February 12, 2017 § Leave a comment
This is the third and final installment on my trip to Asia. The first two stops were in Seoul and then to Shanghai, and the following images were taken on my last stop in Tokyo.
When my presentation was finished in Tokyo, my friend and colleague, Maryann Wong from Hong Kong, and I made our way over a bridge to the Shinjuku area to visit Takashimaya, as it had always been one of my favorite stores when they had branches in Los Angeles and New York.
Interestingly, the area around the square in Tokyo was called Times Square—a very different Times Square than the New York location!
Pictures of flower arrangements on display in front of a department store.
The colors and designs of various flower displays caught my eye immediately as they were so artfully done.
When we went into the store, we saw some equally colorful displays. I am always drawn to the housewares department. (As you may know, I speak at the International Housewares Show every year.) These tea cozies caught my eye–they certainly could fit into a palette inspired by Pantone’s color of the year—Greenery!
What truly interested me was the fabric department. It reminded me of the time when there were fabric departments in our stores. Japanese women still enjoy sewing, and these images of traditional kimonos were part of the inspirational display. All of the fabrics were available for sale.
Displays also showed the usage of fabric on handbags and zoris, the traditional sandal. Color coordination is very important in Japanese design.
The furniture department displayed a chair that I could have happily purchased, but the shipping costs are a bit high (and it wouldn’t fit in my suitcase!) Interestingly, the fabric on this chair is right on-trend, not only in its fabulous color story and combination, but in the use of the triangles in the patterning, as well.
The final evening in Tokyo, our hosts took us to yet another fantastic restaurant, one that specializes in blowfish, so that every part of the meal, including appetizer, salad, soup, and main course (although not dessert), featured some sort of blowfish prepared in a different way.
As you might know, blowfish is a delicacy, but certain parts of the fish can be toxic, so they must be handled with care. Obviously, the restaurants are very cautious and they employ specially trained people who know what part to eat (or not). They certainly don’t want to lose their clientele!
As weird as it might sound to eat one specific food prepared in different ways—it was absolutely fabulous. All the prep was done at the table, fascinating to watch and then finally, to eat. It was a fitting end to a truly memorable trip.
December 22, 2015 § Leave a comment
December 22, 2015
Recently, I had the great pleasure of visiting my colleague and former student, Rami Kim, in Seoul, Korea. She owns and runs an academy of color where she teaches classes on many aspects of color (visit rcgcolor.com). Her multi-age school offers programs for young children all the way through adulthood, and caters to color professionals and non-pros alike.
She truly has a passion for color and feels, just as I do, that color education never stops. It is ever-evolving and even though some color tenets can remain the same, such a the classic color wheel, Rami agrees that there is now a lot more space for new ideas emerging about color from various cultures and that is one of the reasons for her coming to my classes in the U.S. She also agrees that staying on top of the emotional color cues, as well as the newest trends in color, is more important than ever.
Rami’s background is quite amazing. She had a serious automobile accident while still a student and was hospitalized for three months. During that time and at a young age, she decided to pursue her passion for color and developed the concept of what eventually became her color academy.
Starting with just two students, she eventually built her school into a thriving and respected business. While in Seoul I visited her school and met with four members of her staff. It was a special day for all of us!!
August 6, 2015 § Leave a comment
August 6, 2015
It has been just about one month since I wrapped up my summer color/design course. It is a busy few weeks after the class. We are putting stuff away, getting prepared for the next class and chatting about all of the wonderful people we’ve just met and the ones who have taken the course previously. It was in that discussion where we remembered one student in particular, whose experience in class had such a colorful impact on her daughter that she gave her young daughter an impromptu color/class in the days that followed. We did a blog post about their experience because it was too adorable and it showed us all (I am sure her mother knew) that a child’s love of color is insightful and shows no bounds. Color is an important factor in childhood development and one day could ultimately lead to a career that involves color, including consulting.
Click here for the original story.
We caught up with Amy Anderson and her daughter Sofia to find out how Sofia is using her color skills today. We thought it would be fun to do a Q&A and, as a budding color professional, Sofia nailed it. She has a true gift for color and her choices are just as on-trend today as they were then.
