label/Muse of the month


MUSE OF the Month: Luke Bott

We were searching for a Kansas designer to interview for our new Muse of the Month series and were very excited when we stumbled upon Luke Bott. I loved the flatness of his work and his perfect use of color. We asked him for a little interview and he was so nice to oblige during this crazy holiday season.

1. Tell us a little about your background as an artist/graphic designer:
The first time I can recall noticing design was when I saw the World Wildlife Fund logo as a kid. I love the way it used positive and negative space–although, at that time I didn’t understand what that meant exactly.  Also, at an early age I discovered comic books and a love of illustration. In my senior year in high school I enjoyed Photoshop which is really what got me interested in computers.  At that time I was considering animation as a career.  It was at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, where my interests shifted from animation to print and environmental graphics.  At Fort Hays I studied under Chaiwat Thumsujarit and Karrie Simpson Voth, receiving my Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design in 2002.  From there I worked at Barkley Evergreen and Partners for a short time and started at Gardner Design in 2003.  I began at Gardner as a Designer and in 2006 became an Art Director.

2. What inspires you to illustrate a particular scene?
I find inspiration in lots of places.  Recently, for example, my nephew has taken an interest in Roman and Greek mythology and wanted me to illustrate some of the gods. Its really been fun process trying to incorporate them in to my style.

3. Design motto?
Just have fun with it. 

work by Mary Blair
4. Your perfect use of color is admirable (we continuously set records on the amount of colors we play with). Attempting to avoid the question “what is your favorite color,” can you just tell us a little about the process of your choices?
Lately my color choices are inspired by Mary Blair. She really understood color and her illustration style is absolutely beautiful! I’m also currently inspired by children’s clothing and toys. Probably since we just had a baby. 

5. We’ve pursed your portfolio an embarrassing amount of times. Can’t decide on a favorite (Nesting Bots or Tweet, but we also love the birth announcement (belated congrats) you made for your daughter)! Do you have a favorite? 
Thanks–for the compliment and the congrats.  My favorite piece is “Typewriter.”
6. What is your connection to Kansas and how long have you been there?
Lived here all of my life, 33 years now.

7. How does the Kansas scenery influence/affect your work? 
The wind inspires me to go inside and work.  Also, the night sky always helps me to clear my mind.  

8. Favorite thing about Kansas? Least favorite thing about Kansas?
My favorite thing is being able to see the stars at night.
I would say my least favorite thing would be the wind. It is bad as is, but when its the winter its absolutely terrible! 

9. Any Kansas secret hot spots (restaurants, parks, experiences, towns) you want to divulge?
I personally like my wife’s hometown of Hoxie. It is a small town located in Northwest Kansas and is a nice place to escape to for some peace and quiet.  I love the restaurants in Wichita.  There are so many great little local places.  It’s hard to pick a favorite.

10. Are there any other Places You Have Been or Places You Have Never Been which particularly inspire you and why?
I have never been to space. I would like to go there someday and meet aliens and robots.

Thanks Luke!


Muse of the Month: Meredith Perdue from & unlimited

Our Maine Muse of the Month is Meredith Perdue. Meredith captures portraits of pets and weddings with her beautiful photographs. We are thrilled to be able to feature her work and have her answer a few questions about Maine and her photography! Thanks Meredith!!

1. Tell us a little about your background as an artist 
I fell in love with photography at an early age when my grandmother gave me my first Minolta camera.  Growing up, I took classes both in high school & in college.  I was lucky enough to be able to take a photography class during my time abroad in Florence, Italy.  It was hands-down my favorite course during my time as a student!  After graduating from school, pursuing my dream of being a photographer only made sense!
2. There is such a positive, lovely message behind “& unlimited.” Tell us a little about it. How did the name evolve?  
& unlimited is based on the idea of life’s unlimited connections.  I document the connections between people & the things they love- their significant others, their families, their pets- all of their life’s loves.  My love for the meaning & the design of the ampersand came first, and the notion of documenting connections followed.  The word “unlimited” seemed perfect for what I was trying to convey. 
3. How does the beautiful Maine scenery influence/affect your work? What’s your connection to Maine? 
Maine is simply an extraordinary place.  We’re so fortunate to live only a block away from the island-spotted, rocky coastline, and only a few minutes out of one of the cutest cities in the country, Portland.  Although the scenes within five minutes of our home would be enough inspiration for years of photography, it doesn’t end there.  The small towns, the mountains, the foliage, the rivers, the lakes- all of it creates a seemingly endless natural inspiration.  
My boyfriend, Michael, and I are relatively new to Maine, as we moved here two years ago after graduating from college.  Having both grown up in North Carolina, we were anxious for a change.  We’ve found that the overall lifestyle in Maine suits us quite well, and right now, I cannot imagine us living anywhere else!
4. Favorite thing about Maine? Least favorite thing about Maine? 
Living so close to the water is certainly one of the things in my life for which I am most thankful.  Portland, recently named as one of America’s Foodiest Small Towns by Bon Appetit, constantly impresses us with its amazing restaurant scene. Fall in Maine cannot be beat- it is definitely my favorite time of the year.  
When they find out that we’re from the South, most Mainers always ask us about our experiences with Maine winters.  To be honest, the winters are not so bad, as long as you are able to get out & enjoy them!  Springtime is what we miss the most about living in North Carolina- there is just not as much of a spring in Maine.
5. Any Maine secret hot spots (restaurants, parks, experiences, towns) you want to divulge? 
Two of my very favorite trail systems in Southern Maine are Wolfe’s Neck State Park in Freeport & Robinson Woods in Cape Elizabeth.  This summer I was exposed to a couple of Maine’s most beautiful, lesser known islands- Isle of Springs & Hupper Island.  Both have that magical ability to take you away from the hustle & bustle of everyday life.  Picking a favorite restaurant in Portland is impossible, but we’re almost always up for a trip to DuckfatFore StreetCaiola’sFlatbreadEl Rayo, or The Good Table.
6. Is there anywhere you would absolutely love to do a photo shoot? 
In Maine, it would be hard for me to ever turn down a coastal or an island photo shoot.  I’ve been blessed with some great ones, both on & overlooking the water, and cannot imagine many better spots for a shoot. Outside of Maine, my trips out west to the mountains of Colorado & Wyoming have offered some of the most awe-inspiring views I can remember.  An opportunity to shoot somewhere like Jackson Hole or Aspen would be incredible!
7. Are there any other Places You Have Been or Places You Have Never Been which particularly inspire you and why? 
I’ve always been drawn to the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, a Place I Have Never Been.  The color, even in the grays, seems majestic.  I’ve always wanted to explore the coast & the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, so I’m incredibly excited to be shooting a wedding in Oregon next August!
8. Do you have a “most memorable moment” during a photo shoot?  Or a favorite photograph?
Out of all of the talk of the gorgeous scenery around me, one of my favorite photographs was taken from the comfort of my own home- a shot looking through the legs of one of the greatest loves of my life- my tall & lanky black lab, Orvis.
9. How much planning goes into a session? Or is it more organic, and you try to let things happen naturally. 
All of the planning for my photography sessions comes from getting to know my clients as best I can ahead of time.  I believe this makes everyone a bit more relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera, and helps to create beautiful, natural moments. 

10. Who is easier to photograph – people or dogs?
You rarely have to convince a dog to smile or warm up to the camera.  A few treats and the good times roll!

* Our new series, Muse of the Month will be featuring an artist / designer from our featured place. Next month’s feature is Kansas, if you know someone who should be featured send over their name and website to