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Photography

The Uncommon Life

Photographer Lauren Waldrop Wins UncommonGoods’ Fall 2017 Scholarship

September 22, 2017

Last spring, we did something new and exciting. Of course, as purveyors of the uncommon, we’re always eager to try new things, but this one was EXTRA exciting, because it gave us a chance to see awesome work by talented young artists and designers from across the US. We put out a call for entries for our first-ever UncommonGoods Scholarship and more than a hundred students sent in their work. After much deliberation, we’re thrilled to announce that Lauren Waldrop, a communication design major at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, is the recipient of our $1,000 scholarship prize.

UncommonGoods Scholarship Winner Lauren Waldrop, photo by Timery Lee Photography

Lauren’s photography captured the attention of our scholarship team, and we were impressed by the story she included in her submission, which highlighted her dedication to her craft, artistic process, and future career goals. To announce her win, we asked Lauren to tell us a little more about each of the areas she touched on in her entry. Check out her Q&A below, and take a look at her winning work.

Grace, photo by Lauren Waldrop

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Rich McCor

July 12, 2017

Londoner Rich McCor has quite a few followersan impressive 301k at the time of this writing, in fact. Known to many as @paperboyo, Rich first began to rise in the Instagram ranks in the fall of 2015, when the online arm of UK paper the Daily Mail ran an article highlighting some of his most remarkable snapshots. The angle? Armed only with craft knives and his imagination, Rich turns sheets of paper into intricate cut-outs that he then holds before time-honored landmarks, putting a new, improved, and fleeting twist on otherwise familiar scenes.

Somewhat surprisingly, Rich started out as a tourist in his own home, trolling the streets of London with a camera and snapping photos that looked like many others in the Instagram travel community. Soon, however, Rich realized that he wanted to do something different. He began by taking a knife to some thick black paper and creating a cut-out in the shape of a wristwatch, which he then held strategically in front of Big Ben. The rest, as they say, was history.

It’s been nearly two years since Rich began his creative journey, and now five of his best-known photographs are available as prints exclusively at UncommonGoods. Always eager to give new artists a proper welcome to our family, we took the opportunity to speak with Rich about his craft. Read on for a deeper dive into his process, plus thoughts on his studio (read: his bedroom) and an inside look at which cut-out was hardest to capture.

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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Will Using an Updated Instant Camera Be a Snap?

October 14, 2016
Instant Camera Gift Lab
Research

As a photographer I’ve played with all kinds of cameras, from high-end digital cameras to dollar store 35mm, and Polaroids are no exception. So when I saw that the classic Polaroid camera has been re-imagined for the digital age with the I-1 Analog Instant Camera, I knew I had to test it out. With a trip to London and Paris coming up, I had the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

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Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: Why Can’t I Shoot My Favorite Painting?

December 6, 2015

Smartphone Spy Lens | UncommonGoods

Before the age of smartphones, most museums had a no-photo, not-even-without-flash, don’t-even-think-about-it policy. There were multiple reasons for shutting down shutterbugs: first, concern over copyright of artwork and nefarious reproduction; second, good security practice meant museums didn’t want would-be crooks conducting “research;” third, flashes degrade painting pigments and delicate works on paper over time; fourth—and maybe most surprising—looking through a viewfinder makes people clumsy. In other words, you’re more likely to back into a rare sculpture or fall into a priceless painting. Now that everyone has a sophisticated camera in their pocket, it’s a whole new ballgame, and museums are challenged to adapt. Many have embraced the crowd-sourcing potential of social media, letting people Instagram-away as a means of engagement and creative looking. Improved security systems have made casing the joint with a camera less of an issue, but distracted, selfie-stick wielding visitors remain a threat to collections. So, next time you say “cheese” in front of a Van Gogh or O’Keefe, just check the museum’s photo policy and take care. When you shoot artwork, don’t shoot to kill.

