Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Motivation

transition is underway as a new week begins, and the month of July comes to an end. This provides a time for reflection, and goal setting. Looking back over the passing month, and forward to a new, I am reminded of the great quote by iconic American architect Frank Lloyd Wright featured above. This quote is a great reminder that thoughts have the power to motivate action. It begs the question -

What thoughts are fueling your fire?

Are you feeding your motivation with positive inspiring thoughts to propel yourself forward? If not, now is a great time to make a shift - use your thoughts to your advantage. Set your goals, and use your energy make something amazing happen!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Weekend Adventure

Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012
Living Jewelry
I have found few things in this world able to invoke feelings of whimsey, and delight like butterflies. They are amazing delicate creatures capable of both metamorphosis, and flight. Butterflies are found all over the world, and have significant symbolism in many cultures. Artistic depictions of butterflies have been found in Egyptian hieroglyphs dating back over 3500 years. The ancient Greek word for "butterfly" is ψυχή (psȳchē), which primarily means "soul" or "mind". IChinese culture, two butterflies flying together is said to symbolize love.

I recently spent an afternoon with these fancy flying creatures. 
Here are a few butterflies that introduced themselves.

Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012
Clipper (Parthenos Sylvia)

The Clipper (Parthenos sylvia) is a species of butterfly found in forested areas around Southeast Asia.

Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012
The Scarlet Mormon (Papilio deiphobus rumanzovia)

The Scarlet Mormon (Papilio deiphobus rumanzovia) is a butterfly found in the Philippines. The species was named by Johann Friedrich von Eschscholtz after Nicholas Rumanzow, Chancellor of the Russian Empire.

Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012
Paper Kite Butterfly (Idea leuconoe)

The Paper Kite butterfly (Idea leuconoe) is found around forest clearings, and above the forest canopy in Southeast Asia.

Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012
Tanzanian Diadem (Hypolimnas antevorta)

Tanzanian Diadem is found in the tropical forests of northeast Tanzania, in the Usambara Mountains of Africa. 

Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012
Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus)

Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus) has a wide distribution. Found in the lowlands of Africa, Asia, Australia, India, Malaysia, Japan and Australia. This butterfly has a tremendous amount of variation in color patterns. All are orange and black, and most have dark forewing tips with white spots.

I hope these photos have inspired you to take flight this weekend, and discover something amazing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

You Are What You See

Star Bunny Studio 2012

What is decorating the walls around you? 
Is it something that brings you joy, and inspiration?

I recently finished a project addressing these questions. What we see around us creates an environment that has a huge impact on our personal outlook, effecting everything we do.

The design dilemma was this, a new office space with pre existing hardware and holes in the blank walls. The main areas of interest, a skinny hallway, and a larger open wall space. 

The next question was, how to address barren walls in an office space shared by many people with differing but distinguished visual aesthetics?
              I quickly developed a three step process to handle this unique project 

                      1. Consider the space, and those who will interact with it

                      2. Select a medium for the body of work  

                      3. Create a concept for grouping the work together 

I wanted something that would give the space a clean overall look, while giving inspiration to the users of the space. Keeping in mind how many hours are spent in the office, I really wanted to give those working in the space a positive personal connection. Photography has become a common hobby. Many people own digital cameras, and have opportunities take pictures all over the world. As it turned out one member of the office team had a wonderful mountain picture from a trip to Tibet, and another had visited Africa taking some some great animal photographs. I decided photography would be a perfect medium for the project. The concept for the space would be Nature Around The World. To achieve a clean over all look in the space I focused on black and white photography to help create continuity. 

With answers to my three step process, and frame sizes in mind I went to work creating thumbnail layouts. Sometimes I find looking at a HUGE blank space can be intimidating, thumbnail sketches are a great way to explore ideas on a smaller scale.

Star Bunny Studio 2012
Hallway Photo Layout Side A

Star Bunny Studio 2012
Hallway Photo Layout Side B

            For the long hallway I utilized photos I have taken while backpacking in the USA and Canada. I also included the wonderful mountain photo taken in Tibet by one of the office team members.

Star Bunny Studio 2012
 Juxtaposition Photo Layout

Juxtaposition is not just a fun word, it also supplies visual interest. I did not want to wander too far off concept, however while working I saw an opportunity to add interest. By introducing small pops of color in juxtaposition to a larger black and white photo on a large open wall. I utilized photos of tropical heliconia flowers I took while in Costa Rica, and I placed them on either side of a stunning photo of zebras grazing taken by an office team member while in Africa. The end result was a fun and energizing arrangement.

