Q&A With California Based Designer and Illustrator, Wesley Bird

With daily life being so visually saturated on our social media feeds, it seems special when one designer stands out. Wesley Bird is one of these people. Her work is refreshing and engaging and many times, personally up-lifting. Wesley's west coast aesthetic brings positive vibes to anyone that comes across her pieces. We had the pleasure of asking her a few quick questions, and the answers are as delightful as they are informative. Get ready for a feast for the eyes!

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MM: Hi Wesley. Can you give us a quick history of your company?

Wesley: Right now my company is just me and it exists of two parts. I sell my personal art as cards, prints, pins, patches, and more on my website wesleybird.com. I also freelance for companies doing illustration and art direction. I’ve been doing this full time since June 2017, but I'd been doing it on the side since 2011. In 2012, I got my first licensing deal with Urban Outfitters for a couple of art prints, and that got me some really great exposure. I gained a lot of freelance clients from that and it all kind of grew from there!

MM: How did you get interested in Graphic Design, to begin with?

Wesley: It was actually during my first internship after my freshman year of college. I had been studying Fine Art at San Diego State University and had been given an amazing opportunity to intern at Hurley in Orange County. I was kind of thrown into Graphic Design there and had to learn my way around the Adobe programs (Photoshop and Illustrator). Once I got the hang of it, I loved how quickly things came to life on a computer and immediately became hooked! I decided to stick with my major of Fine Art so that I could perfect my drawing and painting skills, but always knew that eventually, I would incorporate Graphic Design into my profession.

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MM: What is your biggest motivation for 2018? 

Wesley: My biggest motivation is to make more art for myself. Up until last June I was basically working two full-time jobs - my day job as Art Director at Society6 and then freelancing for hours when I got home at night. It was exhausting and unhealthy and I had absolutely no time to create art for myself. Unfortunately, it takes a ton of work to make time for yourself! So I'm really motivated this year to make that time and get some passion projects out there.

MM: How about your biggest distraction for 2018?

Wesley: Definitely just life in general. I can get really bogged down with trivial things and worries (I’m a HUGE worrier). I’m really trying to navigate that this year and waste less time stressing about things that don’t matter - including social media. It’s SO distracting. Less time on my phone in general would be nice. I’m trying to spend 15 minutes a day meditating and so far it’s really helped calm and focus my mind before starting the day. 

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MM: What project are you the proudest to have worked on?

Wesley: I worked on a project early last year for Converse that I LOVED and felt so grateful to be a part of it. The initiative that the project was a part of, ended up going in a different direction so the piece I made was never used (which happens sometimes in the freelance world), but I’m still very proud of that work. (See image below).

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MM: What aspect of your design process would you say is the most important?

Wesley: The brainstorming phase! That happens away from my desk. I work from home by myself so I take long walks every morning before I start work and that's where I do my thinking and brainstorming. I work a lot of things out in my head before I even start sketching things out on graph paper. I love doing this outside while I’m walking and listening to music or audio books because I feel most open to inspiration that way. 

MM: There are strong west coast vibes in your illustrative work. How does living in LA influence your design sense?

Wesley: California has a huge impact on my style. I was born in Boston but really grew up in California (I went to middle school and high school out here). The weather deeply affects my mood and I’ve found myself to be the happiest here. I feel like that’s reflected in my color choices and the simplistic style that my work has. LA’s style is very effortless. It’s cool to look like you just rolled out of bed, and I guess I like my work to feel like that too. I spend so much time considering what to make and how I make it, but my illustrations really are very simple in their execution.

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MM: If you wanted the world to know one thing about your brand, what would it be?

Wesley: It’s just me over here - working for myself, by myself, fulfilling all my own shop orders, answering all my own emails! So everything I make is very hands on and special to me. 

MM: Lastly, if anyone wants to get a hold of you, where can they find you? 

Wesley: Instagram @wesleybird or my website, wesleybird.com. Or you can shoot me an email at hello@wesleybird.com. I’d love to hear from you! 

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OFFICE CRUSH: Upward Projects

Micro macro takes a look around an inspirational workspace

We love taking a look into the creative domains of workplaces.  Today we're e-traveling to Phoenix Arizona where we get to peek at Upward Projects HQ (or, The Lab as they fondly refer to it). Upward Projects creates inspired restaurants that are connected to the communities they serve. You can learn more about them and their awesome concepts here!

