A Lesson from Dom Streater: Get Inspired by Your Environment

July 27, 2014

With Project Runway’s thirteenth season premiering last week, the past season’s winner comes to mind. At 25 years old, Philadelphia native Dom Streater is a vibrant and undeniably inspired designer. Already known for her use of color and original patterns, Dom’s innovative designs have been well received by fashion critics from all over the world. Before her win propelled her creations to famous runways, she was a Fashion Design student at Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art and Design. And where was she able to find inspiration for her first garments? Right in her hometown.


The key to being a true visionary is absorbing what’s around you based on the possibility of what it could be. By heeding Dom Streater’s words and example, you will find it impossible to not be inspired by your environment, too.

• Search for inspiration in the small details.

In the largest cities and the smallest towns, there is always something to be discovered. Challenge yourself to work with what you find in the overlooked corners of your world. To create something out of what most people see as nothing is the foundation of any great idea. There may not be a mall where you live, but is there an old building with interesting architecture and a background story?

• Dig into what your city is known for and explore it.

History provides us with notes on what’s interesting about every location. Whether you’re a writer, photographer, designer or musician, recording the scene surrounding you allows you to see the life in it with new eyes. Any type of artist (or anyone committed to never entertain boredom) can find this information and run with it. Tell the story of your city by offering the world your unique perspective.

• Form a community of creative thinkers.

Chances are there is more than one person wondering what your city has to offer and wanting to show the rest of the world what they can do with it. Social media and good old fashioned networking can bring together a group dedicated to finding inspiration for their craft from right where they are.

For more resources, check out the Side Walk Journal and Skillshare’s cityscape photography course.


 Photo by Michael S. Wirtz for Philly.com.


Graphic Design Marriage of Letter and Lens

July 23, 2014

This is a design crush for the ages. Two talented young creators united the art of lettering with photography to express one simple, inspirational theme: all good things require risks. Designer and typographer Noel Shiveley and photographer Alex McDonell collaborated for the Minimalism Project, a series that invokes deep feeling and motivation to go forth and create.

1 2 3 4 5• See the rest of the series here. Bonus: keep up with the work of Noel and Alex on Instagram.

A Color Lover’s Oasis: The Pantone Hotel

July 16, 2014


Pantone, the nation’s leading authority on color, is best known for artful color swatches and for awarding “Color of the Year.” So when the company opened a boutique hotel in Brussels, Belgium, it was built with brilliant design, playful appeal and of course, many bright and bold hues of the Pantone rainbow.


The Pantone Hotel delivers surprises in every corner – colorful toilet paper and other delightful reminders of where you are. Located in the Avenue Louise area, guests have access to many of Belgium’s most popular businesses and boutiques. A visit to this undeniably cool hotel is access to not only a fun, Pantone-branded experience but some of the most interesting landmarks, shops and restaurants the city of Belgium has to offer.

Boasting seven floors of varying colors, rooms of the hotel are not one shade top to bottom with accents in every corner as would be expected. Instead, a refreshing contrast puts spotlight on the room’s assigned color with clean white paint filling most of the space.

Continental breakfast (including Belgium waffles, of course), customizable meeting rooms and the largest selection of Pantone products are waiting for color-loving guests. Oh, and free wifi!