Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I have been so inspired by calligraphy lately. Fortunately, I know one of the best calligraphers in Seattle, Caitlin Dundon

Sunday night I took one of her classes. It was fantastic! First, she is great teacher -- encouraging, patient and funny. Second, the concentration required made the whole experience very meditative. 

Since the class, I have been adding 10 minutes of practice into my morning painting ritual. Practice makes perfect!

If your interested in a class, I recommend you check out Caitlin's schedule here.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

the making of "Shadows" - a time lapse video

I have been planning, painting and dreaming big over hear. Lots of travel and trade shows being organized for 2014. In between all the prep work, I am designing new collections like a madwoman. Here is a preview of a work in progress titled Shadows. Enjoy!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Morning painting

Taking advantage of the time change by getting 30 minutes of painting in as soon as I wake up. It is a good way to start the day.

Friday, November 1, 2013

2014 desk calendar: a year in patter

Here it is! The 2014 desk calendar A Year in Pattern. Available now in the Etsy shop! 

This pattern filled desk calendar features 12 unique designs for each month of 2014. Calendar pages are printed on 4.65” x 5.4” 110 lb. white card stock. Your desk calendar comes in a plastic case measuring 5” x 5.6” tied with a ribbon and ready for gift giving. It is a perfect accessory for your desk!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

2014 Graphic Arts Guild Handbook

I am proud to be a contributor for the second year to the Graphic Art Guild Handbook: Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. This book is considered to be the industry bible for communication design professionals and illustrators. The current edition continues the tradition with new information, listings and pricing guidelines. It addresses legal rights and issues such as how copyright laws affect the income and work of graphic artists. It also provides tips on how to negotiate the best deals, pricing guidelines, and includes sample contracts. A great resource every designer should have!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

screen prints now available on Etsy!

I have been busy stocking up the Etsy shop this week! Screen prints are now available! 

These were made in class I took while in Budapest. It was so much fun to learn the process, get my hand dirty and make art. I have three designs: a folky design, a large floral and a smaller wandering rose floral. I want to take another class soon so I can add some more designs to the shop. I have so many design ideas brewing in my mind!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

**NEW** Etsy shop mobile device covers

I am so excited to offer iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phone cases and iPad covers in my Etsy store! 

The snap-on phone cases are a durable hard-shell cover. The designs are printed on full wrap 3D on a glassy finish case.

The iPad covers is akin to a hardback book cover. Using eco-friendly inks, the designs are printed onto the same vinyl used on race cars. A cast over laminate is added to make the cover resistant to tears, stains and water. The vinyl is wrapped around recycled book boards and a polycarbonate shell is added to hold your device securely in place. The best part of the book cover is that is doubles as a stand in landscape mode and supports the sleep mode when you close the cover.

Available for iPhone 4/4s, 5/5s, Sansung Galaxy S3, S4, iPad 2/3/4 and Mini

Friday, October 25, 2013

new fabric!

It has been a crazy week.  Redesigning the website, signing new contracts and finishing a collection has kept me busy. I hope to get back to morning paintings next week.  Until then, let me introduce a new fabric collection with David Textiles called Charleston. Look for in JoAnn's fabric store in November!

The mossy green, chocolate brown and red violet look so fresh and forward.
My favorite collection so far.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Behind the Scenes

I spent the weekend with my photographer, Erin, shooting my designs and product. We are ramping-up for a new website launch as well as some new product in my Etsy shop. It was a long day of photographing both inside and outside but the weather was perfect and the photos look great . The new website will be launching in November!

Enjoy the behind the scenes video and photos.

Monday, October 14, 2013

2014 calendar - sneak peek!

For the past 10 years I have designed a calendar showcasing the most popular prints as well as some new designs. For 2014 I went in a different direction aiming for a more loose and free form design. The calendar is one of my top sellers on Etsy especially in Australia where design tastes are so rich, colorful and full of wonderful pattern.  I am thinking a trip to Australia may need to be put on the calendar!

Calendars are available on Etsy starting November 1st.  For Diane Kappa Designs' clients keep an eye on your mailbox mid-December!

Sneak peek of Diane Kappa Designs 2014 calendar.  Coming soon!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Color is in the eye of the beholder!

Indeed! How do you see color? The past couple weeks I have discovered that some people see letters or numbers and even associate taste and smella neurological condition called synesthesia. While others relate musical scores.

But who says what is lime green vs. apple green? Well-known Pantone is an excellent attempt to level the playing field.  I am always thumbing through my Pantone books trying to find that right color. But even using industry standards depends on our own color acuity.

There is a color test making the rounds right now.  You've maybe seen it already.  The test was created by our friends at Pantone. When I worked at Nordstrom we had to take a similar color test.  I couldn't remember my score so I took the Pantone test.  I scored a 7.  A decent score.  Good thing given my profession!

What did you score?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

playing with paint

The saying goes 'We are only as good as our last idea.' In our fast paced and trend directed design world, it demands we are constantly learning and pushing ourselves. I thrive in this environment but time is alway my enemy.

Last month I fit in two painting classes that couldn't be more different from one another. I am scheduled to take a calligraphy class this month. It is not to say I will master each new technique. It does keep my creative heart and mind engaged though!

I mentioned Mati Rose's six-week painting course, "Daring Adventures in Paint,"where I am experiementing with acrylics and collage. I also tried my hand at botanical illustration taught by a wonderful teacher and artist, Kathleen McKeehan. It was a short class so I didn't produce much to show you. This meticulous and time-comsuming watercolor technique was like meditation for doing yoga.  Below are some of Kathleen's amazing watercolors.

How are you learning and expanding?  What advice do you have for staying creatively engaged?

Below is the beginning of my painting.  I know it doesn't look like much but botanical drawing is all about studying details and trying to replicate what nature has created. 
It is a very long process of patience and paint.