Made in the USA: How 3 American Makers Find Creative Inspiration Where They Live
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Made in the USA: How 3 American Makers Find Creative Inspiration Where They Live

As cheesy as it sounds, inspiration really is everywhere. That’s why one of our favorite ways to beat maker’s block is to go for a walk. You can walk anywhere — to the grocery store, around the block or, if you’re feeling really bold, to a hip neighborhood dotted with artsy shops and coffee houses. As you stroll, you take in all sorts of different color combos, textures, materials and scents. Searching for creative inspo is sometimes as simple as letting all five of your senses immerse themselves in the world around you.

Our friends over at method know a thing or two about color, scent and geography, and how the three can be used to evoke memories, ideas and more. If you’re familiar with method, then you know how awesomely colorful their products are, and you may even have a favorite scent. They recently launched a new limited edition collection dubbed New Americana. The colors, patterns and scents of the collection are inspired by regions in the USA and the local artisans who make those regions special.

Like the makers this limited edition collection celebrates, method has always been at the forefront of championing thoughtful, intentional design. It’s not only about color and scent, but also about crafts and traditions as they relate to different parts of the country. As they told us, they took “inspiration from beautifully handcrafted fabrics, blankets + quilts, [combining] the spirit of the American maker with scents that celebrate our country’s diverse landscape.” Well, we can definitely get on board with that!

From Coastal Redwood to Southern Peach to Desert Lily, these three scents straight up rule. And their packaging? Those patterns are THE BEST. That’s why we partnered with them to take a virtual walk across the country to chat with three of our favorite makers about how where they live inspires their work. Read on to learn all about Eunice Moyle, a San Francisco-based stationery maker; Courtney Pilgrim, a born-and-bred Georgia painter; and Lauren Essl, our favorite Texas-based calligrapher.

COURTNEY PILGRIM // ATLANTA, GEORGIA

The moment we saw Southern Peach, we knew Courtney — a Georgia girl from zero to now — was the perfect maker to bring this scent to life. Dubbed My Friend Court, Courtney’s an art teacher by day and painter by night, and she’s the brillz babe behind our Intro to Acrylic Painting Class.

Southern Peach fit Courtney perfectly because it’s sweet and fruity. It makes you think of biting into a juicy peach on a hot summer day, and the color palette includes sunny orange, grass green and orchard peach.

Why do you think your part of the country is a great place for creative people?

Right now, the creative scene is booming in Atlanta and I would say it’s very rich in the arts, be it street art or performing arts. Atlanta also happens to be known for its trees and natural beauty, which makes it very inspiring to be in the city!

What are your favorite local spots to get creative inspiration and what about those spots do you find inspiring?

In Atlanta we have a pathway that loops the entire city called The Belt Line. Along The Belt Line, you’ll see public art, parks, restaurants, bike paths — every time I go for a walk or cruise there I discover something new. Some parts of the pathway make you feel like you’re in the city and other parts make you feel like you’ve escaped the city for an adventure!

How do you think your home state or region is reflected in the things you make?  

I am definitely inspired by my surroundings and pull my color choices from things I see in my everyday life. I grew up outside of the city and spent my days playing outside, so when I’m in a creative rut I normally turn to nature to find my inspiration again. I wouldn’t say that it’s the natural tones that inspire me, but more so those vibrant colors you see on flowers petals, in fruit or in a sunset that make you think “how did nature create this color?! It’s SO beautiful!”

Where do you find inspiration for new color palettes and patterns?

I think turning to fashion or just my everyday surroundings is a great place to start. After beginning with colors that I’m naturally drawn to, I usually find a way to add in a splash of an unexpected color to spice things up.

What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?

Shake the demons. Stop listening to the voice of doubt you have about your ideas or what you want to do with your life and career. Figure out just what you want to do and what makes you happy and pursue it with all your might! Make a plan, set goals and get to work.

What does Method’s Southern Peach evoke for you?

It reminds me of fresh peach milkshakes in the summer time!  :)

LAUREN ESSL // DALLAS, TEXAS

Hailing from Texas, Lauren Essl is our favorite calligrapher ever! She’s taught not just one, but TWO online Calligraphy Classes right here on Brit.co. When she’s not blowing our minds with her calligraphy skills, she’s teaching, making and playing in the Lone Star State. Her scent of choice? Desert Lily.

With refreshing floral undertones, Desert Lily is like a floral oasis amidst an arid desert landscape. We love the bright, warm and dusty color palette chose to represent this region and scent.

