Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Diva" on Alluminare

I am excited to announce another new print with Alluminare! The print is called "Diva" and I think it is one of my best. It is so versatile! What do you think?

Try a bright colorway if you want a splash of color.
I envision this color way in a sea side home.
This is great for the modern and dramatic room!
I love it large on a lamp shade. It changes the whole look of the print, don't you think?
In black and white it resembles feathers.
I like this soft and peaceful colorway. Great for a living room or yoga studio.

Back to tying ribbons. I am so close to being finished!

Bonjour! Fabric launch at the Quilt Market in Houston

I am taking a break from ribbon tying to say a quick Bonjour! I also want to let you know that if you are going to the Quilt Market in Houston on Saturday, stop by the Anthology Fabrics booth! They will be showing my Sweet Tooth and Folk Life collection and launching my third collection Bonjour!

I will post images of the collection on Monday. Until then, Au Revoir!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Press on Print & Pattern!

I am so excited to be on Print and Pattern today! If you don't know Print and Pattern, it is a website that "celebrates the world of surface pattern design". Thank you to Bowie Style!

photos, notebooks and cards

I decided to take 5 minutes to say hi. I had a fantastic time in Transylvania! I have 3 posts to write regarding everything I saw. Unfortunately, it will have to wait until next week. But here is one photo as a teaser! I am very proud of this photo. My friend Richard calls it the "national geographic" photo.

This wonderful women invited us into her home to watch her make cheese. A beautiful woman with a spirit that made me wish I could spend a day with her asking her all about her life.
So, I am literally buried in work! I have three HUGE projects I am trying to finish. All while having guests in town...they don't know this but I am putting them to work on Thursday tying ribbons:)

Below are photos of the 1200 notebooks and 500 cards that were delivered this morning!Thank god I am still house sitting as my flat could not hold all these notebooks!

So, I will check back in later...after 400 ribbons are tied around notebooks:)

Let's Color Project and my home town of Cincinnati!

I am happy to link you to a video made in my home town of Cincinnati! The Let's Color Project has posted this video and I am so proud that Cincinnati art has made it onto this blog! Way To Go Cincinnati!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

midnight photography lessons

It is going to be a great week! Two of my best-est friends are coming to visit all the way form Seattle! They are actually in the air right now! We haven't seen them in over two years. We have so much catching up to do! And to top of the exciting week, we are headed to Transylvania on Wednesday! We will stay with a family and live the country life for 4 days! We will eat traditional homemade foods and take long walks, visit a cheese maker, a weaver and possibly an egg painter. It is sure to be an exciting week filled with laughter and full bellies:)

Before I head out for the week...because lets be serious, I am not going to be blogging when my friends are here...Steve and I took a late night walk around town on Saturday night. I decided to play with my camera and try taking some night photos.

A cafe around the corner from where we are house/cat sitting. I like this shot with the exception of the creepy guy in the left corner. Looks like a ghost don't you think?
The second largest Synagogue in the in BudapestThe stairwell heading up to the flat. This is the shadow from the actual railing.
I love how it looks like a painting.

Well, that is it for this week. I will be back next week with some fantastic photos from Transylvania!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

the creation of a fabric collection

Hello! How was your weekend? I hope your weekend was relaxing and full of important ingredient for a happy life:) I laughed a lot. We had friends over for dinner and ate lots of food, shared stories of life and stayed up way to late. A great time! It is these precious moments with friends that make me forget about the stresses of the week, and realize that everything is going to be OK.

I thought I would share a little behind the scenes with you on the design process for "Sweet Tooth" and "Folk Life", my two recent collections with Anthology Fabrics. These two collections are very special to me for a number of reasons.

First, these are my first collections on fabric where my name is actually on them. I have been designing for major retails for over 15 years. I have seen my designs on everything from clothing, plates, even snow-globes. But my name was never attached to them. When you buy "Sweet Tooth" or "Folk Life", you will find my name on the selvedge! For me, that is really cool!

Second, they are 100% Diane Kappa, no one telling me to change anything. No compromise, no committee of people saying to change the color, the changes! Actually there was one person who kept having me change My inner critic is the toughest one to please:) Having no changes is very unusual for designers. There is almost always someone telling you to tweak something about your design to make it better...but I will talk more about this in a bit.

lets get started on the creation of the collections...

Step 1: I always buy the newest magazines for inspiration, color and to keep me current with trends. However, I don't like keeping the magazines around for very long. They quickly start taking up space and they make me feel less mobile...strange hugh? And honestly, do you ever go through them again, really? So, after a month or two I go through them very meticulously and tear them up. I create small print boards (A4 size) that are based on color. These become very handy when starting a new collection.
6 boards that inspired the colors for Sweet Tooth and Folk Life
Step 2: Next is the most important step for me. A clear mind, no computer and traditional tools...a pencil and paint brush. I sketch and paint to find inspiration…to create the basis of my designs. For some reason, drawing with a pencil (not a mouse) and using a paint brush helps my mind feel free and clear to explore different ideas and take risks-there is no undo!

