Mary Fisher's "100 Good Deeds"

post by Cara Howlett

Artist Mary Fisher was featured in issue #12 (2011), showcasing her talents in jewelry-making, sewing and weaving, as well as designing fabric and making paper. Besides her work as an artist, Mary is known worldwide for her role as a HIV/AIDS activist. After finding out she was HIV-positive over 20 years ago, Mary has used her art to help others affected by HIV/AIDS.

In 2000, Mary was asked by the White House AIDS office to travel to Africa on a fact-finding mission. While in Africa, Mary identified with the stigma attached to women with HIV/AIDS. Mary started ABATAKA, a foundation dedicated to helping these women. About 30 women hand-craft exquisite bracelets using Mary’s designs—thereby learning how to support themselves and becoming self-sufficient business women. 

Following the release of her memoir Messenger in 2012, Mary met filmmaker Thomas Morgan. He and his family created a game in which they would perform 100 good deeds anonymously. After learning about Thomas’ game, Mary responded by creating the 100 Good Deeds bracelet. Each bracelet is hand-braided by vulnerable women worldwide and strung with one hundred glass beads and a single rubber ring. After wrapping it around your wrist, each time you do a good deed, you move the rubber ring one bead closer to the 1GD charm. With every purchase of a 1GD bracelet, one vulnerable woman is employed giving her dignity and freedom. 

The 1GD bracelet is available in ten colours and may be purchased at 100GoodDeeds.org.

Since issue #12 is sold out, you can read the original article about Mary Fisher, written by Christine Chitnis, by clicking here for a pdf.  

meet Cara

Serendipitously our boots match.

Serendipitously our boots match.

Janine and I are happy to introduce you to our first practicum student. Cara Howlett contacted us back in January about coming to work with us. We knew it was meant to be when her interview outfit matched issue #20. Cara will be with us for the next month helping to launch issue #21. She will also share behind-the-scenes posts about her time at UPPERCASE. She writes her own introduction below. 

This morning, I woke to a few centimetres of snow, albeit quite mushy and wet, but snow nonetheless. My grey, fleece-lined rubber boots squished through the muck as I walked to the UPPERCASE office. 

I’ll be wading through Calgary’s unpredictable weather to get to the UPPERCASE office as I finish up my journalism arts diploma at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Until mid-April, I’ll be learning the behind-the-scenes process of building an award-winning magazine, attempting to help Erin and Janine, all the while being fully immersed in all-things UPPERCASE. 

For the past two years, I’ve been attending Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, Alberta. I graduated from high school in 2006, and after a few years of working at coffee shops and retail stores, I knew I needed to find a career. My interest in reading, writing and photography lead me to journalism. 

Originally signing up for the journalism program with the hopes of becoming a photo-journalist, my focus shifted as I realized the potential in print. While thoroughly enjoying a print production and magazine class at SAIT, I decided to become a Print and Online Journalism Major. 

While searching for a business at which to do my practicum, UPPERCASE was one of the first to come to mind. In a world of online everything, UPPERCASE proves to its thousands of readers that print lives on. With its focus on vintage items, original graphic design and colourful content, UPPERCASE distinguishes itself amongst other magazines I have come across. The opportunity to be a part of it (for a very brief time!) was an occasion I did not want to miss.

As a newbie in the world of print journalism, I am extremely excited for all that I will have the chance to see, experience and learn. 

You can visit my website to see writing samples I completed while at SAIT, along with design samples, photographs and public relations materials. 

 

Mundania Horvath documents the dwellings of Pittsburgh

GUEST POST BY LISA TOBOZ

Lisa Toboz is a Pittsburgh writer, photographer, and curator of the Studio 5013 window installation series. Follow her adventures in art and travel at The Long Way Home Diaries.

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Artist Mundania Horvath didn’t call herself an illustrator until a few years ago: “I considered myself a designer who was good with computers and print design.” But as former office manager of Moss Architects, she’d watch coworkers doing draft sketches, wondering how she could incorporate traditional illustration into her graphic works.

Wanting a yearly project, Mundania created PGH/Digs (PGH is Pittsburgh’s affectionate acronym), an illustration series combining art and design with her admiration for Pittsburgh dwellings. 

