Category Archives: Designers & Creators


I’m re-directing my blog to:

I will no longer be posting to this. This free wordpress template/hosting is cramping my style. It won’t even allow me to create a gallery so you all don’t have to click through each image individually. So check it out. It took me a day to figure out so if you have any questions about how to do this on your blog, just ask!


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spare time = crafty

I had some spare time so when I heard one of the things my brother wanted for his bday was a checkers set I thought, “how hard could that be to make?”. It’s just squares on some sort of board which could be material or something hard like wood and 14 pieces that are all the same shape. First I was going to make the board out of fabric. But I like wood. It feels better and I wanted something heavy and solid, not some wimpy, rolled up material board. So I went with wood. And, with a little guidance from Jurgen and my landlord James, this was the process/outcome.



Filed under Designers & Creators, Portfolio

Jurgen’s Dome

There’s a big empty spot up on a hill in the back of the studio area. The past week I’ve watched Jurgen put together (all by himself I must add) a big Buckminster Fuller type dome. Usually he takes it to Burningman but since he’s unable to go this year he constructed it for the pure enjoyment of anyone that may pass by. It has windows, an escape hatch, running water and (gasp) a bar! 

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Invite arrived

and I LOVE it. I thought our invites were complicated! Haven’t spoken to Bridget yet but I’m mind-boggled on how they executed 100+ of these.  So gorgeous. One I’ll be holding on to. They were designed by Brian Mead. How cute is the hand-carved stamp for the envelopes?

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For some very tasteful wedding ideas…

It’s getting closer to Bridget and Kevin’s wedding so I checked their blog/website to see what they’re up to. I know they’re totally swamped with moving out here but they still managed to post a few new things. Can’t wait for the invite! Will post some pics when it arrives.


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“Visualization. Lots and lots of it.” An Interview with James Hayes.

A conversation with James can typically end in, “Ok, gotta pick up some really big eye balls now.” He’s excited when he says it too and it always cracks me up. You can tell he really loves what he does. I’ll walk into the studio and while he’s draping a big monster he says to me, “Can you believe I get paid for this?!” I can’t. Although, on the other hand, I’ve seen him pull quite a few all nighters. 


Oh, James is also my landlord so when I meet him for this interview I step next door to one of my favorite creative spaces. His studio. He’s busy gluing an Elvis hairdo for a Disney monster. It’s getting dark and mosquitos are on the attack so he’s moving quick. 




Savita: Your studio sits overlooking Silverlake, nestled amongst lush greenery like a tree house. You live two doors down and wonder over with a cup of coffee followed by your canine companions Hedy and Joey. It’s everyone’s dream. How did you make it happen?


James: Visualization. Lots and lots of it. At one point I wanted to quit school (he went to Parsons) so a friend of my mother told me I had take this meditation course. I learned that the way you put out energy it comes back to you. See your life the way you want it to be. I realized I needed to do something I loved because when you do something you love everyone wins.


S: Did you ever want to have your own line?


J: I did until I had a conversation with Tommy Hilfiger. I was working for him and he asked me what I wanted to do with my career. I told him I want to have my own line. He said, “Be careful. I don’t see my family. I have to get up a 5am and go to the gym because I’m the public image of this company. I put in 16 hours a day and I’m always jet lagged.” Made me think. I realized the true goal is balance.


James is swatting at a mosquito.


S: Want some bug spray? Shouldn’t the glue repel them?


J: It should! It repels me! The chemicals are my least favorite part of the job.


S: So what’s your favorite part?


J: Draping. Everyone in my class hated it. They wanted to get through school, be a fashion designer and tell people what to do. They didn’t get into the three dimensional part of it.  I love draping because it’s coming together in front of my eyes. For me it’s amazing. I get this weird feeling. It’s almost like being shocked electrically. The first time I felt it was while I was doing a giant owl costume. It just hit me like, wow.


S: I think I know what you mean. People search for those moments. In meditation, painting, mountain climbing. Like glimpses of enlightenment. 


J: Yes! I have them when I ride my motorcycle. 


S: What tool can’t you live without? 


J: The tape measurer. Oh and these! Silk pins. They’re long and I have big fingers so I love them. I was just thinking today maybe I like doing this so much because I have such long limbs and it’s so easy for me to move large pieces of fabric around big dress forms. 


S: I notice you can’t rely much on the computer. 


J: Thank God. I like it so much better! I had an employee here last week. He looked at his iphone every six minutes. He was really into the work and then he’d get distracted. Every six minutes. I wanted to say, “If you don’t behave I’m going to take the toy away from you!” He couldn’t stop. I’d rather be obsessed with being in the moment. The phone fragments you.


S: What else is different about the way you work?


J: Usually in this business you’re doing only one thing. You just make the foot. You’re just going to make feet all day long while someone else is making the helmet all day. People are always surprised to see that we design it and make it. Jurgen and I talk about it all the time. It’s really rare. I feel so lucky. And people love it. 


(Side note – Jurgen, seen in the pictures below working on the monster, works with James on almost every project. Another incredible costume maker.) 


S: What’s your most memorable costume?


J: The dinosaur costume I made for halloween in 1990. I was walking around Santa Monica Blvd in it when someone from Disney saw me and said, “Holy shit! Did you make that?” I was getting tired. Everyone was jumping on me. A friend told me I should talk to him so I got his card and that’s when I started working for the TV show Dinosaurs. Three years with the prime-time show. It paid for this studio. 


I realized James had just answered the first question. He manifested his dream by doing what he loves, not because he was getting paid but because it was halloween and he wanted to make an awesome costume. I point this out to him.


J: And that’s my advice to everyone. Don’t say, “I know what I want to do but it’s not practical or how will I make money?” Don’t think of all the problems and the solutions. Just simply do what you love. Do it to have a great time. Just do it.



Filed under Around Town, Designers & Creators


Have you ever told a friend (several times) you’ll visit her site and somehow it slips your mind every time even if it sounds like a super cool thing to check out? Ok, maybe I’m the only asshole but I finally went to Ashley’s blog and it’s as great as I thought it would be. It’s more than a blog. It’s a place you can go and join some other visual thinkers in exploring a creative direction that Ashley sets out for you. Little fun assignments that don’t take long but get you back in touch with your inner artist. This is her latest:

Assignment #6: Public Poetry
Write a short (around 5 lines), impromptu poem or verse on a random topic. Then, create a vehicle with which to share your words publicly and capture and image of what you create.



Filed under Designers & Creators, Photography