Design Links: A Chain of Creative Inspiration, Part 2

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Editor’s Note: This is part two in Emily Potts’ new series, Design Links. Every other week, will feature three artists whose work offers fresh, fun and stimulating creative inspiration. Each artist picks the next link—someone who personally inspires him/her. Check out the first part in the series, featuring John Foster, David Plunkert and Seymour Chwast, here

Jenn David Connolly

Jenn David Connolly, of Jenn David Design, designs lush, beautiful boutique packaging for gourmet foods and specialty brands. The packaging, which features elegant photography and illustration is so nice you won’t to discard it after the product is gone! Another thing we love about Jenn, is her vintage poster website, where she sells posters and postcards of her illustrated cityscapes. She’s taken a passion of hers, illustration, and turned it into a side business. Who wouldn’t want to take their passion and turn it into a money-making venture?

JDD hawaiian nougat co

Hawaiian Nougat Company makes amazing, authentic French nougat but with all local Hawaiian ingredients. Since it is mainly given as an authentic Hawaiian gift from travelers or locals to non-islanders, Jenn created a package design that conveys everything about the taste and experience visually on the outside of the package, while also justifying the premium price point. The bright colors and beautiful imagery make it more giftable, conveying the feel of Hawaii, while still allowing the product itself to be visible. The box protects the product better, heavily decreases the manual labor involved in packing it, and is a cost-effective solution—utilizing the same dieline for all flavors, and the inner cello bag providing a barrier for the window (no additional film required on the box window).

JDD stacey & mom

Stacey & MOM is a mother/daughter team launching their frozen line of nutritious takes on traditional foods without sacrificing anything on the taste front. Their creations celebrate the joy of finding creative ways to help people eat for optimal health. Jenn transformed their brand design to convey authenticity and heritage, and a packaging design utilizing beautiful photography that puts the food in the forefront. The result is beautiful simplicity that echoes that same intent of the food, and portrays the Stacy & MOM for the sophisticated brand that they are.

Jenn David Connolly is inspired by ….

RaShelle Roberts

RaShelle has been creatively inspiring me for years as a mentor. She continually inspires me to take a whole approach to my life, both business and personal. She has shown me how the two are interconnected, and I find that the more I integrate them, the more streamlined and centered my life and work become. Her collage paintings have inspired me to do my own collage artwork, applying my love of working with imagery and type—which I draw on daily in my business—to my personal joy of creating in general. Since I’ve been doing this, I’ve experienced a newfound clarity and passion which brings my life full circle, uniting my personal and professional sides and transcending into something even greater. RaShelle has shown me how the act of creating in this way can become a ritual that brings discovery, exploration, and insight, truly integrating into and enhancing all areas of life.


Aside from the sheer beauty of this piece, I love how RaShelle transforms messages that we are bombarded with in everyday advertising into a bigger message of empowerment. The words become declarations and inspirations. Instead of their original purpose of “buy this and feel this way,” RaShelle shows us that we can declare to feel this way now, no matter who or where we are in life. Repurposing an old book that would otherwise have been destined for the dump reinforces the meaning of renewal, rebirth, and transformation, all encapsulated perfectly in the butterfly form.

Open rrbook

There are a lot of pieces by RaShelle that I love, but this seemingly simple yet incredibly alluring one had me engrossed from the moment I first saw it. Naturally, the book format with text visible among the artwork draws us in to want to read it. But when we start to read it we find that it’s a somewhat complicated text, and parts of it are obscured by the rustic elegant detail overlaid onto it. Not to mention that it’s in the middle of a story we know nothing about. We are getting a glimpse into something here, and certain words come forth that evoke certain feelings, which turns the meaning back to us to bring our own interpretation to it. I can look at this and each time different words stand out to me, giving new meaning to the piece. It is both static and dynamic at the same time, and introspective.

RaShelle Roberts is inspired by …

Laura Zollar

Laura inspires me because of the way she intuitively creates. I met Laura many years ago when she was running her ad agency. I got to know her though after she left design and became a full time artist. I’ve witnessed her paint and it’s an extraordinary experience to watch the way her paintings emerge. I own both of the pieces I chose. I look at them daily and want the world to see her inspiring work. The detail she so intricately pays attention to, draws me in daily. It inspires me to stay true to my own art. Laura has inspired me to express myself no matter what it may look like. She has taught me to listen to what wants to be painted and to keep following the feelings that want to be expressed.


This tray was for an art auction to raise money for a local program that gives food to kids who don’t have access to it away from the normal school day. I was part of putting on this event and asked Laura to paint a lunch tray for us to auction. I picked this project to share because it shows her love and commitment to beauty, detail and giving back. It inspires me to see such beauty on a simple lunch tray. It was one of the biggest money makers that night. I was happy to pay for it. The details and message speak for themselves. Eye Of Venus

Laura has so many gorgeous pieces it was definitely hard to choose which ones to share. I ended up choosing these two primarily because I know them so well. If you investigate her work further you’ll see why it would be hard to choose. This is called The Eye of Venus. A custom piece Laura painted for me. Again, taking in the detailed work is an experience all of its own. The changing of seasons. The depth of Venus and her love as it pours out of her. She so finely plays on each layer until it becomes an ever emerging expression of beauty and love. We are able to witness life transform before our eyes.

Tune in two weeks from now to see who inspires Laura Zollar!