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Pittsburgh’s various neighbourhoods are clustered with old, at-times unusual, solid brick homes that have survived decades of industrial history, and Mundania—who moved from Uniontown, Pennsylvania to Pittsburgh to attend the Art Institute—drives around the city’s one-way streets, taking photos of houses that she can draw, then fine-tine later in Illustrator and Photoshop.

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The simple, clean lines of ’60s ranch-style, “311 S Dallas Ave, Point Breeze” (first in the series, above) appealed to her love of geometry and retro design. She pays attention to house details others may not notice: a slanted roof, or asymmetrical windows.

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While the house structures are characteristic of Pittsburgh, Mundania makes them universal through bold colour. Inspired by artist Lisa Congdon’s bright and playful colour schemes, Mundania experiments with changing the original house colours in her pieces to ones you may be reluctant to try in real life. “If you could paint your house any colour,” she says, “it might look like this.” 

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PGH/Digs has evolved into commissions—some clients want their houses replicated, while others give Mundania free reign with shape and colour. This year, she’s taking the project beyond city limits, illustrating well-known houses designed by famous architects, in addition to the Pittsburgh houses that continue to inspire. “This project has opened a lot of doors for me, connecting me to people throughout the city. It’s completely changed how I view myself as an artist.” 

On craft, creativity and finding community

GUEST POST BY ANA ISABEL RAMOS

Ana Isabel Ramos is an illustrator, designer and crafter from Lisbon, Portugal. In this guest post, she shares her personal story on how craft and creativity has helped her find connections and community in difficult times.

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As Steve Jobs said, you can only connect the dots in hindsight; and today I want to tell you a personal story where I connect the dots from difficulty to craft, to collaboration, to creativity, to integration. And finally, from there to making money with content creation. 

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Let’s move back in time: seven years ago, I moved from my hometown of Lisbon, Portugal, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. All I took was a suitcase and the hope that my new life near my then boyfriend would work well for us. 

(Spoiler alert: it did. We are now married and having a lot of fun together. The beginning was rough, though.)

The first week in my new city wasn't very easy. We had an apartment, but no friends or acquaintances. In a ten-million-metropolis, I didn't know one single soul.

On the eighth day I was there, I got sick. At first, my husband and I thought it was just a bad case of food poisoning. We decided to go to the hospital, if only we knew where to go. We looked at a travel guide, saw the hospital recommendations and took a chance. When we got there, I was admitted for the day and discharged with some medicine prescriptions, as doctors believed it was nothing too serious. I didn't get better, though, so we returned a day later, very dehydrated and with an enlarged and painful belly. That was when I was finally diagnosed with a first world disease, one that is easily curable but not preventable: due to a previous surgery, I had grown adhesions inside my abdomen, which then forced my intestines shut. The treatment was surgical: in 48 hours I underwent two open abdomen surgeries followed by three long weeks at the hospital.

The day I was discharged, several pounds lighter, no strength on my limbs, I felt pure joy. Returning home was like finding the El Dorado, but I kid you not: after the initial thrill came the heavy weight of depression.

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Why am I telling you all this? Because my life in my new city did, indeed, get better, and I got to make a lot of new friends through collaboration, craft and creativity. 

Fast forward to a year later, my new life started to get better and I slowly grew roots in Buenos Aires. After attending Spanish classes, where all the students were foreigners who sooner or later left the city, I signed up for German classes, where my fellow students were locals. That is when I finally made local friends. 

I also took up knitting, a craft my grandmother had taught me when I was a child, but I hadn't done in two decades.

In Buenos Aires, knitting kept me sane and energized: through knitting, I was able to burst the expat bubble and meet real porteños, people with as diverse backgrounds as possible, the only thing in common among us being knitting. For some reason, we were all at a crossroads at that point: after meeting, many of us turned craft into successful entrepreneurial ventures, and today there are professional dyers, spinners, knitters, teachers and designers among our group. In my case, I launched a brand of handmade baby wear, abbrigate*, which has been growing to this day. 

But the story goes on: after three years living down south, the time came to uproot our family of two and leave Argentina for Panama. Where, due to its tropical hot and wet climate, there's no need to wear any knitting at all. 