Here is where Sweet Tooth and Folk Life came to life. We took a weekend trip to the Csákbereny where I only brought my sketchbook. This was my "studio" for the weekend.
Kis Alma Haz (Little Apple House)
All the images in the Folk Life photo series are taken at the cottage we stayed.
The bottom left image of the cherries was taken by
Barnabás Imre, the photographer who took my portraits. I love the way the cherries pop from the image and the faded red chair in the background....hints of blue showing through...ahhh...
Being at this sweet cottage was the true inspiration for me.

Step 3: After getting good solid ideas sketched out, I redraw them with black pen and scan them into the computer. I perfect the illustrations, play with layout and finalize color placement.

Images of my sketchbook from that weekend.
Step 4: Color can sometimes be the hardest part. I often fall in love with a color combination that I know will only appeal to a small part of the population. So, I tweak, tweak and tweak...making the blue a little less green, or should it be a little more green and making the pink a bit more orange, a little less purple...I try to think about what colors are trending in home furnishings and create color palettes that will compliment what people may already have in their home.

Step 5: Remember I said there is no community of people telling me to change things....well, there kind of is. After I think I am finished, I send the collection and color ways to 5 people who I respect as artists and designers. They give me honest feedback on the collection as a whole, the colors I have used and each individual print. This is so important to me! After working with the collection so closely for weeks, I need fresh eyes to look at it and give me feedback. Recently, I have added 4 quilters to the group. They give feedback from a quilter point of view. This is invaluable for me!

Step 6: After I receive all the feedback from people, I look for common comments. Often there will be two or three comments that over lap...change the scale of one of the prints to be larger, use less colors in a print or try adding a pop color. The comments are great! I pull the collection out again and try the changes being suggested. Sometimes I agree with them and make the change and sometimes I think it looks best as is.

Step 7: After I am happy with the collection, I send it to Anthology Fabrics. From there, they start the manufacturing process and we both start the marketing process. In many ways, the hard part is just beginning...selling and marketing.

Sweet Tooth: my favorite colorway
Folk Life: My favorite colorway
So, that is how I design a collection. I hope this post was interesting and give you a bit of insight into my work. Are you a designer or artist? I would love to hear your process. Post your blog in my comments and I will check it out!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

work in progress continues...

hello. I thought I would share the second part of the process from yesterday. Below are images of the original painting on the left and the final on the right. After I painted the flowers, I took a photo (no scanner since I am house sitting) and took it into Adobe Illustrator. Here, I added color, gradients and fixed some pieces that weren't working.

I am really happy with the results. My NY rep has been pushing me to not use white and to create color combination's that I usually stay away from. I really like the orange and purple with the dark grey ground. Hopefully they sell soon:) I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

work in progress

We started house & cat sitting a few days ago. We are watching two friendly black cats in the heart of Budapest, Sam and Minnie. It is a nice arrangement really. We get to stay in a nice large flat in the heart of the city and I get 2 cats for company. I love having this much space. One table for painting and one with my computer. It makes me dream of having a larger studio where I can allocate different corners for different artistic processes...some day...

Here is where I spent a good part of yesterday.
These paintings get scanned into the computer and manipulated so much that in the end you can hardly believe they came from these painting. I paint with yellow and black because when I scan them in I can separate the colors easily.

I see these images as just the beginning, the skeleton of the final work. As I was painting, I couldn't help think that maybe I should take one of these and keep going, making it a final product. What do you think?

These two are my favorites.

chocolate + good design = Róysavölgyi Csokoládé

Two of my favorite things...chocolate and good design. When they are together you have Róysavölgyi Csokoládé (Rose Valley Chocolate). A cute and tasty chocolate shop in Budapest.
Steven and I have walked by this chocolate shop many times. We are always walking by on a Sunday evening when they are closed. We would look through the window and admire the shop. Well, Saturday we walked by and it was open and one of the owners Zsolt was working. I fortunately had my camera so I snapped a few photos, talked to Zsolt and ate some chocolate. What a treasure!!!

Zsolt greeted us with a smile and helped us pick out a few tastings.
Zsolt and his wife make all the chocolates themselves as well as design the packaging.
Talk about hand made!
Lets start with the chocolate...delicious interesting flavors that I would have never put together...Porcini mushroom chocolate? Green tea chocolate? Lavender chocolate? Spicy paprika chocolate? we are in Hungary you know We were intrigued. We actually tried all the above and I was surprised how much strong the flavors were and how well they went with the chocolate. The porcini mushroom gave the chocolate a natural earthy taste - absolutely delicious! The erős paprika or spicy paprika was great. Sweet and tasty with a little kick at the end. I think green tea was my favorite with a clean refreshing taste.

Now lets talk design. The packaging and the style of the shop draws you in. Black interior walls lets the packaging pop of the shelves. Not only was I impressed with the wonderful display, the unique packaging and the tasty chocolate but the molds used to make the chocolate. see below.

The chocolates were calling my name. So many interesting flavors!
The packing has a Japanese feel.We bought a couple different kinds of chocolate.
Once I got home I had to open and see what the design was inside.I LOVE this design. Look at the chocolate!So Hungarian, so beautiful!
Steven and I were so impressed with this shop that we will be taking all our visitors here. Everything about this shop is just right. I wish much success to Zsolt and his wife!

I recommend you swing by Róysavölgyi Csokoládé! It is unique, handmade, tasty and Hungarian.
Róysavölgyi Csokoládé
1053 Budapest, Királyi Pál u. 6.