Below are their responses:
Are you enjoying your summer so far?
Yes, it’s awesome!
What have you been working on since your color class?
In my art class at school, I made an orange cheetah mask with papier-mâché and my self-portrait. At home, I’ve been working on my own logo for “Sofia’s Colors.” I love color and art!
Are you pleased to see that your magic yogurt maker color palette is all over the fashion scene?
Yes, I love neon because it’s very bright and I like bright colors. They make me feel happy and energized.
Are you wearing neon? If so, what is your favorite piece?
Yes! My neon pink cardigan sweater is my favorite. It goes with everything.
What is your next project?
I’m really excited about metallic colors. I really like my metallic silver Birkenstocks! I’m working on a palette for a new product I want to create like the magic yogurt maker. Last week I went to the Paint Lab and picked out metallic color swatches: fire opal metallic, amethyst, sapphire, tourmaline, topaz, ballroom gold, aluminum and emerald.
July 2, 2015 § 4 Comments
February 19, 2014 § 1 Comment
February 19, 2014
Last January, Christine Peters, a marketing consultant in the financial services industry joined my class in Burbank, California. Interestingly, Christine has more than just a passion for color-she actually experiences a phenomenon called synesthesia. It is such a fascinating topic. I just did a report on synesthesia to a forecast group in London. There are personal variations of this condition and it is important to know about those variations so I invited Christine to guest blog on the topic.
Cross-Wired And Color-Crazed By Christine Peters
I’ve always had a love for magazines. The glossy pages, the styled photos, and the bite-sized content create the perfect recipe to help me unwind. Some people like to end a stressful day watching a favorite TV show, or enjoying a glass of the finest merlot. Instead, I reach for a magazine for my fix, and flip, flip, flip through the pages over and over savoring every inch. However, despite my lifelong passion for magazines, I never would have imagined a magazine could, and would, change my life.
In the spring of 2010 I was on a business trip to NYC, and as I trekked through LaGuardia a magazine titled The Brain caught my eye (who knew there was such a thing as a magazine about brains!) It was obviously a must have for me after a long and stressful day.
I boarded my plane and started flipping away, and found an article that was of particular interest called The Cross-Wired Brain. It was about an unusual condition called synesthesia. As I read more and more, I had that magazine life-changing-aha moment.
What I experience ALL THE TIME is not the norm for most humans. What I experience is actually called grapheme-color synesthesia “in which the visual appearance of a written letter or number triggers an experience of color”. I was astounded – both at the fact that this was considered an unusual condition and at the fact that I had never, ever heard of it, but have been experiencing it my whole life.
Essentially, for me, everything has a color inside my mind that is usually not the same color my eyes see! Each day is filled with rainbows of color. Each word has a color that may or may not be the color represented by the colors of its individual letters. And again, it is usually not the same color as it appears when I look at it. This can be complicated and yet wildly colorful which, for me, is the best part.
While reading that article it struck me that having grapheme-color synesthesia has shaped my life and decisions in ways that I have never even realized. Generally speaking, I sometimes can get tripped up by indecision, and now I believe it is largely due to the many colors on my mind! For example, naming my children was especially difficult because the letters in each name needed to have just the right color harmony. I thought every new parent had that same dilemma!
As another example, buying a car can be strange and riddled with indecision too. The word car in my mind is bright yellow (C), light green (A) and a deep, dark purple (R). Not quite the colors you would typically consider when heading to a dealership. To complicate things the brand name of the car has it’s own color as well.
I also tend to remember things by color. So if I remind myself to grab my keys, I will be thinking about the colors orange and red (K is an orange color and the letter S is bright red and they both overpower the colors for E and Y) For some reason, the vowels all have lighter colors in my mind’s eye. The more information I have to think about or remember, the more colors I have on my mind.
