Celebrating Design and the Spirit of Adventure with Modern Map Art

Great design is eliminating all unnecessary details. – Minh D. Tran

For the past year, my husband Jeff and I have plugging away at a midcentury modern renovation. We’ve worked to carefully preserve with intention and remove much of the clutter, carpet and old paneling that suffocated the space.

With more of the home’s architectural details highlighted, we also wanted to bring in more complementary artwork that celebrated modern design. I was beyond excited when the founder of Modern Map Art, Jennifer Beck, offered to send me a 24″ x 36″ map of Des Moines for our newly renovated home. The clean lines of the black and white aerial view are a fascinating interpretation of a city that I see in hills and trees and rivers every day.

Modern Map Art is a very new company. Conceived by Jennifer in 2016 after a global adventure and honeymoon, Modern Map Art explores city grids and imagery of locations from Philadelphia to Bangladesh to Bear Mountain’s ski trail.

Because I love a good backstory, I sent over some additional questions about her design inspiration.

Q: What are some particular influences and/or specific maps that inspired Modern Map Art’s design?

Jennifer: I enjoy simple designs. When I started to design the map posters, I wanted to strip away as much as possible to create something that wasn’t very complicated. I actually started at this level of just land, water, and roads, and once I started there I didn’t want to add anything else to the maps.

Q: Which types of home decor and aesthetic(s) do these maps work best with?

Jennifer: Modern/contemporary designs work best with our posters, but we have had people use them in cabins and other houses that have a more traditional look.

Q: How do you want Modern Map Art owners to be inspired?

Jennifer: I want them to be inspired to show off the places that they love the most—whether it’s the place they grew up, the place the fell in love, the place they got married, honeymooned, or had a great time with friends and family. Some of our customers have made great use of our art, and you can see some of that on our Instagram feed.

Q: What are some of the most interesting cities that you’ve created Modern Map Art for?

Jennifer: Some of the more dense cities — Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong — make for the best posters because the detail of the streets really comes through, especially on our larger sizes.

For more information about art options and to shop Modern Map Art, go to www.modernmapart.com.

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Easy and Breezy: Fashion, Production, and Creative Serendipity

Last night DSM Magazine unveiled the May/June issue to a full house at the Kirkwood Hotel. The chardonnay was flowing, the buffet from Vivan’s was divine, and the weather was balmy perfection. While I always enjoy a good DSM Magazine event and catching up with arts and culture appreciators from around town, this one was really special because it had my production on the front cover!

This was such a feel-good effort all around — one of those blissful projects where there are absolutely no hiccups and everything clicks from planning to on-set dynamics.

Here are some love notes and special mentions for the people that helped bring it all together:

  • Annabel Wimer and Christine Ricelli for being an outstanding design and editorial duo at DSM Magazine. I always learn so much working with Annabel and Christine – they are tough, smart, and nurturing professionals that inspire me to always submit my best versions.
  • Austin Hyler and Andy Sommer for outstanding photography. I cannot recommend Austin enough for his thoughtful, collaborative process and meticulous attention to details. From planning to photoshoot to editing, his eye for beauty and composition is perfection.
  • Kelsey Bulat for being an ethereal model for this concept. We completely skipped hair and make-up styling for this production, because Kelsey embodies a look and vibe that is fresh, natural, and beautiful. Kelsey is also an amazing, accomplished food stylist in her career and a mama to many plants at home (#jungalowstyle :)), so she brought a spectacular attention to the little (but very important!) details.
  • Jeff Naples for being everything and my favorite production partner. I could write pages and pages about being married to another creative, and working with Jeff on-set is one of my favorite things we do together. He has countless ideas for bringing things to life, and when I’m thinking about all the production details, it’s nice to have his balance of vision.
  • Lindsay Berger for being a dear friend and stylist mentor. I am so glad Lindsay came to help on-set — having her confidence, experience, and supportive and happy personality is invaluable always.
  • April Goode and the team at Goode Greenhouses for being so accommodating and letting us take over their greenhouses on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. As a plant lady too, I really appreciate the extensive collection of heirloom blooms that the greenhouse offers.
  • Mary and Gabrielle at Silver Fox — these ladies thought of everything! I so enjoyed visiting Silver Fox on Ingersoll and talking fashion and styling with these two. There is a thoughtfulness and care in what they do, and you can tell by all of the neighborhood women and their repeat clients that keep coming back to them year-after-year (for decades!) for all of their wardrobe needs.
  • And the stellar boutiques that generously allowed us to borrow gorgeous garments and accessories for the production, including Preservation, Domestica, Sahar’s, and Velvet Coat.
  • Last but not least, Henna by Maggie! Maggie’s henna magic showed up in the photos and lent a bohemian detail that accentuated the organic beauty of the shoot.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read the latest issue of DSM!

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