Patience & Sketches

Patience & sketches: two things I seem to simultaneously have a lot of and yet none at all. I have so many things I want to create and share (sketches), but it just feels like there aren't enough hours in the day to create/design/finish/photograph/share them. Which makes me feel really impatient! At the same time, it also means I can't help but be patient, because I can only do so much in a day and need to patiently wait for the right (or available!) time.

I DO have several sketches in the works, as well as recently completed lettering projects! I'm really excited about them and can't wait to share. But, it will require some patience before I can show them; gotta wait until clients receive & share the final artwork before I can share it too!

In the meantime, I'll share one of my recent sketches, along with someone who takes up a lot of my time, though I don't mind ;)

Until next time!

 Tommy, my fiancé!

Tommy, my fiancé!

Worry

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength."

I love this quote by Corrie ten Boom because its so true. I also love that it offers a subtle hope, because when you think about it, you realize you have the strength each day to overcome it.

The Progression of a Hand-Lettered Quote

Since my first blog post two Septembers ago, I've developed my own process for hand-lettering. It's been fun! So, on this snowy day I thought I'd share a little bit of that process via photos--here we go!

First, I sketch the letters in pencil. Once I have the lettering at a good spot, I ink it with pen.

Next--sometimes, I'll instagram my sketch and leave it at that, as you'll see in the bottom left photo. But often, I decide to take it a step further and digitize the letters! In this particular case, I was in the zone when I finished instagramming and decided to digitize the quote as well. To do that, I first clean it up in Photoshop.

After that, it starts to be really fun! I take the cleaned up sketch into Illustrator and make it digital. I often spend a good bit of time cleaning up the curves, but in this case decided to leave it be. Then I play with the letterforms & decide whether to leave them blank or fill them in, what color they should be, and whether I'll add any illustrations or photography.

This time, I decided to use a photo I took of the ocean last summer as a background, because I wanted to experiment with gradients and it fit nicely with the quote.

At some point in my experimenting, I land on a design I love and decide it's finished (sometimes that takes me a while!). Once it's finished, I create print-ready files, take a trip to the printers, and then photograph my work, as you'll see below. I hope you enjoy it!

Lastly--for the first time, I decided to turn my lettering into a lock screen (you can see both below)! If you are interested in the lock screen, feel free to contact me (you can text, email, or submit a form through the site) and I'll send you the file! :)

Come Alive

Whew! It's been quite a couple of months--I somehow managed to land my college dream job, got engaged, started planning a wedding, and am still in the midst of exciting plans that may or may not involve my hand-lettering. 

While I haven't found much time lately to letter for fun (though I HAVE been working on some other projects, which will show up on the blog soon!), I did manage to make this and take some photos of it. It's a line from a song by Rend Collective and features what have become my characteristic floral doodles. Enjoy!

Liz & Kyle's Wedding Programs

One of my roommates, Liz, recently married her college sweetheart, Kyle, in June of 2015. I got to design their sweet and simple wedding programs!

Liz and I weren't really friends before we were roommates--we had met once or twice, but didn't really know each other. However, over the course of the year we lived together, we became good friends (thanks in part to our frequent and unplanned "kitchen talks"), so when it came time to figure out the programs, Liz asked me if I would design them for her.

I'm glad I was able to be a part of their big day in this small way, and am also glad I can call Liz a friend! To see some of her wedding photos (and also a few photos of same hand-painted signs I also got to help with), check out the photos by Anna Grace Photography.

You Have 48 Hours (Gifted Note Cards)

"I want something pretty and original. Any chance you have something in your portfolio? "

With these words, the whirlwind began. My boyfriend's aunt was looking for unique cards to give as a gift to a close friend who was retiring, and who loves to write personal notes. I received a text on a Tuesday morning asking if it would be possible to leverage any existing designs I might have and whip up some note cards in time for the retirement party that Thursday, two days later. I had just waltzed in to work, but agreed to take on the challenge because, you know, I love things that are pretty and original. Why would I pass up the opportunity?

I was off to the races. Later that evening, I started pulling illustrations and details from some of the lovely wedding invites and programs I've gotten to design recently; you might recognize some of the pretty peonies, hydrangeas, daisies, and lemons from previous blog posts. Aunt Peg and I agreed to meet the following evening to get the note cards printed, which meant my goal was to finish the design and run it by her at lunch on Wednesday via text (check), run to an event after work (they had Chick-fil-a nuggets, so thumbs up for that), and round everything out just before printing time (check).

Unfortunately, however, we got to the printers at 10:57p.m., and they had already locked their doors. A minor setback; so, I was up early the next morning and at the printers first thing (well, after I got my favorite breakfast sandwich to help wake me up for the eventful morning ahead). Thankfully the queues weren't busy yet, so I was able to get the note cards printed, cut them out, score them, and put them together in a pretty little package. They were finished in time for the party, and I'm told the retiree loved them! Success!

