Painter Laura Berger Showcases Her Distinctive Style with a Website from Squarespace

May 29, 2019


“Days Like Fire”

For many people, the dream of being a full-time working artist is just a dream. But Chicagoan Laura Berger is living the dream. Berger, an accomplished painter and Squarespace user, is a rising star in the art world with recent solo shows at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco and Amsterdam’s Andenken Gallery. Berger’s instantly recognizable color palette and distinctive yet anonymous characters come together to form striking scenes that blur the line between representation and abstraction. “The figures in my work are meant to represent everyone, and myself, with external identifiers of race and age removed,” Berger explains to Colossal. “Sort of a drilling down to the more pure level of what makes us human and a representation on that soul level of where we’re all the same and equal.”

While she has honed her style and grown her presence as a fine artist over the last several years, Berger has also seamlessly incorporated different creative partnerships and products like greeting cards, calendars, and even bespoke wallpaper. “I’m so happy I found Squarespace. My website has been absolutely integral in building my career, and it was so fulfilling and empowering to be able to set it up completely by myself and get my own ball rolling,” Berger shares. “Being able to manage my own visual portfolio that I can update easily in minutes as well as a web shop and an integrated mailing list has been the cornerstone being able to support myself and grow as a full-time artist.”

“For me, working with clients on design projects is often a great way to shift my mental landscape a little from the very internally focused way that I think creatively when I’m doing work for a gallery show, and that can then spark new inspiration, thoughts, and techniques to implement when I go back to painting for exhibitions.” A far cry from Berger’s audition-centric past in the performing arts, she shares with Colossal that most of these projects have arisen organically. Thanks to her strong online presence with a professional-grade Squarespace website and impressive Instagram, partners reach out to her, contributing both to the diversity of Berger’s style of working and to her ability to support herself as an artist.

As Berger looks toward the future of her multi-faceted creative career, she sees opportunity in the ways we are globally connected. “Being able have our work discovered organically by other creative professionals, collectors, and curators from across the world is such an enormous gift. I only see that as something that will continue to increase and for me it feels both exciting and soothing—that we can overcome other barriers and connect with and inspire each other through visual language in this way.”

If you’ve been considering turning your creative dream into a reality, take the first step with a website from Squarespace. Easy-to-use customizable templates, e-commerce and marketing integrations, and 24/7 technical support help you find your footing no matter your unique path. Try Squarespace today with a free one-week trial, and when you’re ready to launch, use code COLOSSAL to save 10% on a website or domain.

“Alive Together”

“Shared Sun”





“Self With Time”

This post was sponsored by Squarespace.



Sculptor Dan Lam Bridges Digital and Analog Worlds with Squarespace

May 5, 2019


“Delicious Monster”

Artist Dan Lam (previously) uses intriguing blends of organic shapes with synthetic colors, textures, and materials to form scintillating sculptures. While each artwork appears to be an almost naturally-occurring form, Lam combines complementary color palettes to create visual tension and carefully applies forms each spike and indentation by hand. The artist often documents her organically-shaped sculptures in outdoor settings. Sunlight captures the glint of shimmering finishes, foliage complements the spiky textures, and Lam herself appears half-hidden while holding her work.

With her keen eye for presentation, Lam relies on the website builder Squarespace to showcase her eye-catching artwork. “I used to host with another service and while they were easy to use, I didn’t have a lot of flexibility as far as customization and overall look. Squarespace has allowed me to have a really nice portfolio while making it very easy to create a temporary web shop or as-needed email blast.”

Lam stays focused on producing her labor-intensive artworks year-round, and admits that her computer-savviness takes a back seat to her artistic prowess. But Squarespace gives her the tools she needs to manage her career as an artist: “The intuitive navigation of Squarespace is probably the most helpful thing for me, as someone who doesn’t like to spend a lot of time on computers,” Lam explains. “I had a friend start the site for me and I’ve taken over from there—which is kind of amazing because website stuff used to stress me out.”

