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Posts Tagged ‘goals’

The Making of a melissaAnne Water Colors Image

When I tell people that my photos are from the bottoms of boats it often results in funny looks and the following:  “THAT’S a bottom…of a BOAT?  How do you do that?”  If you are  part of my network of amazingly supportive friends, you fully understand the looks and the questions because you’ve shared my work and you’ve experienced the same reactions. Let’s face it, it’s weird.  It’s not quite “normal”.  Most people don’t spend their vacations in amazing places like St Maarten or Martha’s Vineyard climbing through weeds in boat yards taking photos.  They don’t drag their friends out to “bond” amid the dirt and cobwebs of boat “graveyards” and graffiti laden walls.  But, if you are among the few who have joined me in one of these adventures…well, you get it.  Sorta….

For the rest of you,  I’m about to give you some insight into those popular questions, “THAT’s a bottom…of a BOAT?”  and “How do you do that?” using one of my favorite melissaAnne Colors Water Colors images.

 December 29, 2008

I was in Texas visiting family for the holidays.  December 29th, my mom’s birthday and how did we celebrate it?  Driving aimlessly around Lake Lewisville searching for boat yards of course (yes, my mom is a saint).  I was still new to the melissaAnne Colors Water Colors process, this only the second time I’d gone on a boat yard mission.  We drove around most of the day, with me crawling around “the yards” looking for just the right boat, colors, angles, textures, patterns.  It’s about ALL of that!  We stopped at one marina with power boats and sailboats and I snapped away and wandered around for a while.  In the back, among the tall grass and weeds I discovered this. 

The bottom of a boat.....

This, in my world, is a goldmine!  I know, weird.  Those questions marks are floating over your head.  “This is a goldmine?” you’re saying.   Just wait…..

From this dirty old boat came this colorful but somewhat dull image.

© Melissa McClain

With a little photo software magic I brightened the colors (most Water Colors images are the original colors, simply enhanced) and got this.

©Melissa McClain

But it wasn’t done.  One of the things I love most about the melissaAnne Colors Collection is the versatility.  There was one more thing to do, rotate.  Before I finalize an image, I rotate it left, right, 180 degrees to find a story that speaks to me.  At 180 degrees, this one was done.  

 
 

© Melissa McClain

I immediately saw a shoe.  A red shoe.  A red HIGH HEEL shoe.  It said “woman”, “power”, “celebration”, and “confidence”.  I pictured an elegant evening of dancing in red high heel shoes. 

That’s where I stopped and it became Water Colors Elegance, a popular print among strong women!

Although, I didn’t truly stop there…see what else that boat gave us.

©Melissa McClain

 Water Colors Red No. 10

©Melissa McClain

  Water Colors Hope

 

THAT’s a bottom…of a BOAT?  Yes. 

 Final Water Colors  images shown above are available for purchase at melissaAnne Colors   

Moments of Inspiration

I attended Apartment Therapy Offline Meetup this week!  The guest speaker was rug and textile designer Madeline Weinrib.  Her designs are unique and beautiful.  I found her story truly inspiring and a reminder that it’s OK to be different, stay true to your vision, and follow your passion and you will realize your dream.  Thank you Madeline and Apartment Therapy!  You can also see Madeline’s designs at one of MY favorite places, ABC Home in NYC.  

 Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon  

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There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart…pursue those. ~Michael Nolan (Featured in melissaAnne Color and Inspiration No. 26 – Catch Your Heart)  

I’m headed out on an exciting trip and am busily getting things together for 3 weeks on the road. I’m spending 2 weeks on Martha’s Vineyard (someone pinch me, this MUST be a dream!) and then I’m headed up to Maine for a week. I’ve always wanted to go to Maine, so I’m quite excited to visit both places and spend some quality time with a new camera.      

Over the past couple months, I’ve had so much fun working on new melissaAnne projects and I am excited about recently completing the first month of the Monday-Friday Color and Inspiration Newsletter.  If you aren’t getting the email, you can sign up here.   Last week I finished design of the first 30-card set of melissaAnne Inspire Cards.  I have a few more things to do to finalize the packaging, but look for them soon on my website.         

I recently had samples created for the melissaAnne pillow collection. I took the finished pillows, created from a selection of Water Colors and Urban Colors images printed on Silk Charmeuse, on my last trip to Martha’s Vineyard to do product shots.  Long before I had the samples, or even knew how I was going to get them made, I had a vision of the first photo shoot for the pillow collection.  I saw the pillows arranged in a variety of outdoor locations:  in  boats, on the beach, in a meadow, and on a farm.       

