just because…

OCOdesignsJewelery…the Universe, via Abiquiu, provided a beautiful backdrop for a photo opp. we (my partner-in-crime and i) could not resist the opportunity to capture It’s beauty and the moments spent within her embrace, while on my last inspiration trip to New Mexico.

looking back at the photos, i am still amazed by the clear blue skies, variety of textures in their organic states and the varying color stories Nature provides. i could pull a rich color palette to be used collection season after season, varying the tones depending on the season, and adding pops where needed.
[from experience i have found my most successful approach to creating color palettes to be when focus has been on creating harmony between neutrals, rich tones (to ground the story), and pops.]OCOdesignsJewelry

we were fearless traveling through some of the same paths that once inspired George O’Keeffe, so much so, she moved to Abiquiu living there for the last 50 years of her life. i now recognize within her paintings the same elements i took in while in Abiquiu. take a look below.
…looking back at the our photoshoot pics , i also realize how well we both managed to transform our looks throughout the course of the day :)

long bright orange maxi skirt in the morning to harem’esque parachute shorts (of some sort) midafternoon…colorful headwrap throughout the cool morning to miniskirt once the Sun’s heat warmed up the day by afternoon.

it all seemed to flow organically. so amazing that i wanted to add these memories+photos to the journal. in hopes of keeping them fresh.

OCOdesignsJewelryOCOdesignsJewelryOCOdesignsJewelryMariela into the SunOCOdesignsJewelry

the world is full of…colorPOP!!

OCOdesignsJewelrythe world is full of colorPop!…especially this time of the season with all the brilliantly colored plants and flowers abloom. being new to the West Coast i am constantly hit by colorPops from beautiful, well-designed landscapes. vines strategically planted to elevate the curve appeal of homes, plants injecting their floral scents into the atmosphere. my senses are so engaged!
when hit by these colorPops, i am momentarily transported from reality into an imaginary space of fantasy. the Pops usually hit while i am on my run and completely erases the discomfort induced from steep inclines. my thoughts shift to color palettes, rich leathers, raffia textile weaves that could be created from these inspiration sources. what a beautiful collection of footwear these references would make.

these pics are a few of the colorPops that have added a spark to my day…enjoy!



“Rebirth Project” series: #2, summer flat sandal

OCOdesignsJewelryAside from my work-for-hire footwear design projects, i find putting energy into my personal creative work to be a must as it keeps the inspiration flowing in all areas of my life…the Rebirth Project series being the current. within the series is the footwear category. the idea here is to bring new life to the soul’less soles of some of my favorite footwear go-to’s. when i find a design that is well-made, style-full and functional i tend to wear the “soul” out of them. case-in-point project #2 (pictured above).

the sense of guilt throwing away items i know can be recreated into something new is somewhat relieved. for this pair of sandals, the construction and the heel counter/zipper were well intact by the end of summer 2011…everything else, not so much. because the sandal was constructed with a good grade of leather insole and outsole, i knew that there was more this construction had to offer. i have a surplus of components+tools i’ve collected over the years so i put them to use. the end result being a new addition to my spring through summer go-to options, a style suited to my taste…with clean lines, minimal embellishment and rich leather.
this version is actually more comfortable than the original now that the insole is covered with plush nappa couro!

before: disassembled parts + my trusty tools


before: the left is without the insole, in order to make it more comfortable with a polished look i added some reinforcement prior to adding the newly nappa covered insole (on the right)

after: i love the process of bringing new energy to the soul’less!OCOdesignsJewelryOCOdesignsJewelry

it’s been quite a busy few weeks, i’ve been on my grind keeping a constant stream of inspiration flowing…projects, travel, events+ have filled my days and evenings…all good things!

after being so inspired by the graphic designs on the Acoma tribe pottery in New Mexico, and learning the historic influence West Africa played on the developed design style…i started doing some digging into my West African roots to learn more about the meaning behind the art. i am finding that though i am far-removed from my place of birth, the connection remains ever so strong…and it continues to show it self in the direction my creative development continues to unfold.

one of my current series of projects is a collection of handcrafted necklaces. all designs are one-of-a-kind and are part of my “Rebirth Project” series. the collection will be carried in a boutique (more info to come) and others available as private sales. i am pleased with the way this particular design came out, i love the mix between organic and industrial elements. the stones are Ghanian trade beads my Mom picked up while traveling throughout West Africa; the industrial element being the chain and hardware, pulled from my ever-flowing treasure chest filled with components i’ve gathered from Brazil, West Africa, VA, NY, LA (plus).

close-up of piece#1: wear-testing the design at a recent Hollywood Dell art show
before pic #1: the individual stones from Ghana. the colors and markings on the stones tell a story. this piece is filled with vibrant energy that extends happiness to the wearer.

before pic #2: the wire loops i had to take apart. considering this was my first hit at wire wrapping, there was a bit of a learning curve to overcome. got to love the process!

more updates to come as i continue to journal my creative process!

Fashion Weeks Exist Outside of NY-Paris-Italy, etc.

