It's Business Time

Over the last few months, along with preparing to open my Etsy shop, I have been working on developing my business card. I've looked at a number of inspiring examples, and thought hard about how to incorporate my logo into the larger vision for my brand. In the past year I have worked on several logo and branding projects for amazing clients, but for some reason, it is much tougher to make decisions for my own branding, than it is for me to work from an outside perspective on someone else's branding.  

So, here is a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a few designs I have been working on. I want my card to be slightly larger than a typical card format, with enough room to write short, hand-written notes to my clients and Etsy customers on the back. If I go with one of the two with more white space, I'll have room to do a small painting on each card after printing-a hand made touch that I think would make the cards more unique. 

I'll report back soon with the final product! Happy Thursday, friends!

Screenshot of business card drafts on my desktop

Screenshot of business card drafts on my desktop

My Etsy Shop is Open for Business!

I'm thrilled to announce that my Etsy shop is now open for business! Opening this shop has been a goal of mine for a long time, and last night as I pressed the button to officially open the shop to the world, I felt a huge rush!

Check out the shop right HERE!

In my shop, you can buy archival art prints of my illustrations, paintings and drawings, and I'll soon be adding original pieces for sale as well. As many of you know, I love working on custom and freelance projects too, so feel free to get in touch if you have a project proposal.

Thank you all for your continued support, encouragement and interest in my work. The last year and a half has been a wild ride, and I wouldn't have been able to get this far without all of your love! 

Happy Friday, Friends!

  Screenshot of my Etsy Shop Page!

 

Screenshot of my Etsy Shop Page!



Michigan Love + Wildflower Cards for Blandford Nature Center

As many of you know, I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and have a lot of pride for my home state. If you happen to bring up the midwest in conversation, I tend to get a little chatty. Even though I'm now a California girl, my heart still belongs to the Great Lakes State in so many ways.

When Craig and I got married in northern Michigan in 2010, I made a series of drawings of native Michigan wildflowers to adorn the tables at our reception. I was thrilled when Grand Rapids' incredible Blandford Nature Center asked if they could repurpose the drawings for a set of note cards to sell in their shop. BNC is a place near and dear to my heart- a serene, bountiful 143-acre nature preserve and education center in the middle of Grand Rapids, where I spent a lot of time as a kid romping through the woods. The cards are currently in production, and will be for sale in BNC's gift shop this fall. If you're ever in West Michigan, I highly recommend a visit to this unique place. 

Happy Thursday, friends!

Behind the Scenes: Frances' Custom Birth Announcement

In the spring of this year, my friend Maggie asked me make a custom birth announcement and coordinating stationery for their second daughter, Frances. Sweet baby Frances and her gigantic smile happily landed on the scene in mid-February. I loved the idea of making a birth announcement, something I'd never done before. Maggie and I agreed on a springy, colorful palette and lots of florals. Check out the color palette, sketches and hand-lettering samples that were part of my process. 

Happy Thursday, Friends! 

The color palette

The color palette

Hand-lettering sample sketches 

Hand-lettering sample sketches 

My sketch of the announcement

My sketch of the announcement

The final birth announcement and Frances' coordinating custom stationery

The final birth announcement and Frances' coordinating custom stationery

  Floral detail

 

Floral detail

Kate Woodrow's 'Publishing Paths for Illustrators' Workshop on Modern Thrive

Friends, you MUST check out this workshop. My great friend, and the brains behind Present Perfect Dept., Kate Woodrow, is teaching a 3-day online course with Modern Thrive. Modern Thrive is a fantastic resource, chock-full of motivating workshops and ideas to help you take your business and ideas to the next level.

Kate's Modern Thrive course, Publishing Paths for Illustrators, is a three-session series that will delve into different ways illustrators can get published, how to develop compelling proposals and navigate the publishing world as an artist. (Oh, and did I mention that Kate has over ten years of experience in the publishing industry? In her time at Chronicle Books, Kate developed over 300 gorgeous books and gift products!)

This is a seriously fantastic opportunity to learn the real deal from a real gem. If I were you, I'd stop what you're doing right now, and head on over HERE to sign up. 

Behind the Scenes: A Custom Menu for Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Garden Of Eden Gala

Earlier this year, the lovely Danielle Walish and Jessica Stambaugh of interior design studio, Decorative Traces, asked me to illustrate and hand-letter a menu and place cards for their table at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House's annual gala. Lenox Hill Neighborhood House is a 121-year old settlement house in New York, offering human services to 20,000 people a year. 

Each design studio hosting a table at the luncheon, was charged with creating a table inspired by the event's Garden of Eden theme. Danielle and Jessica developed a lush, tropical direction for their table, infused with vibrant greens, watery and dark blues, and touches of gold. 

Here are some behind the scenes images of my sketches, color palette, final menu and place cards, for their tropical table design. 

Happy Thursday, friends!

The color palette

The color palette

Sketches of the menu front and back

Sketches of the menu front and back

The final menu and place card designs

The final menu and place card designs



Behind the Scenes: Branding for Present Perfect Department

When my uber-talented friend, Kate Woodrow approached me this spring about working on a logo and branding for her new literary agency and creative consultancy, Present Perfect Dept., I was completely thrilled. Before starting Present Perfect Dept. this year, Kate was a Senior Editor at Chronicle Books. She has an incredible knack for working with artists and illustrators to help them achieve their goals, and make their creative dreams come true. She does it all with a genuine spirit of collaboration, while staying truly engaged in helping artists refine and expand their ideas, or, as she says, making “good ideas get great." You can read more about her and see her incredible portfolio of past work HERE

When we sat down to discuss Kate's vision for her brand, words such “friendly," "approachable," "polished," and "creative” came up in conversation. She knew she wanted a clean, classic mark in combination with more colorful, playful watercolor illustrations to adorn her website. My first round of drawings for her included twelve versions of hand-lettered logos, and twelve illustrated patterns. I had fun refining the work, as each step brought us closer to representing the brand that she would put forth into the world. I’m so proud of Kate for having the guts to go out on her own to pursue this work, and excited to see her passion and expertise flourish in this new context. And, of course, I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with her on one step of that new beginning.

Have a look below at Present Perfect Dept.’s hand-lettered logo, color palette, and more.

The final logo shown in black

The final logo shown in black

The final color palette for PPD's overall branding

The final color palette for PPD's overall branding

PPD's website landing page incorporating the logo and watercolor wash

PPD's website landing page incorporating the logo and watercolor wash

Watercolor pattern illustrations used throughout the site

Watercolor pattern illustrations used throughout the site

  And finally, the logo and illustrations on the website. 

 

And finally, the logo and illustrations on the website. 


Illustrated Beer Labels: Hop In The Lake IPA

A few days ago, we returned from a glorious week of vacation at Lake St. Catherine in Poultney, Vermont. This vacation is a special one for our family - we gather every year with an incredible group of friends and all of our wild kids. We spend our time together swimming in the lake, eating delicious food, watching rain storms, playing silly games, and otherwise entirely forgetting about our normal lives. It's the best.

This year, for an added treat for the week, our talented friends and home brewers, Tim & Harry, crafted a special IPA and asked me to illustrate a label to adorn the bottle. (You may remember I also had the honor of illustrating the label for their 2014 Holiday edition, Better Not Pout Oatmeal Stout). They named this summer's brew, Hop In The Lake IPA, and man oh man, was it delicious. We are all waiting impatiently for these guys to open their own brewery in Montpelier, VT where they live.

There's pretty much nothing better than being at a gorgeous lake, basking in the summer sun with your best friends, and drinking delicious homemade beer. Already counting the days until we return next summer.