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My knitting strategy was useless on that latitude, so I turned to a new craft, embroidery, for a challenge (and support). Being a passionate illustrator and sketcher, I saw in embroidery a way to somehow reproduce the line drawings I fill my sketchbooks with: instead of pen on paper, I started using needle and thread on fabric. For my baby wear brand, I launched a new product: hand embroidered baby blankets, to protect the little ones from the fierce cold of air conditioning. 

Embroidery soon became a passion, one that was portable and easy to take with me in that incredibly hot weather. 

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Given that knitting wasn't going to help me integrate in Panama, I launched an illustrated monthly zine, which I then printed and left in strategic places. It became the start for many conversations I had during those years. I even spoke at a Pecha Kucha event in Panama about it, and entertained a whole audience in a foreign language. 

In 2013, we relocated again to my original hometown of Lisbon, Portugal. Repatriation may sound easy and smooth, after moving around so much, but it comes with its thorns. Granted, I had a previous social network, I have my family and friends nearby, but it is unwise to think that things are exactly the same as they were when I left seven years ago. Neither am I the same person.

In Lisbon, I pulled my big guns: I knew craft, collaboration and creativity would be the best way to connect with new people, make new friends and maybe even revive old friendships. I launched an Embroidery Club as a way to create a network, to collaborate with different people—I believe each member is a collaborator, specially whenever I see the amazing embroideries they come up with, based on my designs—and to monetize my content creation.

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Craft, collaboration and creativity have been the instruments to keep me grounded wherever I am living at a certain point; they keep me growing with all the stimuli I receive from new friends around the world, with whom I share a passion for craft; they make me appreciate the skills and abilities required to complete a project, and the producers of those materials I use, from the farmers who grow and shear sheep to the dyers and spinners who produce wonderful yarns, to the industries that provide us with new, natural sourced fibres, to the shops who strive to keep themselves open and engaged in their communities, despite the difficult economy.

Through craft, collaboration and creativity I managed to find a community; with the support of my community, I found a way of making a living with content creation. And through all the challenges of living abroad, I grew much more than I could have ever anticipated. 

sequins & voodoo

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Have you ever tried to photograph sequins? Let me assure you .. it is HARD! Hard to capture the richness and colour spectrum.. hard to avoid glare.. like shooting into window panes! And hard to shoot over 50 items all the while documenting their every irregularity and still making them look good! But that is what you do when photographing for an Etsy shop.

My friend Dina Knapp, an artist featured in UPPERCASE issue # 18 and her late husband, a poet, were inveterate collectors, amassing an amazing array of outsider and Haitian art.

When Jeffery died in 2010, Dina set about making sense of life and their collections. She decided to say goodbye to the Haitian Voodoo Flags and Spirit Bottles they had collected and hello to Visionary Voodoo, her new Etsy shop.

Dina and Jeffery were first introduced to Haitian art through a show at Brooklyn Museum in 1978. It was a major exhibition that included paintings and sculpture by all the contemporary Haitian masters. Jeffrey, a poet and educator, connected to the pure authentic, primitive quality of the works. Dina, on the other hand, connected to the simple scenes of everyday life depicted in the paintings, and the materials the artists used to express themselves. The sewn pieces in particular resonated for her.

This show changed their life.

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Dina Knapp's art and apparel shop is Golden Hands and her vintage shop is called GrandmaBerthas.

Read more about Dina Knapp in UPPERCASE issue 18

even more moxie

Photos: Jamie Leonardi

Photos: Jamie Leonardi

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Jamie Leonardi (Resident Cheerleader for a. favorite design letterpress greeting cards & blogger for Stumble & Relish) shares the The Wisdom of Moxie:

It was the first sunny, beautiful day in Chicago—Saturday at 7:45 A.M. and I walked into a day-long creative conference. You might think, “YAWN” or “I wanna play outside today”. But you’d be wrong. So wrong. This was a “conference to inspire confident creatives” and it definitely did. I was blown away by the variety of speakers, the creative fields they were from and how they all managed to really make me think.

