The Jealous Curator – Nod Artist Interview

The Jealous Curator - Nod Artist InterviewTell us a bit about yourself…

Let’s see – I’m Danielle Krysa and I have a BFA in Visual Arts, I’m a graphic designer, an art blogger, an author, and a mom to my sweet son, Charlie. Two years ago we moved back to my tiny hometown and settled into a 100 year old farmhouse on the side of a mountain overlooking a lake. It feels like our very own little slice of heaven. I do enjoy a hit of big city every now again mind you, so I always try to have a few book or curating projects going in places like LA and New York.

HOMETOWN: Summerland, Canada

CURRENT TOWN: After years in Toronto and Vancouver, I’ve just moved back to Summerland!

FAVE ICE CREAM FLAVOR: Anything involving brownie chunks

FAVE BREAKFAST FOOD: Hashbrowns – extra crunchy

FAVE HOLIDAY: My birthday. Yes, I’ve officially made that a holiday.

FAVE COLOR: Tie between neon coral & light aqua

FAVE MOVIE: Dirty Dancing (I totally just dated myself)

FAVE DECADE: 80s (I did it again)

The Jealous Curator - Nod Artist Interview 1How did you begin curating art?

I made up fake shows! In the first year of my blog (2009), I used to curate/post my “dream shows” – collections of work that I would love to hang if I had a white-walled gallery at my disposal. It’s so crazy that less than two years after that, galleries started asking me do it for real.

Is there a story behind the name of your company?

Yes – I started “The Jealous Curator” for me, with no plans of ever having readers or a community. It was more like a form of self-prescribed art therapy. I was so overwhelmed, and depressed quite frankly, by the huge amount of amazing art that I was finding online. I was truly jealous of these artists and their work. It was eating me alive, and I was exhausted. So I decided to own it, and say it out loud as “The Jealous Curator”, because that’s what I was – a jealous curator. By sharing artists’ work that I loved, that toxic soul-crushing jealousy turned slowly, but miraculously, into admiration. It was a life changer. I’m no longer jealous – just excited and inspired – but my business cards are already printed, so the name ain’t changing!

What are the most rewarding and the most difficult parts of running your own business? 

The most rewarding part is knowing that I’m in charge of my own success. The most difficult part is knowing that I’m in charge of my own success. Yep, it’s a wonderful sense of freedom, mixed with a dash of nail-biting fear. But, I think I’ve finally arrived at a place in my life where I don’t worry as much as I used to. At the root of it all, I know that I’ll land on my feet as long as I don’t give up.

How would you describe your style?

Hm. Eclectic? I love a lot of different kinds of art, but I suppose there are a few themes that emerge: I love work with a clean/design feel, work that seamlessly blends fine art and craft, and work that looks like the artist might have a touch of OCD! Oh, and portraits. I’m crazy for portraits.

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

I went to Bali a few years ago, and I’d go back in a heartbeat. And Paris, anytime.

If you could possess a superpower, what would it be?

An all powerful healing touch. Then I could sleep at night instead of worrying about my little boy.

The Jealous Curator - Nod Artist Interview 2Tell us about your new curated collection with the Land of Nod. 

I’m really proud of this collection! I chose these artists and their works as a curator, but I also had my “mom” hat firmly on. When my son was a baby, I had a really hard time finding cool art for his room – art that he would like, but also something that I wanted to look at while rocking him in the middle of the night, and during diaper changes, and when we were lying on the floor pretending to be [insert any farm animal here].  That’s what this collection is all about. I chose fun, fresh, candy-hued pieces that are perfect for the nursery/kids’ room, but that are contemporary enough to transition smoothly into the “grown-up” areas of a home as your babies grow up (why do they have to grow up!?)

How would you style it in a room?

I chose pieces that work well together, and also purposely made them different sizes… this is a recipe for a really rich, visually interesting gallery wall! ps. Groupings in odd numbers are usually the most successful.

Check out The Jealous Curator here.

Behind the Scenes — Creating Our Well Nested Kids & Baby Bedding

Post by Elizabeth Olwen, designer behind Nod’s Well Nested bedding

Hello out there! I’m Elizabeth Olwen and I couldn’t be more pleased to be here to share a behind-the-scenes look into the inspiration behind my new Well Nested organic kids and baby bedding collection with the lovely folks at the Land of Nod. It’s close to my heart!

Well Nested Kids & Baby BeddingI remember the first bedding that I got to pick out for my own bedroom when I was a little girl. I felt like a princess and it felt so special to crawl into my bed every night and sleep under a print of large, soft pink rose petals. Patterns have been a passion of mine for as long as I remember. And when I grew up and discovered that I could be the one designing those beautiful patterns that people live with day in and day out, I knew I’d found my calling. As most fresh-faced pattern designers, I made a list of dream clients and hoped to one day see the dreams become reality. For me, The Land of Nod was at the very top of the list. And I always hoped that I could create bedding that another little girl or boy would swoon over in their own bedrooms. So, it’s so exciting to be here to tell you about my first bedding collection with the Land of Nod.

