December Artist of the Month- Don Collins

This December, we again honor the work of Don Collins with his piece, “The Annandale Ranch Log Cabin (1915)” as our Artist of the Month and as the artist of our 42nd annual calendar. Don has produced approximately 400 works for our calendars, allowing us to share his passion with our customers. The Miller IDS calendar is our holiday gift to you, order yours online today or pick one up at either of our locations beginning December 5th, 2018.

Don has embraced hunting for unique sites on back roads, long-deserted main streets and historical libraries in Texas for decades. The special sites include a story – be it a story of getting onto the ­property to take a photo, a story of the building itself, or a tale involving the folks he met on his adventures. His drawings and paintings breathe life back into these old homes, barns, courthouses, shanties and structures that he has chosen. Don authored the book, Traces of Forgotten Places: An Artist’s Thirty-Year Exploration and Celebration of Texas as It Was sharing some of these stories and drawings.

Raised in Parker County west of Fort Worth, Don worked as a commercial artist after serving in the Army during the Korean War and graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. Though he produced a wide range of images for commercial accounts ranging from builders, architects, book publishers and NASA, Don now concentrates on landscapes, character studies, and nostalgia pieces.

Collins is active in his “retirement”, having recently published a colorful children’s book featuring animals of all kinds visiting doctors and dentists. He is involved with several DFW art organizations, accepts several commissions yearly, and travels abroad. Additional work and contact information are available on his website, www.dchandart.com.

From George Cofer about the log cabin on the family ranch, The Annandale Ranch near Concan, Texas:

“The ‘dog trot’ log cabin was first built in the 1800s (date unknown) a few miles up the Frio River from its current location but still on the family ranch. In 1915 my great-grandmother Mae Florea FitzGerald had it disassembled, floated down the river, hauled up the hill, and reassembled at the current site in the ranch headquarters compound as a wedding gift to her son, Paul FitzGerald and his new wife Helen Haynes FitzGerald.”

We appreciate the Florea/FitzGerald/McQuown/Cofer family allowing us to place an image of this intriguing log-cabin on our 2019 calendar face!

2018 Top Holiday Gifts

Show appreciation to your top clients with these special gift ideas, and don’t forget to get customized wrapping paper or holiday cards from Miller IDS to complete the package! Make an impression with gifts that will both excite your clients and give them something that they’ll actually use! 

 

 

1.The holidays are a time of celebration and parties. Gifting a rideshare card, like Lyft, will take the worry out of driving (and parking). It’s a simple idea that’s also thoughtful and useful.

 

 

2. Special catering is an easy way to put a smile on your clients’ faces. It’s also a nice departure from the abundance of sweets that fill breakrooms during this time of year. If you have the budget, you can rent out a food truck or breakfast tacos. Local pick: If you live in Austin, some of our favorites are Tacodeli, Veracruz All-Natural, or try Eastside Tavern’s brisket and egg tacos!

 

3. Elevate a gift of wine or spirits to your clients with beautiful, locally handcrafted drinkware. Texas has a plethora of artisans who can provide unique options. While the bottle won’t last, the mugs and the memory who gave them will. Try these beautiful whiskey cups from Castroville Pottery made in Texas. 

 

4. Gifting an experience rather than something tangible can lead to a lasting impression. Tickets to a sporting event or concert is never a bad idea. Local pick: Easily one of Austin’s best music venues, tickets to ACL Live are sure to bring joy to any recipient. If you’re not sure what a client’s musical tastes are, you can’t go wrong with Willie Nelson or Gary Clark Jr.

 

 

5. A brewery or winery tour is a fun and easy-going gift option. A strategic invite list could also provide a beneficial networking opportunity. Tour guests are typically chauffeured as well, so everyone sticks safely together.

 

 

6. Especially appreciated by the workaholic, consider gifting a stay-cation. Most hotel or parent hotel websites offer gift certificate purchases. A night of relaxation without having to cook, clean, or travel far is an all-around win.

 

 

7. We’re all busy, so how about offering a helping hand – literally! Gift TaskRabbit to help a client get things done, from organizing to cleaning to building furniture. Odd jobs or things that have fallen to the wayside are perfect for TaskRabbit.