Given my new revelation, I started to pay close attention to how I process colors and information on a day-to-day basis. I can be swayed to choose one thing over another based on the colors I think of in my mind. And colors I see in my mind can even affect how I feel. I started to research the psychology of color, which ultimately led me to Lee Eiseman’s 4-day Color/Design class. Color can be so strong and powerful that it can affect moods, influence behaviors, and even drive purchasing decisions. It has always been natural for me to think about color given my “superpowers”. Now that I realize other people don’t quite have these same intrinsic ideas about color, I’m more motivated than ever to understand how color plays a role in every day life.
I am grateful for this gift. Knowing I am synesthetic has helped me explore my own creativity and passion for color and literally see my world now through a different lens!
January 2, 2014 § Leave a comment
January 3, 2014
In 2005, I did a Color/Design class here on Bainbridge Island (as I do every summer) for those wishing to expand their careers in color and had the good fortune to have a lovely woman named Irma from Indonesia enroll in the class. Needless to say, Bainbridge is a long way from Jakarta and I was delighted that she was motivated enough to come all that way to take the training program, especially because I had spent some time in Indonesia doing consulting and presentations for a very large cosmetic company founded by a woman named Martha Tilaar. She literally started her company on a shoe string budget with a recipe for skin cream passed on to her from her grandmother. She had seen my first book, more recently re-done as More Alive With Color, and decided to contact me about the possibility of coming to Indonesia to train her make-up artists and salespeople in color.
I happily took my first trip there in the late 80s and subsequently went back to Indonesia twice in the 90s (including Bali— but that’s another story) and enjoyed every moment there. This is a country rich in color heritage and the women are really quite beautiful. They are a mix of native Indonesian, some other mixed Asian cultures and Dutch. The furniture in their homes, the food they eat and the clothing they wear reflects those varied cultures. Ms. Tilaar was a fabulous hostess and I found out when I was there that she had quite a success story behind her. When she took me to one of her cosmetic-producing factories, she opened cauldrons of bubbling creams and had assigned color names from More Alive With Color. It was quite a colorful and amazing experience!
It is always gratifying to hear from former students, particularly when I have such fond memories of both Irma and her country, so I was happy to hear from her with an update on what she has been doing in the eight years since she took my class.
Among many other advancements in her career as a personal image and fashion consultant, she has been quite busy picking the colors for Garuda Indonesia’s crew uniforms. It was such an amazing coincidence that earlier in the year, July to be exact, she chose reddish purple as an additional color for the Maitre de Cabine uniform of Garuda Indonesia new cabin crew uniform (national flag carrier airline). Additionally in 2009 as part of the team of consultants for Garuda, Irma chose three colors for the new cabin crew uniform: turquoise, orange and blue (purser). After the launching of the new uniform in July 2010, she was thrilled knowing that turquoise was chosen as Color of the Year (2010) and Orange or Tangerine Tango for (2012).
Well done, Irma!
November 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
November 26, 2012
Comic Books for Social Change
This is no news: comic books are a well-known powerful media to send social messages. There are many examples of successful experiences that connect them with positive social change all over the world.
Comic book characters have a lot of power because they can do anything and everything and also have the potential to engage a super broad audience in age, background, and reading skills. That, and our love of color, design, the environment, storytelling and teaching is what pushed Veronica and me into this adventure.
She is a graphic designer and illustrator, I am a teacher and a writer and together we founded and manage Musgo Comunicación Visual, a design studio based in Caracas. But we wanted to give something back, so we also teamed up to build Patrulla Verde, an environmental NGO devoted to producing free educational contents via the Web, some in print, as well as public speaking in schools, colleges, community centers, companies and even malls and public spaces.
We pooled together our talent and experience in an effort to send an environmental message conductive to action to children and adolescents in the Spanish-speaking community, which at least in our neck of the woods, lacks resources and local information and direction. Three years later we are trying to reach English speaking kids as well.
Vero created four endearing characters and together we made meaning out of them. Tomas represents all themes related to water, Zoe embodies renewable energy, Lucas defends biodiversity and Beto, the bunny, is the only “non-human”, and he gives voice to the other more than 10,000,000 species with whom we share the planet. His theme is global warming.