Aside from brilliant Illustrator, Lisa Congdon, the list of speakers didn’t mean much to me before I heard them speak but they all left quite an impression on me. Designer and illustrator, Elle Luna, was memorable with her poetically, blunt style. She made me laugh, made me think and I will always remember that distractions threaten us daily—“every time you say yes to one of them, you say no to yourself”. The speakers were refreshing, easy-going, smart, forthright, honest, funny, witty, entertaining and so incredibly passionate. There was a common theme of taking the jump off that cliff, quitting your job and start doing what it is you really want to do. I think the eloquent illustrator and fine artist, Lisa Congdon, said it best “Be you. Make the work you love and embrace your path”.

It is a rare chance that you get to feel and experience the true creative passion of others. All creatives have the passion that drives them, fuels them, feeds them but to get inside some true creative genius is a gift. It was fantastic to see the rich, creative community here in Chicago in one room. There was so much to take away but mostly I walked away with many words of wisdom to share:

“Find your MUST. What do you burn for? What moves you?” —Elle Luna, designer & artist

“Safety & comfort obstruct your dreams.” —Rob Loukotka, designer

“Mistakes are so beautiful, lets go paint a million mistakes.” —in the words of a little boy to Elle Luna

“Be you. Make the work you love & embrace your path.” —Lisa Congdon, Illustrator & Fine Artist

“The original Kick Starter.“ —Max Temkin referring to Mr. Rodgers defending PBS in the senate in 1969 

“Your haters are really good at pointing out your strengths.” —Ann Friedman, Editor & Writer

“We are all writers, we are all storytellers.” Susan Betteridge. Group Creative Director

“Always have a business card.” Mare Swallow, Speaker, Consultant, Author

“It would be better to fail than to suck.” Max Temkin, Designer & Gamer

“Be prolific. Be brave. Be communal. Be adaptable. Be firm. Be adventurous. Be dependable. Be gracious. Be (occasionally) disentangled. ” —Lisa Congdon, Illustrator & Fine Artist

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Photos: Kept Casual

Photos: Kept Casual

Over the weekend we were proud to support MoxieCon in Chicago by providing complimentary magazines to attendees. This one-day event was a crash course on the business side of design and technology. Workshops covered topics such as self promotion, how to market your ideas as well as dealing with legal issues. We sent Stationery Guide participants Nina from Tweedle Press, Tiffany and Mary of Kept Casual and Jamie from a. favorite design who all report that the event was very inspiring. 

Kept Casual’s TOP 10 List of the Most Noteworthy Observations and Moments from Our Inspiring Experience at MoxieCon:

10. Lots of prints, patterns and cool eye wear all around us. Designers are so chic.

9. Cool bag of swag, including a back issue of UPPERCASE Magazine and a bundle of Field Notes!

8. From Susan Betteridge—tell a story when presenting your work. Don’t undersell the journey you took to get to your idea.

7. Lawyer up!

6. Jen Myers talked about Girl Develop It, a meetup community of women that offers classes and resources to women interested in learning how to code. Sign us up!

5. Read autobiographies of really successful people. 

4. From Mare Swallows —“Inspire confidence [in yourself and your work] from the start.” And, “Create a web presence, and keep up with it.”

3. Elle Luna advised, “Know the difference between the work that you can do and the work that you must do. What do you burn for?” 

2. Favourite piece of advice from Lisa Congdon—“Be communal. Surround yourself with good people. Don’t bother with the jerks.”

1. Hands down best thing said all day came from Ann Friedman, “You’re doing something right if you have haters.” Amen.

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art basel farewell

Guest post by Rose Zgodzinski

We come to Art Basel to look and absorb as much of the experience and atmosphere as is possible. We’ve never bought anything at any of the fairs, although we have considered a few pieces over the years. The experience is always overwhelming, probably the word that best describes our treks through Art Basel week… but overwhelming in a good way.

If you are a novice and are considering going it might help to do a little research first and then understand that there is no possible way to see it all! So relax, breathe and just start anywhere. 

If you know what you like, try and tailor your experience to the fairs that will interest you. (Granted it is a bit hard to distinguish when almost every fair uses the same descriptions: "cutting edge contemporary works, emerging or mid-career, internationally renowned artists". The NADA (New Art Dealers Association) Fair, thankfully, was described as avant-guard—not to everyone’s taste—and they were right!