This collection was based around the theme of the bird’s nest, which I think is an adorable theme for babies. I am a nature-lover and one of my favorite things to do is to go camping, and ultimately, for long walks through the forest. I love foraging for motifs and shapes that can inspire my work. And I often emerge from the forest with visions of the forest floor, which is covered in twigs and branches, berries and plant life, and the sounds of birds and squirrels and other wildlife chit-chatting in the forest. These walks continually inspire my work. I’ll sit down and draw for hours in hopes that a theme or idea will take shape. I love the concept of a mama bird doing her own foraging in the forest, gathering what she can to make a nest for her eggs. And it’s something that we humans love to do too. So for me, the theme of nesting was a natural fit for a bedding collection for little ones.

Well Nested Kids & Baby Bedding Doodles Well Nested Kids & Baby Bedding Doodles 2 Well Nested Kids & Baby Bedding Doodles 3The collection began with the irresistible idea of crib sheet with a large nest, in which a baby would sleep. The coordinating collection is based on the surrounding forest environment and raw materials for building a nest of your own… A twiggy, branch pattern. A duvet of acorns, berries, feathers, mushrooms and pine cones. And a few egg, acorn and twig coordinates. All in a soft modern color palette. And it only seems natural that it’s all made from comfy organic cotton.

Well Nested Kids & Baby Bedding Crib
I couldn’t be more pleased with the collection. The collection is available for baby (pink or blue), toddler (pink or blue) and kids (pink or blue). And while I know the bedding was intended for kids, I don’t think I’ll be able to resist getting some of my own, seeing that the designs are also available in double and queen! I hope that the collection is the perfect backdrop as you watch your baby birds grow, and that little girls and boys that get tucked into it every night have that same very special feeling that I did when I was a little girl. Stay tuned for more fun products collaborations coming soon!

Elizabeth Olwen is a Surface Pattern Designer from Toronto, Canada who creates patterns for fabric, stationery, apparel and décor.

Q&A with Nod Artist Stacie Bloomfield

Nod Artist, Stacie BloomfieldTell us a bit about yourself…

Hi I’m Stacie & I really like to draw animals, drink French press coffee, and eat Indian food. I find inspiration in heirloom quilt patterns, my Midwest upbringing (though now I suppose I am a Southern girl) carefully curated color palettes. I currently live in Springdale, AR with my mathematician husband, Nathan, my incredibly energetic daughters Violet & Lucy, and my 2 pups Wallace & Zeus. I am a tad unorganized, spill my coffee on most of my original drawings, but I am always punctual!

NAME: Stacie Bloomfield
HOMETOWN: Springfield, Missouri
CURRENT TOWN: Springdale, Arkansas
FAVE BREAKFAST FOOD: Pancakes with tons of butter and syrup
FAVE HOLIDAY: Thanksgiving
FAVE COLOR: Turquoise
FAVE MOVIE: The 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries!
FAVE DECADE: The 1950s (I am a sucker for the feminine dresses from that decade).

When did you become interested in becoming an artist?

I have been drawing as long as I can remember. I spent a lot of my free time drawing portraits of all of my friends and family. I had always known that I wanted to study art in college and graduated with a degree in Design Arts from a small liberal arts college in Springfield, MO. I took a few career detours (i.e. managing a coffee shop for a while and then working an admin job at a local university) but eventually found my way back to art once my children were born. I couldn’t find nursery art that I loved, so I made my own!

Stacie Bloomfield Artwork

You draw a lot of animals. What type of animals are your favorite?

I love drawing bears and birds! I enjoy taking the fur on bears and using it as a blank canvas to explore different textures and patterns. And birds are simply lovely to draw because of their beautiful colors and feathers! I take a bit of artistic license when it comes to how I interpret my Gingiber animals. 😉

Drawing Birds

Is there a story behind the name of your company?

When I was an undergraduate, I had a graphic design project to create a magazine all about myself. When I was searching for what to title it, I turned to an old Latin dictionary and began searching through the “G’s” (which is my favorite letter). When I saw the word “gingiber” with the 2 G’s and that it was an older version of the word ginger, I ran with it! Years later when I started my illustration company, I didn’t think twice about using my old standby of Gingiber, and now I’ve never looked back!

What are the most rewarding and the most difficult parts of running your own business?

I love creating work that I love! I know that if I create something that I am pleased with, most likely my customers will see the passion in the illustration and love it, too! I love setting my own hours and interacting directly with my customers. I also love my small business community, and all of the amazingly talented people who share the same creative lifestyle as myself!

The most difficult part of running my own business is deciding which of my ideas to run with and which ideas need a bit more tweaking. I literally have so many directions I would love to take Gingiber that prioritizing what needs to come first is important because I only have so many hours in a day. Also some times of year of crazy busy (holiday, yikes!) while others are slow and steady. Finding the balance planning for the future and setting myself up for success is a yearly challenge!

Stacie Bloomfield Artwork - 1

Tell us about your kids and how you balance work/mom life.

