Location: Sydney, Australia

Flatlay Heaven

I don't know what it is... Something about flatlay's are just so beautiful to me. The clean lines and organization make me want to stare in awe. I found the blog watermeloncrush.com and discovered some of the best flatlay's I've ever seen. I shared a few of my favorites above. Hmmm. Heaven. Are you as enthralled as I am?
images via Steph Kramer

Bohemian Jewel Box

images via Mr. Kate
I've loved Mr. Kate for as long as I can remember. The quirky "Jackie of All Trades" is an insanely inspiring individual and she literally is doing just in a little bit of everything! She designs jewelry, does DIY's, blogs in addition to so many other things that I couldn't possibly count them all! The photo's above come from a design she did for her mom's NYC West Village apartment. She said that her mom asked her for a "bohemian jewel-box" that was "fun, cozy, yet luxurious." I think Mr. Kate really hit the nail on the head with this one. I'm already inspired! I literally want to run around and start creating and rearranging things in my apartment right now! It's all I can do to hold myself back. Problem.

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Meet the Artist: Rik Lee

I stumbled across Rik Lee's amazing artwork today and it just blew my mind! I love how stylized each one of his pieces are, and I find all of the colors to be so beautiful. Its quite breathtaking. He's based out of Australia and has worked for major companies, in addition to designing tattoo's for people. The good news is that if you're not in Australia he's also started a clothing line, so you can now wear his creations too! The brand is called Nightcall and I really like what's he's come up with. It's understated and yet bold at the same time. I just feel like the clothing is rather effortless, none of his designs come off as trying to hard. I just ordered something from the men's section today in fact! I plan on cutting it up and wearing it as a tank. Anyways! Back to the artist at hand. I found this interview on his design process and it's super inspiring!

What's your earliest drawing memory?
Drawing huge spaceship battles (complete with sound effects made by me) on massive rolls of paper my dad brought home from work for me. I’d spread them across the living room floor and cover them in cool aliens and rockets and explosions in minutes. In fact, my perfect client would pay me to do this.

How do you prefer to spend your mornings?
Just drawing really.

What mediums do you use to create your art works?
I use a range of media. All my line work and shading is hand drawn in pencil and occasionally marker pen / sharpie. From here my technique varies depending on the style of the piece.
Sometimes I’ll scan the illustration and manipulate it in photoshop, adding colour etc. Sometimes I’ll continue working by hand, colouring it with gauche or watercolours and sometimes I’ll just leave the piece as a simple pencil drawing on paper. I just go with whatever mediums I feel will work best (and i’m confident using) for each piece.

What brands / type of pencils and paper do you use?
I use Faber Castell “Polychromos” pencils and Archers smooth watercolor paper. Both products are widely available.

What’s with you drawing in red pencil all the time?
Originally I started using red pencil so I could get the basic lines of a drawing down. Then I could trace over the lines I wanted to keep in a darker tone. Lots of artists use this technique. Thing is, of the pencils i use (Faber Castell “Polychromos”) the red is my favourite. What i mean is, the lead of all coloured pencils differs slightly. I find that the red is soft and perfect to draw with. The blacks and greys are kinda scratchy and not so good. Therefore, I began to draw almost exclusively in red. It comes down to personal preference. Like all my techniques, i have discovered them through trail and error (often a lot of the latter). I suggest you do the same. Mess around, and find out what works for you. Every artist is different and every artist will prefer different mediums. While i may like the red pencil, another person may prefer blue or green. Try them out and decide for yourself :)

Train, bus or bike?
I just got a brand new BMX, so I’ll say bike.

What's the most important object in your studio?
My eraser.

Did you study art / design / illustration?
Yup, I studied graphic design. It bummed me out, so I focused on illustration as that’s what love doing. I stayed in design school and produced an illustration folio. I got a lot of grief from my lecturers who were annoyed at me for drawing everything (including all the typography). However, I graduated with a folio that I was proud of (and that no design company wanted anything to do with!) So I kept drawing, picked up some freelance gigs and continue to do what I love doing for a living and never had to type-set a shitty catalogue in my life.

Paper or Plastic?

