Day 31: I ran out of time today

Long story short: I had the night off of work and went to dinner with a friend, and we got so caught up in our “girl talk” that I literally just got home 20 minutes ago.

I’m still wearing my coat and scarf!

This is a design “on the fly” because it’s past my bedtime and I promised I would design a card everyday. And it’s still January 31st in LA! It’s 9:44 p.m.

So, I am not late, but on time in LA.


01.31.14 Inspired by running out of time © 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.31.14 Inspired by running out of time
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 30: My favorite place to visit in Sydney

I am in love with The Sydney Opera House!

It is the most gorgeous piece of architecture in the world – inside and outside. I could sit on a bench at Circular Quay by the Sydney Harbor Bridge and just stare at the Opera House for hours.

One of my new Aussie mates, Kelly and I, shelled out the money for a tour inside this iconic venue and it was worth every penny!

Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take photos inside any of the theaters. But I can tell you that all the seats were covered in cherry red velvet fabric and the design came straight out of the 1960s. The sound quality inside is amazing.

Here’s the history behind The Sydney Opera House:

In the 1950s, the city wanted to build an opera house on the block of land at the end of Circular Quay to fit within its stunning views of the harbor. The city held an international competition for architects around the world to submit their drawing and vision of The Sydney Opera House. There were multiple entries from 32 countries around the world, and many of them had your standard basic rectangular design. Very few submissions were out-of-the box design options. However, the last and late entry by Denmark’s Jørn Utzon submitted a basic black and white rough sketch of The Sydney Opera House in curved form, and was tossed in the discarded pile because it didn’t meet the deadline. But, an architect came out of retirement to review all the designs and didn’t find anything suitable. He did ask to see Utzon’s late submission. When he saw it, he immediately said that this was your Sydney Opera House and Utzon’s design was chosen for the project.

The Sydney Opera House’s curved designs are based on the structure of a sphere cut from a circle. The bottom concrete was poured first and the curved shapes were prebuilt offsite in pieces and assembled onsite.

It took 16 years, 1600 construction workers, and over $1.5 billion dollars to finish The Sydney Opera House.

Today it’s one of the most recognizable venues in the world. A glimpse of The Sydney Opera House appeared in the movie “Mission Impossible: II” staring Tom Cruise.

It is a tourist attraction, but it’s sooooo beautiful.

Here’s some photos I took with my iPad (my camera batteries were constantly losing a charge so I used my iPad instead) when I was on my trip to Sydney last year.

The Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House

Inside The Sydney Opera House

Inside The Sydney Opera House

Inside The Sydney Opera House

Inside The Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House

So, today’s card is inspired by The Sydney Opera House.

And yes, you have seen this design before. I told you previously that I would probably be doing a series with some of my Thank You cards, and this is part of a new series. It’s probably going to be in a series for cards inspired by the 1950s, think of the Paris one I did previously, and a series on Australia just like the one I did yesterday.

Cheers mate.

01.30.14 Inspired by The Sydney Opera House © 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.30.14 Inspired by The Sydney Opera House
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 29: Thank you Jill!!

I have the best friend ever!!!!! My creativity has been on the fritz this week and my Aussie peep sent me over 10 thank you cards for inspiration today!!! My girlie girl Jill rocks!!!!

Last summer, I took two months off of work, secured my plane ticket and visa, packed my bags, and flew over 20 hours halfway around the world to the land down under, Australia.

I know, you are so jealous right now.

I traveled up and down the coast of Aussie – Melbourne, Wollongong (a suburb 1.5 hour south of Sydney), Sydney (my favorite city!), Gold Coast, and Brisbane. I also met and stayed with a lot of great Aussie mates during my trip.

I would totally move there because that’s how much I really enjoyed my trip. It was an amazing experience and if you ever have the chance to go there, GO!

Today’s card is dedicated to my Aussie mate Jill whom I met on my trip this past summer to Australia.

Thank you for the inspiration and creative push today, Jill. 🙂

As they say in the land down under, “Cheers mate”.

01.29.14 Inspired by Australia © 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.29.14 Inspired by Australia
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 26: The font was talking to me

Okay, the font was not literally talking to me, but looking at it gave me today’s inspiration.

Anyway, I was doing some reading and for a split second I connected the Serif font to a newspaper and that’s how today’s design was created!

But before I show you today’s design, let me give you a short lesson on what a Serif font is.

A Serif font is a font with ascending and descending characters – aka…the tails in the letters. A great example of a Serif font is Times New Roman, Bodoni, Century Gothic, and American Typewriter just to a name few. Serif fonts are mostly associated with reading in a printed magazine, book or newspaper and we use them because the ascending an descending characters are easier to read on the eyes than San Serif fonts (think Arial, Helvetica, Tahoma, and Verdana). Serif fonts are not generally used online because the stroke in some of the characters are too thin and can easily get lost online. When we create designs online, we use pixels and in print we use points or picas if you work outside the U.S..

Okay, okay…here’s today’s design.

01.26.14 Inspired by a Serif font © 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.26.14 Inspired by a Serif font
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 24: Breaking out of my comfort zone

Although I am from L.A., I am by far not a graffiti artist.

I grew up on the Westside of L.A. and spent many years hanging out in Culver City, Santa Monica, and the famous Venice Beach. Yeah, yeah, I know those areas aren’t as dangerous as East L.A. or South Central, they are still part of the West Coast vibe.

Anyhow, if you’ve never taken a trip to the West Coast and walked along Venice Beach, then you’re missing some pretty cool culture. There is so much to see and do at Venice Beach, and there is plenty of wall space covered in graffiti art.