To me, the vision was a message to keep going.  You’ll get there.       

I got there!  But, things didn’t quite work out as I expected.  The pillow inserts I received were 16×16”, which created a bit of a problem for the 16×20” pillow covers. I’m no math whiz…but even I know this is a problem!  My amazing “style team” pulled together and with a fold, a tuck, and an adjustment here and there…we made things work and got some exciting pictures of the samples.  I was even able to integrate some of the ideas from the vision that kept me moving forward!      

Introducing melissaAnne Home Collection Pillows

melissaAnne Water Colors images on pillows go back “home” and add some color to this boat I found on the beach in Lobsterville.         

© Melissa McClain

 From left:  Water Colors Spring On The Vineyard, Garden of Angels, and Sea Cave        

       

© Melissa McClain

 Shown:   Water Colors Garden Of Angels      

    

One of my favorite places on Martha’s Vineyard is Edgartown and the beautiful view of the harbor and lighthouse from in front of the Harbor View Hotel.  A little flip of the harbor view bench and we have a great location to stage the pillows.        

© Melissa McClain

 From Left:  Urban Colors Stedman, Water Colors Spring On The Vineyard, Urban Colors Saffron, Water Colors Sea Cave, and Urban Colors Shine No. 6      

    

Special thanks to the Harbor View Hotel for letting us take over the rocking chairs on the wrap around porch.        

© Melissa McClain

I’m excited about the pictures above and the process of seeing the vision come to life with my pillows.  However, there was something missing.  Don’t most product shots have a little more of a “home” feel to them?  Maybe a little “home life” in them?  I needed a model to help them come to life, and I got the PURRFECT one!   

© Melissa McClain

 Shown:  Garden of Angels with model Wilber Philber    

 

© Melissa McClain

  Shown:  Urban Colors Stedman       

      

© Melissa McClain

  Shown:  Urban Colors Shine No. 6       

      

© Melissa McClain

 Shown From Left:  Urban Colors Stedman and Saffron       

      

Special THANKS to the following:       

My style team: Jamie Eslinger (marketing maven), Sandra Carlson, and Justin Aiken (stylist and “heavy lifter”).       

My model Wilber Philber, his agent, and his personal photographer.      

       

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.  ~Harriet Beecher Stowe  (Featured in melissaAnne Color and Inspiration No. 28 – Turn The Tide)      

The journey continues.  One step at a time.  One day at a time.  One opportunity at a time.      

A little closer every day.       

I’ll see you after my fantastic adventure.  Hopefully with lots of fun pictures and updates to share.       

       

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon

 Sign Up for Color and Inspiration e-mail for your “morning cup of color” Monday-Friday. 

     

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I’ve been sitting here for over an hour trying to write “something for the blog”.  Putting pressure on myself to say something really inspiring, or meaningful, or moving.  Attempting to craft a message out of the last 3 weeks of my life.  Three weeks full of big change.  

Slow down.  What you’re chasing may be trying to catch you.  ~Noah benShea

I read old emails and reviewed quotes, trying to recreate the weeks.  It didn’t work.  I had no clue what to write.  I was about to give up and walk away, until one of my “angels” appeared with a message.  A reminder.  It seems simple, the basis of the last 3 weeks, but we all know it is sometimes one of the most complicated things in life.  Belief.   

“You add something to the mix called life that only you can add.  Honor that.  Honor you.”  ~Angela Bear

I believed in myself, in that “something” I can add to life.  I honored my gift and I took a stand for me and my passion.  It started three weeks ago on a Sunday night when I somewhat randomly changed my Facebook profile and became a “photographer” instead of an “emerging photographer”.  It ended on Friday when I left my full-time job to focus on my photography and designs.      

I stepped beyond my comfort zone.     

I don’t mind telling you that part of me is really scared.  But, I don’t regret the decision.  Not for a minute.   

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new…for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. ~Alan Cohen

Before I knew it, a new kind of Monday morning arrived.  What should one do when they make a major life change like this?  Hide under the covers?  Crawl into a corner and cry?  Buy lots of lottery tickets?   

No WAY!   

I accepted support from friends who reached out and who believe in me.
I went to a trade show, met new people, and was completely inspired by artists and designers!
I took trips to Boston and Martha’s Vineyard with friends…and my camera.
I went to two Women On Fire Tea Parties and felt the passion, inspiration, and support of amazing women who validated my dream and my decision.
OK…yes…I bought a few lottery tickets…hey, you never know.
And, maybe a FEW times I hid under the covers. But, I didn’t stay long. It’s too hot to stay covered up and there are too many colors and photo ops in the world to hide away for long.   

