Last week I took one of my regular trips down to Queen Street West in Toronto, to pick up some jewelry making supplies. For those not from Toronto, Queen West is the center of the fashion industry in this city with dozens of, stores selling fabric, notions, findings, etc. You can get pretty much everything you need to make any jewelry, clothing or accessories – all within walking distance of each other. My hubby and I used to live down in heart of the neighborhood before we were married, and I walked past these stores everyday on my way to work, having every day to fight the urgent to go in and buy something. And while the neighbourhood has changed a bit over the past decade – the fashion industry isn’t nearly as concentrated in one area of the city as it used to be – there still lots of ways for a girl to get in trouble and spend waaaaay too much money. But, I did my best to resist looking in all the fabric stores, and to focus on my reason for coming down here – jewelry supplies.
But as I was wandering Queen Street, I also couldn’t help but notice all of the graffiti that’s developed in the past decade. I remember this trend had already started well before we lived in the neighbourhood, but it’s really grown in the past 10-years. And It’s amazing! It’s not the simple, crude, tagger-vandalism kind of graffiti – we’re talking top-notch, artistic graffiti. Every alley you look down there’s more, covering every wall and garage door. I couldn’t stop taking pictures, this is only a sample of the pictures I took. While I was bummed that I didn’t bring my DSLR, thankfully I always have a point-n-shoot in my purse for just such random picture-taking moments.
Beyond the beautiful designs, I was REALLY inspired by the colours. Far from simply using the spray cans in the back of the garage, it’s clear that a lot of thought went in to picking the colours in the beautiful works. So I thought it would be neat to reverse-engineer colour palettes from a few of them. After simple simple post work in Lightroom, I pulled some favourites into PhotoShop and used the eye-dropper tool to pull out the most dominate colours. Here, you can see the photos – with the corresponding colour palette right below:
I noticed that the graffiti followed a similar colour theme: a neutral base colour, multiple shades of 1 or 2 colours, and then finally an accent shade for a pop colour. And If you take the photo away and just look at the colour palettes they really are quite versatile, and you could find these combinations in many areas of design, from decor to fashion. Think of dark blue jeans, an orange shirt, pink necklace and a periwinkle blazer. It would be bold, but fun!
The oranges, blues and brown make a great fall palette.
This palette would make a fun kids room, and the mustard shade would make it more modern than a traditional or typical blue and pink theme.
This palette is very bold, but I think the colours work great together. You could wear black skinny pants, pink blouse, with grey under tank, and pair with bold jewellery in the greens and blue.
As I mentioned above my hubby and I lived in this neighborhood when we were married. And after walking the alleys and seeing all of the graffiti again, it reminded me of one of the photos taken on the morning of our wedding. Here’s me, standing in front of the mural on the rear wall of the store we used to live above. I think the bright colours made a fun back drop against my clean, white wedding dress.
So where else can you find inspiring colour palettes? If you’ve stumbled across inspiration in your everyday life, leave a comment and let us know!