Posts from the ‘Hand-lettering’ category

Showstopper!

I recently finished this cover illustration for the second book in the Stage Struck series for Sleeping Bear Press. This fun middle-grade series is closely based on the real-life experience of the author Anya Wallach, who began a summer theater “camp” in her parents’ basement when she was just sixteen years old.

Thanks to Jennifer at Sleeping Bear —always such a pleasure to work with!

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Women’s Wit 2016 Calendar

I was thrilled to be asked to illustrate Andrews McMeel’s “Women’s Wit” calendar for 2016, a mini desk calendar with sassy quotes from funny ladies for each day of the year. I created an illustration and hand-lettering for the cover, as well as 6 spot illustrations and a background pattern to be repeated throughout the interior. Here’s the final approved artwork, as well as some of the initial sketches I submitted.

This was SUCH a fun project—I can’t wait to see the final product! Having just rung in 2015, I know it feels a bit early to be thinking about next year—but, they are available for pre-order now!

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Stage Struck

I recently had the great opportunity to work with Sleeping Bear Press on a new middle-grade book series, “Stage Struck” by Anya Wallach. I designed and illustrated this cover for the first book, including the hand-lettered branding that will be carried over to future books in the series. The series is closely based on the real-life experience of Wallach, who began a summer theater “camp” in her parents’ basement when she was just sixteen years old and formed Random Farms, which has launched the careers of many of today’s youngest stars on Broadway.

Many thanks to AD, Jennifer Bacheller, for this fun project!

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Blissfully busy

I’ve been sort of hibernating from social media for the last couple of months, but I have a good excuse (kind of!) … I got married!!!

Aside from packing in as many projects as possible these last few months so I can take some time off for a honeymoon, I (of course!) designed all the little touches for the wedding like my invites, programs, menus, etc. So it’s been a little hard keeping up with sharing updates along the way, but the big day was last Friday so now I finally have a chance to catch my breath and share a few of the details!

New York is a city I am in love with, and where I fell in love. I’ve lived here for over a decade, and my entire relationship with John unfolded here. This is where our story is, so we always knew this would have to be where we tie the knot! We got engaged last November 1st, so the timing just kind of naturally led us to have a Fall wedding (bonus that autumn in New York just happens to be my favorite!) I didn’t really pick a “theme” for the wedding—after spending about 10 minutes on Pinterest I realized I just liked way too many different & unrelated ideas! But all the things I was drawn to had a simple elegance. And because we were having a city wedding with lots of guests who would be first-timers to NYC, I wanted to capture a sophisticated & classic New York-esque vibe overall.

My save-the-dates sort of subconsciously set the tone for everything else. I initially had a very illustrative look in mind, but my style is too feminine & whimsical for what I was going for to represent our wedding. I wanted it to be elegant, but still have a lot of personality. As I sketched, things just kind of evolved and I ended up with a type-based design, incorporating 2 of my very favorite things to do: hand-lettering and letterpress.

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2-color letterpress on Crane’s 110lb pearl white

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Lots of hand-trimming, too!

When it came time to make the invitations, I spent ages trying to decide what direction to go. The possibilities are endless, and I had WAY too much fun sketching out ideas! In the end, I decided these should also be type-based, drawing inspiration from art deco and art nouveau styles. The result was something, that to me, was a little reminiscent of old vaudeville posters —that perfect mix of fun & elegance I wanted. I also letterpressed these and I couldn’t resist myself in the paper store, picking out pocket fold envelopes and patterned liner papers. I saw the Mad Lib RSVP idea somewhere in my inspiration search, and immediately knew I wanted to incorporate that. Everyone who knows me, knows my love for Mad Libs—plus, what a fun way to get our guests interacting with us from the start! I also hand-calligraphed all my envelopes, using gold gouache to give an extra special feel.

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A glimpse of the assembly line! Thankful for help from my mom and John to get these all signed, sealed & delivered!

The very first thing I knew I wanted for the look of the wedding was bright orange flowers—so I went the bold, complementary route and used a deep peacock teal as a secondary color. Gold became an accent color, and I used this palette throughout to tie everything together. I repeated some of the decorative elements I’d created for the save-the-date and invitations on the programs & menu cards. For table numbers, I wanted to use NYC places that had special meaning in our relationship—everything from where we met, to our first date, to our favorite pizza joint. I hand-painted signs on illustration board and used gold wire stands to group with our floating candle centerpieces. The place cards corresponded to the table number design.

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I used the lettering from my invitations to created a large vinyl cutout for the door. I’d hoped to get some fun photos in front of this, but my florist hung it very late and I actually ended up not even seeing it that day. But it seemed to be a touch that my guests liked, and was helpful in finding the otherwise unmarked entrance to the venue.

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Instead of favors, we made a donation to the American Cancer Society in honor of my father who passed away 8 years ago. We also had a photobooth—which I personally think makes the best take home momentos for guests! But, I did create totebags to welcome all my out-of-town guests as a thank you for coming to celebrate with us. I based the design off my save-the-dates, and had my best friend (and bridesmaid extraordinaire!) help me screenprint them. They were stuffed with goodies, a “hangover kit”, and a few guides I designed to share the weekend itinerary and recommendations for getting around NYC.