Smartphone Spy Lens | $20

The Uncommon Life

Instagram Challenge: COMFORT FOOD

November 5, 2015

Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food

The next Instagram Challenge theme is Comfort Food!  Now that Daylight Savings has disappeared from our lives, it’s time to face it: winter is approaching. But we’re not giving in to the winter blahs just yet! We’ll admit that we’re excited to start queuing up Netflix, throwing on our cozy sweaters, and savoring the foods that make us feel most nostalgic.  Whether it’s planning for your Thanksgiving menu, or just revisiting the classic soup that you missed all summer, we want to see what the hearty meals that give you a good ol’ comforting feeling. While sharing your delicious pick-me-ups, be sure to use the hashtag #UGInstafun for a chance to win a $50 gift card! Visit here to see all of the entries we’ve received so far and scroll down to view our favorite comfort food essentials from UncommonGoods. (Click on the images below to snag these for yourself!)

 

Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food | #UGInstaFun
Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food | #UGInstaFun
Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food | #UGInstaFun
Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food | #UGInstaFun
Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food | #UGInstaFun
Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food | #UGInstaFun
Instagram Challenge | Comfort Food | #UGInstaFun

 

Can we TACObout the latest Instagram Challenge winner? Congratulations to @tacothecitydog for winning our Clever Costumes Challenge with this adorable get-up, featuring our handmade Taco Booties!

Instagram Challenge Winner | Clever Costumes | Taco Booties

Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Kimberly Hadlock

September 7, 2015

Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.

What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Kimberly Hadlock, maker of the Coffee Lover and Edible Flower Lollipop Sets.

PicMonkey Collage

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I always kind of have been. When I was little I would design jewelry on rubber bands, going around door to door. I studied music from an early age along with dance. Later came photography. I have always had something going that requires design & creativity.

salted caramel

What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?
Seeing my ideas reach thousands of people. Having a simple idea of a flavor profile enter my mind, calibrating till I think I have it just right. Then releasing it to the world. Knowing that my hard work is paying off and people are enjoying what I do.

1341 (3)

What does your typical day in the kitchen look like?
Up at 6am and packing up the car with my supplies for the day. Heading off to whatever share kitchen I am using for that day. I work solid for 5-6 hours making orders, then play with flavors for about 30 min. Package everything up and head back to my office where I will set and design custom labels for our wedding / corporate orders for 3-4 hours. The last 6 hours I will either tweet the website, or photography. Head off to bed then in 6 hours do it all over again.

herb shot

Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?
Huh. Never really thought about it. Does coffee count? It can be inspirational and keeps me going.

Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?
give me give me give me

birthday cake lollie

What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
Wisdom begins in wonder – Socrates : If you had said to me 5 years ago that I would be making lollipops for a living I would have laughed. One Christmas holiday I wondered how to make lollipops for a Christmas gift. I played around a bit to figure some things out. My friends loved them, suggested I start a shop. I have never looked back.

izzie lollipops 111

What are your most essential tools?
My mind. All the recipes are up there. I have never written any of them down.

PicMonkey Collage

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Fun with Fabric–Solar Photography & Tie-Dyed Textiles

August 27, 2015

Jille | DIY Textiles Kit | UncommonGoods

Products: Indigo Textile Dye Kit & Solar Photography Kit

Research:

As a Graphic Designer who studied painting and drawing in undergrad, my entire life has revolved around different craft projects. Lately, I’ve gotten too far into the computer and am looking to take a step away from pixels to explore some analog creativity. I’ve decided to pair these two items  together because they both deal with positive/negative space relationships, one additive and one subtractive. Both kits also use the color blue and involve fabric. I remember doing tie-dye and photo imprint in high school, but haven’t experimented with it since then. I’m excited to jump in!

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The Uncommon Life

Instagram Challenge: BRUNCH

July 29, 2015

brunch-square

The next Instagram Challenge theme is BRUNCH. As the August heat creeps and the season winds down, the best way to spend a lazy Sunday is undoubtedly to sit outside in the shade at your favorite brunch spot over eggs benedict, coffee, and a mimosa — or tucked away in bed with a tray of delicious food to pass that ‘not quite breakfast, not quite lunch’ time. Whether it’s more on the breakfast end of things or late enough to be lunch, we want to see what you’re brunching on this summer. While sharing your best shots of the weekend’s best meal, be sure to use the hashtag #UGInstafun for a chance to win a $50 gift card. Visit here to see the entries we’ve received so far.

Congratulations to @yichinglin for topping off our Farmers Markets Instagram Challenge with this sensational shot of a succulent sugarplum!

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