I'm Trina Spiller. This blog is about how an inner lover meets her outer graphic designer. It's about making art and design.

My Indiegogo Campaign!

Hey All- I just launched an Indiegogo campaign!

My dream is to produce a line of greeting cards of my Everyday Valentines. A lot of you have received or seen the evolution of my Everyday Valentines and know that they have been my "thing", my expression, my love-gift to humans. I feel a little vulnerable reaching out and asking for money- I mean I get that there are far more important causes to donate money to these days- but I also know that I can't achieve my dreams, can't grow, can't heal all on my own. I need support, I need my community.
I realized two days ago that a year ago this week I found out that I had a cancer lump in my breast. It feels healing and so fitting that I celebrate and mark this anniversary by giving birth to a dream!

You can see all the details and donate here:



Here's a new poster I made. I created it for an art auction at this very cool gallery called the Subterranean Art House in downtown Berkeley. I got on my bike a few months ago, feeling frustrated and mean to myself and then the line, "i'm just going to be human" popped into my head. This immediately softened me, surrendered me to the grace, complexity and beauty of flawed human-ness. All you loves out's ok to be human, really it is...soft, flawed, good, bad, vulnerable, surrendered, vulnerable, determined, loving, exposed, courageous, afraid, hopeful, resilient.

best wedding gift ever!

Last year my oldest and dearest friend got married and I made this for her and her love, Ted. It's an
exerpt from her favorite poem hand written. She told me it was their most favorite gift, just saying. If
you want to give a gift with heart, hit me up! I will create a custom handwritten poem for you and then
frame it beautifully. You provide the poem. The print is 12x16 in. and even bigger framed.

crappy photo but this is what it looks like framed

crappy photo but this is what it looks like framed

June Updates

my banner 

my banner 

I know, it's been a while. Lots of internal healing so my external world has been a little quiet and steady. I'm still feeling the aftermath of breast cancer and anxiety, fear and some underlying depression have been my  challengers in the last few months. I've had some realizations around surrendering to the unknown, the importance of self-care and having a spiritual practice and i've slept a lot! That's a very short synopsis. 

i did, however, want to share a creative update. I've sold my Everyday Valentines in two Urban Air Markets in the last 2 months. What fun experiences! I love watching people's faces as they erupt into laughter at reading my cards. I love connecting with new people and hearing their stories. I especially love when someone reads one of my cards and exclaims, "this was written for me!" My heart melts. I have left exhilarated and connected and loved at the end of both events. And was also so nervous at the beginning. :)

And....I also sold the painting I made back in the Fall which was the subject of my first blog post! This is the first painting I've ever sold!  Here are some photos of my booth from these two events. And you'll see the painting in the last photo. It's such a fun event! If you've never been, come to the next one (go to their Facebook link above!) 

everyday valentines: my pieces of love

One dream/goal I've had for a while is to DO something with my Everyday Valentines. A few years back I started making these hand drawn type pictures for the people in my life. They were meant as an expression of my love for them. It's so cliche and cheezy I guess, BUT i really do think that love is so cool and I want to share that in a non-Hallmark way. And as a designer, I just adore making hand drawn type.

So anyways, fast forward to now, I have finally professionally printed ten of my "love notes"! I have like 500 prints of each of the ten valentines! Whowza!  And I've set up an etsy shop and plan to sell them at my friend's awesome craft show called Urban Air Market. And i want to try to get someone to blog about them and I'm gonna scare the vejangles out of myself by walking into stores to see if they will carry them. I feel kinda vulnerable about the whole thing cause these valentines are an expression of me both in content and in the design. My biggest dream/goal is to have Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie pick them up.

My smaller dream/goal this year is to just have as many people as possible see them. My friend David thinks i should go total guerilla marketing and hand them to lovers on the street (or on BART). I love the idea and it does align to my deeper spiritual intention around handing out pieces of free love.  So if you're out there reading this, go kiss a lot in public. I'd love to give you a piece of my kinda love.

please visit my etsy shop:

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fast art & changing a belief

I had this belief that making art takes time. And time is not something I have a lot of as
many of you and your busy lives can attest to.  There's also some low-grade pressure
and fear around having to "perform" or be good at being creative. And yet, whenever I
do paint or draw or do anything creative, I feel so deeply satisfied and nourished. So
anyways, I decided to change this belief so that I can feel nourished and satisfied more
often. I decided to make fast art.
Here is the process: I grab a marker and without thinking just make shapes on a page.
I turn to another blank page, quickly make another sketch. I do that 5 or 6 times. I
don't judge the shapes, I just let them come and be all weird or the same as always or
kinda ugly or kinda sweet. I rip the paper out, lay them all out next to each other.
Then quickly again, I squeeze some gouache on a palette, dip a big fat brush in some
water and work on all 5 sketches at once, lobbing paint and water into the shapes. I
add another color, mix it in, add more color to the page. I maybe do that 3 times.
And then, I'm done. That maybe took 10 minutes and I feel SO GOOD. And something
interesting or beautiful and accidental always happens and that feels SO GOOD too.
And hey, look, I just made some art.
Below are a few that I really like. If you're feeling me on this concept, try it out with
something you've been resisting and tell me how it feels.

my new painting

This came out of me 'cause it had to come out of me. it's been a challenging two
months since I was told I had a cancer tumor in my breast. One big thing I keep
hearing inside myself is that I gotta get it out, i gotta self-express, I gotta create.
It doesn't matter what it looks like, there is something that needs to be born. I
remember walking to the art store with Jamie (my guy) to buy the beautiful little
tubes of Japanese gouache that gave this painting its' intense color palette- it was
like a crazy urging fire pushing me to get the tools I needed to release all the
emotions inside of me. After a painting session, I always felt calm and peaceful, 
clean & clear even if I didn't like where the painting was going. I actually quite
love it now. I see it everyday when I come up the stairs and I am hit with a wave
of healing color and love energy. 

Let's Dance