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Our wedding was at the Tribeca Rooftop in downtown Manhattan, and we lucked out with the most gorgeous 70-degree fall day, with a stunning sunset. It was absolutely magical, and the party that followed wasn’t too shabby either! It truly was the most amazing day of my life—and over flowing with love! Here’s a few snapshots from friends and family. I’ll share some of the pro photos once I get them.

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Now off to South Africa for the honeymoon adventure of a lifetime!!

One day I’ll get back to work 😉

 

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A Sweet Surprise

I was super excited to get a private commission last month for a custom wedding illustration. In the midst of my own wedding planning, love is definitely in the air and on my brain—so I was in the right mindset!

I was contacted by the couple after they saw this piece I created for a friend last year. They described themselves as  “explorers” and each other’s “navigators and co-pilots” with “an unhealthy inclination to sweets”. I immediately fell in love with them, and was totally on board to create something special for their big day! This was to be used as an opening page of the guest book at their wedding, later to become a journal of sorts to document future important moments and celebrations in their lives together.  I drew inspiration from vintage flying machines and a candy-colored palette to create a whimsical image that felt just right for them—and they loved it!

I loved creating this—the themes were right up my alley! Plus, because most of my work is a combination of traditional and digital media, I loved getting back to full-on painting. Wishing many many years of love and happiness to this very “sweet” couple!

 

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Dust Chronicles book covers & hand-lettered type design

I was recently commissioned to redesign a really cool YA post-apocalyptic thriller series for Skyscape. The art director had a fantastic vision for these, with a focus on hand-lettered title type design that would turn from orderly and a bit futuristic to “deviant”, swirling and splitting off into different directions that would snake around the cover. Laying the decorative type over an atmospheric stock photo would give these books a  futuristic, dystopian feel.

I sketched out a bunch of different type styles for these, and we developed one into something that has a sort of decorative circuit board feel that conveys the sci-fi tone of the series. I really love how the final covers turned and it was SO fun to get to create custom lettering in such a decorative, elaborate style! Many thanks to Katrina for the project and great art direction!

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Hershey’s Blissisms continued…

The latest in my series of illustrations for Hershey’s Bliss launched on their Facebook page this week. These “Blissisms”, or “truisms about life with a delicious chocolate twist”, are part of a social media campaign, and this is my third piece for the project.

This was a perfect opportunity to marry my hand-lettering & illustration and the creative team at W2O Group was fantastic to work with, making this one of my favorite assignments. Plus…who doesn’t love chocolate!

You can stop by and “like” the image on their Facebook Page, as well as check out the other images that are part of the campaign. I created their Facebook cover image as well as another “Blissism” (here), and am in great company with the other illustrators commissioned to be part of this fun campaign.

 

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Hershey’s Ad campaign

I’m excited to finally get to share a very cool project that’s been in the works for awhile!

I’m one of several artists from around the world commissioned to illustrate a series of “Blissisms”—or “truisms about life with a delicious chocolate twist”—part of a social media campaign for Hershey’s line of Bliss chocolates. Each week, new images will be featured on Hershey’s Bliss Facebook page, encouraging their fans to submit their own creative sayings.

I’m thrilled to have my work be included in the kick-off for this fun campaign. I absolutely loved creating these first “Blissisms”, and in the upcoming weeks several more of my pieces will be featured. You can “like” them on Hershey’s Bliss Facebook page.

Thanks to the fabulous team at W2O Group for such a fun project!

 

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Some fun experimentation

I’ve been thinking about process and development a lot in my work lately.

A couple months ago, I had my portfolio reviewed by Charles Hively (Art Director and Publisher of 3×3 Magazine). His great professional feedback, and just having a fresh eye look at my work, was a re-energizing experience for me. I think it’s easy for anyone to lose sight of their work and the direction it’s going if there’s never a moment to reflect on it or consider it from a more objective angle. I think for me especially—since I juggle a creative full-time job where I design and art direct illustrators every day—what I am doing in my own work can feel clouded and even over-influenced by what I am constantly surrounded by. And the pressure I put on myself by comparing what I do to what I see, and trying to “speed up” to get to where I really want to be in my career, has created a lot of burn out and frustration for me.

Mr. Hively’s feedback suggested that I spend (a lot of) time figuring out how to allow more of my personal voice to shine through, as any artist has to do to really improve: Try new mediums, palettes, and/or subject matter; Study non-illustration & design work; Look at European illustration; Tap into the things that most interest & inspire me on a personal level—and let all these influences find their appropriate place in my work until that day when I “get goosebumps” because I’ll just know I’ll have found that really special thing in my work that sets it apart from everything else.

I agree that growth comes from stepping out of the “safe” zone, and I’ve been trying to slow down in a way —thinking less about “finished pieces” when I make new work and get more involved in my process. I took advantage of the extra time away from the office grind this long holiday weekend to experiment a bit with medium and process.

I love music and also love illustrating & hand-lettering quotes that inspire me. These words by Bilie Holiday seemed especially fitting for the things I’m thinking about at the moment, so I decided to revisit this drawing I’d done awhile back. Here’s some shots of  my  process:

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Original drawing and inkjet transfer to toothed paper

Colorblocking

Blocking in color with watercolor & goauche

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Final art with inked line

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Digitized art

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