collective Hashtags
I’m calling them collective hashtags because I don’t know if they have an official name, they are kind of similar to challenges but a little more loose. I’m most familiar with ones within the design community. Bloggers/designers/whomever come up with a hashtag and invite people to use them. The result is pure eye candy and also a great way to find new folks to follow. Here are some of my favorite ones:

  • #poppytalksummercolours :: Blogger Jan of Poppytalk hosts this hashtag every summer. She also does one for every season. The fall one is my favorite! She asks people using the hashtags to post particular colors on certain days to make the hashtag feed extra beautiful.
  • #DSpattern :: Design Sponge hosts a few different hashtags (#dsfloors#dstexture, #dsrainbow, #dslettering) but this one is my favorite to peruse.
  •  #ABMlovesmurals :: The girls over at A Beautiful Mess like Design Sponge come up with some fun hashtags every now and then. They are also a fun/inspiring account to follow. Also check out #ABMlifeiscolorful.
  • #dresstherainbow :: Super fun Brittany of House Lars Built has done a few hashtags that she also makes challenges for herself. Her latest one is so fun and I can’t wait to see how she’s going to do it. You can participate and win a $500 gift card to ASOS. All the details here.


Creative Usage
There have been a few people that have caught my eye because of their GENIUS creative use of Instagram. Sometimes I’m like “Why didn’t I think of that!?!?” I’m always intrigued by other people’s creativity and it pushes me to be on top of my game. Here are a few example for you viewing pleasure:

  • @sophieandlili :: Jennifer Vallez is a doll-maker, illustrator, and designer. I started following her account because I saw her genius idea of watercoloring other people’s (popular) Instagram feeds. Hello, smart advertising! You can see them all under her hashtag #igwatercolorstories.
  • @dailydoodlegram :: Illustrator Geffen Refaeli creates these simple pen illustrations that combines one element from two other people’s Instagram pictures. They result in a provoking and magical little illustration. She always includes the handles of the people she’s borrowing from so you can see the original inspiration images. They are really incredible.
  • @rachelryle :: I can’t begin to fathom how Rachel makes these AMAZING illustrated stop motion Instagram videos. They are so freaking cool and I’m in total awe of them on the daily. Amazing I tell you! Go now and watch them all! I’ll meet you there.

As always, is there anything I’m missing that I should know about? Let me know what your favorite hashtag is to follow.

Favorite Instagrammers

Instagram is my favorite form of social media. I’m pretty particular about who I follow because I use it mostly as a place for inspiration (aside from a couple satirical accounts). I love discovering and following artists, illustrators, designers of all kinds, and stylists. It was really hard but I narrowed down my favorite Instagrammers to a list of twelve. I divided them into two categories for you: Art Makers and Artfully Fun.

My favorite Art Maker Instagrammers:artmakers

@juliarothman :: Julia is an illustrator and is always working in her sketchbook like a good artist should. She and a couple other cool gals have a drawing club and I’m insanely jealous.

@charlottelovely :: Charlotte Love is a stylist living in London. I don’t know anything about her but her pictures are always a welcomed dose of fun and whimsy in my feed.

@helenmccullagh :: Helen is an Australian artist that paints mostly florals. I love seeing into her process and details of paintings in progress. Her work is really beautiful if you’re into flowers.

@kindahkhalidy :: Kindah is an artist and surface designer in California. Her work is so playful and colorful. I just want to bottle it up and keep it in my pocket for when I need a shot of happiness.

@alkeemi :: I’ve included Kimia’s work in this post from a few months ago. Not only is she a painter but the art curator at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn. How much cooler can you be? She has a great eye.

@petra_borner :: Petra is another artist I included in the Artists You Might Like post like. You might also like her Instagram feed. I like following her because she posts a mix of process, inspiration, and finished work.


My favorite Artfully Fun Instagrammers:
artfun@emilyblincoe :: Emily is a rad photographer who crazily organizes random things like cherries, crackers, and leaves. She has a super cute puppy to boot. She adds soothing eye candy to my feed.

@shopbando :: If there is any girl gang I want to be a part of it’s the gang. Fun, colorful, witty, I can’t say enough about how much I think this brand is THE COOLEST.

@thedogist :: You’ve probably caught on that I love dogs. I can’t resist a great photo of a dog on my feed and these are exceptional. I love how he captures their personalities and always tells their name and age. So cute.

@kellyoxford :: Kelly is a writer with a silver tongue. Her observations are hilarious. I found her on Twitter a few years ago and thought she was so witty and honest. The captions for her cats are the best.

