art studio: crowns of color.

designer and educator andrea pippins is the creative behind the online visual resource fly. andrea's signature is her ability to showcase color and pattern, infused with music and highlighted with snippets of pop culture. her crowns of color series is no exception. inspired by hair, in addition to graphic textiles, each portrait is a historical celebration translated via modern interpretation.

crowns of color series: afro blue | pompadour blue | asymmetrically green | gumby in grape

image credits: the crowns of color series was created by and provided courtesy of andrea pippins.


color crave: black love...

black is an emotional staple, and in its true form, it perseveres through the pain and is preoccupied by the pleasure. fearless and forthcoming, black creates wonder in starry nights and realism in comedy. the naysayers want you to believe that black is only "ain't no sunshine when she's gone" playlists and woe is me. black can't tell you how the fairy tale ends, but there is no judgment in believing that the fairy tale exists. i crave access to the excess that is black…

photography credits | [product – credit]
:01 nixon for kate spade saturday time teller p – nixon | 02: stealth bag – united nude | :03 nova shoe – united nude | :04 tattersall short trench – coach | :05 heartbkr – bkr | :06 the newton – nixon | :07 bleecker small wristlet – coach | :08 mojito shoe – julian hakes | :09 black tartan nail lacquer – scotch naturals | :10 mask lamp by stefano giovanonni – moooi | :11 love seat – joel escalona | :12 c'est tout [it's everything] love screen print – ampersand design studio


art studio: the abc's of beyoncé.

"i woke up like this." beyoncé's words, not mine. this boldly confident declaration of said flawlessness was recently documented by illustrator and photographer vivian loh. the result is a style archive featuring visual snapshots of beyoncé sketched into letterforms. i highlighted my favorites from the alphabet series above.

image credits: the abc's of beyoncé alphabet series was created by and provided courtesy of vivian loh.

letters shown: e / c / m / f / d / w / v / x / r / i / t.


art studio: lauren rolwing.

Film and fashion are complex sources of artistic interpretation. They both seek simple truths that can be translated into an abstract visual narrative. Illustrator Lauren Rolwing draws on these same concepts in her depiction of runway events. Curvy and mysterious, Lauren's subjects are the anti-muse – flawed with intention and unexpected as an ideal. The artist shares some insight on her influences and technique below:


NAME: Lauren Rolwing | HOME GROWN: Nashville, TN | DAY JOB: Illustrator | DREAM JOB: Illustrator


COFFEE OR TEA: coffee, black | VINTAGE OR COUTURE: vintage, too clumsy for couture | SUCCESS OR FAME: success, genuine | SILVER OR GOLD: silver or rose gold, I can't decide. | APPETIZER OR DESSERT: dessert, vegan | SUMMER OR WINTER: winter, with loads of snow | MILD OR SPICY: spicy Indian, with a coconut yogurt lassi | NO REGRETS OR NO FEARS: no regrets!

Q & A.

JRL:  Your subjects are curvy and fashion fierce, is this a blatant rejection of the runway's version of reality?

LR:  In school, I took a fashion illustration class. We were taught that the croquis should be at least 9 heads tall, where the average person is only 6-7 heads tall. I have a great respect for traditional fashion sketching. I love the beautiful, elongated figures by artists and illustrators like Egon Schiele, Jarno Kettunen, Richard Gray, Rene Gruau, and Tony Viramontes. Drawing such elongated figures, never really came naturally to me. After the class ended, I didn't keep with it and stopped creating any fashion illustrations. Recently, my agent suggested I create some illustrations with people as the main focus. I wasn't quite sure what people to draw. I looked around my studio at the tall stacks of fashion magazines, and thought it would be good to try some fashion illustrations again. This time working on fashion illustrations, I was inspired by the same thing my other illustrations are inspired by: films, Henri Matisse paper cuts, Memphis design, American modernist art director and graphic designer Paul Rand, and Japanese graphic designer Ikko Tanaka, among others. I have always been fascinated by fashion, and I am so excited to tie two of my loves together.

JRL:  Your illustrations are a graphic documentary that highlights a taunting struggle - finding a balance between flawed and attainable perfection. Was this debate your intention? 

LR:  I think this just came naturally to me. In school, almost all of my illustrations were made by hand with colored paper and small scissors. Without the aid of the computer, it was very difficult to attain perfection, and that was never my intent. A wonderful professor showed me works by Polish poster artists and Eastern European illustrators. I found what I loved most about the work that she showed me was their lack of perfection. I tend to work very quickly to try to capture the image I have in my head. During this process, perfection is not an option. Sometimes, I would spend a very long time cutting a detailed shape out, and when I was finished, I ended up using the scraps on the floor instead. Now, I work on the computer, and use the pen tool instead of real scissors, but I try to keep the same spirit.   

JRL:  If eyes are considered the windows to the soul and your subjects lack that feature, is the suggestion that the fashion industry is an artistic statement that lacks depth? 