I have a 5 year old named Violet, a 2 year old named Lucy, and a 3rd baby on the way due December 30th! This baby better not come during my holiday rush! I feel like work life balance is constantly evolving. During the school year my oldest goes to school M-F, while my youngest is home with me most of the time. I send her 3 days a week to a Kid’s Day Out Program, and that is when I get the bulk of my work done in my studio (outside of my home). I find that I can’t get work done efficiently if I am at home, so getting out of the house 3 days a week helps me to focus. I try to not work as much when they are home, but usually I catch myself on my phone returning emails :) And working during the summer? I still haven’t found that rhythm. Somehow everything gets done, though! Coffee helps!

Stacie Bloomfield's Kids

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

Recently my husband and I have been talking about wanting a honeymoon “do-over” in Charleston, SC. I know it isn’t exotic, but when we last traveled there, everything that could go wrong went wrong! Missed flights, hurricanes, lost reservations, etc. It was a great way to start a marriage 😉 Yeah, I’d like a do-over!

If you could possess a superpower, what would it be?

The power to read minds, specifically my 5 year old daughters. She is feisty, and I would love to get a glimpse at what is going on in that little head of hers.

Tell us about your new Sheepish bedding set. What do you love most about it?

I am crazy about the entire set, but I think the linen blanket with the French knots representing the sheep wool is absolutely dreamy! It feels sort of like an “heirloom”, and I think it is a very special piece.

Land of Nod Sheepish Baby Bedding

How would you style it in a room?

I would love to see this set in a classically inspired room a gorgeous black wooden bed with spools, paired with a beautiful vintage upholstered chair in an unexpected color like kelly green or hot pink. Of course the room would be filled with books, well loved toys, and wall art from some of my favorite illustrators like Ashley G, Leah Duncan, or even some prints from Gingiber. 😉

Q&A with Nod Artist Cat Seto

Tell us a bit about yourself…

Getting to Know Cat Seto

NAME: Cat Seto
HOMETOWN: Troy, Michigan
CURRENT TOWN: San Francisco, California
FAVE ICE CREAM FLAVOR: Secret Breakfast from Humphrey Slocombe
FAVE BREAKFAST FOOD: Soft scrambled eggs
FAVE HOLIDAY: Chinese Lunar New Year because we get to do a silly lion dance and light sparklers.
FAVE MOVIE:  American Beauty
FAVE BOOK: Too many to list…but a favorite is A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

Tell us about how you came to be an artist?
I have a BFA in painting which I put on the backburner when I had a grant to write the “great novel”. But after moving to San Francisco I was hit with horrible writer’s block and I started crafting finger puppets to pass the time. After creating hundreds of them I decided to turn those finger puppets into cards. And before I knew it I had illustrated a small stationery collection which I debuted in NY.

Getting to Know Artist Cat Seto - 2
Is there a story behind the name of your company, Ferme à Papier?
Ferme à Papier loosely translates into Farm to Paper. I took my first trip to Paris two years ago and visited biodyamic farms in the countryside along with admiring the chic hipster Parisians in the city. When I returned a series of little drawings and sketches emerged from the trip which I then launched as Ferme à Papier. The entire series is about enjoying the small joys in our everyday.

Getting to Know Artist Cat Seto - 3

What are the most rewarding and the most difficult parts of running your own business?
It can be a challenge to balance the creative with the business. Much of my day is filled with answering emails, corresponding on projects and making sure our studio is humming. But there is nothing more rewarding than being able to create something with my hands and share it with my community, retailers and customers. It’s a humbling experience and always reminds me of what’s important in my creative life.

Getting to Know Artist Cat Seto - 4

How would you describe your style?
My collection is painterly, nostalgic and has a Paris meets Brooklyn kind of vibe.

Getting to Know Artist Cat Seto - 5

Any other hobbies/interests?
I have a weakness for ice cream and my son and I have haunted just about every spot in the city a few times over. One of my proudest moments may have been when he was able to distinguish vanilla flavors from different parlors :).

Getting to Know Artist Cat Seto - 6

Tell us about your new book, Mom Inc.
Mom,Inc. is a guide for establishing a creative business as a mother. It’s published by Chronicle Books and co-authored with Meg Ilasco. We give tips on our experiences as small business entrepreneurs and had the fortune of inverviewing 17 other amazing creative moms in design including the moms behind such beloved brands such as Dwell Studio and Skip Hop.

Mom Inc. by Cat Seto

Mom, Inc. available from Chronicle Books

Tell us about your new Equestrian bedding set. What do you love most about it?
I’m really excited about the Equestrian set as horses are a theme that were beloved in my childhood as well as my son’s. I used to obsess over the accessories for my model horses so it was a lot of fun to design a sheet filled with horse bits! My Ferme à Papier collection has a deep color palette and I also love that the collection takes this on in a fun, playful mood.

Equestrian Themed Kids Bedding Set

How would you style it in a room?
I think this set would be lovely against all kinds of wood grain and textures…walnut headboards, oak floors, an old, vintage chair. It’s also perfect to pair with anything plaid.

Any other favorite Land of Nod products?
I don’t know where my life would be without Storagepaloozas. They house all of my son’s block, books, crafts and sit perfectly beneath my windows…just genius!

Check out Cat’s stationery line Ferme à Papier and her new bedding set here!