One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth.  Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again & again.  ~A.Maslow

So, what’s next?  Keep working the plan.  Take every opportunity that comes my way.  Learn to say “yes”.  A lot!  Learn to say “help”.  Surround myself with positive, supportive, inspiring people who believe in me and encourage my dreams.  Give others the same support and inspiration I’m receiving and share in the joys of their passions and dreams.  Keep gratitude in my heart.  Keep believing in myself.  Be kind and take care of me (I think these last two are the most important lessons I can learn now).   

I am living life.  I am maintaining focus on my goal and my dream and I am not going it alone.  I am following the path that makes me happy.  I won the most important lottery, I am living into the life I want and discovering who I am.  

Have you made a big change or are you thinking about one?  Do you need support?  I’m here.  I believe in you.   

I was once afraid of people saying “Who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This is who I am.” ~Oprah Winfrey

I am a photographer.  My Facebook profile says so, therefore it must be true.  

Maybe I should share a few photos?  That would make sense right?  I am a photographer.  

Here are a few of my favorites from Boston and Martha’s Vineyard.    

Studio Colors - Boston - Sean Boyce Studio ©Melissa McClain

Menemsha Sunset - Martha's Vineyard ©Melissa McClain

Owen Park Sunrise - Martha's Vineyard ©Melissa McClain

“There are angels all around you, and there is great care and love in this world for you.” ~Anonymous

I want to send out special thanks to my “angels”.  All of you have had an impact in validating and supporting my dreams and my passion.  Thank you for believing in me!  I am forever grateful and I hope that I can pay forward the love and care that I have received from you.   

Moments of Inspiration

Color…Color…Color!  I love color!  I was so inspired by my recent trips to Boston and Martha’s Vineyard.  The colors in the city and the colors on the Vineyard energized me.  Special thanks to Sean Boyce for letting me “run free” in his studio and capture the amazing colors and textures of his passion, painting.  I was so excited to visit Alison Shaw’s gallery while on Martha’s Vineyard.  She is an amazing photographer who captures colors and shapes in magical ways.   

I received an amazing gift of inspirational t-shirts from Devotion Clothing Co. I’ve worn them all weekend and can feel the words and inspiration. Check them out and put your inspiration on!   

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon

Oh…I almost forgot…In the middle of all THAT, I ordered and received my first melissaAnne silk pillow samples!  That is a WHOLE other post for ANOTHER day.  Hey, I gotta create a little drama here…afterall, there’s not much going on in my life these days…   

Come Color With Me!

 

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I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I gave the blog some love!  Where has the time gone?  I’m sure everyone has been sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to see what’s coming next.   You are on the edge of your seat, right?  

A few weeks ago I travelled to Chicago to attend the Women On Fire Retreat at the Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown Lakefront.  I was so excited to attend the event and to sponsor a gift to all the attendees!  This is by far the best group I have ever belonged to (OK…I don’t belong to a lot of groups, but there’s NO WAY any could be better)!    

Hotel Floors - ©Melissa McClain

My 3-day weekend in Chicago was amazing.  I had a room full of amazing ladies (4 of us sharing a room, just like the old college Spring Break days) and we stayed up late into the night enjoying girl talk, eating deep dish pizza, and bonding like only women can.  

Chicago Deep Dish Delight

 

“When you really have the fire you don’t have to tell anybody”  ~Stedman Graham

During the Retreat I was surrounded by more than 60 inspiring , passionate, and compassionate “Women On Fire”.  Women of all ages who were there to join each other in living full lives, supporting dreams, inspiring each other, and creating bonds.  It was incredible!  The Retreat kicked off with a keynote address from Stedman Graham who will no longer be “Oprah’s man” in my mind.  I now know him as a quiet, yet powerful and energizing force whose words inspire and captivate a room and who wears his heart proudly on his sleeve.  Oh, and I also know him as “The Sted-man”, my new little nickname for him.  I hope he doesn’t mind…  

Surrounded by Debbie Phillips, Founder of Women on Fire and Stedman Graham

 

“I rely on my support system.  If I didn’t have this web of wonderment around me, if I didn’t have support and utilize support, I’d be nowhere.” ~Holly Getty – Style Consultant

 There were so many other guest speakers during the event who touched me and changed the way I think about life, dreams, and passion.  I learned about discovering and following your passion from the beautiful Laurie Forster.  Laurie is The Wine Coach and we were treated to a fabulous wine tasting during the Retreat!  I was touched and inspired by Kacy Cook’s passion for writing and her children’s book Nuts.  I got to know one of my weekend “roomies”, Jamie Eslinger, better and hear her amazing story of strength and survival.   I laughed and cried as Janette Barber closed the event on Saturday with the powerful story of her life and her determination.  Janette is the funniest person I know and her humor this weekend was full of beauty, inspirations, and lessons that I didn’t even realize I needed to learn.  She touched me deeply and I am so grateful for her.  Please visit her Max Mouth website and watch the videos.  You will laugh a little, cry a little, and be touched deeply by her passion to help some amazing kids.   

