Wednesday, August 15, 2012

honest little plants

air and sea design erin curry succulents floral color palette summer patio Here's a calming and warm color palette for a hazy summer day. The image comes from a home tour found on Design*Sponge. Succulents are very trendy right now, in terms of house/patio plants. They're easy to take care of, they are beautifully lush (a welcome sight, especially in drier climates), and most of all they are aesthetically simple and sturdy.

I think trending revolves around the overall feeling of society, and in financially and politically unstable times, the beauty in simplicity and honesty are more attractive than ever. In the past five years, there seems to have been an explosion of products in the market that are focused on being well-made and reliable. Which is such a wonderful turn of events, as China takes over the world market, creating more waste for landfills. 

A remarkable display of this was witnessed last weekend at the Walden Super Flea (affectionately referred to as the Dirt Mall). Here, you may see a maze of rickety shop stalls occupied by second hand has beens and has nots, operated by white trash mediocrity. A large portion of the flea, however, is now taken up by the aptly named "Made in China" shop. Rows of bins containing molded plastic and cheap steel products with price tags all under $5 fill the space. And it's here, where I see how even the consumerist machine is ashamed of this exploitation. 


Thursday, August 9, 2012

experimentations with color

I have started a new job! It's with a printing company, preparing artwork for screen printing, hot foil imprinting, and laser etching. It's only my first week and it's been a bit of a whirlwind; there's a lot to learn and a lot going on. It's a very large company in terms of output, but our location in the US only has five people occupying it (it's based in Toronto), so it's actually very homey. I have been working on items for Nike and New Balance, as well as some safety wear companies and municipalities. Soon I'll be working on a project for Dead Mau5. I'm working on Illustrator mostly so I feel right at home with it. It's my first real job, and I'm hoping it stays interesting! 

Aside from the 9 to 5, I've been putzing around on Illustrator at home. I had a few color palettes that I threw together after finding some really lovely images in the blogosphere, so I put them all together in one design. It's color overload and that's what I love about it ;)

geometric color pattern textile upholstery
© Erin Curry

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


model belgium apartment vinyl record couch velvet cactus colors
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This image includes three of my favorite things. Vinyl, cacti, and mustard yellow. The image comes from the Antwerp apartment of Belgian model, Anouck Lepère. The colors are sumptuous and savory. 



Wednesday, July 25, 2012


edie campbell model jalouse floral flowers styling  I stumbled upon these images this morning and fell in love with this model, Edie Campbell. This is an editorial in Jalouse magazine from February of this year and the piece highlights these succulent floral digital prints. The styling is what caught my eye initially; I fell for the mixture of tousled hair and pristine blossoms. (I did some Photoshop magic on them to give them a little spice... I need all the practice I can get). This blazer to the right is amaze-balls. That turquoise color makes my heart skip a beat. 

In other news, I got a job working for a printing company in the lovely Niagara Falls. They specialize in reflective ink and vinyls, and have a worldwide patent on a new heat transfer technology (which is pretty cool). I'm a really basic designer and just prep designs for print but HEY, it's something. And stay tuned for more items to be sold at August's First Friday!! ;D

edie campbell model jalouse floral flowers styling edie campbell model jalouse floral flowers styling


Friday, July 20, 2012


In preparation for August's First Friday & the Infringement Festival, I wanted to introduce a new project that is super easy to do, as well as inexpensive to create. However, for those who don't have the DIY bug, I will have a few for purchase on August 3rd in front of Indigo Gallery along with my posters and shirts. 

My mother bought me a few packages of very large painter's drop cloths almost a year ago thinking that I might be able to turn them into hand-painted floor mats. My whole senior year later, I finally have time to experiment with them! Painter's drop cloths are very inexpensive, very large pieces of canvas used to protect the floor when painting a room. They also have a very thin layer of waterproofing on the bottom to prevent any paint from seeping through onto the floor below. I saw on one of my favorite blogs (designlovefest - a true inspiration) that they were transforming the drop cloths into colorful picnic blankets using spray paint! I thought I would take it a step further and make a more intricate design with more involved painting techniques. (This isn't the most original project but it's super easy to do yourself, again very inexpensive to create, and very useful!!) 

erin curry diy picinic blanket airandseadesign

I started by measuring out the desired size of the picnic blanket. One of my drop cloths is very long and thin (46"x120") so I stuck with the width at 46" and squared it off with another 46". This is a near perfect size blanket for two to three people and some snacks :). I ironed the whole piece so that the surface would be easier to stencil and paint on. I then started sketching to see what kind of design I wanted. For my first piece, I wanted to stick with something very simple and utilise one shape in my design that could be repeated and manipulated.

I made this stencil of the shape I was using for my design. It is made from Bristol Vellum paper. Bristol is a thick, smooth paper that is used mostly for mounting but it works well for stencils because it doesn't immediately become saturated with paint, thus compromising the edges of your design. I edged it up with some blue painter's tape to make it easier to tape down to my surface without ruining the stencil. 