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But more than anything, the Art Basel experience provides something for everyone—even man's best friend! On our last day, wandering through the Design district  (in the Buena Vista building) we came across Architecture for Dogs, an exhibit organized through the Design Miami Fair, a celebration of the relationship between humans and their canines. Check out the website that accompanies the exhibit, where you can download free blueprints of the 13 projects on display.

artwork by Vanessa German

artwork by Vanessa German

A highlight for both of us this year were these tar-baby assemblages by Vanessa German—beautifully forged entities, all precariously perched, and encrusted in found objects. They come prepared with everything that they might need, and are strong and frail, old, yet new. Vanessa German, who has also performed as a spoken word artist, is represented by Pavel Zoubok Gallery, a gallery specializing in collage, assemblage & mixed media.

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These globes by Ingo Gunther gave me serious Infographic envy!

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I'm looking forward to next year’s visit, and everything in between…

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art basel: creative blast

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Guest post by Rose Zgodzinski

Rose designs and illustrates information graphics—Charts, Maps & Diagrams is her website. We asked Rose why she attends Art Basel since it is seemingly so visually and conceptually different that her day-to-day graphics and problem-solving.

I have always needed a more practical anchor for my own expression—a large reason why I have practiced design and not fine art. The Art Basel experience, with all its diverse forms of expression is a huge push for me to experiment.

I connect to any schematics I see at the fairs, because it is the language I work in. But all these diverse expressive languages, which can be understood by anyone makes me feel that I can still practise and be understood in a new language.

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art basel: inside manita and randy's apartment

Guest post by Rose Zgodzinski
Photos by Michael Vaughan

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Randy and Manita

Randy and Manita

The best part of Art Basel for my husband Michael and I is the visit to Manita & Randy's Bayside condo. Manita Brug-Chmielenska is the reason why we go to Art Basel. She is an old friend from Toronto who relocated to Florida originally to investigate southern vegetation (when she was practicing landscape architecture). She found Randy Burman in a neighbouring studio, stayed, married him and became a principal in his graphic design firm, IKON Communications and Marketing Design.

For years Manita has been saying "You've gotta come down and see this! It is the Olympics of the art world! We've taken her advice and this year's annual trek to Art Basel marks our fourth visit. I would be lost without Manita's daily telephone debriefing sessions during Art Basel week—she is the indispensable insider's guide with advice on what to see, what to avoid, restaurant and even traffic and parking suggestions.

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We always manage to get in a visit in to their apartment. This year Manita, has organized a morning brunch, in order for all their visiting friends (collectors, out-of-towners, artists) to get together.

Their amazing apartment, which has been organized around a burgeoning art collection (or "Living with our Obsession" as Manita calls it), has been amassing for the past 17 years and reflects their eclectic sensibilities.

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Manita describes their collection as "Guided by intuition, personal preferences and sensibilities that lean towards Dada and Art Brut, we have surrounded ourselves with a collection of contemporary, thought-provoking, and often, witty art." The collection of 200-plus pieces consists mainly of found-object assemblages, but there are also works on paper, paintings, woodcuts, ceramics, books, collages, glass, sculpture, advertising icons, and photography.

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Visiting the apartment is also an opportunity to catch up with Randy's own artwork; also found-object assemblages and an extensive portrait project of Republicans ("Somebody's got to do it!") for a conceptual arcade-like installation.

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art basel

Yayoi Kusama: Tulip with All My Love. Photo courtesy Art Basel Miami website.

Yayoi Kusama: Tulip with All My Love. Photo courtesy Art Basel Miami website.

Guest Post by Rose Zgodzinski

We attended the previews of the Art Basel fair yesterday, hoping to avoid the crush of the vernissage—still the place was packed, and people watching was just as interesting as the art itself. This is the sophisticated, classic art fair that oozes prestige—and never disappoints. Languages overheard: Spanish, German, Russian, French and many accents of English.

Jack Pierson, IF. Photo courtesy Art Basel Miami website.

Jack Pierson, IF. Photo courtesy Art Basel Miami website.

Jack Pierson, The World is Yours. Photo by Rose Zgodzinski.

Jack Pierson, The World is Yours. Photo by Rose Zgodzinski.

We also drove through Wynwood—the street art capital of the world, where we saw several crews painting in the dark, getting their walls ready for the day and the expected throngs. We managed to get to preview some art fairs nearby: Scope, Overture, and Art Asia, all in one tent.

Image courtesy Wynwood Walls website.

