Tuesday, October 9, 2007


While I was thinking about what I would write in this post, I started thinking of all the emails I get asking questions about the same three things: my odd collections, my inspiration and my tattoos.

I’ve collected things my whole life. As a child I collected butterflies, plastic army men and art supplies. Today I seek out antique bug collections, cracked doll heads and vintage scissors. Some things never change. Why am I drawn to things like bent & rusted bird cages, worn out softballs & vintage dental samples? Maybe it’s their colors, their shapes or their textures? Or maybe it’s just their oddness? I never have been one to follow trends, see a room in a magazine and try to copy or see the world through rose-colored glasses…I prefer faded red. I like to take things people don’t see as beautiful and somehow make them beautiful. It’s in those simple, rusted, faded; almost mundane things that I force people to look at in a new light.

I’m not sure where my inspiration comes from for my design work. Whether it’s graphic design, home d├ęcor, photo styling or even fashion, I rely on a feeling. My collections speak to me and it’s in those vintage objects that I get a feeling for a project. Rust, dirt, scratches, dents and worn imperfections come alive in my work. When I began Urban Prairie over two years ago, I had no idea it would become this “cult” style thing. My Urban Prairie website began as a way for me to showcase my design work and hopefully inspire others. It seems I have struck a cord with the “new” generation of designers and collectors. Within the many emails I receive, one message rings forth – It seems I’ve made it acceptable to view things differently. Although it’s inspiring to me to know that I’ve been told that I have made it “cool” to collect and design with odd finds, I would never take the credit. I simply feel design should always have an element of surprise. Don’t just think outside the box, deconstruct the box and turn it into something new and different altogether.

Tattoos are another thing I’ve loved since I was a child. I remember studying my dad’s tattoos for hours. I pretended to tattoo them on with a color pencil. My youngest daughter does that to mine now. Again, like my collections, I think I’m drawn to their colors and shapes. Their meaning is personal, but their designs I want to make a statement...a statement about me.
The same goes for by work.