I’m trying to make an effort to show more of my work online, not just in my portfolio. Sometimes you wonder why people aren’t hiring you for certain things and most of the time it’s simply because they don’t even know that it’s something you do or even want to do. I’ve been trying to get better about posting work on instagram and realized my little neglected blog corner is just as important.
Here are a few t-shirt concepts I designed for my long time client Paws For Hope back in November. Not all of these ended up getting used, but I thought I’d share them anyway. You can see some of them in action here and here and you can buy your own shirts from their online store here.
I’m adding the final touches to a new branding projects and figured I should share the moodboard before I add it to my portfolio.
I won’t say much about this project yet, except that it is affiliated to one of my previous branding clients, Paws For Hope, and that I absolutely loved working on this and can’t wait to show it off! The imagery and concept for this one was crystal clear form the get-go which made the logo process super smooth, efficient and speedy; we wrapped up almost two weeks early!
More details to come very soon :)
I’m so excited about this! Paws for Hope is a charity I do contract work for every so often and it is always so much fun. They have an amazing little team and are always so passionate about everything they do. Paws for Hope recently reached out to me to design some t-shirts for them. The shirts will be worn by their team and be available for sale so they can collect funds to keep their mission of animal welfare going strong.
The team send me over a few general directions, mostly of what they did not want, and gave me a few awesome taglines to work with. The biggest challenge was that the shirts need to speak to both men and women. I’ve realized that no matter how much I enjoy illustrating my style is very much on the kids-end of things, which women may like, however it is definitely too cutesy for guys. With this in mind we focused mostly on text based designs. I will share all the final designs after the holiday season when the shirts have been printed.
In the meantime, as I was working on these concepts I was feeling really inspired and overflowing with ideas. Although illustrations were not really part of the plan I sat down one evening, just because I felt like it, and started doodling. I figured I’d have fun creating them and if Paws for Hope felt they could use them, then great, if not, I had just created something fun for myself.
I had so much fun creating these illustrations, that it really came through to the client. Paws for Hope loved the illustration and although they are on the cutesy side and no dudes will be running out to buy them, they will print a few runs of the illustration anyway, possibly a few smaller sizes for kids, and potential bumper stickers.
The lesson here is that, sometimes, when you are really into it, even though it’s not part of the original outline or brief, it’s fun to just go for it anyway, because you never know what will come from it.
The days are starting to get longer and the sunshine is coming out more often, but nonetheless it’s still cold, windy and even rainy outside. I always feel like February is the hardest month of the year. You sort of put up with winter from October-December. January rolls around and you’re distracted by the fact that it’s a new year and you focus on a bunch of new resolutions. Suddenly you look at your calendar, it’s February, and you realize summer is still not in sight. Luckily March is just around the corner, I am hoping it will bring lots of sunshine and warmer days with it.
I recently bought some tubed watercolours, as opposed to the solid palettes. It’s definitely a different feel and I am having fun experimenting with it (see above). Nothing like a little bit of watercolour art-therapy to lift your spirits, right?
Last month the sweet ladies from Paws for Hope contacted me about creating some graphics for their holiday campaign. Paws for Hope is a Vancouver-based charity established in 2011, who realized the provincial animal support system was broken and in a state of crisis. They stepped up by filling the gaps with their own direct animal assistance, educational programs and campaigns.
Their campaign “pets are not products” is all about creating awareness about the misery of pet store animals, especially around the holiday season, when cute fluffy pets are happily gifted. The sad fact is that the vast majority of puppies, kittens and bunnies which are sold in pet stores are bred in commercial mills under horrific conditions. Furthermore, most of them suffer from serious diseases, genetic defects and hereditary disorders, which in turn means you dropping thousands of dollars at the vet.
Way to crush the holiday spirit, right?
It’s sad but so important to make people aware of. As depressing as the topic may be I was very excited to work on this. I feel so much more inspired working for an important cause, something that actually matters or will hopefully help make a difference, as opposed creating marketing materials for some corporation, aka straight to CEO’s pocket. The campaign has a very strong concept which was quite easily translatable into visuals. I choose to take “pets are not products” literal and illustrated the animals on a store shelf. To emphasize the whole idea of “product” each pet also received a bar code.