If you’re not sure what graffiti art is, here is the definition according to Wikipedia: Graffiti is any type of public markings that may appear in the forms of simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Graffiti has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. In modern times, paint, particularly spray paint, and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner’s consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime. Graffiti may also express underlying social and political messages and a whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles. Within hip hop culture, graffiti has evolved alongside hip hop music, b-boying, and other elements. Unrelated to hip-hop graffiti, gangs use their own form of graffiti to mark territory or to serve as an indicator of gang-related activities. Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials/law enforcement and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. There are many different types and styles of graffiti and it is a rapidly developing art form whose value is highly contested, reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction.

L.A. is notorious for having graffiti art covering walls throughout the city. New York is no exception, except that city has subways covered in graffiti art.

Now, graffiti art is not my forte. I only use spray paint when I need to repaint furniture or an art project. I’ve never used spray paint on walls or do I have any plans to because I know my graffiti art will never look as good and cool as some of the talented and established graffiti artists out there.

Here’s my graffiti art attempt for today’s card.

01.24.14 Inspired by 1970s Graffiti Art © 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.24.14 Inspired by 1970s Graffiti Art
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 23: Looking backwards at history

History was my least favorite subject in school. I didn’t do extremely well because it was sooooo boring. Too many events happened, too many people to remember and what they did, and everything happened a long time ago and I didn’t feel like the material was relevant to me at the time.

Wow…times have changed. Everything old is new again and history has a way of repeating itself whether we want it to or not.

The same goes with graphic design. Previous time periods inspire others and elements of the past can be seen in today’s work.

I decided to revisit a historic time period that’s relevant to my life: The History of Graphic Design.

There are so many cool design styles and tricks designers did back then and they were done without the use of a computer! Looking at some of those design pieces makes me wonder, “How in the heck can I recreate it for today using Illustrator?”. I guess that’s my challenge now. But hey…I can do it, or at least come very close.

Today’s design style is based on the Bauhaus movement.

Bauhaus was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught.


  • 1914: Henri van de Velde resigns his position to return to Belgium, nominates Walter Gropius (former student of Peter Behrens) as his successor
  • Weimar Arts and Crafts school merged with Weimar Fine Arts academy; new school called ‘Das Staatliche Bauhaus’ (the New State Home for Building)
  • Bauhaus is logical consequence of German interest in improved design for industrial society, as seen in Deutsche Werkbund


  • Walter Gropius, Director
  • Teachers: Paul Klee, Vasily Kandinsky

Paul Delave, Wikipedia

Here’s today design.

01.23.14 Inspired by the Bauhaus Movement © 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.23.14 Inspired by the Bauhaus Movement
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 22: Artists always inspire other artists

In case many of you don’t know, I am not just a Graphic and Web designer trying to show off my skills.

I am also a traditional fine artist.

I have done everything from printing making, drawing (charcoal – my favorite medium to work with, conté crayon, alpha high grays, pastels, graphite, colored and drawing pencils, and ink), painting (acrylic, oil and mixed media), and photography (black/white film and digital). It’s kind of a rare trait when an artist can also work as a digital designer too.

Most fine artists love, love, LOVE working with their traditional mediums and are very talented. The same goes with those working on the digital side, except very few from each side of the spectrum can and do make a successful transition from one medium to the other.

I’ve actually been creating art and design all my life, it just wasn’t until late in college when I realized it looking back at my previous school art projects.

Plus I come from a line of artists. On my mother’s side, my grandfather’s sisters and their children are all fine artists. I’m the only one in the family that uses both traditional and digital mediums in my work.

I’m probably one of the very few artists that will flip a painting or drawing upside to work on it. I did that in my college painting class and my professor, Kevin Muente thought I was nuts. I learned that trick in my seventh grade art class from my teacher, Mrs. Schwartz. I loved her class and learned so much that I still use some of the tips in my work today.

Aside from my artistic and digital side, I also have done tons of arts & crafts in my life including counted cross stitch, needlepoint, and latch hook.

And yes, there have been times in my life when I stopped working as a fine artist and found it increasingly difficult to get back into it.

The first occurred in the eighth grade when my art teacher really criticized my work and made me feel like a failure. Her words really hurt so bad that I stopped doing my artwork for years. It wasn’t until I was in college when I was working on my first Bachelor’s degree in Journalism where I felt the need to get back into art. I started with a drawing class.

Years later after working in the graphic design industry for three years, I felt the need to go back to school for a second Bachelor’s degree in graphic design because many companies in the Cincinnati market wouldn’t hire you unless you had that piece of paper.

So, I went back and took all the art classes I could and had to, and in the process become a better artist and designer.

But three years ago my life got busy with personal things and I stopped painting because I didn’t have the time or drive to do it.

However, thanks to this project and pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I started painting again!!!! 🙂

Nothing fancy, but I decided that my bathroom walls needed some artwork and have four 11 x 14 blank canvas’ that would work. I chose acrylic paint instead of oil because 1). It drys fast., and 2). I didn’t want oil paintings to get ruined from the steam in the shower.

When the work is complete, I will post pictures.

Here’s the link to my artwork which is all available for sale, except the drawing “There’s a Monster in My Closet” because the glass broke and needs to be reframed.

So, today’s design is inspired from the Dutch artist period, De Stijl, where they used boxes and primary colors.

01.22.14 Inspired by the De Stijl Dutch style © 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.22.14 Inspired by the De Stijl Dutch style
© 2014 Stacy Schilling