“Center of Attention”

Lam, who has a substantial following of over 200,000 on Instagram, deftly uses the visual intrigue of her work to spark curiosity and build a bridge between digital and analog worlds. She often shares videos that capture the process of making each piece or showcase the dimensionality of finished works. Lam uses her Squarespace site to integrate her social media presence: a dedicated page in the navigation is filled with colorful behind-the-scenes videos and photos of her studio practice. “I think the mystery of the materials and how they come together piques the viewer’s curiosity, especially digitally,” Lam explains. “Maybe they spend a little extra time on it—whether that be looking, trying to sneak a touch at a gallery show, or Googling the materials.”

Although Lam’s sculptures are sought after for collectors and gallery shows—including a solo show on view this month at Hashimoto Contemporary in New York City—the artist shares that she is excited by the range of opportunities for artists to share their work. “In the past few years, I’ve noticed there have been more and more opportunities for visual artists through all kinds of different outlets, from companies hiring artists to do murals inside workspaces to cities funding public art. Fine art seems to be seeping into the mainstream culture. It’s creating a larger space for artists to exist that wasn’t there when I was growing up.”

Building and maintaining a portfolio site doesn’t have to be a full-time job. With Squarespace, you can find a customizable template in minutes and get started with showcasing your fine art, photography, or design work. And Squarespace’s ecommerce and email marketing integrations make it easy to grow your business or career. Head over to Squarespace for a free one-week trial and when you’re ready to launch, use code COLOSSAL for 10% off your purchase of a website or domain name.

“Come Together”



“Getting Soft”


“Long Term”





Courses Begin June 3 at the School of Visual Arts Division of Continuing Education

April 15, 2019


Photo: Shweta Bist

From one-day workshops to semester-long courses, take the opportunity to immerse yourself and be inspired. If you need advice or have questions, our information sessions begin Wednesday, May 8th. Visit sva.edu/continued/events for details.

Courses are available in:
Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects
Fine Arts
Illustration and Cartooning
Interior Design
Professional Development
Visual and Critical Studies
Visible Futures Lab
Visual Narrative




School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for seven decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, a dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprising 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and 35,000 alumni in 100 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the College please visit sva.edu.

Division of Continuing Education
sva.edu/ce | [email protected] | Toll-free telephone: 877.242.7200



Lively Designs by Studio Proba Celebrate Movement and Color

March 25, 2019


A Poster A Day rugs

New York-based artist Alex Proba has been sweeping the Big Apple with her large scale, pastel-hued artwork in diverse forms ranging from painted murals to hand-tufted rugs. The artist, who works as Studio Proba, has a multi-faceted background, with academic training in furniture, spatial, and graphic design, and an impressive career as a design director at Mother New York and artistic director at Nike.

She launched the Studio in 2013 as a side project, and since taking her business full-time, Proba has built an impressive client list, creating original work for brands like Google, Lululemon, and DropBox. Whether painting a barrel vaulted ceiling at a health clinic or designing a rug for a children’s library, Proba’s distinctive aesthetic ties her work together. Swirls and dollops of color, in flat fields or dappled with terrazzo-like patterns, are layered and interspersed with gestural neutral-toned lines that draw the eye to every shape.

Proba has been a Squarespace user for over six years. Because her Studio toes the line between fine art and commercial design, she takes advantage of the extensive customization of Squarespace’s website templates to showcase her unique offerings. “I needed something that is like me, ever-changing and able to adjust quickly,” Proba explains. With its vast selection of templates and ecommerce capabilities, “Squarespace allows me to add work quickly, but it also gives me all the tools to run a small studio shop, which is easy to use for the buyer and for me.”

By using Squarespace, Proba is able to grow and adapt her website to reflect her evolving brand. “Before I painted my first mural I thought, ‘Wait can I do it? I don’t know what I am doing.’ And then you just go for it and figure it out. I feel like that applies to almost everything. Just trust your gut. Even if you fail, you’ve tried, and you’ve gained a lot from it. You’ve grown, you’ve learned.”

Ready to take the leap with your passion project? Head to Squarespace.com for a free trial and when you’re ready to launch, use code COLOSSAL to save 10% on your first purchase of a website or domain name.

Pat Kim x Studio Proba for Industry City

Mural for MeMe’s Diner

Puzzle rug

Mural for TIA Clinic

Elle rug

Mural for Lululemon

Collage rug

This post was sponsored by Squarespace.



