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Color Theory, Palettes, Composition, and Elevating Your Own Art

Michelle Norris and Forrest Aguar


Based in Atlanta, Georgia


Meet Michelle and Forrest:

They met while studying photography at the University of Georgia, and now live in Atlanta with their dog, Taco. Forrest loves pairing shapes and lines to create captivating compositions, and Michelle loves seeking out compelling color combinations.

What inspires you to create?

Seeing new places, looking at the work of other artists, and sometimes even dreams. We get excited about the chance to build something new or to try out different techniques. Keeping things fresh is really important for staying inspired.

Top right: Bag: Very Fine South, Shot for the Secret Catalog | Bottom left: Models: Michelle Norris and Elise Mesner, Clothing: Bright Volumes | Bottom middle: Models (left to right): Sienna Brown, Eve Nettles, Temitayo Oyekanmi, Chinelo Obiamalu, Zainab Kamara, Clothing: Bright Volumes

Are there any design guidelines you follow?

Color theory is pretty important to us—knowing what colors complement each other and how to mix them. Outside of that, we really go wild and push the boundaries as much as possible.

Why is color so important? What does it represent to you?

Color makes us happy! Based on people’s responses to our work, we think it makes other people happy too. It represents our feelings—a cool color palette can say something completely different than a warm one.

What drives your creativity?

There is nothing we love more than creating something beautiful.

What is some of the best advice you have ever received?

Travel before you have too many responsibilities.

What is something that you wish you would’ve known when you were 20?

That knowing about business and contracts would be a big part of making art for a living. I wish we’d known what an amazing marketing tool Instagram would be so we could have taken it seriously earlier!

Model: Elise Mesner, Clothing: Bright Volumes

Design hacks:

1. Colored tape is amazing! It can add a fun graphic element to images.

2. Look at work you love and figure out what makes it exciting so you can elevate your own art.

Any secrets for capturing great images?

Composition is everything! Something ordinary can be elevated when you look at it from a different angle. Look for parallel lines or diagonals that can meet the corner.

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