Archive | Inspiration

Ablaze: My new favourite inspiration source

I am more maker than designer, this much I know. I’ve always found the design process to be more of a chore than a pleasure. I’m not the kind of person who can just pluck a beautiful design out of thin air. I’ve never even been much of a doodler. So when it comes to finding inspiration for my mosaics, I tend to look to concrete things – maps, graffiti, aerial photos, and data visualizations are some of my top faves – and then take it from there.

You can imagine, then, how excited I was when I stumbled upon Ablaze (via FlowingData) – an app that uses an emergent algorithm to generate unique images. Seriously, no two are ever alike! Now, I have no idea what an emergent algorithm is or how it works (perhaps those of you who are more mathematically inclined will know the answer), but, quite frankly, I don’t really care: the results are stunning!

So play around with Ablaze! I’m certain you’ll find it as addictive as I do.

I am ablaze with inspiration!


Ear candy: James Vincent McMorrow

Music is very much a part of my mosaic process, and I find that my “studio time” is a perfect opportunity to take new artists for a test drive. I recently stumbled upon James Vincent McMorrow, and he and his lovely tunes have been keeping my company of late. I especially adore these two songs:


Portugal: Moustaches, mosaics, and merriment

This summer my partner and I travelled to Portugal to attend the wedding of some very dear friends. We tacked on a bit of extra time so that we could explore a bit of the country too. We managed to hit Porto, Coimbra, Ericeira, Sintra, and Lisbon – not bad for 10 days!

One thing that really impressed me (aside from the obvious: the delicious food and drink, the beautiful architecture, and the luxurious moustaches) was the street art. It was everywhere and it was beautiful. Oh, and the tiles (azulejos). Wow. So much variety! I’ve included some of my favourites here – who knows, they may serve as inspiration for future mosaics!

But the highlight for me was probably the Roman ruins of Conimbriga, which is a really impressive site and well worth a visit if you’re ever in the area. The Conimbriga ruins are also home to some really impressive Roman mosaics. The sheer size and intricacy of them absolutely blew me away. I think one day I would like to try my hand at a Roman-style mosaic. It’s so different from my own style and I’m sure it would be quite a challenge!

And finally, what post about Portugal would be complete without a moustache? You’re welcome.






My new addiction

So I started using Pinterest a month or so ago. Man, is it ever addictive! But it’s also super useful. I’m finding that it’s a great way to visually catalogue things that inspire me, projects I want to try, places I want to go, and things that make me laugh.

If you haven’t checked out Pinterest, you really should … and check out my pins while you’re at it! (PS – My aerial photography pinboard is for a mosaic series I’m hoping to do at some point in the future. I just have to find the time!)

So let’s be pinpals. C’mon, it’ll be fun!


A bit of SoCal mosaic inspiration

Recently I popped down to Long Beach, California, to visit my partner. This was the fourth time I’d gone down to see her during the 2 years we’ve been living apart (thank you, crappy job market). Every time I go, we try to fit in a few mini-adventures to explore the surrounding area, and this time our adventures came complete with quite a bit of mosaic inspiration!

Our first outing was to the Craft and Folk Art Museum in LA. There were some really great mosaics by Evelyn Ackerman, but since I wasn’t allowed to take pictures, you’ll have to content yourselves with this link.

From there, we went up to Malibu to the Getty Villa. Absolutely spectacular! Honestly, if you’re ever in the vicinity, please don’t miss this gem. Impeccably curated and just plain stunning. I would go back again in a heartbeat. There were some great Roman mosaics there that set my heart aflutter.

Do I look inspired?

More inspiration!

The traditional “travelling feet” photo op

Our last little road trip was down to San Diego, where we found these beauts in Balboa Park.

Hands up, baby, hands up!

Hitching a ride


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