I hope these ideas help to alleviate the dreaded Blank Canvas Syndrome and inspire you to take a closer look at what is hanging on the walls in your space.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Motivation

Star Bunny Studio 2012
Monday Motivation   Star Bunny Studio 2012

A new week full of new opportunities is upon us. 
I was just realizing how fast this month has flown by 
and how much I still want to get done! 

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the mundane tasks of everyday life, by the end of the day there can be little energy or time for the things that help to further big picture goals and aspirations. Unfortunately we cannot make more time in the day. The everyday tasks must be done, and they will always be there. However imagine what it would be like to use less energy on put downs & negative thought, and instead applied that energy to positive forward driving thoughts and actions. 

Use your energy to create more of what you want to see in life.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Weekend Adventure

Photo By Star Bunny Studio 2012
Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012

It is a classic American tradition, the summer road trip. The freedom of the open road, the call to adventure, and the thrill of discovery are just a few of the many reasons I am a HUGE fan of road trips. With about 47,128 miles of road within the United States interstate system, from small towns to natural wonders, there is a lot to gain inspiration from. My first road trip of the summer was over 700 miles. Most of those miles accumulated on I-81. 

Photo By Star Bunny Studio 2012
Smile! Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012

Traveling by car may take more time, but you get to experience how each state has it is own personality and unique qualities. 

Photo By Star Bunny Studio 2012
Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012

Road trips offer a chance to seek the road less traveled. Discovering new varieties of familiar favorites is part of the joy of exploration. 

Photo By Star Bunny Studio 2012
Robert H. Treman State Park  Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012

Sometimes you find a path to unexpected wonders. The photo above was taken while exploring the beautiful Robert H. Treman state park in New York. 

Photo By Star Bunny Studio 2012
Forget-Me-Nots  Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012

It is always a treat finding things you adore, in new places. The familiar takes on a new appeal when mixed into a unknown setting.

I hope this inspires you to take the road of discovery, and find something new this weekend.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Inspirational Details

Library of Congress floor tiles  Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012

"The details are details. They make the product.
The connections, the connections, the connections.
It will in the end be these details that give the product its life."
American designer Charles Eames

I have always said "Details make up the whole picture" and they do. Details help us to make connections and differentiate one thing from another. In our world today, things move so quickly that details are often over looked. We take for granted the small pieces to our everyday life, and focus on the grand picture. Sure, it is easy to find amazing details in places like say the Library of Congress (I mean, really, check out the floor tile alone). But, how about everyday details of our surroundings. I decided to take a closer look at something we see everyday - Lamp Posts. Really, how much design detail is found on a lamp post? 

What if you slowed down a little, giving yourself time to notice the little things...What would you see?

I spent time thinking about this question, and here is what I saw.

Bank Lamp Post   Photo By Star Bunny Design 2012

The photo above is a detail of a lamp post, and it is in my humble opinion a stunning example of detailed design. The gold and black is a classic regal color combination. The bold use of the Greek Key border at the base looks great in juxtaposition with the more delicate curvilinear laurel leaf shapes above. Look closely in the laurel leaves, you will see shields peeking through. The lions paw a symbol of strength, is set as support of the motif.

"We think in generalities, but we live in detail."
English mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead

Bank Lamp Post 2  Photo by Star Bunny Design

Only a few blocks away I found this black lamp post. The flat black color was all I saw at first glance, and continued to walk past it. Then I saw the detail, and stopped. The main feature that struck me was the griffin at the base of this lamp post. With the head of a lion and wings of an eagle griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions, so I thought it was all too fitting to have this be the design detail of a lamp at a bank. 

National Archives Lamp Post   Photo By Star Bunny Studio

This detail photo is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES. This is a picture of the base of a lamp post outside the National Archives. It is nothing but amazing detail. From the lion paws that support the entire structure, to the beveled base with flower chain detail, up to the fish head peeking out from under a garland of fruit, leaves, and flowers. It is a testament to detail in design. Not to mention the great color pallet of aged copper, set to a background of light pink granite with black & white speckles - It is enough to make me fall in love.

All of these lamp posts would still function the same without all the detailed design. But would they then give the viewer the same impression of the building it is standing in front of? Would the same feelings be invoked if the design was streamlined and void of detail? 