If you could resurrect one no longer living person to have lunch with, knowing you will have to return them to the grave right after coffee, who would it be?
Elvis. That way I get to meet The King, go to Graceland and drink a coffee. Sounds like a good lunch.

Preferred method of dealing with an encounter with an acquaintance whose name you can't remember.
Call them ‘man’ or ‘dude’ or ‘buddy’ or ‘pal’.

Favorite client so far?
Drawing tattoos for friends.

Do you mind if people get your art works tattooed?
Generally I’m pretty cool with it. I’m flattered that someone likes one of my drawings so much they’d consider getting it tattooed. I do, however, prefer if you ask first. In some cases, I’ll create a work for a specific commercial purpose (a t-shirt print for example) and if you don’t want to see some guy wearing a shirt with the same image that’s tattooed to your arm this can be avoided by asking because I’ll let you know.
My commission pieces are an exception. In this case a client has commissioned me to design a personalised tattoo for them. So it sucks when someone else rips it from online and gets it themselves.
I generally ask that if and when possible you purchase the piece you plan to get tattooed as an art print from my store, www.riklee.bigcartel.com.
That way you can take a hard copy in for your tattooer to trace the stencil from ensuring they capture all the detail and you get the best quality tattoo. Much better then having them trace from a low-res screen shot. Obviously you also get a signed, art print to keep and I get a little compensation for my work too.

Could you design a tattoo for me?
Check my Commission Inquiries page and then contact me with your idea. I’ll get back to you with my thoughts and hopefully get drawing for you!
Please note that I can only accept some commissions.

How Much Do You Charge For A Commission?
This varies with each design. Please Check my Commission Inquiries page and email me. I’ll get back to you with my thoughts and a quote.

Favorite imaginary client?
Anything that allows me to travel and work is good.

How does your mother describe your profession?
Idealistic. Temporary.

Coffee or tea?
Coffee. Definitely.

Can you draw me?

Is illustration your job?

He's pretty chill! Just shoot him an email at riklee.illustration@gmail.com if you have any questions of your own! 
images via Rik Lee
Location: Huntsville, TX

So...I got a Tattoo

First off let me just say that this new Vine app is absolutely amazing! It's extremely cool because you can capture moments in real time! Kind of like the moving pictures from Harry Potter haha. I've been wanting to get a tattoo for quite some time now. Ever since I had my amazing experience in Thailand last summer I wanted something to commemorate the trip and mark the sense of dazzling freedom that I felt.

It was so hard though! I just couldn't decide what to get! An elephant? Or maybe a traditional mask? All I knew was that I wanted it somewhere where I would be able to see it everyday, but nothing really made me say "Yes! I want that!" I knew why I wanted a tattoo, to express my individuality and my undying obsession with freedom. Being free and living life to the fullest is something that I want to continue to do, no matter how old I get. I'd rather spend money on moments, rather than physical objects because memories will last a lifetime.

Not to go and get all sappy on you or anything. Anyways, I ended up talking to Dr. Gillespie's wife (who is from Thailand) and after a lot of brainstorming she managed to help me come up a phrase that represents my undying love of freedom. So I spontaneously asked my sisters if they would come with me to the Tattoo Parlor and get a price. We got there and the guy told me he had an opening now if I wanted to go ahead and get my tattoo. As soon as the words left his mouth I was agreeing! I traded shirts with one of my sisters (he couldn't get to my shoulder with the shirt I was wearing). He got me cleaned up, placed the transfer and started tattooing!

I thought it was going to hurt, but it really wasn't bad at all. I have a fairly high pain tolerance, but the needle felt more like a little buzzing vibration than anything else. My face looks really scared at first, but I got used to it after a little while. It took less than an hour and afterwards I was so happy! This was one of the greatest nights that I've had in awhile. I couldn't stop smiling!

Atalar Spring Campaign

model | Sophie Vlaming
photo | Nihat Odabasi
styling | Mert Aslan

Turkish fashion label Atalar released their spring/summer 2013 campaign with this shoot titled "Bouquet of Flowers." The pastels, ruffles and amazing prints are so stunning! I loveeeeeee the whole campaign.