We were a gathering of softness and strength, all standing together and ready to bloom brightly in this world! Photo ©Melissa McClain

Special thanks to Debbie Phillips, the founder of Women On Fire, for creating such an amazing organization of women with like minds and, more importantly, like hearts.  In the words of Debbie, “I’ve found my peeps.”  Thank you fellow “women on fire” for a wonderful, connecting weekend and the amazing friendships that have begun or grown.  You INSPIRE me!    

Chicago Urban Color ©Melissa McClain

I am energized and my passion is re-ignited.  I am inspired even more to keep moving towards my dream!  Since returning, I’ve been hard at work.  I designed a new product line based on feedback from the melissaAnne Inspire Cards I created as a gift for Retreat attendees and I expect to get samples in a few weeks.   

This week I found a manufacturer to print and sew my first line of pillows!  I think it’s finally happening.  I am beyond excited and can’t wait to see the first melissaAnne Home Collection pillows with images from my Water Colors and Urban Colors photography printed on silk and linen!  I promise to update you in early June after I have pictures taken in a very special place.  Get ready for some COLOR!  

   

Moments of Inspiration 

Yes, there is still MORE inspiration to share. 

 I have a really fun morning routine that makes my morning subway commute a little more inspiring.  Included in that routine is a daily email from Inspire Me Today.  It always gets my day started in a positive and reflective way and it’s amazing how often the message feels like it was meant for me!  Check out the website and if you need a little daily inspiration, sign up for the emails.  

 

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon

Special thanks to Richie Frieman and welcome to visitors who found my blog from my artist feature in Pens Eye View on Friday and Saturday.  Richie has big dreams and is determined to make them happen for himself and others!  Thanks Richie for supporting and inspiring so many!  

Thank you for being a part of my journey.  Together we can reach our dreams and make the world a better place.       

I believe in us.  I hope you do, too!      

 

Enjoy some COLOR!   

   

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I’ll bring the melissaAnne journey to you!      

 

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It felt like Spring today in New York City. It was beautiful!  I love Spring and Summer in the city because I get to spend time on the stoop Brooklyn-style with Alex.  He loves being outside and watching city life pass by.  I enjoy watching the kids run up and down the street and catching up with neighbors as they pass by.         

Sweet Alex - King of the Stoop

If you’d walked by today, however, you would not have found us out on the stoop.  I don’t really know what Alex did today…but it probably involved the couch, the window ledge and the bed with closed eyes.  I didn’t get to enjoy much of the great weather today either.  But, I’m not complaining!  I spent the day at the Arch Digest Home Show at Pier 94 in Manhattan.  I was hanging out with D. Bryant Archie of D. BRYANT ARCHIE T E X T I L E S.   Being surrounded by her passion and beautiful designs and the excitement of the show made for a really great day.  I’ll be at the show again tomorrow and will write more about it in an upcoming post.  But, I’ll say that it completely inspired me and I can’t wait to get my collection out!  Maybe next year you’ll see melissaAnne at the show!  Until then, we’ll continue the journey here and I’ll keep sharing my images and updates.    

We plan our lives according to a dream that came to us in our childhood, and we find that life alters our plans. And yet, at the end, from a rare height, we also see that our dream was our fate. It’s just that providence had other ideas as to how we would get there. Destiny plans a different route, or turns the dream around, as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream in ways we couldn’t have expected.  ~ Ben Okri

I was in DUMBO a few weekends ago to meet a friend for lunch and talk about a book I’m working on.   Before lunch we took a little walk through the streets in search of a fence my camera and I had discovered a few weeks before.  I wasn’t done with it yet, knew there was more it wanted to give me.             

I started out walking down the street I had been on before, capturing some new perspectives of the colors and textures as I went.  Then, I turned the corner and discovered that this same fence continued on for another block.  Same fence, but a completely new perspective and color palette.  It was full of exciting possibilities.  I spent a lot of time with this new section of the fence.  I let it guide me and speak to me as my friend waiting patiently.  My camera was moving at all different angles and I was in the zone.  It was exhilarating!  My excitement increasing with every capture.  I couldn’t wait to get home, download the images and see what was there.   

