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Behind The Scenes

Head to the Golden Gate Conservatory of Flowers With Julia Kostreva

“The Conservatory of Flowers is just this breathtaking white gem of a building by Golden Gate Park that looks like it’s from the Victorian era,” says Julia Kostreva. The oasis, stuffed with green, provides some serious fuel for Julia’s incredible paper-goods line—and it helps that she lives just five blocks away. See what she sees in the spot. —kristina erfe “The main reason I really love the Conservatory of Flowers is because of the really wild colors and different plant types that you would never be able to see otherwise. The journey there is really fun.” “This is the lily pad room—a beautiful pond of water with an amazing skylight. Incredibly inspiring!” “One of the best examples of wild-looking patterns in the conservatory—with half pink, half green leaves.” “I can be inspired by something as simple as seeing a leaf that has one color on one side and has an inverse of color on the other—which really is more an abstract inspiration that I can then translate into my work.” “Another example of a wild pattern—this leaf looks like it was painted.” “I can be inspired directly or abstractly. Sometimes, I’ll collage with the patterns that I took photos of, and then I’ll use the texture or the color or a really subtle piece of the collage. Or sometimes it can be a direct transition to my product.” Planning ahead has never looked so good as it does with Julia’s notebook and planner set.
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Get Inside Julia Kostreva’s Rad Graphic-Design Process

Spend a little time with Julia Kostreva, and you’ll start wanting to up your paper game—to swap out your little black and beige notebooks for something a lot jazzier. “More and more nowadays, we value functionality and design,” Julia explains. “I think I gravitate towards paper goods because they’re the first things I ever designed.” Dive into how she makes writing things down feel so exciting. —kristina erfe “When I was in college, I hung out with illustrators. There used to be no separation between graphic designers and illustrators, but nowadays graphic design has become more technical—it’s so rare for a graphic designer to pick up a pen and draw. The illustrators I worked with loved using sumi-e ink, and I have grown to love it as well.”   “When I create a pattern, sometimes, it’ll look totally different in real life than on the computer.” “I like sumi-e ink because if I don’t use water, it’s texturally very thick, and then I can water it down to feel like water color. Whenever I work with a pattern, I always start with a collage of something I painted or created and then transform it into something else on the computer. The sumi-e ink creates these bold, defined strokes. “This notebook pattern with hand-painted stripes is something I made through a collage. I never sit down and draw something and make it final.  I love taking ink and then mixing in another pattern digitally. This is a mix of hand-painted brush strokes and digital color blocks.” “This planner and notebook have a similar marbling effect to the ones I created for the Of a Kind edition. The planner on the left contains marbling with thinner lines that kind of look topographical. I created the patterns using marbling paper, which I scan and edit the color of to create graphic interest. For the spine, I started with a Navajo-inspired pattern, but only used the core essence.” Julia made the prettiest notebook, planner and wall calendar for you to start 2014 off right.
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