July 2018 Design & Art Event Hotlist

We’re all about bringing the creative community together, and we get positively giddy when we see the plethora of local events that give us opportunities to celebrate art and design. The “problem,” then, is how to choose which events to attend.

That’s where In/Visible Talks’ co-founders Arianna Orland and Dava Guthmiller step up. As long-time practicing designers, they have thriving personal and professional networks that help them keep their fingers on the pulse of local culture. And each month they curate a list of the events they think are the Must-Dos.

This month, we’re totally geeking out on everything letterform. But that’s not all that’s happening in the Bay Area’s art and design world. There are great lectures, exhibits, fairs, and festivals, all primed to inspire your creativity.

As a bonus, many of the July events we’re featuring have free admission, so you can spend your cash on some new pieces that will inspire you for many summers to come.

Please say “Hi!” when you see us out and about!

Feeling Things Deeply with Artist & Illustrator Carissa Potter

Join us for an In/Visible Talks Salon at Chronicle Books in conversation with author and illustrator Carissa Potter of People I’ve Loved. Carissa’s work is honest, clever and cuts straight to the heart. At this fireside chat we’ll hear about the evolution of her distinct style, where she finds inspiration, and the challenges she encounters in navigating the creative process. Attendees will get a 30% discount off their Chronicle bookstore purchase during the event. Get your ticket now!

Intro Tours at the Letterform Archive.

We have a serious crush on letterforms. To get your creative juices flowing, take the free 90-minute guided tour at the Letterform Archive and discover their collection of treasures including books, posters, sketches, medieval manuscripts, and digital type. Every Tuesday and Thursday, 2:00–3:30. 1001 Mariposa Street #307, San Francisco.


Described as “fontastic”, monthly TypeThursday meet-ups are held in cities all over the world for mingling, discussing, and critiquing among letterform lovers from all disciplines. Sign up to present your work for the group crit! Your $10 ticket includes drinks+food. Must be 21+. July 12. San Francisco Center for the Book, 375 Rhode Island Street, San Francisco.

Inflatable: Expanding Works of Art.

The artists/engineers behind Inflatable have infused their creations with technology, scale, and creative complexity that expand our vision of what contemporary art can look like. This event gets an extra thumbs-up from us because it’s been curated by Christopher Jobson, founder and editor-in-chief of Colossal, a phenomenal blog that celebrates visual art, design, and culture. Through September 3. Exploratorium, Pier 15, San Francisco.

Type@CooperWest Letterform Lecture Series.

Calling all typophiles! Type@CooperWest, the Letterform Archive, and the San Francisco Public Library are co-presenting three events this July as part of a free lecture series dedicated to all things letterform. July 10, 17, and 31. Koret Auditorium at the Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco.

Renegade Craft Fair.

Hundreds of indie crafters are coming from all over the U.S. to showcase their ceramics, paper goods, home furnishings, textiles, art, and more. We know we’re going to get inspired. Free admission. July 14–15. Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco.

SF Art Book Fair.

Over 100 amazing exhibitors from around the world will be at this annual free festival. With loads of freshly inked paper with beautiful type, illustrations, and images to inspire our eyes and our brains, what’s not to love? July 20–22. Minnesota Street Project, 1275 Minnesota Street, San Francisco.

Members of the In/Visible Talks team are always on the lookout for new ways to get inspired. Check out our blog to read reviews of some of the other events and conferences we’ve attended recently.

For San Francisco Design Week, Panelists From In/Visible Talks and Creativity Explored Discuss “Unexpected Inspiration”

Why do you create art and design? How do you get inspired, especially when you feel stuck? Does setting boundaries help you succeed?

Moderated by In/Visible Talks co-founder Dava Guthmiller, a panel of experts sat down on June 13 to discuss these and other art+design+life questions for “Unexpected Inspiration,” a special event during 2018’s San Francisco Design Week. Joining Dava were Arianna Orland, In/Visible Talks co-founder and the printer behind Paper Jam Press, artist Gerald Wiggins, and fine artist and instructor Gilles Combet. The gathering represented an ongoing cultural partnership with In/Visible Talks and Creativity Explored.

For 35 years, Creativity Explored has given adult artists with developmental disabilities the means to create and share their work with the community. Two studio spaces in San Francisco provide the workspace for these artists to express themselves through textiles, painting, sculpture, digital design, and other media, and a physical and online gallery makes their work available for purchase. The organization is a nonprofit, which allows the 60+ artists who are part of the program to earn significant income from their sales.

While many of Creativity Explored’s artists have artwork in galleries and museums, some just come to create. “It’s a great place to express yourself, especially for people who are nonverbal,” says Director of Licensing Ann Kappes. “Here they have a place to be completely themselves,” says Gilles. “It’s fantastic.”

