Design + Illustration Studio

Design Updates + Inspirations


Archive: Feb 2013

Spaces // Jen Serafini

Happy Monday everyone. We’re kicking off the week with a peak into Graphic Designer, Jen Serafini’s workspace. It’s so cool to see Jen’s workspace because she was recently inspired by one of the past Spaces features, and made a new desk! It looks awesome!

I’m also starting to see how differently everyone uses their drawing tablets! You’ll see here, Jen uses hers directly in front of her keyboard. Mine stays put on the right side. How do you use yours? Left / Middle / Right? 
Check it out!
Tell us about yourself as a creative.
Hi! My name is Jen Serafini and I’m a communications designer and art director living in the Windy City. For me, designing is more than just making things look pretty, but telling a story through every brand and business I work with.
Describe your creative journey.
My creative journey started at a very young age. I consider design my first true love – besides Bruce Springsteen, of course! (I’m  a NJ girl if you couldn’t tell ) I was always intrigued by images and typography and how they worked together to tell beautiful stories. I worked up a pretty sweet collection of clothing labels, product packaging and magazine cut outs and displayed them all over my room. At the time I didn’t really know what all of that was, but I really enjoyed looking at it.
I took a lot of art classes growing up, and then in high school we had a class called graphic design – from then on it all made sense and I knew that was for me! It’s funny to think back on what I thought design was and what I know it to be now – at the time it was a lot of calligraphy, pen & ink drawing and the occasional Photoshop project. College really opened my eyes to all of the possibilities when pursuing design.
I spent four years at Syracuse University where I earned my BFA in communications design. It really taught me to look at design as a holistic and strategic process that goes beyond just a pretty picture. When everything comes together and tells a cohesive story – that’s the good stuff 🙂
Right now I work from home as a senior art director. I also love working on freelance projects and of course blog every chance I get.
Share a little bit about your space.
Because I work from home, I really wanted a space that was functional and inspiring. I used to have a small desk facing the wall, but it was so boring that I ended up working from the couch most days! Since my husband also does a lot of work at the computer, we decided to build a desk big enough for both of us to to work side by side and also face outward toward the rest of our apartment. We used our existing Ikea book shelf legs and built an 8 foot long desk to sit on top of them. It was such a fun project for both of us, props to my husband for figuring out how to put the whole thing together! I was more of the motivating support 🙂 Now, I absolutely LOVE my work area, it’s so functional and large enough that I don’t feel cramped for space. Since we rent, I didn’t want to put too many holes in the wall, so I made a string line to be able to hang changing inspiration. We just got that black and white print for the back wall from Pennyweight Goods which I think adds the perfect touch.
What’s your favorite thing about your space?
I have to say my favorite thing is definitely the desk. When you go through the trouble of building something, you feel that much more motivated to work at it. That desk was built with a lot of love and hard work, and that makes it a really special piece for both of us.
What’s one thing you think every creative needs in their space?
Okay I have two things. First is a Wacom tablet!! This has changed my life. I started using it  a few years ago and  I can’t imagine going back to a regular mouse. It makes designing much more natural, not to mention way easier on your wrists. Second is an area to display inspiration. Whether you have a permanent framed wall or a board where you can tack things up, it’s always nice to have things to look at. It doesn’t even have to be design pieces; a picture or a note can really make the difference when you’re feeling uninspired.
Thanks Jen!
Check her out:
+ Portfolio
+ Blog
+ Twitter

Color Collection : Fuchsia

In honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I thought I would round up a collection of various Fuchsia finds.

In need of a last minute Valentine’s Day card? Check out my free V-Day download from last year!

1 – MadewellScallop Lace Top   |    2 – NARSLipstick Heat Wave    |    3 – Studio Pattern2013 Calendar    |    4 – Britt BrassPink Abstract    |    5 – TchmoUntitled ( Cloudscape )    |    6 –  Sylvia PratsPersonal Branding     |    7 –  MadewellPalate Trousers in Dash     |    8 – RoAndCo StudioNine10Eleven     |    9 – AnthrologieTie Dye Pouch    |    10 – BagguNeon Fox    |    11 – Clase BcnSia Murt




Really loving this brand identity for design bureau, Passport. The colors are so engaging. You really can’t go wrong when pairing neutrals like kraft, nude and cream with any kind of color, but this indigo, violet color is really amazing. This is also a really great example of how beneficial one stamp can be for various print materials.


I’ve put off ‘decorating’ our bedroom for the longest time. It’s one of those things I always felt like doesn’t get a lot of attention so why worry about it? Well I’ve decided this has to change. After a long day of work, I want to crawl into bed relaxed and inspired, like the rest of our home feels. To start, I thought I would get some miss-matched / matching pillows, to go with our cream bead spread.  I ordered these three little beauties this weekend. I’ve been eying the West Elm dip-dyed pillow for a while and CANNOT stop looking at Victoria, of SF Girl by Bay’s cottage makeover. It’s SO perfect. Right up my alley, with all that black/white/neutral. So I had to get the little Swiss cross pillow she shared.

What about you? Do you feel the same way about your bedroom? Or do you have one room in your house that might get neglected? How do you make a room inspiring?
Dip-Dyed / Triangles / Swiss