medium /// design

“ancient art … and potholes”


Ancient art meets the mean streets of Chicago… well, the potholes anyway. Artist/designer Jim Bachor and I are talking about his gorgeous mosaic work, his 85 year old lookout, the fact that people are truly awesome, and me possibly dressing up as Jim for Halloween. You can listen right up there under that glass ‘n marble ice cream sandwich, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, “THIS IS NOT A POTHOLE anymore”…


No, it isn’t! It’s an amazing piece of art that I would love to happen upon while out for a walk! Yep, Jim’s ice creams are my faves, of course, and we’ll get back to them in just a moment. But first, here are the portraits of his twin boys (Henry and Ajax), along with two other portraits. If one piece of glass doesn’t transfer, these very detailed faces can end up looking really weird. Luckily all of these beauties worked out just fine…


Wow. Also, I love that he’s using this ancient technique to make Starbucks cups and cigarettes.

So. This is it. Jim’s very first pothole, naturally titled “POTHOLE”…


Ah, yes, art born from necessity. If the city won’t fill the pothole in front of your house, just fill it with art!

He said that he was a little bit scared of getting in trouble for the pothole. He had just won a commission to create a mosaic at Thorndale Red Line station on Chicago’s North Side and didn’t want to risk losing it. Thankfully, he didn’t get in any trouble for his pothole-fixing, and the mural project went off without a hitch. Oh, and it’s gorgeous…



Speaking of beautiful – good friends are beautiful. Enter Pat, Jim’s friend who emailed everyone… including me! Here’s a little bit of that very supportive email…

… Jim studied the mosaic arts for months in Italy. Now he’s not only selling his own pieces, but he decided to share some of  his “mysterious” work with the public. Me? I’m Pat. Never mind about me. I’m Jim’s friend and Jim is a bit flummoxed by this whole publicity thing. So, grub worm that I am, I took it upon myself to promote my pal.

“Me? I’m Pat. Never mind about me.” Ha! I think I may to put that on a T-shirt!

Ok, up next we really got into the whole pothole thing. What do people hate? Potholes. What do people love? Flowers…


… and ice cream …


YES! Oh, I love Jim’s “Treats in the Streets”. That pink and yellow piece just above was the piece he did in Finland. Site-specific ice cream potholes? Fan-freakin-tastic! 

Now, Finland is certainly not the only place he’s filled a pothole or two. The day before we did this interview Jim had been in San Antonio. He’d reached out to his followers there, was pointed to this specific pothole, and while he was there he filled it with a bit of “trash”. As part of his “Pretty Trashy” series he paid homage to San Antonio’s own “Whataburger”. Here he is in action – orange vest, cones, knee pads and all – followed by a few more trashy potholes from the same series…


Love. So, when Jim isn’t filling potholes with very, very expensive glass tiles, he is creating fine art mosaics that can hang on the wall. Once again, ancient technique and pop culture come crashing together. Here are two pieces from his cereal series…


Mmmm… insanely detailed glass and marble Cocoa Puffs!

This is the piece he was talking about, from his latest series titled “Fake”, with the tiny plane in the top corner. Again, his combination of old and new is just so perfect…


That red circle is printed onto the glass that sits over top of the mosaic, bringing your attention to the plane. Graphic. Clever. Beautiful.

And that’s that. Ahhh, I loved that conversation so much! What a talented, smart, funny guy! So how should we leave off? I thought this would be perfect…


He certainly has. One pothole at a time. Thanks so much to Jim for taking the time to do this with me; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode; thanks to for making my new book into an audio book! To preorder a copy for FREE {or to pick up any other book you might want} just use my link: And you guessed it… thank YOU for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Jim’s store (originals, prints, etc)
  2. Jim’s Instagram … so you can see him in action!
  3. Map to find the potholes


haruka misawa


Oh, yes. Amazing flowers inspired by pencil shavings… but Japanese designer/artist Haruka Misawa went one step further than just being inspired by the pretty petals made by her pencil sharpener. She printed paper with pattern, wound that paper into tight cylindrical scrolls, and then put her sharpener to work… the result… her own unique, one-of-a-kind blossoms. Happy. Friday. Mic drop.

