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Finding inspiration in New York

2nd June 2016

New York. The city that doesn't sleep. It's on everyone's must-see list and no matter how many times we visit, there's always more to inspire us.

1. Surtex 2016

We were delighted to exhibit at Surtex, an illustration tradeshow held in New York connecting artists with manufacturers. Showing in the USA for the first time, we used the opportunity to showcase some exciting new interior concepts which received a welcome response.

Emma J Shipley at Surtex 2016

Left: The original Drakon drawing on display. Right: The Maki Mococo illustration developed into a wallpaper design

Left and right: The Emma J Shipley exhibit for Surtex 2016, featuring our collaborations, silk scarves, art prints and interior concepts.

Discover more from the show, including wallpaper concepts, on our instagram page here.

After the buzz of the show, we were free to explore the streets of the big apple and found design inspiration on every corner! Discover what caught our creative eye...

2. Architecture

Remembering to look up is essential for sightseeing, urban style! We enjoyed finding patterns within the considered detail of the architecture.

Left: Inside the Guggenheim gallery, New York Right: The lights on Broadway

Left: That New York skyline! Enjoying the sunshine with Amazon silk trousers. Right: A magical mirrored image of the ceiling in the Jarvis Centre

Left: Inside the Guggenheim gallery, New York Right: The Empire State building

Right: The Brooklyn bridge, New York

3. World class history

Museums are plentiful in New York where we found ourselves lost for hours amongst ancient history, romantic art movements and contemporary exhibitions. When it comes to permanent collections, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the best for variety and volume. If you're inspired by medieval myths and legends like us, the Cloisters museum is filled with decorative arts and sculpture from this period.

Left and right: The permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Right: Manus x Machina, Fashion in an age of technology exhibition at the museum

Left: Alexander McQueen, 'Ensemble', autumn/winter 2012-13. Laser cut white pony skin bonded to black leather, machine-sewn and hand-finished with Mongolian wool. Right: Hussein Chalayan's spring/summer 2007 collection which showed hand-constructed mechanical dresses that physically morphed from one era's style to another.

The Cloisters museum

Left and right: The Cloisters museum

4. Galleries

There's nothing quite like being there. We stood in awe, admiring our favourite artists paintings within the extensive Metropolitan Museum's collection, including Henri Rousseau's 'The Repast of the Lion', ca. 1907. This work features an exotic jungle vegetation which is based on studies he made in Paris's botanical gardens. His wild animals are adapted from popular ethnographic journals and illustrated children's books of the time. We have a sudden urge to start sketching.

Right: Henri Rousseau, 'The repast of the lion', ca. 1907, oil on canvas.

Left: Claude Monet, 'Poppy fields near Argenteuil', 1875, oil on canvas. Right: Vincent van Gogh, 'Self-portrait with a straw hat', 1887, oil on canvas.

5. Colour

Rich, bold colour pops out at us from 'Large Interior, Los Angeles', an oil and ink on cut-and-pasted paper on canvas by David Hockney. We explore how the great artists use bold colour within their artworks in MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Inspiration can come from anywhere, whether it is from an artist's work you admire, the values they hold, a conversation you have in the elevator or even the interior of a hidden restaurant.

Keep your eye out to see what captures your imagination - what's inspiring you this week?

Right: David Hockney, 'Large interior, Los Angeles', 1988, oil and ink on cut-and-pasted paper on canvas

Left: Gustav Klimt, 'Adele Bloch-Bauer II', 1912, oil. Right: Pablo Picasso, 'Girl before a mirror', 1932, oil on canvas.

Right: Issey Miyake "Flying Saucer" dress from spring/summer 1994. Machine-garment-pleated, machine-sewn polychrome polyester plain weave

Left: Two paintings by Mondrian Right: Russian Tea Room, New York

It's always inspiring and a pleasure to visit New York - we'll see you again soon! 

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