Behind the scenes: NATIVE
The NATIVE collection was created during a year intense personal transition, and feels like my most personal collection to date. After over a decade of living in major cities, I moved to the quiet coastal California town of Half Moon Bay. I was very pregnant and we were remodeling part of our house (because that's what totally sane people do). To escape the noise and dust, I took daily long walks, observed my new world, and got to know the landscape and flora intimately. Originally from the east coast, I was surprised to find that I quickly felt more at home here than I had in most of my previous "homes". I felt at peace amongst the spaciousness of this place, and loved how every day presented a unique version of the landscape. Most of the time, I forgot my sketchbook, so if inspiration struck, I'd have to hold onto that idea until I got back to the studio!
Soon after moving, my daughter Laila was born and I learned about infant visual development. Newborns do not see the world in three dimensional detail. They can only see about 8-10 inches in front of them, and are especially drawn to highly contrasting areas. When we look at the face of a black and white cat, we see the texture of the fur, individual whiskers, the reflection on their eyes. A newborn would only be able to differentiate between light and dark shapes. I wanted to put this information to the test and see what shapes Laila responded to...and since I was spending LOTS of time in bed recovering from childbirth, I created a series of black and white flashcards for baby Laila using ideas from my sketchbook.
I would not have guessed that my rough sketches would evolve into baby flash cards and then into sophisticated designs for home decor, but that is pretty much what happened! Some of Laila's flashcards served as early studies for the NATIVE collection designs. In the below photo, the fourth image from the left eventually become Botanica. I'll be sharing the next step in my creative process for NATIVE in a future journal post, coming soon!
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