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Prints

Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Jill McDonald

March 9, 2017

Aside from being a mama to the adorable pup above (as well as her human son, Luca), Jill McDonald is a talented designer and artist who has created works for top brands all over the country – think book covers, storefronts, bedding, puzzles, you name it. Always appreciating bright colors and bold illustrations, Jill decided to take her talents and create a studio of her own. We’re so glad she did, since now we have a few of her fun prints available in our assortment.

We like to welcome new members of our uncommon family by learning more about their stories and sharing those stories with you. Read on to hear from Jill about what inspires her, how she self-schedules in her home studio and the motivating phrase that keeps her going strong.

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Maker Stories

Inside the Artist’s Studio
with Danielle Kroll

October 7, 2016
Danielle Kroll | UncommonGoods

Danielle Kroll in her Greenpoint, Brooklyn studio, photos by Rachel Orlow

One thing I’ve learned in my years of visiting artists’ studios is that they’re rarely what I expect. Danielle Kroll’s was no exception. Sure, I expected it to be full of beautiful art and hoped to see a plethora of paints and piles of paper, but I had no idea just how fun, colorful, and full of creativity-sparking treasures her space would be.

I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical when I arrived at what looked like a warehouse in a seemingly industrial part of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. (But, in actuality, I shouldn’t have been. By now I should know that many interesting and inspiring places are hidden away in former factories and warehouse buildings.)

Artist Danielle Kroll's Studio | UncommonGoods

Danielle invited our small group–myself, a photographer, and our content intern–into the old building and we followed her up a steep staircase into a beautiful communal area used by several artists. While I was impressed by the art in the halls, the eclectic combination of furniture, and the relaxed feel of the whole space, Danielle’s own studio really blew me away. Flooded with natural light, decorated with her own art and art she’s collected, and filled with books, it was the kind of space where I felt right at home.

That welcomed feeling was only enhanced by the artist’s openness and enthusiasm. She not only showed us some of her paintings, but also opened her sketchbooks, showed off some of her favorite objects she’s collected as a self-proclaimed “pack rat,” and shared about a few of her creative projects.

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Matt Butler

November 2, 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 Matt Butler, the artist behind our new linocut prints.

Matt Butler | UncommonGoods

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I realized I wanted to be a full-time maker when my hobby of printmaking transformed into a passion. I was working as a teacher at the time and pulling prints at night. I started to see the positive reactions my work was getting and knew I needed to make a more serious commitment to printmaking.

Matt Butler | UncommonGoods

Matt Butler | UncommonGoods

What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?

The most exciting part of going full-time was the unknown. It was thrilling taking a risk that hinged on my creativity and ability to produce work that people liked and wanted. There are definitely some days that I wish I was the one making all the decisions but in the end it’s part of what makes this fun.

Matt Butler | UncommonGoods

What does your typical day in the studio look like?

Each day is pretty different but most days start with emails/brief procrastination on the computer. Some days are spent mostly on the computer working on new designs but many are spent on my feet pulling prints.

Heart Venn Diagram | UncommonGoods

Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?

I don’t have one single thing that is inspirational but I do have a handful of items related to printing that were my grandfather’s. He was very passionate about lettering, typography, and printmaking. I came to love these things too late to share the passion with him but my grandmother had held on to some items and tools and they are now scattered around my studio. I like to think he would approve of my career choice.

Falling Linocut | UncommonGoods

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

I’m afraid they might find it boring and not understand some of the wit involved. They might find the texture and impression in the paper nice though!

What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?

Do work.

See the Collection | UncommonGoods

Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Teri Stratford

October 19, 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 Teri Stratford, the artist behind our vibrant new botanical prints, A Visual Poem, Twilight, and Firefly Festival Fireworks.

Teri Stratford

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I always knew I was an artist so there never was a “when.”

What’s been the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?

The sheer joy of doing something that just makes me giggle with delight on a regular basis. Seeing people’s delightful reaction to my work and what miracle happens next!

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What does your typical day in the studio look like?

I might research photos online for reference of animals such as horses, turtles, geese, cats, fish in different positions; underwater or mountain landscapes.  Go over orders to fill.  Do some printing to replenish my inventory.  Or, much more fun….go collect leaves in my yard or go for a walk with a backpack to fill up.  Or pull interesting leaves from my stash and play with arrangements on my illustration board and see what happens.

Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?

I have a puja in my studio, a place for meditation.  The room vibrates with spiritual energy, the source of joy and creativity.  I am happy in this room!

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

“Wow…. Mom!  Look at this?  Can I take this home?  This is really cool… ” (I actually had this happen with a 7 year old boy!)

What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
“I am the vibrational energy that creates WORLDS!!!  My creativity is endless….”

Firefly Festival Fireworks by Teri Stratford | UncommonGoods

See Teri's Collection | UncommonGoods

The Uncommon Life

This Just In-spiration: Meet Kimberly Hall

August 3, 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 person 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 Hall, the artist behind the There Are Always Flowers Print.

PicMonkey Collage

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
It took me a long time to think of myself as an artist. I have had a very varied career with lots of different titles, and it wasn’t until recently that I realized that having a kind of crazy career was really because I had the point of view of an artist.

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What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?
This year I think it will be showing my print and pattern work in Paris this fall! I love how I never quite know where this path will lead…I love the surprises, the wonderful ones and even the losses are still so exciting.

What does your typical day in the studio look like?

They always seem to be a little different. I have two daughters and I usually drop them off at school in the morning which is the only real consistent part of my day. After that it could be anything from research & collecting inspiration for a job, or working on the continually growing collection of patterns I show twice a year at Premiere Vision Designs in New York, or prepping to teach a class in either fashion or illustration. I love to meet other freelance and artist friends for a coffee during the day and hear what people are up to. Philly has a great sense of community that I love.

NOTTENE selling cards

Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?
I have a lot of trinkets and talismans! I love to draw them… right now I’m starting a series on my blog where I post many of the interesting postcards I have collected over the years. It’s something I always pick up wherever I go. Check them out here>>

Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?
I have a kindergartner and she ALWAYS has an opinion when she sees my work!! Her favorite is one of my postcards that says “Join Our Club”, she likes to hand it out to friends and get people in the Nottene club!

NOTTENE join our club

What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
I always think of the Voltaire quote “I have decided to be happy because it’s good for my health.” I illustrated it for Design Milk last year & you can see it on my site. It reminds me that being happy is a state of mind I can put myself in… and it’s good for me to do that!

KEHDesigner+Desk

What are your most essential tools?
Hands, mind, and heart. Everything else is cake!

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