Aerial Photographer Kevin Krautgartner Uses Squarespace to Showcase the Earth’s Fragile Beauty

February 28, 2019


Island Sunsets

While those of us in the northern hemisphere eagerly await the arrival of spring, photographer Kevin Krautgartner travels the world capturing envy-inducing views. Krautgartner focuses his lens on a wide array of subjects, ranging from architectural interiors to soaring urban skylines. But the German photographer’s most wanderlust-inspiring images are shot from the sky in sunny, rugged, and remote landscapes. Recent work has taken him to the Seychelles islands, Italy’s Dolomite mountains, and the glacial rivers of Iceland.

The artist studied at University of Applied Sciences in Dortmund, Germany, and shares with Colossal that his dual academic training in photography and graphic design has informed his work as a professional photographer. He uses formal tenets of design to create tension through lines and forms, and he explains that he finds himself almost automatically drawn to scenes based on their compositional makeup.

Krautgartner explains that his design finesse makes Squarespace the perfect platform for showcasing his work online. Squarespace’s themes and customization options allow him to create the exact environment he wants for his work, down to custom fonts. He cites the ease of use and high-quality customer support that allow him to focus on his creative projects. Krautgartner also puts his creativity to work by selling fine art prints of his photographs using Squarespace’s seamless e-commerce integration. “The easy to set up e-commerce system allows me to present my prints in a high quality in just a few minutes. And I’m able to offer my photographs in different variations, so the customer can choose a print on different materials as well as in different sizes.”

In his gallery-ready images, Krautgartner deftly captures atmospheric conditions, conveying the warm, clear air of tropical climates, as well as the grey, damp essence of cooler regions. Rippling ocean waves, transitioning trees in autumn, craggy bare rocks, and the verdant foliage of palm trees add textural elements to the photographer’s carefully composed images.  Whether shooting with a drone or from a chartered aircraft, aerial photography allows the artist to capture moments of surprise and awe. “You never know what to expect when you are going up in the air. I think I have the responsibility to remind as many people as I can how beautiful nature is, and how important it is for us to think about what we do with our land and what impact human intervention has.”

Want to share your unique view of the world? Get started with a portfolio or e-commerce site today on Squarespace.com with a commitment-free 14-day trial. When you’re ready to launch, use the offer code COLOSSAL at checkout for 10% off your purchase.



Southern Waves

Autumn in the Dolomites

Nature’s Colors

Glacier Rivers

First Light on the Island

This post was sponsored by Squarespace. 





Photographer Craig Burrows Reveals the Hidden Glow of Flowers and Plants Using the HP ZBook X2

February 25, 2019

Colossal + HP

Artist Craig Burrows (previously) captures the natural fluorescence of flowers using a unique UV imaging technique, resulting in spectacularly luminescent photographs. The process, known as ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence photography, involves projecting electromagnetic radiation on to the flower, and then capturing the visible light briefly emitted by the plant. Lest you think everything around us is secretly glowing all the time, the light shown in Burrows’ photographs appears within nanoseconds of the UV light projection, and decays within ten nanoseconds. Objects that emit a longer afterglow are referred to as phosphorescent. The incredibly brief window of illumination is usually not observable to the human eye not because it is itself invisible, but because the glow is so brief, and generally surrounded by much more powerful, atmospheric sunlight.

To create his seemingly magical—but actually all-natural—photographs, Burrows first collects local flowers from his lush Southern California neighborhood, or purchases specific species he’s interested in experimenting with. He works with them in an extremely dark environment, to prevent any competing light from dulling the flowers’ glow, and places each stem in a stand that’s covered in light-absorbing matte black electrical tape. Burrows uses long exposures, and moves his UV-filtered LED evenly over each blossom to ensure that every petal, stamen, and pollen grain gets its moment in the spotlight. Despite all the technical details and varied equipment involved in each shoot, Burrows never knows how—or if—a photograph will turn out until he’s finished shooting.