"Sometimes when you start losing detail, 
whether it's in music or in life, 
something as small as failing to be polite,
you start to lose substance."
                       The American "King Of Swing" Benny Goodman

I hope you take a moment to be inspired by the details around you.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Motivation

Quote by Henry Ford  Star Bunny Studio 2012

A new week is underway, and with it brings a wave of goals to be accomplished. 

Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to even think about how many tasks are at hand. Managing time effectively is key, prioritizing weekly activities helps to keep the ball rolling.

How do you organize your daily activities? 

I am a list person. I find it not only offers me a visual way to organize tasks, it also gives me a small motivating boost as I check off items  accomplished on my list. List are also a helpful tool to help maintain focus on what needs to be accomplish and not get lost in all that needs to be done at once. 

Anyway you slice it, productivity is always the name of the game. 
I wish you a productive start to the week!

 The quote above is one of American industrialist Henry Ford. I chose this quote because of the call to action it brings with it. I wanted the message in this statement to ring clear, so I focused on creating contrast in the relationship between two fonts. The piece starts with use of the font Madison Square. I deleted the fill, and outlined the font with a vivid magenta to intensify the busy feeling created by the linerar lines featured in this font. The next line starts with use of Rockwell Extra Bold. Again, I deleted the fill and outlined the font, this time in a bright orange. The color pallet of Magenta, Orange, and Cyan placed in stark white space gives a bright optimistic feeling. While the white background reinforces white space and gives a feeling of fresh newness. 

I hope this piece gives you a fresh optimistic feeling to your day.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Weekend Adventure!

Roller Coaster   Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012

Ideas of Weekend Adventure are seeping into my head, and 
nipping at my toes.

Do you like roller coasters?
Some People Love them - others Fear them. 

I Just found out that I am a HUGE fan. I don't know if it is the anticipation, or the whole fear factor thing - whatever it is - I Love Roller Coasters! I can't believe it has taken me this long to find out.

Believe it or not, roller coasters in the USA have a history that reaches back over a hundred of years. The first coaster-type ride was the Mauch Chunk Railroad in Pennsylvania, which opened in 1827. A gravity-powered railroad built to haul coal in Pennsylvania's steel belt, before the figure-eight loop was complete it had become obsolete. Instead, it was utilized as a 18 mile passenger ride. 

Do you remember the first roller coaster you went on? 

"The Wild One"   Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012

I figured my first experience should be on an old school wooden roller coaster. "The Wild One" is a roller coaster that has a history dating back to 1917. Old roller coaster have neat histories, when first opened at a height of 98 feet tall this was the tallest roller coaster in the world - It was not until 1925 that the record was beat. "The Wild One" started out as "The Giant Coaster" located in Massachusetts. Over this roller coasters lifetime It has survived at least two fires, many name changes, and a few location changes. 
(How Do You Move A Roller Coaster?!). 

Somebody please give the Joker a hand   Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012

After the rattling experience on "The Wild One" I moved on to 

"The Jokers Jinx". 

"Jokers Jinx"   Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012

I was more than a little obsessed with the crazy compact design of this roller coaster. You start out by being launched out of a dark tunnel, in three seconds you reach speeds over 60MPH that carry you into an amazingly designed "spaghetti bowl" of green and purple track, full of twists, flips, and turns. 

"Mind Eraser"   Photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012

On to the "The Mind Eraser" - The name alone was enough to pull me in. I loved the color contrast of the vibrant orange against the deep blue sky. As you sit down for this ride the first thing you notice, your feet hang out of the roller coaster. I wore slip on shoes that might have flown off, so I got to ride the "Mind Eraser" barefoot - Best Thing EVER. With my bare feet freely dangeling I was launched through every twist and turn imaginable, then the ride finished off with a corkscrew sequence and inverted loop. It was exciting beyond belief. 

"Apocalypse"  Photo by Star Bunny Studio

Then, it was on to the latest and greatest roller coaster in the park "Apocalypse". The "Apocalypse" is unique, you stand while riding this roller coaster. 

Skull Rock "Apocalypse"  Photo byStar Bunny Studio

The End Of The World theme of this roller coaster is set up like the set of a hollywood action movie, complete with a plane smashed into a skull faced rock wall. The ride reaches a height of 100 feet and a top speed of 55mph.The best part? This roller coaster has a fire ball that spits up at you while you are riding.