As soon as you walk through the gallery and into the large workspace, you can feel the lingering buzz of tremendous creative energy. It’s even stronger when artists are at work, and visitors are welcome between 9 and 2 on weekdays. You can watch the artists working side by side on their individual projects, and observe their focus and their passion, while you feed your inspiration. “There’s a language here, feelings, intelligence,” says Gilles. “It’s like going to a different country and a window opens that shows you something you’ve never seen anywhere else.”

Until you can get there for a visit, here are some inspirational highlights from the panel’s talk.

When did you first realize you needed to be in a creative field?

Arianna: I think I knew the first time my mom asked me to make salad—I was about six years old—and she told me it was beautiful. There is something about making something physical, big and small, and having it appreciated that is so satisfying. When I started letterpress printing, I loved having to move my body. I loved that I could touch it, that I could have that one-to-one connection. I was looking for that happiness.

Gilles: When I was a kid, I drew a lot. I grew up in Paris and went to lots of museums. It [art] was too easy, so I tried other things: dance, carpentry. During the dot-com crash, I had no job and it was a disaster, so I thought, “I’ll do this for a while.” It’s been 17 years.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Gerald: From watching people. From walking here. I get off bus, see people—sometimes not-nice stuff, sometimes nice stuff.

Arianna: It’s really a creative meditation for me. I use the same letterforms, paper, and press. I can access the creative flow.

In design, we have boundaries such as budgets and deadlines. When you’re creating art for yourself, do you put boundaries on yourself?

Arianna: I create boundaries with time or materials. In 2009, I told myself “I want to fill a wall.” It took me till 2014 to get 40 posters.

Gerald: I work slow, take my time. I work from top to bottom in clay: head first, then neck. [Gerald works in clay, pencil, drawings and on computer.]

Gilles: Gerald has a way of working. It’s so exquisite, so detailed. All the solids [in his digital work] are lines, not fill. He is so detailed, so completely into the work. Also so positive. Look at his animals; there’s so much tenderness.

When I work on my stuff, I try to set a date when I can show it to people. It forces me to have all this together. That stress, as the deadline gets closer, is enjoyable

What do you do when you’re stuck?

Arianna: By switching to different projects. I like to have a lot of things going on. If I’m not making, I’m not happy.

Gerald: Start it first, get some details in, and if you don’t like it, you can go back in later and fix it.

How has being an instructor influenced your creativity?

Giles: When something comes out that is beautiful, it makes me feel there’s magic in the world—and I’m part of it!

What advice would you give to someone who is pursuing a side gig or creative outlet?

Arianna: It’s a muscle. It’s a practice, and you have to cultivate it.

Gerald: Jump straight in, but take your time.

Gilles: Make space, space away from phones. Isolate yourself. Go to your secret garden and just sit there for a while.

Why do you do art?

Gilles: Art is everywhere here, it’s like breathing. I work for the pleasure of it. There’s no need of any goals or results.

Gerald: Just because it makes me happy.

Visit Creativity Explored’s gallery and main studio at 3245 16th Street in San Francisco. To learn more about their program and upcoming events, sign up for their mailing list.

Want to stay in the know about more events like this? Sign Up to get updates.

In/Visible Talks 2018: “The Intersections of Art and Design”

At what point does design become art? Why and how should design embrace art more deeply? How do the disciplines of art and design affect and influence each other?

Photo by Gamma Nine Photography

In/Visible Talks Co-Founder and Paper Jam Press Founder Arianna Orland posed these and other deep questions to Artist Heather Day, Senior Brand Designer at Pinterest Tim Belonax, Co-Founder of Imprint Projects Adam Katz, and Artist and Designer Brian Singer, panelists at January 2018 In/Visible Talks conference. Through the discussion, each opened the doors to their studios and revealed key elements of their creative processes.

Attendees shared with us some of their takeaways, including:

“Rules are very useful creative constraints. We must define them—or at least understand them—before we break them.”

“I’m not a machine for churning out commissions!”

“We all need to support an ecosystem of creatives.”

We’ve been hard at work programming the 2019 conference with talks about the process, inspiration, and challenges of being a creative professional. We can’t wait to share it with you. Sign up to be the first to know when tickets go on sale.

In/Visible Talks Founders Announce Exciting Partnership with Creativity Explored

In/Visible Talks’ co-founders Dava Guthmiller and Arianna Orland have long been fans of Creativity Explored’s work. Dava has been a patron since she just happened by an event at their Mission gallery 15 years ago. “I bought my first piece from John Patrick McKenzie at that first show,” she says, “and have been hooked ever since.” She has since purchased over 20 pieces from various artists, making her a devoted collector of “outsider art”.