The photographer, who credits Swedish artist Oleksandr Holovachov with his own inspiration for UVIVF, has been working in this mode for just four years, and has taught himself the intricate process. His work has paid off, with a recent feature in National Geographic. Considering Burrows’ unique perspective on blending art and science, we asked him to turn his precision-focused lens to the HP ZBook x2.

“Regarding the laptop, there are a lot of things I was pretty impressed with. For one thing, it’s got an aluminum and magnesium body and is made to meet MIL-STD-810G specs. This makes me feel comfortable bringing valuable equipment like the ZBook x2 with me—it really feels like a quality piece of hardware. I normally use a large laptop with a full-size keyboard, and I was pleasantly surprised by the detachable one for the ZBook x2. Once I got used to the Quick Keys, it was pretty sweet to use.”

“In actually using it, it was incredibly snappy—definitely one of the quickest laptops or computers I’ve had my hands on, including some workstation desktops I’ve used.  When it comes to navigating around large 16bit images, rendering a video from them, or creating a focus stack, that power and speed makes it a true delight to use.”

“I work around a lot of people in the design industry and I kept getting compliments from everyone on the looks of the tablet. It looks confident and classy, and doesn’t sacrifice ports and functionality to make it happen. I will admit, I was pretty gleeful that I could use USB devices and SD cards without needing external dongles and adapters!”

“While it would certainly be of more use to an illustrator, I found the pen interface pretty excellent. My workflow for photo editing demands abundant keyboard shortcuts so I struggled with using it in pure tablet mode, but I found it quite adept for sketching and drawing. The fact that the tablet has the functionality of a Cintiq in a compact and portable form makes it extremely useful in photo-editing for both masking and making adjustments. The Zbook has definitely made me rethink what a laptop can be and changed my expectations.”

You can purchase prints of Burrows’ fluorescent flowers on his website, and follow him on Flickr and Instagram, where he shares interesting floral facts alongside his photography.

Learn more about the HP ZBook x2 at hp.com.

This post was sponsored by HP.




A Full Spectrum of Waves Course Through Warren Keelan’s Aquatic Photography Edited With the HP ZBook x2

February 12, 2019

Colossal + HP


Whereas many people see the world’s water-covered surface as a monolith, photographer Warren Keelan (previously) makes a living seeing the ocean’s constant changes, day to day and even moment to moment. Keelan, who is based in New South Wales, Australia, suits up in neoprene to capture ocean water from inside, above, and below. In Keelan’s luminescent photographs, the aquatic environment is framed by glinting sunlight, crashing waves, and glimmering rainbows.

The photographer captures a range of macro and micro shots, detailing both the tiniest bubbles emerging at the water’s surface and the grand scale of tall wave walls. Keelan then brings his treasure trove of fieldwork back to his studio and gallery to fine-tune each photograph, ensuring that it captures the fullest version of the moment he experienced in the water. For his most recent photographs, we equipped Keelan with an HP ZBook x2 to see how the workstation’s innovative structural design would support the artist with his post-production process.

“In order to produce my best quality work, I require a computer that is not only fast and reliable, but a system which provides a professional viewing platform for image editing and processing,” Keelan explains. “I have used many HP laptops, monitors and peripherals throughout my career as an ocean photographer, and I can honestly say the new release HP ZBook x2 is the most powerful and versatile digital darkroom I’ve worked with.”

“The combination of its 4K LED-backlit touch screen and powerful Intel i7 processor makes it the ideal workstation for Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop. Until now, I’d never used a tablet-style device for my gallery workflow, but since I switched from touchpad-and-mouse to ZBook’s touchscreen-and-pen combination, my editing has become significantly faster. The HP ZBook x2 is a game changer for me as a photographer and image creator.”

Though the artist is lucky to have easy access to the ocean, he also embarks on further-flung adventures to capture aquatic moments. This fall, Keelan headed to the Kingdom of Tonga, an archipelago of islands in Polynesia, to capture the majesty of humpback whales in their natural environment. Keep an eye on his Instagram to catch glimpses of his larger-than-life trip. Keelan also offers prints of his photographs in his brick-and-mortar gallery (don’t worry, he ships worldwide!).

Learn more about the HP ZBook x2 at hp.com.






This post was sponsored by HP.