Choosing a color palette was a challenge because the characters had to each have their own identity but also, when pooled together into a vignette or drawing, they had to look in harmony, as part of a team.
Beto and Lucas are a twosome, they play together and joke together and that’s why they both wear the same red hat. Nobody else wears red, but for each one of the other two characters there are blues and greens that obviously talk about nature. Tomas’s orange hair and darker skin are in line with him being a laid back, beach-loving kid. And Zoe’s hot pink speaks of fun, bubbly, the color of an empowered girl that, although super feminine, is opinionated and fierce when she knows she is right.
Regarding the backgrounds, the predominant color of a page is always related to the mood and atmosphere of the storyline… which means that the writer, ejem! …that’ll be me, is the true trendsetter here, because it is she who decides if the situation is a comedy or a drama, if it’s day or night, indoors or outdoors, happy or sad. It is actually a lot of fun to set new challenges in each story for Vero!
In this particular issue, Animal Defenders, she chose happy bright colors for happy bright moments and darker ones that vary if it is just night or a scary situation, or a suspenseful, stressful one. When the characters are able to reflect upon their experience light comes again, but in a different way than in the happy beginning. This is a less saturated shade of yellow, paired with light grays because it is later in the day, and deeper into the kids’ thought process.
Learning about psychology of color in Lee’s seminars and workshops has proven to be an extremely powerful tool to better the work we do, and to engage the population we want to reach. Patrulla Verde-in this case Veronica-was even showcased in Green Graphics, a publication by Catalonian publisher Index Books (2011), for our characters, logo and image.
We are extremely thankful to Lee to allow us to share our work with her followers and friends through this amazing window.
Thanks a million, Lee!!
-Veronica Ettedgui & Toti Vollmer
July 19, 2012 § 1 Comment
July 19, 2012
It was one week ago today that I was minutes away from starting my Color/Design class. The time went by so quickly as time really does fly when you are having fun! As always the class was filled with talented people from various markets and design areas, who all love color. I enjoy learning about all of the different fields and hearing the stories of what color means to the students.
One of the students this summer was from a well known paint company in Seattle called Shearer Painting. John Shearer himself attended the class and was a wealth of information on all things paint and social media. I learned quite a bit in talking with John, including that his wife is a fellow blogger with a passion for bling.
Hong Shearer shares her crafted creations on her blog sassyme.org. One of her most recent creations was for a friend of John’s, who wanted to give his daughter her own pair of Wizard of Oz ruby red slippers. Hong hand painted the slippers in a True Red then applied (by hand!) nearly 3000 Swarovski Hyacinth crystals in four different sizes. What a labor of love!
I am amazed at the outcome and they are stunning! Every girl needs a little bling now and then.
Thank you John and Hong for sharing this site and your knowledge with me. I look forward to reading more about your adventures in color (and crystals).
October 3, 2011 § 2 Comments
October 3, 2011
This film was done by a young woman who was part of a group who attended my class in Venezuela several years ago. She is a graphic designer who has since made quite a mark for herself in New York with a studio called Dancing Diablo. She sent me a link to her newest video that was made for Ralph Lauren Kids.
These are some stills from the video. Please click the images to watch the full video.
Such beautiful illustration. What do you think?
July 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
July 5, 2011
Rolando Barrera traveled from Mexico two years ago to participate in our Color/Design program here on Bainbridge Island. He had an interest in learning more about the psychology of color, effective color combinations and how the use of color could have a positive influence on his customers when they visited his beautiful kitchen-centered showroom.
He sent us some wonderful examples of how his showroom has depicted both mood and style with the artful use of color.
Rolando told us that the concept for choosing the colors was to use some “cheerful” and “delicious” colors like tomato, lime and citrus. But he also integrated “our Mother Earth” by using warm browns and grays. In particular, he felt that the use of teak and a pristine white depicted “heaven and earth”.
His goal, in his own words: “The ideas of the colors of this showroom is to immerse our customers and visitors in different ambients of color and see which kitchen they like the most”. He feels that “happiness” is a main component and that “color really sells”.
We respond to these handsome images and shared thoughts with a big Bravo to Rolando!