{via Colossal}

“castle in the car”


What!? Rachel Castle? Yep! I managed to get Sydney based artist, designer, entrepreneur, lover of wiener dogs… Rachel Castle to come on the podcast. I was so excited about this because Rachel has always been a bit of a creative enigma to me. She does so much, her work is so popular, and honestly I’m kind of intimidated by her success… success that has always seemed effortless from where I’m standing. I wanted to look behind the curtain, and I did! Turns out, she’s just a normal person. Who knew?! We cover everything from our favorite TV shows to her career in PR, over to dirty words in Australia that mean something completely different in Canada… and we did all of this from her car. For real. You can listen on the player right up there, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, a few of her paintings {clearly you can see I like her floral pieces}:


Ahhh! So gorgeous! These beauties sell so fast… in fact I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them without a SOLD sign underneath. Next up, you can’t talk to Rachel Castle without asking her about her felt text pieces:


Yes! From KISS to Wham to a whole bunch of bananas in between … and yes, during the speed round I asked her preference between marmite and vegemite. Vegemite, obvi. Ok, and then of course there’s everything else she does outside of the paintings and felt pieces. Bedding, pillows, towels, sculptures, tea towels, bags, sweatshirts and more. Here’s just a teeny peek:


Great, right? And yes, she clearly has a background in branding and marketing because, whoa, everything on her site looks FABULOUS!

Speaking of fabulous, here’s a look into her beautiful, messy, colorful studio {most of these photos came from her lovely instagram feed}:


Yep. Love it. And thanks to her new-ish studio out of her house, her family won’t get stuck with pins that got left behind in the couch… hopefully.

So, sweet song lyrics and romantic sayings are great… but I have to admit, I kind of like the slightly ruder ones, as does Rachel:


Turns out, not everyone agrees… not one “DOUCHE” print sold. Shame, I think it’s hilarious! And then in the speed round I just had to ask… did she have a wiener dog that looks just like mine? Yep! Granted, she calls hers a “sausage dog”, because, Australia:


So cute! Oh, and that DAMN sweatshirt… yeah, we didn’t actually talk about that, I just really want it. That’s all.

Ok, and that’s that! Thanks so much to Rachel for talking to me for an hour in a very hot car, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend! xo

Other Links:

  1. Lucas Grogan
  2. Wayne White
  3. Roots


emma mcdowall


Once upon a time, abstract paintings and concrete fell madly in love! Yep, I’m pretty sure this is the result from the honeymoon. These lovely concrete objects are the work of Scotland based artist Emma McDowall. Beautifully blended candy hues, paired with the rawness of concrete… gorgeous.

{Some of these pieces are available in her VERY AFFORDABLE shop}


vanessa mckeown


“Fruloons & Vegeloons”… I cannot even begin to express how happy these make me on a Friday morning. This is the colorful, creative, and clever work of UK based designer / stylist / artist Vanessa Mckeown. I can’t decide which is my favorite. The tomatoes? That orange? The eggplant? Impossible. And this is just the tip of the pineapple… check out her site for all sorts of other wonderfully witty work. Happy Friday!

“design milk by day & sketchbooks by night”


Usually when you hear the name Jaime Derringer it’s associated with the very stylish, very popular blog, Design Milk. Since 2006, Jaime has spent her days writing about / discovering incredibly talented designers … furniture, jewelry, architecture, and of course artists. But when the sun goes down, or whenever she has a bit of free time {which isn’t often} she is also an artist herself. Drawing, painting, and a fine combination of both. I didn’t know much about how she started, her process, when the heck she fits this into her very busy life… so I asked her. Listen right up there, or subscribe on iTunes. As you’re listening, take a look at the things we talked about in the order that we talked about them.

