The Hudson Company + Amanda Jane Jones

 Define Magazine,  founded by designer Amanda Jane Jones

Define Magazine, founded by designer Amanda Jane Jones

Define came out of what felt like a need. There were so many artists that I collaborate with who talked about wanting more opportunities to create work just for the sake of creating.
— Amanda Jane Jones
  The designer at home.

The designer at home.

  A peak inside  Define Magazine.

A peak inside Define Magazine.

The Hudson Company + Amanda Jane Jones

Amanda Jane Jones is a award-winning, freelance graphic designer and art director based in Chicago, IL but currently living with her family in Geneva, Switzerland. During her career, Amanda has collaborated with a variety of creative brands, including VSCO, Solly Baby, Kinfolk Magazine (as co-founder), and Artifact Uprising. Amanda's current passion project is the elegant new creative quarterly, Define Magazine.

When we asked Amanda to create a custom mood board for our ongoing series of creative collaborations, we knew it would be be a gorgeous, minimalist's meditation on color and simplicity. In this, we certainly weren't disappointed. But it's the story behind the items that Amanda chose to feature in her mood board that are especially fascinating: photos of her children, Pantone color swatches, and skipping stones from the shores of Lake Michigan.

Here is the story behind Amanda's lovely mood board for The Hudson Company...

5 Questions with Amanda Jane Jones

Tell us about the items included in your mood board, what's their origin story? Why did you select them for this mood board?

I'm always looking for calming influences in my life and strive for my home to be minimal, quiet, simple and calming. And since we live just a quick walk away from Lake Michigan (where I vacationed as a child with my family) I often take my children there throughout the year. The colors of the lake have always inspired me. Every time I visit the lake, I come home with at least one rock that we keep in jars on our bookshelves. The homes along Lake Michigan - especially in the Glen Arbor area - have always inspired me as well, with their white-washed wood exteriors. The Lake brings back peaceful, happy, calm memories. If the kids (or I) are ever grumpy or in a slump of some sort, the Lake is the first place we visit - the wind coming off of Lake Michigan seems to cure all. 

How do you use mood boards in your professional work? What role do they play in your creative process?

I utilize a lot of mood boards in my work. It's a huge part of my design process. I start with brainstorming, looking through my collection of books to get ideas. I also have an inspiration wall at home that I love to cover with ephemera I've collected from my travels or received from friends.

Tell us about your inspiration for Define Magazine: where did the concept come from and what inspired you to create this publication?

Define came out of what felt like a need. There were so many artists that I collaborate with who talked about wanting more opportunities to create work just for the sake of creating. It's hard to make time for personal work amid the day to day of creating for clients - so it was born out of an idea to create a space for artists to feel free to create for the sake of creating.

From my own experience, I know that artists hunger to work on projects uninhibited by the client filter and we jump at a chance to collaborate with other artists on a global scale—to make something beautiful and thought-provoking. The basis of Define is simple: each issue focuses on a single word defined by a unique set of artists through various mediums. 

So far it's been exciting to see artists explore the same theme through different perspectives. We hope it's a magazine that resonates with both artists and art lovers, so that we are able to accumulate a collection of definitions that create a beautiful anthology to be enjoyed and re-defined for years to come

Are there specific places that you turn when you need fresh ideas or inspiration? Particular books, other creative people, blogs, etc.?

When I'm in a design slump, I always go for a walk. Fresh air is always a quick fix. Also, books - both old and new. I don't think you can ever have too many books. Oh, and I love Maira Kalman - she's an endless inspiration to me.

Why did you chose this particular Hudson Company flooring as the background for mood board?

With Select Harvest Ash [Neva Finish], I love how white it is - the color is just perfect. Again, there's something calming about this kind of floor and so I'm naturally drawn to the tone and fell of Neva. At home, we recently painted our kitchen floor white and I love how it's brightened our space.

You can learn more about Amanda Jane's work on her website and you will certainly want to follow her on Instagram as well. Here you can learn more about Define Magazine. All mood board photos by Gentl and Hyers

Learn more about Select Harvest [Neva Finish] here

  Custom mood board by designer Amanda Jane Jones for The Hudson Company, featuring  Select Harvest Ash [Neva Finish] flooring.

Custom mood board by designer Amanda Jane Jones for The Hudson Company, featuring Select Harvest Ash [Neva Finish] flooring.