I wanted a concentric design and found some inspiration from quilt designs; they are generally very geometric with simple repeating layouts so it was perfect for this project. I used a Singer Disappearing Ink marker so I could map out my design first and get an idea of what it would look like. I found the center of the cloth, and worked me way out from there.   

After some trial and error, and making a lot of marks, I decided on my final design and darkened up some of the lines so that it was easier for me to decipher when I started painting. Don't be afraid to use this marker and lay it on thick!! It is one of my favorite tools in my studio and it really does disappear after about 24 hours or a good wash.

After completing my layout, I then had to decide what colors to use (this is always a big ordeal for me). Lately I have been really in love with purples and oranges and how they interact (this is also evident throughout my senior thesis show) so I chose yellow, orange, red, and purple. I knew I wanted to create an ombre look within the geometric shapes to spice it up a bit so an analogous color scheme was important! I am using acrylic paint because after it dries it is NOT water soluble, meaning it will not come off in the wash. You may also use latex or enamel house paint if you have that lying around. 

To the right are the colors I mixed. Word to the wise: NEVER use the colors right out of the tube. Those colors are like that for a reason; they are highly saturated and true colors so that when mixing colors, you are able to do so with more accuracy. All of the colors you see on this piece were mixed using at least three or more colors (believe it or not). All of the colors needed to be mellowed out and in order to do this I added the COMPLEMENT of each color I was mixing - opposite colors on the color wheel. For example, to tone down orange you add a very tiny amount of blue. Or to tone down purple, add a VERY tiny amount yellow. This will allow you to attain unique colors, and colors will live much happier together :).

To begin painting, I placed my stencil on the canvas in the middle of the design and taped down the edges with more blue painter's tape. I used a large brush and put the paint on relatively thick since the canvas really soaked it up. Some dabbing may be required to really cover the surface of the canvas. To get the ombre look, I started with my lightest color and moved up in stages from there. Use light brush strokes to mix the two colors together and never let the paint dry before you get to blend them. I wouldn't use more than three colors at a time within one stencil. The space isn't large enough and you'll end up with some really muddy colors. 

erin curry air and sea design airandseadesign picinic blanket diy paint geometricRepeat these steps with the stencil over and over until you complete the design. I changed around the direction of the ombre but kept it symmetrical. Don't be afraid to experiment with this technique; change around the proportions of the colors or the direction of the fade. I never really had to clean off my brush since the colors were all blending together anyway. Half way through, however, I did have to make another stencil because my first one was getting soggy and I was having some bleeding around the edges. 

erin curry air and sea design airandseadesign picinic blanket diy paint geometric

And voila!! Here is the final product. I stuck the whole piece in the washing machine as soon as all the paint was thoroughly dry (which took a few hours) and then hung it up to dry outside!! The disappearing marker disappeared and it softened up the canvas a bit. I added some white details in the corners and I'm really liking how it looks against the natural canvas so I think I will be expanding on that. 

It is a bit rainy here in Buffalo, or else I would have gotten some action shots of it being utilized! Hopefully on the next sunny day I can take it over to the park for a nice late lunch by the lake. Oh and there's my little dog Arrow trying to get into the picture. Hope everyone enjoyed this super simple project :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

decisions, decisions

Photo by Alex Kisilevich
So I've run into a trifecta of last-minute decisions making problems over the past two weeks. I went to Camp knowing of the decisions I had to make upon my return, but I turned off the real world for a few days and now I'm right back in the ring. I have to decide between a job that I somewhat recklessly accepted a month ago, which pays less than minimum wage but makes up for in enriching experiences; and a position in a large company that I may be offered today, which is in the textile field with room for advancement. I hate to be identified as someone who cannot follow through with commitments but something in my gut is telling me that I must stay focused on my field. (That is how I feel right now -->)

On a lighter note, I will be participating in the First Friday/Infringement Festival of Buffalo on August 3rd (by the way they desperately need a redesigned website). I will be stationed, with my DIY goodies, in front of Indigo Art Gallery at 74 Allen St. I am really excited about this opportunity to get my stuff out there, especially since I will be working with such an amazing gallery. I hope to see a lot of familiar faces discovering new art at the Infringement Festival; it is such an amazing event for local underground art. PLEASE check it out!! 

I'll be making more pillows, crafting a better way to display my posters, and hopefully getting more t-shirt designs out there.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

off to camp

My boyfriend Clifford and I are returning to Camp Bisco this year, doing a solo mission for the Moon Unit (along with Ailsa the wood nymph). I am so ready to check out for a few days. No electricity means no cell phone, no computer, and especially no internet (Okay maybe some Instagram...). These pictures of jet trails over London really hit home for me right now. They are extended exposure photographs of the sky at dusk by Joel James Devlin. The aloofness and serene quality of them are untouchable. 

I've been listening to this band Rubblebucket a LOT the past week (I will admit that I get addicted to specific artists and vastly exploit them for a week or two). Their remix album of Omega La La is UHmazing. Check out one of the tracks below... I'll be seeing them on Thursday at 5pm on the Main Stage ;) 

Also check out the high res images of these jet trails on his website. Breathtaking simplistic detail!