Now, before we talk about art, we have to watch this little tidbit that came up fairly early in our conversation: Ross Geller from “Friends” on keyboard… Jaime, is this what it looks like when you rock out on your new synthesizer? Ha! So, so awesome. Alright, time for art. Here are some of Jaime’s abstract paintings, and her gorgeous “string” drawings:


I would hang a little cluster of these together on a wall. I love the combination of precision and her “go with the flow” / “happy accident” approach. It’s kinda crazy that these pieces were made by the same person! And, a little peek into her drawing sketchbook that she works in at night… once her day at Design Milk is over, and her little girl has gone to bed:


She has been keeping a great record of her sketchbook pages through the years… you can see them all right here. And finally, her love of jewelry design has made its way from her body {every time I see her she’s wearing some kind of stunning piece}, to her newest venture, ADORN\milk:



Gah! Gorgeous… art that you wear! Boy oh boy, she has amazing taste and is such a wonderful supporter of independent artists. These are a few of my favorite pieces – you can find them here: bracelet by pico design \ earrings by maple + mauve \ ring by maison 203 \ necklace by vulantri – and of course the whole collection can be found here.

And with that I will say thanks so much to Jaime, to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and to you for listening… there will be more ART FOR YOUR EAR next weekend!

tracy hung


Bizarre, dream-like scenes complete with found images, little sketches, and a lovely/quiet palette. This is the mixed media collage work of LA based artist, illustrator, and designer Tracy Hung. I love each of these pieces on their own, but when you see them all come together, as part of this album cover design that she was commissioned to do for Satoshi Gogo, an acoustic guitarist based in Nara, Japan… well, it’s a dreamy “bedtime story” waiting to happen:


Sigh. The collage artist and graphic designer in me are totally smitten.

christine lantz


Sigh. Nature… on the wall. I’m pretending all of these pieces are framed and hung on my wall! This is the mixed media work of Swedish artist/designer Christine Lantz. These pieces are from a couple of different series {“Nature Collection”, “Arctic Journey”}, but since this is my pretend gallery wall, I decided to mix them up and “curate” a few of my favorites ♥

bri land


Modern, geometric design meets old oak floors! Yep, Texas based artist Bri Land reclaimed this wood from an old home in the River Oaks neighborhood of Houston, and transformed it into these gorgeous one-of-a-kind pieces. I love this work, and I love Bri’s story too … after losing her marketing job a couple of years ago, she found herself with extra time, so she did what every creative person with extra time would do… she decided to build herself a table. Well, one thing led to another and Bri realized that she had a knack for building things {I’d say!} and she hasn’t looked back! ps. Keep an eye out for her work on HGTVs Blog Cabin 2015 remodel!

{All of the pieces shown here are now available in my online gallery Yay!}

tiffanie turner & simone truong

I cannot even express how much I love this. I wrote about both of these artists during 2014… the first is the paper-sculpture work of San Francisco based artist Tiffanie Turner, and the second is the manipulated photographic work of UK based artist Simone Truong. Have a look:

Gorgeous, right? Well they thought so too! Tiffanie saw Simone’s work when I wrote about it, and reached out to see if Simone would be up for doing a collaboration… she said YES! Amazing! Here’s the result:

Gasp! Tiffanie’s paper flowers melting like birthday cake icing in July! Here is their joint statement about this project:

“Although working in different mediums, different scales and even different countries, artists Simone Truong and Tiffanie Turner both have one element in common; their subject matter. Flora are at the center of both of their works, inevitably forging an exploration into the difference in scale and mediums. In this new work, Truong strays away from exploring the transitionary states that occur in natural phenomena to embrace the delicate and still beauty of Turner’s giant, intricate paper flowers. By scaling these large, explosive blooms back down to a size manageable on the printed page, Truong captures their solitary beauty in a way their original capacity never would have granted. Truong and Turner worked together to find the tension and balance in these compositions, which were executed by Truong in her UK studio.”

Love. You can find & buy these lovely pieces right here.