OCOdesignsJewelryhappy Monday!
between keeping open to inspiration sources, i keep abreast of the fashion seasons. in my earlier design days I wondered where top designer houses (Balenciaga, Balmain, Alexandre McQueen, Pierre Hardy—to name a few of my favorites) tapped in for their dose of inspiration. i realize now that they too derive inspiration from the world around them…influenced by Art, Design, organic and industrial elements contained within the Universe we are all a part of.
as the FW2012 fashion weeks are upon us, think outside of your reality and  remember that Fashion Weeks exist outside of NY, Paris, Italy…take time to explore fashion outside of which you currently follow, be open to being inspired!
thanks to thestylesaviour.com for providing the following Fashion Week Schedules…see link below
FW2012 Fashion Weeks- Schedules.

can you read between the lines?…Acoma Pueblo Pottery

Acoma Pueblo pottery

Acoma Pueblo pottery

while in Santa Fe i was intrigued by the graphic symbols and patterns specifically from the Acoma Pueblo. each of the 19 Pueblos have distinctive design styles, even more interesting is that within each particular tribe there are even more differences per family. the style is passed down from generation to generation, with symbols having spiritual meaning that are considered sacred and protected. while at the Acoma Pueblo speaking to the artists i learned that each line, shape, color has a specific meaning… nothing is without.
as they explained this to me i had flashbacks to the countless textile prints i have come across in stores that were more than likely “knocked-off” from artwork such as this.
once i learned that centuries ago the Acoma people lived alongside West African people, i realized why i gravitated so strongly to this particular art style. considering my West African background, everything seemed to come together. my next step is to do some digging, further exploring the history of my people. what stories are told within each shape, each line? i can only imagine the influence my findings will have on my creative development. each design is completely different and distinctive to each family within the Acoma tribeAcoma Pueblo Pottery


Acoma Pueblo Pottery

*keep in mind that each line is carefully painted by hand using a yeka brush…a tiny leaf from the yucca plant. i actually met an artist that uses the strands from her babies hair, as it is finer and easier to work with. who would have thought? much respect and admiration to the Acoma Natives who shared with me their passion for their craft.

inspiration trip: Santa Fe, NM & Grand Canyon, AZ

day #3 & sun-kissed!

inspiration: stimulation or arousal of the mind, feelings, etc, to creativity

since starting on this entrepreneurship path in Aug’11 i have been working on creating a schedule intended to keep the momentum building (while keeping me organized), with the goal of harmonizing my creative and business self. along the way, i found inspiration trips, be it local or distant, to recharge my creative self.
“searching for inspiration” was always part of the design process at my previous permanent gigs from shopping trips to frequenting leather shows. there was always a sense of urgency with the search-approach and in some ways i found it to be limiting.
now that i am not committed to one gig, i have the opportunity to take a different approach to “inspiration trippin”.
for this particular trip i invested time into creating a list (a bit is below) of intentions and reflecting on what food was needed for my creative soul.
#2:immerse into a world outside of self
#3:organic flow
i started on a 5-day road venture from LA to NM to Grand Canyon and back to LA, a total of 24+ hours on the most scenic roads i’ve experienced along side a good friend Mariela Zapata (of Mariela Zapata designs). i can not express how important it is to have a partner-in-crime on the same level of thought as you when roadtrippin…it makes the experience twice as rewarding.
so here we go, as i paint the picture of the most rewarding inspiration trip to date!!

day#1: the 12-hour drive through the Mohave desert consisted of views of flat lands to grand rock formations day#2: while exploring downtown Santa Fe I came across some of the most intricate graphic pottery designs. after some probing i learned that each pottery design varies per pueblo (more info on a future post). below is from the Acoma pueblo. each line is created by hand using a yucca plant leaf

day#3: we drove up north to Taos Pueblo, home of the Taos tribe and the oldest inhabited pueblos in US. the skies were the bluest, clearest i have ever witness and is accredited to the vast sage bushes that are said to clear the air. there is a sense of oneness that ties the Taos to their scared land, their art, the sky…it was inspiring to connect with them.

day#4: after visiting the Georgia O’Keeffe museum in downtown Sante Fe and learning that one of her homes was nestled up north in Abiquiu at The Ghost Ranch, we decided to take the 2-hour drive up to explore the sources of inspiration of one of America’s greatest painters of the twenth century.

Georgia O’Keeffe marker on the side of route 85

Abiquiu Lake

Ghost Ranch trail leading to the Labyrinth

being the fire signs that we are, we made it a point to venture out as much as possible. so after the Ghost Ranch visit, we drove south to Bandlier National Park. Bandlier is over 33,000 acres and was inhibited by humans going back 11,000 years with ruins, canyons, waterfalls. Ancetral Pueblo people created homes within the canyons…you know we checked them out
*we didn’t realize it at the time but it was actually Earth Day, I can’t imagine a better way to have spent it than being immersed within the gifts of the Universe!

day#5: the 12-hour drive back to LA was ahead of us, however we wanted to get two more stops. first, to the Acoma Pueblo, being so drawn to the graphics used on their pottery i had to dig deeper to understand the meaning behind the art. second, the Grand Canyon. our trip couldn’t end on a sweeter note than to catch the sunset set at Hermits Rest!

photo opp

Grand Canyon 7000 feet high

sunset 7000 feet view


an extension of my creative process, the evolution of my creative journey.
the undoing of previous ways of thought, approach.
this blog is the channel used to express my creative soul, giving it a voice.
it is also a collector of reflections, inspirations, projects…a recorder painting the picture of my creative journey as it unfolds.
so here it is post number one, with more to come.
welcome & thank you for joining me on this ride.
it is my hope that somewhere along the lines you read a spark of inspiration is added to your day!