Despite the 48 hour turnaround time, I'd say they turned out pretty nicely! Leave a comment below and let me know which one is your favorite!

Molly & Kevin's Wedding Invitations

Recently, two of my good friends, Molly & Kevin, gave me the opportunity to design their wedding invitations. Molly had seen Kate & Ty's invites (a few blog posts below), and after searching for templated invitations for a bit, asked me to design custom ones for her. I was so excited!

The design process with Molly was similar to the process with Kate and McKenna; we sat down and discussed relevant wedding details (such as colors, flowers, centerpieces, location, & more), looked at inspiration, and then reviewed some early ideas. From there, Molly and I worked together to refine the invitations. I also kept her sister and maid of honor, Kylee, in the loop (we lead Young Life together, so it was hard not to!).

Once the design was finished, I got to do something I hadn't done yet--coordinate the printing! Molly and I went to a local printer one night and got the invites printed, trimmed, and ready to go. We had previously ordered lemonade yellow envelopes to send the lovely invites out in. Finally, one other thing I was able to help with, which you'll see a sample of in the photos below, was address the envelopes.

The last thing left to do was wait to receive my own invitation in the mail, and now I'm looking forward to having a great time at the wedding!

McKenna & Nathan's Wedding Invitations

I had the pleasure of designing custom wedding invitations and wine labels for McKenna, a friend  I met in college, and her now-husband Nathan (I actually went to high school with his sister--small world!).

McKenna had a general idea of the look and feel she wanted for the invitation, but was pretty open about the details and graciously trusted my judgment. So, after we looked at inspiration and discussed relevant wedding details, I designed the invitations you'll see below. Rather than a printed RSVP card, McKenna used an online RSVP; however, she did ask me to design something a little bit uncommon, but very fun--wine labels! My college roommate (Erin's) dad actually made the wine for the wedding, and from there I designed the labels to complement the colors of the glass and wine (red wine was in green glass bottles, and white wine was in clear glass bottles).

I'm thankful that McKenna asked me to design these pieces of her beautiful wedding, and for the experience I gained in the process. I'm looking forward to many more custom projects to come!

Kate & Ty's Wedding Invitation Suite

Back in September my friend Kate, who I'm involved in the Young Life community with, asked me to design her save-the-dates and wedding invitations. Well, if I'm being honest, I asked her if I could design them, and she graciously accepted my offer. This was a really exciting step for me, as this was the first save-the-date and invitation suite I was creating for a friend (or at all).

Kate and her now-husband Ty, a good friend of mine from college, got engaged in June 2014 and married in March 2015. Overall, it was a great experience to see the process through from start to finish; during the fall, I designed the save-the-dates and excitedly received one in the mail. Next came the invitation suite, which included the invitations themselves, RSVP cards, and pretty pink envelopes. Kate found a great deal on printing, which relieved me of handling that aspect of the design process (however, I'm happy to report I am in the process of figuring these things out for current and future clients!). The invites were mailed in February; finally, in early March, I got to design the programs for the ceremony, as well as have a blast at the wedding!

As for the process itself, Kate and I sat down and discussed what she wanted the look and feel of her save-the-dates and invitations to be. She sent me a few images for inspiration; we also discussed her wedding colors and the flowers she was planning to have in her bouquet. After our discussion, it seemed she wanted something simple and beautiful, so that is what I strove for. Lucky for me, Kate was really laid back and open about the design, so I got to be creative and create something that was unique and personal to her.

I'm so happy I got to design these beautiful invitations, and am excited about more invites and projects currently in the works! Take a look at some of the photos below to see the full suite!

My [New?] Passion

Recently, I've developed a new passion. Or perhaps I should say that an old passion has resurfaced, and it's commonly referred to as hand-lettering. I have very much enjoyed creating hand-written typefaces since the ninth grade, when I used to illustrate song lyrics (via various hand-drawn, bubble-letter-esque, scripty, stacking typefaces)  all over my algebra notes (on lined paper, no less). I'm happy to report that my doodles have greatly improved (as well as my choice of sketch materials--helloooo moleskine and micron pens). As they should, now that I'm backed by a professional degree and much more practice, experience, knowledge, and, yes, passion. I absolutely love this stuff. I can't believe it took me this long to really get into it, but it has become an enduring interest and something I think about constantly--no matter what else is going on, I'm collecting ideas and quotes and mental pictures everywhere I go (and I have the scattered and scribbled notes to prove it). I know that the more I practice, research and develop this passion, the better I will become at it. And so I've started to pull inspiration. I see design in everything (I've been told I can't look at anything without critiquing it.. oops). My instagram feed has become a constant source of inspiration, my cousins and friends have started to send me links to design websites because I talk about it so much, and I've started to dream. But enough about that for now. I'm thankful for my abilities so far and am looking forward to what's to come. Here's to passion.