Image courtesy Wynwood Walls website.

Photo courtesy Wynwood Walls website.

Photo courtesy Wynwood Walls website.

warmer climes: Art Basel Miami!

Adam Adach: Gymnastes

Adam Adach: Gymnastes

Guest Post by Rose Zgodzinski

Over the past decade Art Basel Miami has evolved into a contemporary art extravaganza and It will launch its 11th season this year on Dec 6th to 9th in the Miami area.

Originally established in 1970 as a way to showcase contemporary art in Europe as Art Basel (Switzerland), Art Basel Miami Beach was set up in 2002 as a sister show to forge stronger geographic links with art enthusiasts in the Americas.

The art festivities during Art Basel week are a visual feast with the Art Basel Fair at the Miami Beach Convention Center the main course. 260 international galleries and over 2000 artists will be showing 20th and 21st century art.

But there is much more on the menu in Miami over the next few days—so far I have counted 23 additional Art Fairs, 16 in the city and 7 on the beach. Because so many art people are in town over the course of Art Basel, a profusion of Art Fairs have sprouted into existence in Miami’s nearby art districts.

If you’ve never visited this part of the world before, the art deco hotels on the beach, some of which will be hosting Art Fairs, are also tour-worthy

It’s not just the added boost of the Florida sun that makes this event so invigorating. It’s great to be able to recharge the creative batteries and all this non-stop art just makes you want to get back to the studio and dig in.

I’m happy to be offering a taste by sharing my impressions and photos of Art Basel Miami over the next few days.

Bon Appetite!

Alex Katz: Sharon

Alex Katz: Sharon

Alexander Ross: Summer III

Alexander Ross: Summer III

Alexandre da Cunha: 1623100812

Alexandre da Cunha: 1623100812

Unique NYC: Stéphane Hubert Design

Light fixtures on display from Stéphane Hubert Design.

Light fixtures on display from Stéphane Hubert Design.

Stephane and Jaime

Stephane and Jaime

This guest post is by photographer Yvonne Rock.

Stéphane Hubert and Jaime Panoff are the intriguing married couple that make up Stéphane Hubert Design, a company specializing in custom made furniture and lighting sourced from primarily reclaimed sources. What amazed me while talking with them, was not just that the majority of materials they use are reclaimed (and a lot from New York), but that they were able to tell those visiting their booth where a lot of that specific product's wood was taken from. Past and present examples include wood taken from a New York City water tank, antique pine beams taken from 1800s townhouses, wood from the 1890s taken from the General Electric Factory in New Jersey, wood from the Coney Island Boardwalk, etc. 

Stéphane, originally from France, but calling the United States his home for the past five years, uses the sourced wood to create custom lamps, kitchen utensils, trays and furniture while Jaime uses her PR and Marketing background to help with creative direction. Through Stéphane Hubert Design, their individual aesthetic values come together, Jaime's more modern and clean and Stephane's more focused on their foundation of natural materials.    

This particular item's wood was sourced from the General Electric Factory in New Jersey.

This particular item's wood was sourced from the General Electric Factory in New Jersey.

Thus concludes Yvonne's coverage of Unique NYC. Thank you to Yvonne for her fine photographs and to Marat for helping to promote UPPERCASE at the event this past weekend.

Unique NYC: Susy Jack

Susan Connor, the woman behind Susy Jack.

Susan Connor, the woman behind Susy Jack.

This guest post is by photographer Yvonne Rock.

Susan Connor (Susy Jack herself!) was probably the most outgoing and personable individual I met during the entire Unique NYC event (there was lots of giggling during our chat together) and her items are just as so. 

With a background in painting, Susan went back to school for graphic design to create not-too-cute, not-too-formal stationery. Six years later, Susy Jack, in addition to prettily patterned paper goods, also carries a wide variety of other items—recipe boxes, kitchen towels, calendars, decorative clothespins, and the list goes on. She truly loves creating different types of items. It opens up a new world, enriches her and fulfills her joy of meeting new people. 

Susy Jack's eclectic and friendly patterned paper goods.
Susy Jack's eclectic and friendly patterned paper goods.

Unique NYC: Caroline Zucchero Hurley

Charming items on display.
Charming items on display.
Caroline Zucchero Hurley photographed by Yvonne Rock.