Why do you think your part of the country is a great place for creative people?

Texas has so many unique regions and landscapes, it’s easy to be inspired with just a change of location. Indeed, Texas has amazing art scenes, museums, galleries and culture. Ranging from Cowboy culture to high-end art, we have it all.

What are your favorite local spots to get creative inspiration and what about those spots do you find inspiring?

I’m so inspired by graffiti and street art, so strolling Deep Ellum in Dallas can be fantastic for color and lettering inspiration. I also find inspiration strolling antique malls – whenever I need a boost, I hop over to Montgomery Street Antique Mall and roam the aisles. I travel to Austin frequently as well, where design is king. Simply looking at a menu at Elizabeth Street Cafe gives me so much inspiration!

How do you think your home state or region is reflected in the things you make?

Texas = sun. And to me, sun makes me think of bright colors and happy tones. I bring in a lot of bright colors in my work, especially when designing for myself. It’s hard not to work in bright tones when your summers are so hot and sunny!

Where do you find inspiration for new color palettes and patterns?

I’m so inspired by vintage and retro color palettes — old advertisements, photos and fabrics often have the most inspiring combinations (not to mention great typography). I also find great inspiration in Peruvian textiles — so many beautiful colors. (Photo credit: Seth Melton)

What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?

Just start. This is a phrase I’m really into lately. If you find a passion, carve a spot out for yourself in this universe — make your dream a reality.

Where does Method’s Desert Lily take you?

Desert Lily makes me think of a really beautifully curated shop in New Mexico, it makes me think of a candle that might be burning. Or even the oasis in the middle of a desert. Light and refreshing!

EUNICE MOYLE // COASTAL REDWOOD

Though Eunice didn’t grow up in California, after almost two decades here it is most definitely her home. She spent her childhood the way a diplomat’s kid does — moving from place to place, year to year. California is the first place she’s been for more than five years, and the coast is her happy place. Eunice is our Letterpress At Home Class teacher and the co-founder of Hello!Lucky, an awesome letterpress stationery company based here in SF.

It’s the natural beauty that surrounds San Francisco that’s kept Eunice here for so many years. She loves the herbaceous quality of Coastal Redwood, and the fact that it instantly transports you to a redwood forest where the air is so crisp and clean you can taste it.

Why do you think your part of the country is a great place for creative people?

San Francisco has an amazing creative scene and is a constant inspiration. There’s a real appreciation for aesthetic here — whether it be in fashion, food, or art — so living here is like being immersed in current style and trend. On top of that, one only has to take a quick trip to be surrounded by gorgeous landscapes, so you get the best of both worlds.

What are your favorite local spots to get creative inspiration and what about those spots do you find inspiring?

I love the Mill on Divisadero Street. It’s a coffee shop with a gorgeous organic natural aesthetic with a little ’70s thrown in. They have very cool art on the walls that changes constantly, and the people-watching is fantastic. Plus, really, really good coffee, which is pretty much what kick-starts my creativity every day!  I also love heading to the beach with my dog and kids — whether it’s Crissy Field, Ocean Beach or Fort Funston, there’s nothing like a bit of fresh air and California landscape to get the creative wheels turning. About 80 percent of design is in the rumination and both of these places are great environments for thinking.

How do you think San Francisco is reflected in the things you make?

A wry, goofy sense of humor runs through a lot of what we do and San Francisco is a place that certainly appreciates a good pun and a bit of irony and silliness. There’s also a certain overarching Northern California design aesthetic that I really appreciate — wood, natural materials, neutrals mixed with pops of the blue green of the ocean and brights of coastal florals. A little retro mixed with a little modern. It’s all in there somewhere.

Where do you find inspiration for new color palettes and patterns?

I get color inspiration from all sorts of places, but some of my greatest inspiration comes from children’s textiles, vintage book design, pop music videos, and French and Japanese aesthetics. And the ’80s. I heart neon.

What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?

To turn off your self-critical voice and just be in the process. Don’t get caught up in comparing your work to other peoples’. Whatever you make is unique to you — and the point is to make it as “you” as possible, not to imitate.

What does method’s new scent Coastal Redwood evoke for you?

It has a warm, woodsy scent with a bit of sweetness. It reminds me of the California coast and spending weekends camping and adventuring!

How do you find inspiration where you live? What are your favorite places in the USA? Talk to us in the comments below.

 

This post is a collaboration with method.