1922 Was A Good Year

image via Warby Parker

With movies like 'The Great Gatsby' set to come out next month the Roaring Twenties are back and here to stay. Trendy eyeglass company Warby Parker released their 1922 collection today and I have to say that the line puts a rather refreshing spin on the era. 

image via Warby Parker

The collections rebellious spirit really speaks to me. My favorite piece of the collection by far is the Porter Sunglasses. The Tortoise Shell design really takes me back to my history class. I feel like I should slap on some pearls, grab a flapper dress and go dance! I'm interning at the Cannes Film Festival this summer and I would love to wear these for 'The Great Gatsby' screening. Fashion is such a huge part of Cannes, and I can hardly wait to see what everyone will be wearing on the red carpet!

If you want to check out the collection yourself I have to say WP is a pretty amazing company. Considering they were purely online based not too long ago, they have made great strides since then and seem to really care about their customers.  They offer services such as Try-On Before You Buy and humanitarian programs such as Buy One Get One where every time you buy a pair of frames a pair is donated to someone in need via the non-profit VisionSpring

"At the end of the day, we’re trying to provide the best possible experience for our customers," says Warby co-founder David Gilboa.  

Hopefully this company is able to keep up their good work! Would you wear any of Warby Parker's frames? Do you have a favorite look from their 1922 Collection?


Words of Wisdom #67





My friends and I stumbled across this Love Machine today and for fun we all decided to try it. It cost 50 cents and you just hold your hand on this knob until the light bulb lights up, indicating your "sex appeal". My friend Brett went first and he got Uncontrollable, which I totally agreed with. My best friend Holland got Harmless, and it was funny because I knew that's what he was going to get! His face was priceless when he got the results! He was sulking and trying to argue that the machine was broken, it was so funny.

Then I decided to go, and the machine lit up on Wild! Which I thought was pretty cool. I definitely thought this machine read all of us perfectly! Even though Holland will tell you different haha. Anyways, we're off to go check out one of these $3 movies at the theater. Hope you all have a wonderful Saturday! 


Benefits of Elderflower

image via watermeloncrush.com
I'm constantly looking for things that can benefit me inside and out. I truly do believe that natural remedies are the best, and try to avoid taking actual medication as often as I can. While exploring the town square today I stopped in to this health store and learned about the many benefits of elderflower.

While it's traditionally used as a detox, its also great for respiratory problems. Peasants used this flower to build up their respiratory system during harsh winters. They would then use this flower again in the Spring to combat allergies! Since I suffer from both of these "aliments" I was immediately intrigued! 
I decided to get some natural elderflower tea, and it was really amazing! I brewed a pot and squeezed some lemon in it. I don't like adding any type of sweetener to my tea, except for organic honey, because I feel as though it takes away from the natural properties and benefits that the tea gives you. Elderflower is packed with all kinds of antioxidants that helps to prevent free radical damage

Granted, I don't have that much free radical damage since I've been a pecastarian/vegetarian for ten odd years, but many foods that are derived from animal fats release these free radicals into the body. Free radicals are dangerous because they can damage cell reproduction and it is possible that they could even increase your risk for cancer. That's why elderflower is so beneficial. The powerful antioxidants in the herb fight against these free radicals and neutralize the toxins before significant damage occurs to your cells.

I love the tea because it just relaxes my entire body. It could just be a a placebo effect, but I really do feel as though it helps my asthma as well. I hate using my inhaler because I know it has steroids in it and I don't want to become dependent on it. I like to think of elderflower tea as more of a restorative thing, it really has a calming effect on my mind. I typically drink it prior to me meditating. 

You can brew elderflower for yourself too. It's extremely easy, choose the amount you'd like to brew and let it seep for about 10 to 20 minutes. Make sure that the tea you're using is only comprised of the dried flowers. The bark, leaves and seeds of elderflower contain a toxic chemical that is related to cyanide! Try to limit yourself to one cup a day, because anything over that could lead to unexpected trips to the bathroom due to elderflowers diuretic properties.

I've just finished brewing my own cup of elderflower tea, and now I'm off to relax and refresh. Aaahhh.