Caroline Zucchero Hurley photographed by Yvonne Rock.

This guest post is by photographer Yvonne Rock.

Inspired by new colours and patterns she came across during a trip to Bali last year, Caroline Zucchero Hurley, who also happens to have a BFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design, began to create beach throws, pillow covers and necklaces. What makes her items unique, is that she is using her background of painting by actually painting on her creations. I loved this. And, all of her items looked so cheerful too. For so many in the creative field, we can easily spend hours isolated in our studios. Caroline combatted this strange feeling of isolated existence by teaching at a pre-school part-time and now shares her passion through meaningful interaction with the children. After learning about her pre-school work, her appreciation of simple shapes and bright and bold colours made even more sense. She is also just so warm and all of her items are so beautiful—make sure to check her out if you missed her at Unique NYC.

Cheerful details throughout.

Cheerful details throughout.

Special throws.
Special throws.

Unique NYC: Kallio

Girls' dresses upcycled from vintage men's dress shirts on display from Kallio.

Girls' dresses upcycled from vintage men's dress shirts on display from Kallio.

The cutest upcycled children's hats.

The cutest upcycled children's hats.

This guest post is by photographer Yvonne Rock.

While attending Unique NYC, I had the chance to speak with Karina Kallio of Kallio, a very new children's clothing line in their second season. Kallio began after Karina, who originally worked in concept and apparel design, saw how much waste there was within the industry and wanted to combat it as well as raise awareness. Kallio does this by locally sourcing vintage men's clothing and upcycles them into playful dresses, hats, fleece capes, booties, and more. Through upcycling, "generations connect through clothing" and it promotes the idea that things should continue as opposed to being disposed of. I was taken with every detail. 

Karina Kallio photographed by Yvonne Rock

Karina Kallio photographed by Yvonne Rock

meet our guest photographer Yvonne Rock

yvonne's puppy, ten ten, and her boyfriend akira

yvonne's puppy, ten ten, and her boyfriend akira

ten ten, a sleepy and cute boston terrier

ten ten, a sleepy and cute boston terrier

yvonne makes simple coffee with friends into something beautiful

yvonne makes simple coffee with friends into something beautiful

an example of Yvonne's wedding photography

an example of Yvonne's wedding photography

capturing the details with selective focus

capturing the details with selective focus

I am happy to introduce you to the photography of Yvonne Rock, our guest photographer who is covering the Unique NYC craft event this weekend.

"i am a new photographer based in washington dc (available worldwide) specializing in portrait and lifestyle and slowly branching out into weddings. i also happen to be bilingual- japanese/english. i love coffee (lately i've been covering a single cafe in each city i visit), 60's makeup, discovering special hidden fashion magazines, traveling and simple clean design. and instagram (username: yyyvonne)! i live in dc with my boyfriend, akira, and our boston terrier, ten ten (she only understands japanese).

Unique NYC: guest post by Yvonne Rock

Visitors explore all of the many amazing creatives with work on display at Unique NYC. 

Visitors explore all of the many amazing creatives with work on display at Unique NYC. 

These beautiful photographs and posts from Unique NYC are by Washington, DC-based photographer Yvonne Rock.  

Have you checked out the Unique NYC event in the Chelsea yet? It continues through Sunday at the 548 Center; so, you still have time! I had the chance to attend on behalf of UPPERCASE magazine and I hope the following highlights from today will motivate even more enthusiastic shoppers to attend tomorrow.

It is an amazing chance to discover many local artisans as well as shop all of their unique items—all in one place! Get that holiday shopping started early here!

Support local business! Featured here is Smith & Chang General Goods' booth. 

Support local business! Featured here is Smith & Chang General Goods' booth. 

The lovely Caroline Zucchero Hurley and her truly special jewelry and painted fabrics. I'm very much looking forward to sharing more details of her work with you this week.

The lovely Caroline Zucchero Hurley and her truly special jewelry and painted fabrics. I'm very much looking forward to sharing more details of her work with you this week.

Cheerful shoppers chat with the very personable and friendy Susy Jack (more to come!).

Cheerful shoppers chat with the very personable and friendy Susy Jack (more to come!).

Pretty jewelry showcased by Sewaphine. I loved all of their many colors.