Founded in 1983 by Florence Ludins-Katz and Elias Katz, Creativity Explored gives artists with developmental disabilities the opportunities, means, and studio space to create, and a gallery from which they can share—and sell—their work. More than 15,000 people visit the gallery and studio annually, and locals have consistently lauded Creativity Explored as the “Best Art Gallery in the Bay Area.”

Always looking for new takes on the creative process, Dava and Arianna have been inspired by the organization’s philosophies. “At Creativity Explored, the creative process is fully embraced in service of different motivations and outcomes than those that exist in the commercial design world,” says Arianna. “There’s a lot to be learned from that.”

So, naturally, when Dava and Arianna first started envisioning what would become In/Visible Talks and began to consider cultural partners, Creativity Explored was on their short list. “We wanted to be inclusive of the voices behind creative outcomes,” says Arianna. “Both Dava and I felt really strongly about hearing perspectives on the creative process from inside and outside of the commercial world.”

Creativity Explored made the first move. “Out of the blue, they sent us a note, telling us how excited they were about the first In/Visible Talks conference—and would we consider partnering with them,” says Arianna. The parties got together on the phone and started brainstorming. As a result, we’ve already held a Creative Studios Spring Cleaning Art Materials Drive benefiting Creativity Explored, an artist and a teacher from Creativity Explored appeared on a panel that Dava moderated at StARTup Art Fair, and Director of Licensing Ann Kappes is confirmed as one of our speakers at the 2019 In/Visible Talks Conference.

Coming up, the partnership will be on full display at San Francisco Design Week. Artwork created with materials collected at the Spring Cleaning Drive will be shown at their studio from June 2nd to the 17th, and on Wednesday, June 13, In/Visible Talks and Creativity Explored will present “Unexpected Inspiration,” a special event where we’ll be looking at what motivates people to create.

We hope you’ll join us there.

June 2018 Design & Art Event Hotlist

We’re so fortunate to have an abundance of outstanding design and art events in the Bay Area. But how do you decide which ones are the must-dos?

Introducing In/Visible Talks’ monthly picks for the very best in the Bay for design, art, and inspiration.

As longtime residents (over 20 years) and practicing designers, our co-founders, Arianna Orland and Dava Guthmiller, have built strong networks and have their fingers on the pulse of local culture. Through personal and professional relationships—and from the umpteen mailing lists they’re on—they hear about all the coolest people, places, and events.

A key part of the In/Visible Talks’ mission is to bring the creative community together. So, to keep you in the know, each month Arianna and Dava will scope out all the possibilities, then post their curated list of what they feel offers the best opportunities for creative inspiration.

Many of these book up quickly. If you see something that intrigues you, save your spot now. We hope to see you there!

San Francisco Design Week.

Over 100 designed-focused events—including workshops and talks about branding, architecture, technology, robotics, and more—are scheduled. On Wednesday, June 13, we’re partnering with Creativity Explored to look at what motivates people to create. June 7–15. Locations throughout the Bay Area.

We’d love to see you on June 13th at our Design Week event, Unexpected Inspiration!

West Coast Craft Summer

Find more than 250 artisans; featuring designers and craftspeople who draw inspiration from the mood and aesthetics of the West Coast lifestyle. If you miss it in June, they’ll be back in SF for your winter shopping. June 9-10. Fort Mason Center, San Francisco.

29 Rooms.

We’re so excited Refinery29 is bringing their funhouse of creativity, culture, and style to San Francisco for the first time! This tour’s theme, “Turn It Into Art,” taps into the transformative and healing power of creativity. June 21–24. 3362 Palace Drive, San Francisco.

René Magritte: The Fifth Season at SFMOMA.

Featuring more than 70 artworks in nine immersive, thematic galleries, René Magritte: The Fifth Season explores how Magritte balanced irony and conviction, philosophy and fantasy, to illuminate the gaps between what we see and what we know. Through October 28. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Themes & Projects Gallery—Rewind Solo Show.

A self-taught visual artist, Lucky Rapp creates high-gloss, graphic art pieces that blend design and fine art. We can’t get enough of her work, and we’re excited to see what she has for us at this solo show. Reception June 2; Exhibition: June 2–July 31. Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco.

Weapons of Mass Seduction: The Art of Propaganda.

Before Tweets, propaganda posters were among the most powerful tools of psychological warfare. See how the art of graphic design was weaponized during World Wars I and II in this selection from the collection of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts. Through October 7. DeYoung Museum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

Burning Man Desert Arts Preview.

Amazing art gets built for Burning Man. If you can’t make it to the main event (August 26–September 3), you can get a sneak peek here of what you’ll later see on everyone’s Instagram feed. June 3. Nourse Theater, San Francisco.

Members of the In/Visible Talks team are always on the lookout for new ways to get inspired. Check out reviews of some of the other events and conferences we’ve attended recently at on the blog!