1/6/12

Giveaway Day!

Hey friends, are you guys ready?


Its a Giveaway! Be excited- cause we're giving away the "California Dreamin" calendar from Deborah Yun of Young Swan Designs. This calendar is created from photos that she has taken all over beautiful California. I think it would be pretty neat to have this thing above my desk, to remind me of the beautiful place I live, and bring a bit of peace during a stressful day.


I love to meet women who run after their dream, and persue it with full force. That is exactly what Deborah has done with her photography.


Deborah answered a few questions below, so we can all see the artist behind the piece. (Makes it more personal and meaningful I think!)




How did Young Swan Designs begin? 

Young Swan Designs began many years ago, although I didn't know it at the time. Like many artists’ journeys, it gradually grew with every act of creative risk, wanderlust and genuine fulfillment. One day I stumbled upon a French term, "atelier," meaning an artist's studio, and it became a new dream to create such a space for myself—a space absolutely dedicated to making something with my hands and then sending it off into the world. The rest unfolded over time, following whispers from my heart... like seeing the magic of black and white film in the dark room, capturing the romantic nostalgia of Paris, or chasing puffy clouds until they have made it through my lens.

In 2010, I started to practice meditation and really began to look inward and focus on figuring out who I am, my ‘true self.’ I decided to quit my job, bought a new lap top and finally built a website to showcase my photos. Since then, I got engaged, moved out of Santa Monica to Fresno, CA, and decided to open an Etsy store. I needed a name for the shop, so my fiancĂ© and I brainstormed for a while. We came up with the name, Young Swan Designs, because we both believe in the potential of each individual, and the idea that we can all turn into a beautiful swan like in the fable of "The Ugly Duckling.” The shop has been open since October 2011, and the process has been a lot of fun!


What causes you to gravitate towards photographing nature?

Patterns! Nature is always changing, revealing an infinite array of patterns, making it a constant source of inspiration. Being from Guam, where it is summer all year round, I grew up without ever experiencing the changing of seasons. This year I enjoyed the beauty of Fall for the first time in Fresno which inspired my Autumn collection on Etsy. I'm currently in Michigan visiting my fiancĂ©'s family, and am working on my first Winter series!


What drives your passion for photography? 


As a photographer, I am passionate about being as authentic and prolific as possible. Having a background in Product Design, I have been greatly influenced by Karim Rashid. He has designed over 3,000 products and continues to inspire the next generation of designers. I saw the medium of photography to be best suited to express my personal vision and create as many bodies of work as I can. For a deeper poetic statement I wrote on "Why I Photograph...” read here.

How do you stay inspired?

I see my camera as a treasure box where I get to be an adventurer collecting precious gems. The camera seems to make life more magical. My true inspiration comes from my passion for travel. I want to see the world. And I see the camera as the way to venture around the globe. My Etsy shop is where I get to share my goodies with others, to then ship them back out into the world again! I also love walking through stores with elements of things I love, such as paper goods, cookbooks, gifts, photography and design. My mind brims with ideas and I’m left wondering how these products made it here. It inspires me to make new products and get them on the shelves.


Sometimes when I get into a lull, I watch the commencement speech that Steve Jobs gave to our graduating class at Stanford in '05. It's impossible to not feel inspired after listening to his profound nuggets of wisdom. His speech helped me realize that whenever you feel lost, you aren't really lost; you just forgot what you already knew because things oftentimes get in the way of carving your unique path as an artist. His insights also helped me make some major decisions in my life, such as packing up all of my things in a U-Haul and driving from Palo Alto to Santa Monica, CA to start my life as an independent artist. Here is Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech in ‘05.



Thanks so much Deborah! Keep pursuing that dream and doing what you love. You can also check out Deborah's portfolio and blog.

To win the calendar, all you have to do is visit Deborah's Etsy shop, and comment below telling us about your favorite piece :) We will announce the winner next week. Good luck and Happy Weekend!!



16 comments:

Donna said...

Beautiful work! I'm a sucker for a sunset and all of her shots are gorgeous, but I think I like the Elmer's glue car the best! :)

Thanks for introducing your readers to so many fabulous creative!

ranu said...

So gorgeous! I love calendars and these have the prettiest photos on them. I love the Santa Monica lifeguard stand!

Amber Madrid said...

Wow these photos are amazing! I have to say its a toss up between the europe shots and the santa monica peir! Having been to Ireland multiple times, the shots make me miss the beauty of everything over there. Also the santa monica peir at night is just the best. When I lived in LA I would drive there just to watch the sunset amd the lights come on. Young Swan Designs is amazing!

Melanie said...

What a gift she has. I love all the nature photos, the ocean, trees and leaves! My favorite is the one called Kaleidoscope Leaves. The colors are so beautiful and vibrant!

DerekPadula said...

Yep, she's an amazing photographer. Pretty, too! Of course I may be a little bias, since she's my fiance!

Nancy said...

I like the one with many persimmons.

Megan Renck said...

Her work is incredible. I especially liked her autumn leaves photos. The colors were so subtly vibrant. They made me happy.

Darin Padula said...

And I'm a little biased as well, since the fiancee is someone I introduced to my brother, Derek, but the work does stand on its own! Amazing art shots, with an eye for capturing the real essence of a place.

lilyvale said...

I LOVE the santa monica sunset with the lifeguard tower. Makes me think of high school and summers on the beach. So welcome now I'm I'm living outside of california!

rachel said...

Fave is the "Santa Monica Pier at Night Photo" I LOVE the colors in the water. PS, I'm starting a new job in two weeks and it would be pretty sweet to have a calendar to hang up at my new desk.

Aaron Wulf said...

Deborah is one of my favorite people: talented, passionate, and 100% authentic.

Great interview with her, Joanna! And Deborah: Loved Steve Job's commencement speech. Very inspiring. Hope you are doing great!

Rebecca - A Daily Something said...

I'm loving the Santa Monica Print ... Ferris Wheel!!

saavylistener said...

The Italy Photograph - Rome Italy - Cityscape is breathtaking.
I've seen many pictures of the place and from that angle, it is so much more. You see the people congregating in the middles as the statues from above look down upon them. The buildings never seem to end as the fog covers the edges of the city and fades into the mountains. It just makes me pause in awe since this ancient city has transformed into what it is today while still staying true to its architectural roots.

Amber Dugan said...

I personally love the piece entitled Dream Team of the line of birds flying across the sky. It's so pretty and simple, although all of her other photos are breathtaking as well.

Maria Schwaller said...

Ooo... what beautiful pictures! I really love the Venice Photograph - Gondolas in Italy - Black and White Film one. Reminds me of my honeymoon in Venice. :)

Joanna Waterfall said...

Congrats Amber- you won! Send me an email at joannanoelwaterfall@gmail.com and we will get you your calendar!

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