If you have an interest in Midcentury Architecture you're in for a real treat!  The Upward Projects Lab is hosted in an Al Beadle (American modernist architect) building with the original floors still intact. They've paid homage to this fact by keeping the decor sleek, and of course, midcentury modern.

It's clear that this company really values collaboration - they've designed an open concept workspace with plenty of standing desk room for those who get a little antsy during the day. As an open plan design, they've kept a nice balance by ensuring employees have a dedicated space they can call their own with plenty of room to meet, collaborate, and flex their muscles. 

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Many impromptu meetings take place at the bar facing the entrance (right), as well as Friday night happy hour- (they are a restaurant company after all with their Pizza concept right next door). 

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My favorite features in this workspace are the massive magnetic moodboards they've installed in front of each work station. They are great for inspiration, or to show off your work like awesome designer Marisa does (left)! Each person gets to design their own little corner of the office. It's a great way to celebrate individuality!

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Overall we love this hub for their dedication to collaboration and creativity, with a midcentury flare. 

Do you think your office or home workspace is superfresh? Shoot us an email at hello@micromacromag.com with the subject line, "Office Crush" and your space just might feature as our next office inspiration. 

DESIGN SECRETS OF A PARIS APARTMENT

Interior designer Charlotte Féquet fills a Parisian apartment with light.

Parisian people (myself included) spend a lot of time out and about in the perpetual bustle of the city, so when they come home for a few hours, they really want to feel at peace in a serene, quiet setting. Designer brief: to create calm in the chaos.

As an interior design fanatic, and after doing a total re-haul on my place in Paris, I wanted to share my secret retreat, my 615 square feet, for you to see. Lucky you !

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Moving in to what was a very dark and dated apartment, I entrusted the space into the hands of the wonderful Interior Architect Charlotte Féquet. Well known in Paris for her creative vision, she totally renovated the place top to bottom to create a unique light filled space.

Let’s start with the entrance and the living room. I can tell you, we as Parisian people have some high demands, to live in the heart of the city, in a bright apartment, without being disturbed by the noise. But.....it's possible! Charlotte decided to fill the living room with light by installing large glass windows, painting walls in a bright white colour, and refining the brick wall with white plaster and sanding the wooden floor. The result was stunning ! The neutral colour palette really brings out the colours of the furnishings similar to a contemporary art space.

Charlotte created a small wall for the entrance and we decided to add a little DIY touch with 3 monkey wrenches that were twisted and nailed on the wall- a quirky solution to hang up your jacket after a long day! The man of the apartment got creative by building a minimalist coffee table with a large piece of glass, a pallet and 4 small wheels, easy peasy! The two benches (top, right and below, left)  are actually lockers that we painted in grey to add a little bit of colour and to match the sofa. It's a useful spot for a television, and it can also be a place to sit and read your favourite book if you pull up some cushions.

As we love entertaining friends and family (French people love their gastronomy and sharing it with their loved ones), we wanted to create a guest room in case people wanted to stay a few days, or if they would rather sleep over after a late party, so Charlotte had the amazing idea to create a small bedroom space behind the glass window. The cosy bedroom can be closed by a large white light and sound-minimising curtains, for a sense of privacy. Two wooden shelves and a clothes rack complete the space, with a floor made of rush, very soft for the feet and it warms up the room. We also use this room to play music and for my singing rehearsals.

The bathroom needed some refurbishment too; Charlotte switched the bathtub for a shower and replaced the sink cabinet with a modern one. We added a black metal column to keep our towels in order, matching the colour scheme. We also installed this huge Oriented Strand Board (flakeboard) especially made for damp rooms, which we adorned with 7 decorative mirrors from a local antique dealer.

Last but not least, the bedroom suite. We added light with 2 sound-minimising glass walls. We wanted to keep the bedroom simple so here the creative DIY touch comes through the bedside tables. Made of 3 cinder blocks each, they make a sturdy support for our books and lamps. We also added 4 wooden boxes onto the wall to display our favourite French Literature. Our closet is a large wardrobe with 3 sliding white doors.

I hope these tips will inspire you to put a Parisienne twist on your own apartment for a sense of renewal. To see more of this place and other inspiring spaces, follow Interior architect Charlotte Féquet and our favourite French photographer Anthony Delanoix on their social media platforms.

Readers, what's your favourite way to add light into a cozy space?

Architect : @charlotte_fequet
Photography: @anthodx