@cestmarie :: Maria Marie is a Mexican based photographer and stylist. I love how light and pastel her feed is. It makes me want to eat cake and take better pictures. That’s a good thing.

@graymalin :: I don’t follow a lot of travel feeds because to be honest it makes me feel envious. I try to avoid that feeling. Anyway, Gray’s aerial photographs of beaches are too dreamy to deny.


I hope you’ve found some new folks to follow on Instagram. There are literally millions to follow. Are there any you think I would like? Who is your favorite? You can also find me on there!

Artists and Artists You Might Like

Many believe that contemporary artists aren’t making anything original; not that people aren’t trying, but that it’s impossible to produce anything that has never been seen before. On the other hand, no one will be able to exactly duplicate anyone else’s work (or even their own).

We should concede that are only so many themes in the human experience. Repetition of theme is inevitable. This is no license to be a lazy artist. We are all unique individuals and have specific points of view that no two artists share. I do think that some artists blatantly “ape” other artists for profit and others rely too heavily on their popular influences. I look for a balance of recognizable influence applied to a unique point of view.

I love discovering new (to me) artists and often think about their influences. Out of habit from graphic design I tend to make connections. The following artists are some of my recent favorites. I don’t know for certain if any of these artists are influenced by the artists I have them paired with (two masters and one current) but I thought it was interesting how similar some appear. These are completely my ideas (as far as I know). Hopefully you will discover a new-to-you artist. Let me know what you think.

paul ferneyPaul Ferney

I discovered Paul Ferney through his wife, popular blogger Jordan of Oh Happy Day. I was drawn to his painterly style and beautiful subject matter. I especially love his newest paintings of beaches. His style harkens back to French impressionism but has a fresh contemporary spin to it. I also love what he does with “The Commission Project.” He makes small commission paintings more accessible and affordable for anyone by painting from a photograph. He does it about once a year. It’s fun to see what people want to be made into a painting.

If you like what you see from Paul you might be interested in Impressionism more specifically Alfred Sisley. Also check out famed American artist Wayne Thiebaud (especially his dessert paintings). For another current artist similar in style I suggest Lisa Golightly. Her paintings are just as dreamy and similar in subject matter.

Sisley / Thiebaud / Golightly

andy dixonAndy Dixon

I found Andy Dixon through the power of Pinterest. When I was thinking about this blog post I was trolling my “Art & Artists” board and noticed I had a few of his works saved. Without reading his bio I was noticing references to the masters of art history. Turns out, that’s what his latest work is actually about… duh. Anyway I love how he’s playing with traditional subject matter. He takes subjects often considered “old fashioned” and makes them new and exciting. His application of color is supreme.

As obvious as it might be, if Andy Dixon is rocking your world right now you should definitely check out Henri Matisse and Henri Rousseau. I would even suggest Wassily Kandinsky from his use of color. If you want someone a little more current with a similar vibe take a look at Kimia Kline. I see similar influences in her work (maybe I should read her bio).

Matisse / Rousseau / Kline

sally benedictSally King Benedict

I’ve mentioned Sally King Benedict before. She’s a southern gal residing in Atlanta. Basically she’s who I want to be at the moment. I don’t remember where I stumbled upon her but I’ve been following her for about a year. I love the simplicity and energy in her paintings. She plays with color and line in an interesting almost graphic way. She’s probably the most “commercial” artist in the round up but I don’t fault her on it. I want to buy her art so there’s that. Besides faces she also has some interesting abstract work.

If you’re intrigued by color experimentation, abstraction, and line I suggest looking up Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso. I feel like Sally’s work has to be influenced by Picasso or have some of the same inspirations (African masks) as him. A current artist/illustrator I think you might like if you’re digging Sally is Petra Borner. Her art can vary but is equally as interesting.

Klee / Picasso / Borner

Oscar Gowns and Art

To be honest I’m not really a movie person. There are movies I like and all and occasionally I’ll see a movie or “film” as the cool kids say in the theater. But I would rather not pay $10 to sit in the dark for two hours. Despite my lack of culture I love watching the Academy Awards. I watched this Sunday night even though I hadn’t seen a single film nominated but enjoyed it just the same because… fashion.

I’ve had some back-burner careers that I would have pursued in another life that include circus performer, child star, and most relevant to this post, fashion designer.  I read a handful of fashion blogs and feel like I have a handle on most things sartorial so while I was watching the Oscars and admiring the gowns* — ka-boom — idea: gowns and art.

