Friday, February 19, 2010

Blog it Forward - What Inspires Me

I knew that the "Blog It Forward" topic, "What Inspires Me" was going to get me in trouble. When I'm writing, I get EXTREMELY verbose. I can yammer on and on about almost anything. Can you imagine the trouble I have condensing my thoughts on Twitter? And now that I've got a whole post to expound upon everything that makes me look and think twice, well... For your sake, I'm going to TRY and keep it short. And one note: I went through all my "right-click-save-as" picture files for this post, but some pictures were saved before I even thought of starting a blog, and therefore I don't have the source any more. If you're the owner of the picture and want to receive credit, shoot me an email and I'll be happy to add it!

Film & TV

I often say that the Star Wars original trilogy are my favorite sentimental films, and Rushmore is my favorite adult film. (Uh, not that kind of "adult film," obviously.) I grew up on Star Wars, but saw Rushmore while I was pretty-much-almost-kinda grown-up. I'm a science fiction nerd thanks to Princess Leia Organa, and Wes Anderson's films charmed me with their old school but quirky style. (If you look, Dr. Guggenheim ONLY wears tweed -- and his office is full of tweed furniture, too!) I'll also be forever thankful to Mad Men on AMC for not only being incredibly entertaining, but for inspiring clothing and home designers alike to bring back the look of the early 1960s. (I'm also thankful to the show for bringing me Christina Hendricks every week.)


Fashion and interior design truly go hand-in-hand. While some art snobs may sniff that only the fine arts are worthy of study, both fashion and decor take the mundane and the practical and turn them into things of beauty. I mean, you could wear a purely utilitarian uniform every day, but why would you want to? I'd definitely rather be wearing this...

Dita Von Teese is my personal style icon. Ever notice that when you're dressed up, you just feel a little more special? A little more "on?" A little more powerful? So why not feel like that all the time? She revels in her femininity, and exudes a confidence that offsets the perceived weakness associated with being so "girly."

When it doesn't feel like a red lipstick day, the other designers and retailers I gravitate toward have a decidedly simpler and preppier look, like Michael Kors, Banana Republic, J Crew, Kate Spade and someday -- someday -- Herm├Ęs.

Art, Colors, & Motifs

Can you be a preppy goth? I mean, after clothes like that, it seems a little weird that I'm fascinated by goth and steampunk styles. I love decorating with the macabre: skulls, dry dead branches, turn-of-the-century curiosities, birds of the night, images of abandoned houses. I like using grays and blacks, with hints of royal purple or robin's egg blue.

My two favorite artists: John Singer-Sargent and Alphonse Mucha. Singer-Sargent's paintings seem to glow from within, and Mucha's swirling, flowery details and rich colors make me wish I could live in a world where everything's been Mucha-ized.

This section I can't describe as anything more than my "motifs." They're just images I like, for no real rhyme or reason, but show me a throw pillow or piece of jewelry with a picture of one of these things on it, and I'm sure to pick it up and take it to the cash register.

Bare branches, skeleton keys, quatrefoils, owls, skulls and bones, cameos and silhouettes, ampersands, tartan and plaid.

I also love tattoos -- but only on people. Old tattoo-style prints like Ed Hardy makes me cringe with sympathetic embarrassment for the wearer. But a real tattoo... Let's just say that when I notice a boy, I usually start at his sleeved arms, then travel up to his face. Here's my favorite that I've ever seen. It's definitely influenced the tattoo I'm working on for myself: an etching-style skeleton key.

People & Places

While I do have my favorite designers (Amy Butler, Thomas Paul, Nate Berkus, Martha Stewart), no one's influenced me as much as my mother. I'm incredibly lucky to have been raised to appreciate and create art, from field trips to Bay Area museums, to art projects at the kitchen table, to visiting her and finding that the walls are a new color and the garden's been relandscaped, to seeing her create watercolors, pastels, collages, sketches, jewelry... I admire the fact that she's always working on something, and has been as long as I can remember.

