Barbra Ignatiev’s bold, brave outlook on life transfers seamlessly to the bright, beautiful floral designs she creates in her sunny California studio. Through her independent surface-design company BARBARIAN: Art for the Wild at Heart, she licenses her artwork to a variety of manufacturers, who then transfer her whimsical prints on to everything from stationary, swimwear, and bedspreads to plates, pillows, and pens.
Tennessee-based artist Amber Droste has a vision to elevate the traditional art of stained glass to new creative heights. By combining her classical training with innovative techniques for designing compositions, Droste believes in carrying on the lineage of this age-old art form while pushing it forward in novel directions.
Only in the greatest opera houses in the world can the sights one sees on stage be as spectacular as the sounds one hears. That is certainly the case at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, where since its debut at Lincoln Center in 1966 some of the most gifted singers have become legends while standing among the lavish sets, costumes, and lighting of equally legendary directors and designers. This mise-en-scène artistry is especially evident in the work of John Macfarlane, who in addition to being an internationally recognized set and costume designer is also an accomplished painter and printmaker.
Although The Great British Bake Off was inspired by small-town baking traditions, the show’s bakers and the creative confections they produce are anything but simple. Rather, these elaborate, ambitious creations are full of colorful artistry and often involve innovative twists on old-fashioned favorites. While the bakers deserve the lion’s share of the creative credit, there is one more important ingredient in the show’s visual appeal: the bold, beautiful illustrations featured at the beginning of each episode, created by English artist Tom Hovey.
Today, as an overabundance of digital imagery and information reaches a tipping point, traditional imagery seems to be making a reappearance in print. Art directors are making room for portraits and paintings to live alongside the modern image, and illustrators are finding new ways to marry tradition and technology in their artwork. T.M. Detwiler — an artist, graphic designer, and illustrator who has also held art-director positions in publishing — is the perfect person to speak to the changing tides of editorial design.
Although some creative professions combine aspects of fine art with architecture and design, few give designers the ability to work directly with iconic paintings from the past and present. Melanie Taylor, the Director of Exhibition Design at the Whitney Museum of American Art, has that rare privilege as someone who decides how exhibitions are presented to the public.
Approximately four years ago, Slovenia-born Lara Bohinc made an impressive splash in the design world when she seamlessly transitioned from jewelry design to furniture/object design. Fueling the effortlessness of this transition was the fact that Bohinc’s highly sculptural and geometric aesthetic translates naturally to other genres, specifically interiors.
International luxury brands are in the business of creating elevated in-store experience for their clients, with some of today’s high-end stores turning into veritable sets and stages for one-of-a-kind presentations. Some companies, however, elevate the experience beyond retail into the realm of fine art. Gucci's stores around the world — with their distinctive window displays, ornate architecture, vintage furniture and wallpaper, custom-designed textiles, and artfully displayed couture and ready-to-wear collections — feel as much like a gallery or museum as they do a retail space.
Even if you are not a design aficionado, chances are you would recognize a Marimekko pattern from a mile away. The Finnish company’s iconic prints such as the Unikko Poppy and Tasaraita (Even Stripes) helped define the fashion and culture of the 1960s and 1970s, and their cheerful, colorful designs have been worn by everyone from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to Sarah Jessica Parker. The company began in the late 1940s as a small printed-fabric factory called Printex that primarily made dresses. Soon after, the company’s textile prints expanded into the home category — tableware, kitchen textiles, pillow covers, bed linens, and more — making Marimekko one of the first lifestyle brands in the world.
A ground-breaking set designer must possess not only the visual imagination to create the ideal environment for a specific performance but also the ingenuity to make every seat in the house feel intimately connected to the stage. Christine Jones — the Tony Award-winning scenic designer of the Broadway play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the scenic designer of the upcoming production of La Traviata at The Metropolitan Opera, among others — has all of these skills in spades and over her career has managed to create larger-than-life sets that still somehow speak to an audience of one.
Audrey Schilt is no stranger to the fine art of fashion design. This New York City and Hamptons-based artist knows firsthand from her nearly 40 years of professional experience just how finely woven together the fabrics of fine art and fashion design are. Whether during her early career sketching for the iconic fashion designer Halston, or the 30 years spent as the principal sketch artist to American design legend Ralph Lauren, Schilt learned to assimilate her traditional art training into anatomically accurate yet aesthetically vibrant fashion sketches.
One might assume that today a leading urban-design firm would use an exclusively digital process to create their conceptual imagery and plans. But that’s not the case at Urban Design Associates (UDA), who still rely on the tradition of hand-drawn sketches and illustrations to bring ground-breaking visions to life. A recent interview with David Csont, a Principal and the Chief Illustrator at UDA, revealed exactly how much of a role fine art plays in the studio of these designers and architects.
Nearly 30 years ago British artist and artisan Timothy Richards found himself in the unique position of being the first person to build a building for the second time. His small-scale architectural models made primarily of plaster or bronze have since gone on to become treasured collectibles among private collectors and public institutions worldwide.
One of the goals of a garden designer is to develop a new outdoor habitat, one that not only functions in harmony with nature but that also serves as a visual sanctuary well-suited to the client’s vision. It’s a vocation that requires aptitude in art and design, as well as an in-depth understanding of horticulture, ecological and environmental sustainability, and climate change. C.L. Williams, Gary Villagran, and the team at CIEL Design for Gardens have more than 20 years of experience creating thriving outdoor environments.
Molly Hatch has two identities as a ceramicist: while she is regarded in the retail space for her whimsical decorative plates and dinnerware designed for such boho-chic trendsetters as Anthropologie, she is equally respected in the contemporary art world for her one-of-a-kind “plate-painting” installations that have been exhibited at such major institutions as the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the High Museum of Art.
Throughout the 30 years that New York City interior designer Glenn Gissler has been practicing residential design, he has earned a reputation for bringing calm, clarity, and order into people’s homes and lives. His natural ability to create an environment where disparate elements come together in harmonious dialogue, and where the sum of a space is always greater than its individual parts, is driven by his lifelong passion for alchemy — or “turning the ordinary into extraordinary,” as he defines it. Achieving this effect in an interior is, according to Gissler, both an art and a science.
CrossRoads is published by The Artists Magazine/Golden Peak Media. To learn more, click here.