*Sorry this post isn’t equal opportunity to the male persuasion. There were only two guys that were interesting: the navy tux guy and everything Jared Leto.

I picked out some (8) of my favorite looks and perused my “Art and Artists” Pinterest board. This was a challenge but it was fun. And here you go:


ART (top to bottom): Amy Boone McCreesh / Raven Roxanne Wilson* / Cy Twombly

Rosamund Pike: She was the first look I saw of the night and it did not disappoint. Red, slit, texture, undercut hair (yes, what?). She had it all going on. I did see on a blog someone noted she had the exact same prom shoes as what’s her face in “She’s All That.” Her name and the color of the dress made it super fun to pick out art to match; tons of texture, flowers, and red.

* Fun fact about Raven: Her parents gave me my first job ever at The Zoo Gallery in Grayton Beach. Raven is a few years younger than me but she went to Auburn (I had painting with her brother) and I’ve loved seeing her work pop up on the internets.



jamiechungART: Corina NikaKarina Eibatova / Judith Ann Braun

Jamie Chung: Jamie didn’t get much play on the interwebs but I thought she looked like a doll. I love the dark overlay on the nude fabric and all the sparkles. In the words of Katy Perry, “Baby, you’re a firework.” I was really led by the starburst designs but then I came upon the mineral watercolor and thought it represented the entirety of her dress. The dress has somewhat of an organic feel to me.




ART: Vivienne Strauss / Marcos Villalva / Anna Gillar

Julianne Moore: Ok, Julie I need your secret. Girlfriend is twenty-four years my senior and gives me hope for my skin’s future. This word is overused but FLAWLESS. Ol’ Karl at Chanel made this dress just for her. Julianne you are a swan, a goddess, and a rose. I tried not to be too literal in my art picks but these were just too perfect to deny. All very strong and feminine.




ART: Naomi Vona / Ashley Goldberg / Elise Wehle

Marion Cotillard: She is basically physical perfection. Marion is so cool. So French. I only want a bob haircut because she sports one. On the other hand, the haters were out on her dress. I think this dress is awesome. Boring/safe is not fashion (can also be applied to art!). She pushed the proverbial envelope. With that, let’s be friends Marion. The artwork I found for her dress is probably my favorite. One of the most inspired of the bunch. I was really inspired by the use of cutouts on her dress, like a modern lace.




ART: Martha Rich / Monika Petersen / Eugenia Loli

Emma Stone: Is is gold? Is it chartreuse? Who cares! I want this dress. No, I NEED this dress. Emma looked like a Klimt painting. Thanks for representing us fair skinned maidens. Her fun personality inspired my art choices. How perfect is the red lips with the gold background? Who would have thought intricate details would be so fun.




ART: Cecilia Carlstedt / Sally King Benedict / Heather Day

Cate Blanchett: Another win for the fair skinned. Cate looked like an awesome strong statue. What a risk of going with a seemingly simple black dress but then bam — that Tiffany’s made turquoise necklace. She radiates “I’m the baddest bitch.” And you are Cate. She actually looks like royalty, not just the Hollywood kind. The artwork I picked for her are “statement” pieces, just like the necklace and herself. By the way Sally King Benedict is one of my current favorite artists.




ART: Sally England / Georgia O’Keeffe / Lee Borthwick

Lupita Nyong’o: She has been my girl crush since last Oscars when she wore that light blue number and then had that awesome acceptance speech. I have loved everything she’s worn. How does she continue to one up every look and be an awesome person? The 6,000+ pearl dress is just so dang good on every level.  Her dress is so sculptural and yet soft, I had to find artwork with the same feeling. How the pearls lay it reminded me of macrame (hints the first piece) and then there is softness and shine. Beautiful and unexpected.





ART: Rachel Cordaro / Kiana Mosley / Unknown

Kiera Knightley: My little English garden gal. Kiera has always been a fashion player but lately she has been upping her game (remember this dress from the Golden Globes). I personally love this. I love the writing with what looks like a deconstructed bouquet. It’s genius and lovely and I would totally wear it. This dress in itself is art to me. I persevered and picked out some artwork for it anyway. There are plenty of flower paintings and art but I focused on ones that also had the looseness of her dress.


Thanks for hanging with me, folks. Who was your favorite? I also loved Jennifer Aniston‘s dress. She’s such a mermaid!

All gown images came from here.