 

 

 

 

September and October Artist of the Month: Claire Lewis

Miller IDS is proud to present our September and October Artist of the Month, Texas born-and-raised, Claire Lewis. Formerly of the Fort Worth area, Lewis now lives in Central Texas where she draws much of her inspiration from the natural world around her. Lewis honed her skills through formal study at various University of Texas System schools and eventually received both a BFA in Painting and a BS in Art History from the University of Central Florida. Both a figurative and impressionist style painter, Lewis focuses predominantly on the observations of life and nature. Particularly, in her work, Lewis captures the glimpses of life that make her curious, smile, or laugh out loud.

              

Lewis’ “Mr. Tran’s Scissortail”

The piece we feature this month, “Mr. Tran’s Scissortail,” shows the bird in a moment of flight in a field of wheat. In her work, Lewis is drawn to both avian flights that portray elation as well as grounded moments of quiet pensiveness.  The paintings Lewis brings to Miller IDS exemplifies how she approaches her subjects by capturing them in brief moments in time. Birds are prominent throughout her work and this scissortail is no exception.

You can find more of Lewis’ work on Facebook or at various venues around Texas. Currently a member of the Live Oak Art Center in Columbus, Texas, this fall Lewis will teach a children’s art class of found art.

Lewis gives a glowing recommendation of Dana Burton, Miller IDS’ Fine Art Specialist,  “As an artist I rely on Miller to digitize my paintings and produce prints of my art that are faithful to the quality of each piece . I never worry that the work I bring to Dana won’t come back to me in time for my deadlines. I always look forward to my visits to Miller, they always have solutions for my problems and help me work out my promotion strategies.”  

To view more of Lewis’ work click here or contact her at lewis.claire5@yahoo.com.

 

 

August Artist of the Month: Susannah Blanton

             Miller Imaging and Digital Solutions is proud to present the August 2018 Artist of the Month, Susannah Blanton and her piece The Beginning of the Beginning. Originally from Fort Worth, Blanton was heavily influenced by the creative spirits of her parents who exposed her to all forms of art. Blanton’s work also has great influence from the LA Artist community social commentary during the early 2000s.  In her work, Susannah Blanton views painting as a medium to illustrate a message and tell a story. Specifically, in her collection, The Beginning of the Beginning, Blanton highlights the fragility of human life and is the expression of Blanton’s own grief.

“The Beginning of the Beginning”

               The collection and our chosen piece uses several symbolic elements to describe Blanton’s grief and coping of the loss of both her mother and brother-in-law. The use and power of water, horses, and vintage advertisements aid Blanton in describing the loss of control one feels throughout life. Spilled water is an incredibly powerful image, as to Blanton water “[is] a symbol for death and/or the voyage into the afterlife.” Within the piece, she attributes “the vulnerability depicted in the falling horse [as a reminder of] how fragile life can be.” To Blanton the “piece establishes the symbolism for most of [her] subsequent work, where water came to represent the afterlife and horses represent us in the physical body.” The chosen piece, featured right, explores much more than the literal but the fragility of the human experience and the lack of control humans have throughout life.

An example Blanton’s work exhibiting the influence of an vintage advertisement.

Additionally, the influence of vintage advertisements taken out of their original contexts throughout her collection, give her work a deeper, more complicated meaning that there is the “possibility that under the obvious is something less perfect that demands to be heard.”

Come by either of Miller’s locations to see a reprint of Susannah Blanton’s The Beginning of the Beginning now. 

View more of Blanton’s work here or contact her at blantondesign@me.com.

Featured Graphics: The Guthrie

Miller IDS loves that our 7th Street is in Austin’s culturally vibrant east side, surrounded by so many great restaurants and shops. We anxiously await trying delicious new eateries, from barbeque to Asian-fusion, while watching stylish new apartments and condominiums go up. Being a trusted, Austin-grown business, Miller IDS loves to watch the Austin community grow and flourish. This is no exception as Cypress Real Estate Advisors (CREA) opens its newest apartment complex, The Guthrie, further east at 7th and Gonzalez later this year.

This new residential space focuses on community and east side living with a convenient locale to downtown Austin. The 322 unit community offers everything from rooftop common space, fitness center, a sparkling pool, along with quartz countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Local neighbors include HEB, Hope Farmer’s Market, La Barbecue, Zilker Brewing Company, Sa-Ten, and Launderette as well as the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail and our friends at Austin Bouldering Project. Miller IDS is thankful to work with CREA after wrapping their elevator doors at their East 5th apartments, Corazon. We have printed a variety of outdoor signage for the site including full-color mesh and vinyl banners and directional signage on aluminum and coroplast.  We look forward to the opening of the apartment complex later this year and the new residents that continue to make Austin the place we’ve called home for almost 100 years.

