All Images Courtesy the Artist and Piece of Work LA
We had the pleasure of catching up with the very talented Amy Jo Diaz of Piece of Work LA this week. Amy Jo’s work is a favorite over here at Moon Canyon. With bright patterned layers or even a simple tee, her necklaces add dimension to any outfit. We think her work is super special.
Moon Canyon Design Co: Why Piece of Work? What does it mean for you?
Amy Jo: I've thought about a moniker for years. This year, when I made some necklaces for my friends at General Store, I had to decide on one. I wanted to use something that didn't make me sound like I took myself too seriously, and I didn't want to use my name. I wanted to convey lightness and humor, but not in a "whimsical" way. I mostly just wanted to sound legit. Finally, in the middle of a sleepless night, Piece of Work came to mind. It's everything! Jewelry, textiles, home decor, whatever I make gets to be a real Piece of Work. My Mom used this saying quite a lot, so it must be good.
MCDC: We obviously LOVE Los Angeles! What inspires you about the fine city of LA?
AJ: There are tons of things that inspire me about LA! I think the top of the list is the community support or collaborative spirit I've found here. Artists and designers, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, everyone I know seems to be game for a project. There are so many talented people in Los Angeles, and it's so much fun and crazy exciting that there's so much experimentation and encouragement to explore new ideas. I love a creative challenge and working with artists in a media I may not have touched on before, so I'm always saying "yes". "Yes" inspires the hell out of me.
MCDC: You make jewelry, collages, textiles, etc. But what is your favorite medium to work in?
AJ: This may sound pedestrian, but my favorite medium is a sharp graphite pencil on paper. Drawing or writing, just good old scratchy pencil tip on some nice cold pressed paper. And I LOVE Sumi ink! It's so sensual and smooth and dark. I work in collage, too, which is fun. Although sometimes I get more excited about precision cuts than the outcome of the piece. I do get a kick out of the end product, though. I often find myself giggling when I see what's coming out of the conversation I'm having with my work. I was reminded of gold leaf this year, after working on an architectural project, so gilding is making a play for favorite medium.
MCDC: 2013 is almost here! Yikes! What are your plans for the upcoming year?
AJ: Plans for this year? More Pieces of Work, and maybe incorporating other artists' and designers' work into that world. I'd like to build on this concept, and have fun with it. I have so many projects just waiting in the wind, I plan to just keep doing stuff. I also want to travel. Maybe steal my Dad's Winnebago and drive around and make new friends.
INTERVIEW with ARTIST + JEWELRY DESIGNER AMY JO DIAZ of PIECE OF WORK LA
All photos courtesy Forêt Design
We caught up with Forêt Design to see the wedding these talented ladies are working on in Cape Cod. This lace-wrapped tree is a really creative and lovely way to dress up this already beautiful ceremony sight.
MOON CANYON DESIGN CO.: How was Forêt born?
FORÊT DESIGN: Forêt was born out of a desire to bring a more environmentally friendly approach to the world of floral and event design while still maintaining an attention to detail.
MCDC: How did you cultivate Forêt's look?
FORÊT: We draw inspiration from the natural elements that surround us, foraging for materials whenever possible and sourcing locally grown flowers and plants. We love to instill a romantic, old-world feel in our work while still keeping in mind the modern setting we live in.
MCDC: What influenced your design for this wedding?
FORÊT: For this event, we were able to use the landscape to create an installation that highlighted the natural lines and composition of the trees’ form. Carving out our favorite patterns in the lace, we re-attached these textures together to create sweeping patterns that grew up the curving boughs.
MCDC: What do you love most about doing wedding design?
FORÊT: We love that every event can be unique to each couple's personality. The process of getting to know each client and developing a relationship with them is the most exciting part of our job!
MCDC: Is there an upcoming design project you are really looking forward to?
FORÊT: We are super excited for the holiday season! We are working on creating custom wreathes and garlands.
WEDDING DESIGN WITH FORÊT
We just had to share some of the musings of one of my favorite local designers, Jessica Sutton. Jessica wears a lot of hats as not only a talented graphic designer, but also an avid blog writer and seeker. Her new blog directory, Directory B is a great tool for anyone interested in blogs.
Jessica Sutton via jessicasutton.com/about
Moon Canyon Design Co.: How did you come to open your own design company?
Jessica Sutton: I was always taking on small freelance projects on the side, while working full time as an in-house designer for a large cosmetics company. Eventually my freelance project load grew so much that I had to make a choice – continue to work for someone else or take a leap and see what happens. It was the best decision I ever made.