Pretty jewelry showcased by Sewaphine. I loved all of their many colors.

UPPERCASE on display!

UPPERCASE on display!

Beautifully designed bookmarks from Unique! I couldn't help but take one (or two).

Beautifully designed bookmarks from Unique! I couldn't help but take one (or two).

UPPERCASE subscription cards.

UPPERCASE subscription cards.

Unique NYC continues tomorrow (Sunday, November 18) from 11-6pm. Look for more posts from Yvonne over the coming days.

an internship with Lisa Stickley-Levis

guest post by Meg Fussell

MEG FUSSELL

MEG FUSSELL

UPPERCASE readers will recognize the Fussell last name… I am pleased to welcome Tif Fussell (aka Dottie Angel)'s eldest daughter Meg Fussell as a guest on our blog today. Meg is studying in the UK and over the summer she had the opportunity to intern for Lisa Stickley-Levis.

Lisa is probably best known by her maiden and business name Lisa Stickley. Unfortunately, Lisa had to step away from the brand that she founded and has started fresh with numerous projects. Just launched is Betty & Walter, a vintage-inspired line of cosmetics available through Boots in the UK. 

Meg shares her internship experience with us, along with some images of Lisa's inspirations.

Transient

During my internship I’ve hunted for luggage tags, lottery tickets, balloons and miso soup near London Bridge where her new studio lies. When I’m not running errands for lunch, I spend time tip-tapping away on the computer, helping with techy-stuff and blogs, in her beautifully decorated studio.

Some inspiring packages in Lisa's studio.

Some inspiring packages in Lisa's studio.

Lisa’s studio is full of old teapots, jars stuffed with plastic flowers leftover from her wedding day, and drawers full of odds and ends. Boxes full of treasures tower up to the ceiling, resting against the walls around her desk that are covered in recent designs. It’s rummaging paradise. 

Transient
Transient

She starts work on an idea by painting, drawing and collecting to create mood boards. Once Lisa’s found a creative direction, she narrows down her vision and consolidates her collection into display books and sketch books. Full to the brim with magazine cut outs, these sketch books give insight into what Lisa finds inspirational, which is mainly her interpretations of the 1930’s to 1950’s. Throughout these books you find little quirky doodles and photographs that Lisa added. When you spot them, you can’t mistake her whimsical and playful style!

Transient

As a creative person, I am always struggling with the dreaded ‘creative rut’. One thing that fascinated me about Lisa was her endless creative steam, so I asked her how she kept it up. She said that her foolproof way to get out of a creative rut was to sew lines repetitively onto a piece of fabric, essentially freeing up her mind.  I reminded myself to give this a go next time I’m stuck for ideas.

Illustrations by Lisa Stickley-Levis showing some of the pattern designs used on the new line of cosmetics packaging.

Illustrations by Lisa Stickley-Levis showing some of the pattern designs used on the new line of cosmetics packaging.

Transient
Transient

Lisa has never-ending enthusiasm and an impeccable amount of courage. Not many people could pick themselves up and dust themselves off after deciding to resign from being the creative director of Lisa Stickley London. She is coming back with full force with a new toiletries brand, Betty & Walter, launching in Boots stores in the U.K. mid September. It’s a quirky collection of 1950s-inspired toiletries with alliterated names like ‘Handsomely Hydrating Handcream’. When the samples arrived I had to stop myself from testing all the lotions and potions right there in the studio!

Sadly, the summer went by far too quickly and it’s back to Cardiff to finish my illustration degree. However, I am so honoured to have had the opportunity to work under such an influential designer. Look for Lisa’s new brand at www.bettyandwalter.wordpress.com.

guest post: paint chip art

Shelley Davies

Shelley Davies


We recently profiled reader Shelley Davies both online and in issue #14. Shelley's blog is a wealth of inspiration: she compiles loads of imagery and peppers her posts with her own work. We asked Shelley to gather some posts to share with UPPERCASE readers. In this first image collection, Shelley found examples of paint chip art.

"Who doesn't love paint chips? I try to wedge them in wherever and whenever I can," explains Shelley. 

Lisa Solomon

Lisa Solomon

Veronica Diago

Veronica Diago

Geninne Zlatkis

Geninne Zlatkis