From a very young age I have been passionate about the outdoors and being in nature. I grew up in Northern California in a small town about an hour north of Lake Tahoe called Portola. It is at about 5000 feet elevation and is nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountain range – so I spent a lot of time outdoors.
As an adult, I’m still drawn to the beauty and the uniqueness of everything surrounding me. When I’m not at work, I spend much of my time outdoors – hiking, fishing, camping in the summer and skiing in the winter. In fact, my house is 20 minutes from several amazing places. One direction takes me to the ski resort Mount Rose and just beyond that are sweeping views of Lake Tahoe. Another direction takes me to the Virginia City Highlands, where I can ride my motorcycle and watch wild mustangs roam. Yet another direction takes me to the lake at Washoe, where there are old oak trees lining the Ponderosa.
The beauty of nature inspires me in many ways and also influences my perspective in design work, which includes:
Colors: Nature’s palette shows every hue in varying lights, and one of my favorites is the view of Lake Tahoe, where the colors shift from deep blues to steel gray. Within my work, whether I am creating images of people, textures within fabrics or accentuating the shininess of metals, incorporating the right hues and the subtle shift of hues in design brings pieces to life.
Patterns: There is an abundance of unique patterns everywhere you look in nature. No two seem to be alike. From the veins of leaves on trees, to the caustic wind patterns across a lake, to the worn and weathered trees with variations in the bark – it is all beautiful. As I design, I incorporate these patterns into my work.
Symmetry: It is amazing to see that in nature everything strives to be symmetrical and those plants, flowers, trees and bushes that grow symmetrically are truly stronger and more likely to survive. Whether in nature or at work, I frequently notice the imperfections immediately – even when they are pixel sized, and catch that something is out of balance.
Lighting: Sunlight or moonlight shining down on trees, plants, flowers, lakes, rocks, and more create subtle variations in the lighting yet everything still remains fluid and beautiful. Similarly, in design, as you are moving through different visual comps, such as within a website, you may have variations in the design, but it has to be fluid and subtle so there is continuity for the site visitor.
When you are not scouring the Web for design ideas, what influences your creativity? There is more to website design than digital technology. Take a walk. Explore. Find your inspiration.