 

Kenzie Shepperd, Brand Manager for CREA, was generous to give us a rave testimonial from our work with them: “Everything was done quickly and executed well. I wanted something unique and eye catching, but a quick get in the environment. Ryan and Chase made it happen! Within a matter of days I had the first round of proofs to review. Any edits I had were addressed within the day. Overall smooth process, and everyone is happy with the result. Coincidentally the sign got tagged over the weekend, and I texted Ryan a picture and he responded immediately with solutions. I appreciated the quick response and effort to rectify the situation.” Thank you to Kenzie and CREA! We look forward to working with you in the future!

Featured Graphics: Saltillo

Miller IDS is excited for the Saltillo mixed-use development going up just four blocks from our 7th Street location.  Saltillo is a six block, 10-acre transit-oriented development located just east of I-35 between 4th and 5th Streets in Austin’s lively Eastside.  Currently under construction, Saltillo will feature office, retail, and residential with a community-focused approach integrating into Austin’s historic Eastside. Developed by Endeavor Real Estate Group, Saltillo is anchored by Whole Foods Market 365 located on 5th Street and the I-35 access road. In addition, Saltillo will offer 800 on-site residential units, 115,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space, and 150,000 sq ft of class A creative office space situated next to the Plaza Saltillo Station on Austin’s MetroRail line.

Not only located close to us, the area is adjacent to some of our Eastside favorites including Texas Coffee Traders, El Chilito, Easy Tiger, and both the Historic Scoot Inn and The White Horse. Miller IDS is thrilled to work with Endeavor Real Estate again (past projects include Domain NORTHSIDE) by custom printing over 6,000 sq ft of mesh banner that currently covers a majority of the construction fencing. Not only is the material weather-proof and helps to lower construction site dust and noise, but displays high-quality, full-color graphics showcasing amenities and marketing information.

“It was a pleasure working with the Miller team on this project. This was a huge design undertaking, and they executed the printing and installation beautifully. We are thrilled with the final product.” – Michelle Alonso, Marketing Director with Endeavor Real state Group

June/July Artist of the Month: Angela Diehl

Diehl’s “Rotterdam”

Angela Diehl earns a living as a medical illustrator but has always had a fascination with maps and a love of fabric and quilting. Diehl pursued a biology degree, but her work never lingered far from incorporating her interest together.

For the piece chosen, ‘Rotterdam,’ Diehl draws form the meditative process of cutting geometric shapes from fabric in a mixed media. She considers such work as a welcome break from technical drawing. “I always liked incorporating different types of materials in my paintings…I dug up the fabric collection and whatever other materials I thought I might want to work with.” Her inspiration for the collection drew from her desire to preserve a collection of maps she had inherited from her uncle.   Specifically, in her process she begins her process by focusing on physical objects rather than specific story or message she might have in mind.  Diehl’s ‘Rotterdam’ exemplifies the “highly organized visual interpretations of our physical environment. The foundation of her art is organic and always changing, but the structure from the geometric patterns and shapes in her work represents structure, order, and control. Maps, as Diehl notes, are comforting because they “create the illusion of having some level of control over our surroundings.”

Her background in traditional painting and biology gives her a unique view of the world and power within her work.  She specializes in traditional art and digital multimedia with a specialty in scientific, medical and biological subject matter and has worked on a wide variety of educational materials.   Her illustrations and multimedia have been provided for peer reviewed articles, grant applications, teaching materials, and websites.

Diehl has honored Miller IDS and our Fine Art Specialist, Dana Burton, with an incredible recommendation: “Last year I decided to make prints of my work to sell at EAST [East Austin Studio Tour].  Someone recommended Miller… The quality of their work is excellent – Dana has an incredible eye for color and detail and was very persistent in getting the digital versions as close to the original paintings as possible, and I was pleasantly surprised by her results.  I will use their services in the future and always recommend them to fellow artists.  More importantly, however, every person I interacted with during my 6, 7, or 8 trips to their office was friendly, thorough, attentive, and very busy but patient – which I really appreciate these days.  They are a great group of people to do business with.”

Check out Diehls work here or email her at diehlang@gmail.com.

Featured Graphics: Anthem

This summer, Austin-native and Nebraska-based restaurateur Anthony Hitchcock (co-owner of Flagship Restaurant Group) returns to his hometown to open a new challenger in the Austin food scene. FRG’s new concept, Anthem, will serve up American style pub food with an Asian and Latin twist. Located in The Millennium on Rainey Street, Anthem will provide a causal atmosphere with an homage to the “weird” Austin Hitchcock grew up in during the 80s and 90s.