MCDC: What was your first design project?
SUTTON: My first ever 'real-life' project came while I was still in design school – I designed a logo, brochure and website for an elderly care facility in New Hampshire. I actually am still in touch with the owner and recently redesigned their site, 8 years later!
MCDC: What are your current design obsessions?
SUTTON: I'm all about single-page sites, hand-drawn typography and clean, minimal white-space these days (but the latter is a constant obsession).
MCDC: Top 3 design tips for the everyday person?
SUTTON: First off, similar to Coco Chanel's famous quote, "When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on", try not to over-design. Sometimes those last few tweaks aren't really necessary.
Second, it may sound cliché but listen to your gut. It may be what the client asked for but if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't... so don't force it. (But make sure to still send along what they wanted for comparison too!)
And last, save your work constantly.
MCDC: What is your inspiration go-to when you are all tapped out?
SUTTON: With Pinterest, Tumblr, and the millions of design blogs out there, inspiration is seemingly always a click away. Long walks around the city with my dog, Oscar, can do wonders too!
A sampling of Jessica Sutton's work, via jessicasutton.com
MCDC: Tell us a bit about your newest endeavor, Directory B?
SUTTON: Directory B is a blog directory, searchable by both category and location. We launched this past Fall with a goal to create a network of the best blogs from all disciplines in each city. I tend to get lost on blogs anyways and this has given me a great excuse to not only peruse all the wonderful submissions, but to meet and interact with bloggers from all over the world!
MCDC: Why do you think people these days just can’t get enough of blogs and blogging?
SUTTON: Blogs are everywhere! Whether it's an obsession to share, a story to tell, or a way to get and stay inspired, the reasons truly are endless. And with so many accessible platforms, there's no reason not to start one these days. Everyone has something to say and everyone can find an audience.
MCDC: What do you think makes a good blog?
SUTTON: Great design and a big voice. Having a beautiful site while maintaining a strong level of approachability means so much – and taking the time to interact with your readers, well, that can make all the difference in the world.
MCDC: What are some of your favorite blogs featured on Directory B?
SUTTON: I try to post my favorites from the Directory in a series called We're Loving – but to be honest, there are simply too many amazing blogs and not enough time in the day to post as many as I'd like!
MCDC: What are some of your favorite blogs period?
SUTTON: Oh man this is hard... I've long-loved Desire to Inspire for interior-porn, have been frequenting The Coveteur and The Everygirl a lot lately, Erin of Elements of Style is both a good friend, studio-mate and daily inspiration. I can never get enough of the photos on Park&Cube, and my brother's blog, Stadiums and Shrines keeps my days full of new music. This list could go on forever though!
MCDC: Do you have a blog?
SUTTON: I do! I started my personal inspiration blog, Daucus Carota, back in 2008 and have a quick/micro version on Tumblr too.
MCDC: What is your most enjoyable blog post so far?
SUTTON: Posting about my recent engagement! It took me a month to finally find the time to get the story up and I was misty-eyed the whole time I wrote it.
MEET: Inspirational Designer Jessica Sutton
As wedding season gets under way and summer fun starts filling up your agenda, I thought I would share one of my favorite online shops for buying fabulous and cheeky cards. Mercier Beaucoup was founded by the lovely and talented Rachel Mercier and features a great selection of unique cards that will have you giggling and searching for a tiny frame to display them on your wall. With all that's available out there, hitting up the card aisle of your local CVS is no longer an acceptable way to say thank you for a job well done. Do it in style!
Rachel has been a stationery connoisseur for a long time and a year ago decided to launch Mercier Beaucoup in an effort to bring her love of paper and keen eye for good design to the masses. Her stationery subscriptions became a runaway hit and have been featured in Daily Candy, Simply Stated and Goodsie. Every month you get a grab bag assortment of pretty cards. Don't you want to be the kind of person that has the perfect card up your sleeve at moments notice? In this week’s interview, we get her perspective on the all-important Thank You card and a report on the National Stationery show that took place in New York this May.
The banquet booth at National Stationery Show
Printerette Press berries and gingham card
Mr. Boddington’s studio
Subscriptions come in 3, 6 and 12-month options
Brita: When is it appropriate to send a thank you card?
Rachel: I believe there are a few formal rules to thank you notes, but they should be used liberally. It’s always important to send a thank you note for a gift received, or spending weekend at a friend's summer home. However, I also believe in random acts of gratitude like a thank you note to your parents just because and thank you to a friend for helping you through a tough time. A little thank you goes a long way!