Here are 3 of my favorite pictures from the “new” side of the wall.   

   

Urban Colors Collection © Melissa McClain

   

Urban Colors Collection © Melissa McClain

   

Urban Colors Collection © Melissa McClain

I love the blue and rust colors in these image.  The swirls give such movement and a sense of grace.  I like how each image is slightly different in direction and color, yet they evoke a similar feeling and energy.  I think I can see textile designs in these images.    

I was sending a sneak peek of these to a friend and put them into a collage for easy viewing.   This would really make a fun wall hanging as separate pieces or three prints in a collage frame.  

melissaAnne Urban Colors Collage In Blue

 

   

Moments of Inspiration  

I have been anticipating the Arch Digest Home Show all week!   There was so much inspiration there!  It was really amazing to see so many designers networking and helping each other make connections.  There were so many young, female designers from Brooklyn who are doing great things.  I’m looking forward to meeting more people tomorrow and sharing some of my experiences with you in a future post.     

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon          

Next post…I have no idea what the topic will be.  I guess I’ll be just as surprised as you!!  Until then…    

I’ll keep moving forward and I hope you will too!

 

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Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.  ~Gail Devers

      

As I work through the process of identifying a production resource, I am staying focused and continuing to move forward on the plan to launch my first melissaAnne pillow collection. A big part of that is identifying the melissaAnne Water Colors and Urban Colors Collection images to test on fabric, selecting the right fabrics, and ultimately deciding what will be used for the first collection.     

I have hundreds of Water Colors and Urban Colors Collection images at this point. I have a connection to all of them. Many of them have a story. A story about where they are from, how I found them, what I see in them, what others see in them. So how do I choose which images to test on fabrics?     

 I’ve selected a few of my favorite images. I selected a few because they have stories that pull at me.     

A few chose for me by getting in my head and not leaving. Some were just a whim, that paid off!     

There are a few that were chosen in honor of friends’ favorites. And, there is one image that I get incredible energy from and I want to share it with others.     

After I select potential images, I order an 8×8 fabric swatch. The swatch is a crop of the full image. The whole process of deciding and preparing for print is really quite fun! The swatches allow me to check color integrity, fabric type, and whether the images transfer well to fabric. Some do. Some……     

I recently received 7 new test swatches from Spoonflower. Some of them are really exciting! One was particularly disappointing but I’m not giving up on its potential quite yet. These new swatches definitely give me a few more options to consider for my first collection. Here are two that I really like.     

melissaAnne Textile Swatch ©Melissa McClain

 

This is a corner of a swatch from an Urban Colors Collection image recently shot in the DUMBO neighborhood in Brooklyn. Because of the strong colors and more edgy, urban feel I printed it on upholstery weight material. The colors and shapes really took well to the fabric.     

melissaAnne Textile Swatch ©Melissa McClain

 

This is another image from the Urban Colors Collection shot in DUMBO. It’s edgy, yet soft. I decided to play up the soft and printed the image on Cotton/Bamboo blend fabric. This fabric is really soft! I think this would be a great fabric design for the “tween crowd”.   

Maybe you’ll see these designs as finished pillows over at melissaAnne Gallery when I launch the first melissaAnne Home pillow collection. Maybe they will be part of a future collection. I guess you will just have to wait and see.  Do you have a favorite Water Color or Urban Color image you want to see as part of the first collection?  Let me know!   

Moments of Inspiration

This moment of inspiration is about one word: Turquoise.   

It’s probably obvious that I like color. All colors. But, turquoise is my favorite color and it ALWAYS inspires and excites me. I was struggling a while back to pick my “brand” image. I had been using one that I really liked but something about it didn’t feel right. I had just finished a coaching session with Jane Button (check her out if you are launching or trying to grow your product) and she told me “it will come to you.” Well, she was right! It came to me. It was obvious really once I really focused on it. It’s what was missing all along.   Turquoise!     

I’m debuting the official melissaAnne brand image and colors very soon. melissaAnne blog subscribers will get a special sneak peek!     

 The Inspired Room     

The Inspired Room is a great blog on design that I read every morning. This particular post came on a day that I needed a little extra inspiration. It inspired all day. I couldn’t stop looking at it. You can see my new dream kitchen (sunset.com) here! How could you not have an inspired, exciting and happy life waking up to breakfast here every day? I have a certain turquoise image that would look perfect…right…THERE!     

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon

Next post I’ll take you on a recent Urban Colors expedition and share a few of my favorite images.      

  

I hope you have a dream and I hope you are following it!

 

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