LR:  I believe my lack of eyes is more about putting the attention back on the clothes. I have noticed that as soon as you add this feature, that is automatically where the eyes of the viewer tend to go. There was a really fascinating study on eyes and how the eye sees that I read about in Cabinet Magazine, Issue 30. Years ago, the scientist Alfred L. Yarbus, developed something called "the cap" that was an apparatus with a tiny angled mirror that fit onto the subjects' eyes. A beam of light was directed to the viewer's eyes while they looked at a painting. Their eye movements were recorded exactly onto photosensitive paper. Although, I do feel quite sorry for the test subjects, it was really fascinating to actually see the precise path the viewer's eyes took. The faces in the work always received the most direct attention. If you Google his book, Eye Movements and Vision, you can see the results. Since these illustrations are fashion illustrations, I wanted the clothes to tell the story of the wearer rather than the other way around.

JRL:  If your self portrait could be translated into a runway show - what designers are featured? What songs or artists provide the music? Why?

LR:  I love this question!

– Rodarte for their love of film inspirations
– Stella McCartney for her use of animal friendly materials
– Raf Simmons for Christian Dior's artistic inspirations
– Jil Sander's beautiful design driven minimalism
– Yohji Yamamoto for his love of all shades of black
– Christopher Kane for his unexpected inspirations

For the music, I would have to say the soundtrack by Miles Davis for Louis Malle's film, Ascenseur pour l'échafaud.

JRL:  What is most inspiring about the art of fashion as your muse?

LR:  I would have to say the opportunity for reinvention! Each season, there is a chance to reinvent yourself and seek new inspirations to research.  


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Illustrations + photography created by and provided courtesy of Lauren Rolwing.


dime defined: maya smith.


NAME: Maya Smith | HOME GROWN: Los Angeles, CA | DAY JOB: Founder of The Doux. Owner and master stylist of The Doux Salon, a Maya Smith Hair Lounge. | DREAM JOB: My journey is already a dream come true. I love what I doux. The opportunity to activate my craft to serve others is an amazing gift.  


MEAL: Nigiri sushi, rainbow rolls, and sake. | DESIGNERS: Pharrell Williams, Marc Eckō, Isaac Mizrahi. | CITY: Paris | CANDY: Haribo gummy bears | SOUND: An 808 drum. | POEM: "Asking us to pick ourselves up and become, THUNDER!" – Sonia Sanchez, Everything Man. Intro for Talib Kweli. | SCENT: Hanae Mori Butterfly | ART STYLE/PERIOD: Graffiti, Rockabilly, and Eames Era.

Q & A.

Q:  Who would portray you in the movie version of your life? Feature film, straight to DVD, or Lifetime Movie?
A:  A movie portrayal of my life would definitely have to be an Anime flick. A brilliant animated character: think Afro Samurai meets Hello Kitty. A feature film voiced over by Erykah Badu. Soundtrack produced by Rza. Trust me, it would be EPIC.

Q:  What artists or songs would contribute to the film's soundtrack?
A:  The Score: Rahzel featuring Amel Larrieux – I know, right?! | Wu-Tang, Rakim, A Tribe Called Quest, Dela, Fela, Digable Planets, Jamiroquai, The Roots, M.I.A., The Pharcyde, Diggs Duke, KING, Bilal, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Pete Rock.

Q:  What one thing would your friends and family be surprised to learn about you?
A:  I'm an insomniac. You can catch me most nights playing Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty.

Q:  If your beauty routine had to be condensed, what three products make the cut?
A:  Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer, MAC RiRi Woo Retro Matte Lipstick, and Bonita Afro Balm.

Q:  Are you the woman your ten year old self wanted to be?
A:  I believe that I am.  As a wife and mother of five, I admit that some days, I wish I could go back in time and tell her that being an astronaut would have been easier.

Q:  What is your alter ego's name? Describe her in one word.
A:  Yukana Aiko. Ninja.

Q:  Food, water, and _____? What else do you need to survive?
A:  I will never allow myself to get too fly to share this: There was a time in my life when The Good Book was literally ALL THAT I HAD. Cliché as it may sound, my Bible is "the precious." Undeniably essential.

Q:  Would you rather have no regrets or no fears?
A:  No Fears. For me, regrets are sacred. My occasional hidden desire for a do-over is what makes me human. It serves as evidence I have acquired the wisdom to assess my mistakes, and do things differently if given the opportunity. We have been engineered with the spiritual intelligence to process lament to some degree, but I don't believe that we were created to be fearful. Fear is the opposite of love. 

Q:  What's your definition of dime? 
A:  Being a DIME is all about working the hell out of what you've got. A true DIME knows that there is really no such thing as a "perfect 10." She ignores beauty standards and loves herself in spirit and truth. Her presence gives her and those around her validation and permission to trade in the "perfect 10" for "lucky 7," and ride it until the wheels fall off. Me? I'm about a 7.5. And that's more than enough.

Q:  What words do you live by? 
A:  DOUX everything with love.


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Photography provided courtesy of Maya Smith.

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