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Lena Navarro is an Arizona artist, originally from Ukraine who creates gorgeous realist paintings but with an ethereal twist. She sells originals, as well as gallery quality giclee prints (natural white, matte, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper). Check out some of my favorites from her collection:

She also creates custom bridal portraits which is a fantastic idea for an anniversary gift — check them out here. Amazing work Lena!

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We’re so oversaturated these days with all things pretty (and endless selfies), that sometimes the world of really clever design gets lost in the haystack. One of my favorite accounts to follow on Instagram is Abstract Sunday, and you’ll quickly see why:


Christoph Niemann is an amazing visual artist, and chances are you’ve seen his work on the cover of the New Yorker or walking through your favorite book store. But it’s his abstract simple pieces using typical household items that never cease to amaze me. Most artists know that creating the most simple design (like a logo) is always the hardest. The lines, composition and scale have to be just right, or it’s a fail. Check out his account or website for more work from this clever guy. I always love seeing what he comes up with next!

All images above are property of the artist. 

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I haven’t written a blog in a long time. A really long time. A wicked long time. In fact, it’s been over a year. And I like writing blogs… so why did I take so much time off? Frankly, I needed a break. A break from throwing myself whole heartedly into everything work related. I put a few things on the back burner for a bit — to ease my mind, to feed my soul — and it worked.

So why is taking a break so important? I remember hearing a story about Bob Dylan, who, after a huge tour in England, was dissatisfied with the way his career was going, and was drained of energy from the life he was living as a musician. So he took a break — and actually considered quitting the business. Soon after, he wrote “Like a Rolling Stone” which some outlets have ranked the greatest song of all time.

I can’t say that I took the whole last year off, but I did work hard at finding more balance (cliche but true). I went to Shanghai (so amazing) I taught a HIIT Tabata class (super challenging) and I spent a lot more time with my family (the best reward by far). When I do hunker down and get designing, my work is better, sharper, and more creative.

This is a theory that more and more current day thinkers are embracing. In his book Imagine, How Creativity Works, Jonah Lehrer wrote that letting a mind wander is key to having more creative insights. I’d have to agree with him and add that emptying the mind actually does this for me as well. When I’m in my 5th mile of a run and my head is devoid of anything except the finish line, I can get back to my work refreshed both mentally and physically.

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