Mom and the puppies

I'm also constantly inspired by my friends. They're a rockin' bunch of smart, funny, talented, strong, beautiful ladies who have great taste. After all, I'm their friend!

Ah, the best city in the world: San Francisco. I absolutely left my heart there; I miss it constantly. I love the cool gray weather, the undulating streets, the pride it takes in its architecture, and just the feeling you get from being in such an intelligent, plugged-in city. The energy of the people is positive and inquisitive. We may all be pinko commie hippie liberals, but at least we're constantly thinking and creating and questioning. But, I live in Hollywood now, and I gotta admit it's grown on me. The weather's been mid-70s and sunny all week, and it's February. Plus, Lark Bakery is here.

Around the Interwebz

And finally, how could I not mention all the websites that bring me my inspiration on a daily basis? That is the reason for this blog mashup, after all!

Aesthetic Outburst
Apartment Therapy
Elements of Style
Habitually Chic
Mighty Haus
Oh Happy Day
Oh Joy!
The Office Stylist

So now we've come to the real mashup part of the program. And so: check out Tile Envy, who came before me, and Tortagialla, who'll have her inspiration post up Monday!

Don't forget to check out everyone else participating too!

And one more thing about my inspiration. The things above are inspirations to my aesthetic style for the most part. They introduce new colors, patterns, techniques, and styles to me, at once expanding and refining my own tastes. But there's another way in which they inspire me. My friends, family, and fellow bloggers also inspire me to do what I do. I had been working at a job that I HATED, but after that ended (in a most unceremonious fashion), I decided to take the opportunity to finally focus on what I actually enjoyed doing. The people around me have encouraged me with their own examples of doing what they love, and have supported me in my own endeavor. I couldn't be luckier. Thank you, guys!

Sigh. Well, there goes that whole "keeping it short" thing.


  1. I loved your post. I definitely agree that being utilitarian is no fun, I wish it was functional to wear a dress everyday. I hate when people ask me why I'm so dressed up just because I have a dress and lipstick on!

    I love your motifs as well, I'm crazy about skeleton keys but I never have anything to do with them. I used to really want a skeleton key tattoo too!

    I was married in San Francisco so I definitely have a special place in my heart for the city as well, but Hollywood sounds lovely!

  2. I loved your post. My husband and I just finished a series-long Mad Men marathon. It took us many long (but totally enthralling) nights, but we are finally caught up, and can't wait for season 4!!

  3. Wasn't short - but it was interesting and fun, so you shouldn't apologise for that! I found it impossible to write a short post about inspiration...but then I think I too come from the school of yammer :)

  4. great post and as a fellow San Franciscan (who still lives here), i couldn't agree with you more about our city!

  5. I love this post, too! I'm so glad you didn't keep it short! Wonderful inspirations!

    I first found you when I was looking at the list of blogs on the mashup and I loved the title of your blog ~ I'm so happy I've added you to my favorites!

  6. Love it! :) I like that it was long and very inspiring!!

  7. I like your post - it show attitude and passion - and that is what makes people different and life interesting:)

  8. I love that Star Wars was the first thing you listed. Awesome blog-it-forward!

  9. Thanks, everyone! I'm glad you were all able to slog through that long brain-dump! :-P Seriously, you could pick only one of those inspirations and I could have gone on about it for pages. Especially Star Wars. ;-)

  10. oh film & fashion for me too! thanks so much for sharing your inspiration. :)

  11. great post about your inspiration. thanks for sharing with us. I am inspired :-)

    cheers, Bine

  12. Great to hear about what inspires you!

    I really like YoungHouseLove. It's a great site, though they have a space that's a little bigger than a TAA and often focus on renovations that renters wouldn't be able to implement, but it's worth checking out!

  13. Nice ghoulish article … very fitting for the season and impressivly damn interesting. That was awesome! Probably one of the more interesting reads in awhile.

    Bol Apartments

  14. Hey I came across this post looking for housing information but was pleasantly surprised to find some cool artwork and fashion (which isnt typically up my alley).Anyways great looking blog!

  15. very useful informative post, Thanks for shown your interest.useful to interior decoration professionals


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...