Now Then, What are you going to do with your weekend?
I hope this inspires you to go out on an adventure and create some excitement.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Mid-Week Pick Me Up

Daydreamers Sky  photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012

The week is about halfway over, or so the optimist in my mind tells me. If your week is feeling anything like mine you are in need of a Mid-Week Pick Me Up.  
Do You Daydream? 

I find some of my more creative ideas have been inspired by time spent daydreaming. I believe that creative thought requires adequate time to develop ideas and create the subsequent plans for action in order to be executed properly. The simple act of daydreaming allows your brain time to process information and form creative ideas. In many workplaces today it seems to be common practice to rush the creative process. Work is always on a tight deadline and "The Sooner, The Better" has become the motto. It can be difficult to give yourself time to be inspired. However I strongly believe that time spent daydreaming is never time wasted. So, do yourself a favor - Take a few minuets to stare into the clouds, watch the trees blow in the wind, take a few deep breaths, and rejuvenate your creative side.

Printable Mid-Week Inspiration By Star Bunny Studio

The image above is available for you to print and hang up in your work space.
 Let it serve as a reminder to take time out to allow creative ideas to develop by daydreaming. 

The writing is by the great American poet Edgar Allen Poe. I used Harrington as the font. I utilized the path tool to achieve the curved text lines. I wanted the text to take center stage on this design, so I thought I would make the text mimic long tail feathers. The illustration I created in Illustrator is a quick peacock bird sketch, I wanted to give it a modern simplistic, art nouveau like feel. I chose to use a summer color pallet of royal blue, grass green, and finished it off with a pop of sunny yellow.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Start Your Week Off On A Thank You Note

Printable Thank You Note 2012 Star Bunny Studio
Printable Thank You Note  2012  Star Bunny Studio

Start Your Week Off On A Thank You Note

The first day or two after a long holiday weekend can be an adjustment. Getting back into the "normal" schedule of daily events can feel a bit forced. I find the best way back into routine is with expressing gratitude for the events that proceeded the new week. 

Question, When was the last time you received a Thank You note? 
How about the last time you sent a Thank You note?? 

Everyday we should make it a point give our thanks. It is a practice that gives so much joy into the world. Why not express your gratitude to someone who makes you smile with a simple act of kindness, pass them a Thank You note! It could be a small act of kindness, like that nice person who held the elevator for you, or the guy that was mindful enough to leave enough room for you to park AND open your car door in the parking garage. These everyday actions should be rewarded with a nice Thank You note as a gesture of gratitude. If we put our energy towards what we want to see more of in life, the world would be a better place. 

Above is a Thank You note that is available for you to print and pass to those who have given you something to smile about. Make a point of keeping a few extra on hand for those unexpected acts of kindness that may develop in your day. This card was created in Illustrator as a vector image and converted to a GIF in Photoshop. It is intended to fit on to the bottom half of a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. After printing the image, the paper can then be folded into fourths creating a thank you card with blank interior. Trim any excess paper from sides, Then fill your Thank You note with gratitude, and give a little joy to someone in your life today.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Week In Review

POW!! POP!! FIZ!! DC Fireworks photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012
POW!! POP!! FIZ!! DC Fireworks photo by Star Bunny Studio 2012

A Week In Review

The first week of July has been a whirlwind of unexpected activity. Starting with an intense storm that tore apart my little urban backyard, and knocked out my power for three days of adulterated heat and humidity, overlapping with the early arrival of an out of town guest, set to a blur of metro rides, city architecture, and magnificent museums, that faded into a full moon lit backdrop for crazy wonderful adventures to unfold in our nations capital.

After it is all said & done I am walking away from this chaotic week with more than just pictures and great memories. I am walking away with a renewed appreciation, and gratitude for so many things. I feel it is times like these when your resilience is tested, and your creativity is stretched, that you grow the most as a person by seeing things that are often over looked.

 Lesson of the week: Perspective always helps one to gain insight.

With that all in mind, I created the image above. I was in DC by the Washington monument in the national mall for the fourth of July this year. I took this opportunity to take video and photos of the amazing fireworks displayed. In photoshop I layered 3 of these photos. By using varying levels of opacity on each layer, and adjusting the color I was able to active the final look. The last type layer I chose to use Desdemona as the font utilizing the open form in the typography against the brightly lit active background. The type was then related to the off centered focal point, and overall moment of the piece.