Huckberry is an adventure-lifestyle brand and publisher that inspires people to be more active, stylish and daring. The brand commissions me to write and illustrate for its Journal.
Published for digital in the Huckberry Journal July, 2015
Designers are alike in that they make a million little decisions in order to create a product or solve a problem; some of those decisions are aesthetic and others are structural. What separates these visionaries, though, is their worldview and how it dictates their style. So how can you differentiate the work of a mid-century modern designer from another? Start by asking yourself a few simple questions.
If any of the above stand out in the design, chances are that it’s Victorian clutter. Intricate patterns, plump tassels, Fenton table lamps with their fine marble bases and quilted amber glass —these are all examples of the ornate extravagance that spurred the modern design movement.
Momentum for that counter culture began when German architect Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus in 1919. His radical school taught students the importance of understated designs that were simultaneously functional and expressive; this celebrated a new relationship between art and industry. He exposed materials in their truest, most natural form — an approach that deeply influenced American designers, inventors, and artists in the years following World War II. Read More
Published for digital in the Huckberry Journal January, 2015
"Someone always, always asks the question, and so I learn to veil my nerves.
“Nope, not really that scared at all,” I say with a sustained grin. "But of course I'm scared," I think to myself in an actual response, from the moment my eyelids open to the moment they close.
Most everyone bought my bull and congratulated my fortitude on the spot, saying things like, “You’re going all by yourself? I could never do that!” My own mother, though, is none too enchanted by my bravery. In one of those panicked moments when I can't actually believe what I am about to head out to do, when my smile contains as much honest excitement as Gushers contain real fruit, she strikes.
“Just think of everything that can happen to a twenty-four year old woman driving five thousand miles alone, backpacking, staying with strangers and camping out in the wilderness. What if someone you interview reacts negatively? Violently? What if someone you photograph sues you, or worse, follows you back to your campsite, sees you cooking by yourself and makes an advance on you? Overpowers you? What if you run into a Grizzly bear? You gonna put your voice recorder up to his drooling mouth and ask for his perception of joy? This whole thing is just… it’s romantic, Nicole, this sleeping under a starry blanket, this touching hearts business — I mean, really, what the hell are you thinking?” Read More
Published for digital in the Huckberry Journal December, 2014
If cookies were White Elephant gifts, Kourambiethes would be stolen and guarded, lost and gained as Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, Spritz and Thumbprint cookies sit idle, forgotten. Such coveted, crumbly, powdered-sugar clouds are a traditional Greek Christmas dessert, though one that does not require Greek heritage of its baker — rather it requires only butter. Lots of butter.
“In Greece, we made ours from sheep milk,” my grandfather said in unbalanced English from the head of his kitchen table. His r’s rolling, his pauses hanging, his left forearm drawing close to his bicep so that his index finger, crooked and inflamed, pointed up to the ceiling. “Our village: one day’s walk from town,” he continued, “so we only go for spices. Fabrics. Everything else — cheese, butter, bread — your Yiayia, she make herself.”
To this day, in their modest house in Oakland, California, my Yiayia and Papou continue to live by the maxims of their youth. Vegetables come from their garden, dresses from her sewing machine. No housekeeper, no processed foods. Read More