Quick Art History – Grandma Moses

I tell my students they need to be able to name a few artists when asked and should also know a thing or two about them. If nothing else, it comes in handy when playing Jeopardy (and assures people that you have a little “culture”). I’m calling this feature “Quick Art History” where I’ll give you the important points of an artist’s work and life. You’ll surely dazzle your friends at the next dinner party. Art historians may cringe at my pedestrian treatment, but I do it for the people.

Quick Art History

Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma” Moses lived from 1860 to 1961. She was born in upstate New York into a large farming family. She grew up on the farm and continued agrarian living into marriage and parenthood. Selfless and scrappy, she bought her family a cow with her own savings and churned butter for supplemental income during tough times. At the age of 72 Grandma Moses took up embroidery and would give away her creations that she dubbed “worsted” pictures.


After just a few years, her arthritis made it difficult for her to embroider. Her daughter suggested she take up painting… at age 76. She painted casually and painted intently and gave away much of her work. Most of it was bright, honest, and direct. As someone who had lived a complete life and only painted as a personal hobby, Moses felt neither a need to evolve into something nor a desire to make a critical statement with her “work.”

pull boys

Many paintings ended up in a local pharmacy window gathering dust until they caught the eye of a New York City collector who had a propensity for seeking out native artistic “finds.” He bought all of her paintings in the store window, took them back to NYC, and made the rounds to museums and galleries in hopes of making Grandma Moses famous. Collectors and curators liked the paintings but were turned off by her age.

country wedding

It wasn’t until 1940 that her paintings made their public debut. The show was titled “What a Farmwife Painted,” thinking that the artist’s name, completely unknown, did not merit attention. A New York department store reassembled her show for a Thanksgiving Festival and invited Grandma Moses to speak. The NYC press was charmed by her humility and overall precious personality and she became a superstar, shortly thereafter featured on the cover of Time and Life magazines (among many other awards, president meetings, exhibitions, etc). Her passing at the age of 101 was front page news across America and much of Europe.

the old bridge

Grandma Moses is an example of continued perseverance, lifelong learning, and doing what you enjoy for enjoyment’s sake. She painted without self-consciousness or egotism. It’s okay to pursue things you don’t have any expectations for. And it’s never too late to start. Grandma Moses is not included in a lot of survey art history classes but her story is important to any creative. Now get to it already! (bio reference)

time cover

“I didn’t have an opportunity to study art….but if a thing seems right to me, I do it.  Art is like the Bible.  Everyone reads the Bible and has a different opinion.  Everyone looks at pictures and has a different opinion, so I go on my own.  I love bright colors so I use bright colors.  I don’t know much about perspective and things like that.  But I paint because I like to and I know what I want to paint.” (source)

images: 1/2/3/4/5/6

Gems {2}

I really hate when ice cream melts. That’s why (I say) I eat my ice cream so fast. Really it’s because I have no self control. Here is a round up of my favorite works of ice cream that will never melt or require any kind of restraint. Indulge yourself. You deserve it.

21 :: Ice Cream – ORIGINAL Illustration (He redraws each order, what!?!) $7
2 :: Gelatology 005 Gelaty – A3 Risograph print $34
3 :: I Like It by Sarah Walsh $20 (Exactly how I look and feel when eating ice cream.)
4 :: Ice Cream Cone Vintage Sign – photograph starting at $12.50


5 :: Parisian Ice Cream Sign – photograph $30
6 :: We All Scream For Ice Cream – print $35
7 :: Perfect Twist – poster $50 (My personal favorite!)
8 :: Ice Cream – print $25 (available in more colors)


Totally Loving… {4}

ice cream artIf you didn’t already know I love ice cream… and art. And art is like ice cream for the eyes so it all makes sense.

Here are some of my favorite works of ice cream by some of my favorite artists.
1 :: Triple Ice Cream Cone (Triple Dip) by Ben Shahn
2 :: Ice cream Illustration by Klas Fahlen
 :: Photograph of the sign at Sprinkles Ice Cream in LA by Bonnie Tsang
4 :: Portrait by Gabriella Cetrulo
 :: Girl with Ice Cream Cone by Wayne Thiebaud (Fun Fact: The girl is his wife.)
6 :: Ice Cream Dessert, c.1959 (Red, Pink and White) by Andy Warhol (Get a print of this one here.)

With the exception of the Warhol piece, these works of art are somewhat inaccessible (unless you have a few million lying around). Come back later and I’ll be sharing my favorite ice cream themed works that won’t cost you but a couple Alexander Hamilton’s (or less!).


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