Turn, Turn, Turn

September 15, 2014 § Leave a comment


Hard to believe, but summer is officially over here in Kansas. I will miss the long, hot days, but let’s face it, it is a lot easier to get to work when the weather gets colder. Plus, fall is an inspiring time of year. I love the colors of the leaves, the changing landscapes, the perfect running weather, the amping up of preparations for winter and holidays. Fall just feels like a big perspective shift from summer. Different priorities, different horizons. I live in a college town, so back to school time is really noticeable – more people, more traffic, more talk of sports – I just nod and smile – and more noticeable patterns of movement between day and evening, week and weekend.

This year I’m getting inspired to make more leaf-inspired fall art – that’s what that mood board above is for. The photo I took in 2009 in Seoul, of the ginko leaves on my street. I guess fall is kind of a sentimental time of year, as well.  But I’m not just looking back – I’m getting back in touch with some of my art heroes! Below is Andy Goldworthy’s Elm Leaves 1978.  I’m just so envious of Goldsworthy’s ability to make such epic works of art from just the natural materials he finds around him and his own sense of observation.


So far, my fall is looking good: I’ve wrapped up some projects with companies I med at Surtex, so now it looks like I will have time to turn back to creating new collections and illustrations. It’s not all work though – fall for us means camping, hanging out by our makeshift fire pit, and running a lot. What is your favorite part about fall?

Inspiration: Doorway Confidential

July 10, 2014 § Leave a comment


Above: Insadong, Seoul, 2010.

Lately I’ve had doors on my mind. Doors, gates, windows…portals. I guess what I find fascinating about them is their ability to frame a picture and add an element of mystery or confidentiality. I have always been fascinated by cities and all the little nooks and crannies and openings that make them awesome to explore.  Like the photo above of the chefs having a smoke – the super narrow passage really gives the image an intimate mood. Walking on the (extremely chaotic) street at the end of the passage felt l got a glimpse into another state of mind


Above: Kyoto, Japan, 2011.

Some doorways just make me too curious – like this place in Kyoto. What’s going on with that shopping basket, and the electronics in the bike basket? I’m also a big fan of anything cheerful with a darker side to them – and this place definitely had that vibe.

So why am I so into doors at the moment? Well, naturally I’m starting all kinds of new projects now that it’s summer, and some door and window illustrations are in the works! It’s been a while since I’ve really had a chance to make full-on illustrations (vs. surface design). I can’t wait to share the process of making them, and the final images!

P.S. I’ve been reading that bloggers should always end their posts with a “call to action,” usually a question. SO: Have any of you ever trespassed (or felt a strong urge to trespass)? What was that place like and why was is so appealing?



Tales From The Road: Thanksgiving Abroad

November 22, 2013 § 2 Comments


My oh my, the holiday season is fast approaching! I’m super excited because this year will be the first time in 5 years that I will spend Thanksgiving at home with my family in Kansas. I’ve had two Thanksgivings in Seoul, one while visiting my cousin in Italy, and last year I was at a home stay high up in the Andes in Peru. I have a lot in my life to be thankful for, especially my friends and family around the world, and the opportunities I’ve had and will have to travel.

Tales from the Road: Cherry Blossom Bliss

April 10, 2013 § Leave a comment


One thing about spring is that it really makes me miss Korea. Nice weather, lots of people hanging out on the Han river, Buddha’s Birthday and Children’s Day, and the cherry blossoms. Oh, the cherry blossoms! The blooming of the cherry trees is a much-anticipated event. There are websites that predict which days the trees will bloom in different regions, and people flock to famous cherry tree sites around Seoul and the country. One of the most famous places is Gyeongju, the old capital of Korea. In 2011, I went there with some friends to run the Cherry Blossom Marathon (um, I did the half). It was amazing. The whole course was lined with blossom-laden trees, musicians, and old people waving Korean flags. Afterwards, I went to see the royal tombs, one of the most scenic places in Gyeongju. This was also a great site to view another much-honored Korean tradition: boyfriends with fancy DSLR cameras taking elaborate photo shoots of their girlfriends. Cherry Blossoms bring the romance out in everyone!


For me, that day was a heady mix of runner’s high and travel induced euphoria. The inspiration stayed with me and now I’ve created a whole collection of cherry-blossom inspired patterns, which I will debut at Surtex in May! The full collection may be viewed on my website.


{Tales from the Road is my occasional blog series in which I share some of the better stories and reflections from my travels in Asia, Europe, and South America. This is in part to make up for terribly lazy travel blogging over the past year and half, but hey, better late than never!}

Inspiration Roundup: Korean Stationery

July 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Lately, I’ve been pining for Seoul. One of favorite guilty pleasures in Seoul was to while away the hours (and won!) in stores like MMMG, Kosney, Hot Tracks, and Art Box, coveting cute things. Here’s a few favorites I found on my latest online trip to my old stationery store haunts:

please note: Images in this post are courtesy of the noted stores.

from ARTBOX:


from MMMG:


from 꿈비:

from INDIGO:



Inspiration: Interactive Window Display at ZNP Creative, Seoul

July 30, 2012 § Leave a comment


Later on today, I’m going to post about all the ways that I get inspired by the stationery culture of South Korea. For now, I just want to share this video. I love the colors, sounds and graceful movements of it combined with the subtle snarkyness of the bags themselves. I’m lucky enough to own one of these treasures!


Happy Friday!

April 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Spring has definitely sprung here in dear old northeast Kansas…and spring always has the same effect on me: the uncontrollable desire to be outside. In Seoul, it was sometimes hard to satisfy this urge, but thankfully almost all of the cafes offer outdoor seating, cute and quirky decorating schemes, and sometimes even fake plants or astroturf to further give the patron a feeling of nature’s embrace. And if you’re wondering…a lot of businesses like to use ‘story’ in their name. I think it kind of equates to “branded lifestyle experience,” but more concise and cuter ^^

Here’s some photos from a nice cafe in Samcheongdong, Seoul:

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