Brita: What would you say your stationery style is?
Rachel: I love all kinds of stationery, but I generally lean toward pretty, feminine and colorful styles. Botanical illustrations, gold foil, calligraphy and anything letterpressed makes me drool! I also love playful and unique designs whether it’s a clever saying or a creative new pattern! I hoard stationery, so I have an endless collection for all occasions and styles!
Brita: What are some of your favorite stationery brands?
Rachel: I just attended the National Stationery Show, so my list of favorites has grown! Currently, I'm swooning over Snow & Graham, Sugar Paper, Anemone Letterpress, and Banquet Workshop. I could go on forever!
Brita: You and I share the belief that the written word is a dying custom worth upholding, do you think it's coming back?
Rachel: Absolutely. I think that email and social media has been fabulous for efficiency and reach, but has created a desire for more personal and sentimental communication. Receiving a letter as opposed to an email has a much more significant impact, and can really change someone's mood. That coupled with the breadth of amazing stationery goods out there has made the written word very trendy!
Brita: What are some new trends you saw at the stationery show?
Rachel: Letterpress still continues to be very popular, and a lot of brands are now using gold foil! The DIY, crafty trend in stationery is quieting down and making room for a more luxe, proper, pretty look. Neon was also popular this year. Love that!
Brita: What is a favorite card that you have received?
Rachel: I would say every thank you card! But most recently I received a special card from my mom. She was visiting me in NYC and I gifted her a set of letterpress Snow & Graham thank you cards with a sweet pea design on the front (her favorite flower). She sent me one of the cards the following week to thank me for the weekend. I was having a terrible day and the card really turned it around for me. I cherish receiving such thoughtful notes and keep them all—including letters my husband and I sent each other from camp in 7th grade!
Hear more from Rachel on her blog.
Mercier Beaucoup Stationary Shop
Looking for a shop that has the perfect gift for any design lover? Enter Erie Drive, an e-retailer specializing in “a carefully curated collection of unique gifts and home accents that artfully blend modern and vintage elements of style, functionality, and design.” I have had the privilege of working on various projects with Alexandra Grenham, creative director and curator extraordinaire, so I am especially excited to share her insight into the Erie Drive way of doing business. Let’s get to know Alexandra, shall we?
All Photos by Liz Linder Photography via http://bit.ly/J8ATVM
How and why did you start your business?
I met our managing partner Marcia Stone through my husband, John. Marcia was looking to invest in new business opportunities focused in online retail. At that time, we had just purchased our first place and, of course, I was looking everywhere for unique fun objects for my own home. When John mentioned Marcia’s idea, it hit me. The store should feature a smaller collection of ‘what should I put in my house?’ items found at flea markets, shows and galleries from around the world, creating a line of special items you can’t find anywhere else.
We officially opened the doors with a friends and family soft launch in October 2011. At first, we were really small, maybe 50 items on the shelves, but by Christmastime, we started getting national recognition. It’s been pretty exciting since then!
What designers inspire you the most?
Since my background is in clothing, I still read WWD and follow fashion. I love Stella McCartney; she is really fresh and forward. Rag and Bone make great clothes that wear well. And I admire Marc Jacobs’s business acumen.
What are the home accent/gift trends for this year?
People are still mixing a lot of new and old. For example, they’re buying fun new melamine plates for summer and adding a vintage flower vase.
Another trend is what I think of as color splashing: Having very neutral furniture and walls but pulling the room together with bright accents, like brightly colored pillows, or colorful tabletop objects, like hot pink fruit bowls.
I think a trend in gifts is nostalgia. People love to give and receive something that reminds them of childhood. It makes a gift a bit more special as well as personal. Erie Drive sells this cool little postcard that can be made into a plywood airplane. Almost everyone has a memory of one of these planes, which makes it even more fun.
What blogs do you follow or read for inspiration?
Bill Cunningham’s (the styles editor for the Sunday New York Times) Sunday webcast is always interesting, positive and honest. I also really enjoy the daily email from Etsy. They do a great job pulling together beautiful color themes and compositions. Etsy is also on-trend, and its nice see what small business people are creating and selling. And, of course, Pinterest is endlessly interesting.
Any advice to budding entrepreneurs?
Stick to your guns and believe in yourself and your ideas.
Make sure to check out Erie Drive and their unique selection of products!
Interview: Alexandra Grenham, Creative Director for Erie Drive