Picnic Blanket, and Other Summer Colors
Color stories, palettes, and free artwork for our supporting subscribers.
Since 2017, I’ve been making color palettes and labeling colors with unique names packed with feelings.
I’ve released an annual calendar with a palette for every month since 2019, and that has been a fabulous tradition for my color lovers and me. I also turned the colors and their names into loose-leaf tea blends under Color Theory Tea.
Other dreams include a line of interior paint. And a line of candles named after each feeling. Give me a few years - and I’ll have those ready too, I hope.
I’ve branched out in my layout styles and looks, but my palettes have remained a staple in my creative practice.
Like any artist, I have a few secrets about my creative process. The colors and I have a marvelous relationship. They stepped up when my creativity was fried, scared, and worn out. The colors are an easy thing for me to muster. The ideas don’t seem to leave — and since I see the world in color palettes (just like I try to replicate) the themes and hues are always ready to share.
Now I’m at the point where I see the value in branching out and sharing work other than just the palettes. I do lots of different design work, but only consistently share palettes on Instagram. I used to make more art with hopeful words. I often miss doing that. I’m working on doing it again. But I’ll write down the phrase I want to design, and end up with a color palette instead.
I am usually scared to share anything different because the palettes have been going so long. I love them though, and that’s why I’ve stuck with it. They are comforting and friendly when making art didn’t feel that way. Remarkably, so many people feel the way I do about the colors. They seem to inspire, to take people’s mind off of things, to incite joy even. And so I keep making them.
Back to my secrets.
Every color should feel like a moment, not something static. This allows me to invoke nostalgia for viewers without knowing their story
I often use songs and movies as inspiration for palettes. (The Taylor Swift palette series was an easy one).
Often my own memories are woven intimately into a scene I represent in color.
Sometimes, I think about someone I know and try to make a palette for them specifically. If they ever comment that they love it — it’s like my secret mission succeeded.
Usually, it’s fictional though. I find things I am deeply inspired by and then use them to create a scene for the colors to cling to.
I wanted to share some palettes I made last month, with inspiring images and stories behind them. I’ve also included a free “August” calendar page for you to download as a thank-you for your support.
Substack began as a place I was nervous to approach — and now I think, “What CAN I create for Substack this week?!” And that is primarily because of your support and kind words. Thank you!
I made this one shortly after a stay at Anna Maria Island, and shortly after The Summer I Turned Pretty season 2 came out. It’s inspired by romance novels people read on the beach. While it’s all romantic, I added seaweed to keep it…humble.
Pink had its glory over the summer, but I wanted to be sure to include red as well. I was focused on pleasant memories and moments for this one — in no particular order.
Here is a photo that helped shape this palette:
Green is representative of growth…but what is representative of pulling up the weeds? I think green too. I was inspired by friends (and internet friends) pursuing new places, work, and ideas. Starting over is dynamic. It’s “both and.” I wanted to capture that and hold it.
Summer Magic Pt. 2
This was the sequel to the first summer palette. A beach romance story, combined with my own island adventure. To be clear, I don’t often win card games — but maybe that one resonates with you.
A Gift for You!
Here is a printable version of August for your desk, workspace, kitchen…wherever needs a boost of color:
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