We worked closely with Flagship Restaurant Group to print and install these perforated window coverings that announce the restaurant on Rainey Street. These removable window perfs (that also block out a percentage of UV rays) are incredibly popular and perfect for marketing incredible new restaurants and retail openings in the Austin area. 

We are excited to try Anthem’s Yummy Fries (fries with sesame fuikake, yuzu, and parmesan peppercorn aioli and sriacha ketchup), East Meets West Umami Burger, Hong Kong Waffle (green tea bubble waffle with ice cream, crushed candy, and cookie crumble), as well as their vegan dishes!

With more than 40 beers on tap and 8 wines by the glass, Anthem will provide a laid-back atmosphere reflecting Austin’s multicultural offerings and craving for delicious and exotic food. As more delicious and new restaurants come onto the Austin food scene, Miller IDS is the go-to printer for an emerging restaurant’s needs with guaranteed quality and trusted customer service for business cards, menus, vinyl wall graphics, and perforated window graphics. To learn more about Anthem, click here.

Featured Graphics: Acai Hut

As the demand for delicious but heathy offerings continues to grow in Austin, the Mueller district will soon be adding Acai Hut to the ever-growing neighborhood. The Brazilian family owned venture, which currently operates a trailer at The Picnic food park on Barton Springs Rd., will open its first brick and mortar in Mueller later this year.  

The restaurant serves delicious, healthy and authentic acai bowls with the acai hand-crafted specifically for Acai Hut from Brazil. Regarded as a superfood, acai is building a large following in the United States for its refreshing taste as well as its many health benefits.

 

 

Owner Rodrigo Cid, a native of Brazil, owns the store with his wife and sister. The current menu starts with a base of acai and guarana (a naturally caffeinated Brazilian plant) and can be made light (topped with fruit and granola), “powerful” (blended with protein powder and avocado), or indulgent (topped with Nutella-yum). Cid says the Mueller restaurant will have new bowls, smoothies and other offerings beyond the popular Barton Springs location.

Miller IDS has printed many different types of fliers and menu boards for Acai Hut and looks forward to printing and installing more for the restaurant as they open their Mueller location. Menu boards, site signage, and event announcements are printed directly onto substrates now with our new UV printer saving you time on all your sign needs. Materials include: SINTRA (Acai Hut’s choice), MDO board, or the standard gator and foam boards

Acai Hut’s South Austin trailer will continue to operate in addition to the brick and mortar at Mueller. Per Cid, the new space will have “some landscape from Brazil mixed with Austin culture and a sense of ‘paradise’ feeling.” A proponent of the health benefits of the berry, he hopes this will be the first of many new locations. To see more or place an online order for their trailer, go to Acaihut.com

Featured Graphics: Favor Delivery

Modern conveniences and mobile phone-based technology have changed the way Austinites live and do business. Last spring Miller IDS began printing marketing and promotional materials for Texas-based Favor Delivery. The app-based company began in Austin in 2013 and focuses on delivering to you in under an hour. From your favorite enchiladas from Chuy’s to a flash drive from Best Buy you can call in a “favor” on their app and a “runner” will get it to you.   

We have printed several internal and external marketing and branding materials that promote building the relationship between the Favor customer, runner, and merchant. Favor’s teams use these brochures to educate businesses on their unique system and help Texas businesses grow. Favor has set themselves apart through their ability to get things to people fast. On the right, see both the table tent announcements for restaurants as well as signage for their Dallas Runner Clubhouse.

Favor is a favorite for Miller IDS, both as one of our customers and as an app we frequently use. We love supporting Austin and Texas based restaurants and companies that build and strengthen communities (and feed our stomachs with delicious foods). With Austin’s food scene continuing to grow, Miller IDS is prepared to help restaurants with menus, business cards, and customized interior and exterior banners and wall and floor graphics from design to production and finally, installation.

Miller IDS’s own Graphics Accounts Manager, Ryan Bruce, works directly with Favor to provide high quality products that are used across Texas. Chris Rogge, Art Director at Favor, gives this glowing recommendation about his experience with Miller IDS: “The team at Miller is always excited to jump on our projects and always willing to jump on the phone and talk about how they can make it happen. They work in such a timely manner and are giving updates along the way, and always produce high quality products and have great attention to detail. We know Miller will be an integral part of Favor’s growth and expansion and we look forward to each and every project with them!” Thank you Favor for these great words of recommendation!