It was a really nice change to get off the computer for a bit and hand sketch these furry friends before digitizing them. By no means am I an illustrator, but I do enjoy creating illustrations. These guys are very much along my personal style, kinda cartoon-ish and fun. If you think about the campaign this doesn’t fit in at all. My challenge was to make the pets look cute, in order to get your attention. However once you look at it in more detailed you realize they are all actually pretty miserable. The melancholic blue and grey colour scheme also helped convey this sadness. The animal-welfare industry is over-saturated with aggressive and sad imagery. It was important for me to still convey the message, but in a more “subtle and friendly” way.
No matter how cute they may look, please avoid going to pet stores and help spread the word.
I just got back from a little vacation from both Portugal and Croatia. I will be posting a few snapshots of my trip throughout the next few weeks, but firstly I wanted to share some of the artwork of Ana Kolega. While in Dubrovnik, Croatia, we stumbled upon a little art gallery selling all sorts of art and crafts from local artists. Ana Kolega’s bright canvases caught my eye right away (in particular this one, which I would have purchased if I had had the budget for it).
I have a soft spot for thick brush stokes and loose lines. Her style is sort of kiddish and the colour combinations are so alive. Besides her signature each painting also has a title sketched onto the artwork in croatian scribbly first-grader-style. Handwritten type is always a bonus, it adds so much extra character!
On our last day in Dubrovnik we went back to the little gallery and bought these postcards. I would have loved to have bought one of her original prints, maybe next time. For now this is plenty of colour inspiration for me!
Ana Kolega’s site is in croatian and not the easiest to navigate. Unfortunately all of the artwork on her site is watermarked and kind of small but I do suggest you look through the pages and scan her different categories. If you’re like me and don’t speak croatian it’s like a little adventure as you click throughout without knowing what you’ll see :p
I came across these paintings by Esther Stewart yesterday and they immediately made me dream about summer. I especially love the muted summer colour palette going on in the first one. Her work is characterized by the careful balance of geometric shapes. She plays with perspective using colour and form to produce the illusion of space and depth on her otherwise flat work surface.
Funny enough Esther’s upcoming show is titled “Makin’ Plans”, which I have been full of in the past few days! We’re already halfway though June and I feel like I haven’t done many summer activities, however I am busy planning a few day trips, weekend get-aways and even a special vacation to a far-away place. I won’t give everything away quite yet :)
I’ve been noticing Lotta Nieminen’s name pop up a lot so I cruised over to check out her portfolio. She’s an award-winning Graphic Designer originally from Helsinki but now living in NY creating beautiful designs and illustrations. I stumbled across this ad for the Union Pearson Express Lotta Nieminen illustrated and felt it was fitting to share, seeing as how I’m heading to Toronto myself in less then two weeks. Too bad the new rail service isn’t up and running quite yet…
Last Christmas we visited CN Tower and this time we’re probably checking out the Art Gallery of Ontario. Any suggestions what else we should visit? Any extra yummy food places? I’d love to hear from anyone who lives in Toronto or has been there before!
Speaking of short travels I happened to come across this great little site called 12hrs via miss moss which is a quick non-touristy travel guide highlighting a few spots across various cities with a simple 12 hr itinerary. Too bad they don’t have a Toronto one yet!
never stop learning.
Digging these badass-in-prom-dresses-ready-to-murder-you housewives. The rough textured bush strokes give these ladies the danger and edge, as well as a pinch of elegancy with the white and clean canvas and pretty vintage dresses. Somewhat desperate housewives. Well done Kelly Reemtsen.
Violet is a kids book I illustrated while attending art school as part of one of my classes. My mom had recently started writing and had a story. Originally in german, I translated it into english and started brainstorming. I have a huge soft spot for collages and everything DIY. I wanted this book to be one of a kind with a very tactile and colourful feel, very much inspired by Eric Carle.
The illustrations are all hand done, composed out of paper of varying colours, patterns and textures. Once a page was put together it got scanned, touched up and overlayed with text. It took lots of work and patience, a few pages had to be done and re-done a few times, however it is one of my favorite portfolio pieces and I very much look forward to doing further illustrations (or maybe even books) in this style.
I have finally gotten around to getting a few copies online for purchase. To save money on shipping costs and whatnot you can order it directly off of Lulu, in english or even in german (Violeta). The english version is also available in e-book format here. If you happen to be in Vancouver and wish to purchase a copy sent me an e-mail to save money on shipping costs![issuu width=670 height=350 embedBackground=%23e9e6e6 pageNumber=2 backgroundColor=%23222222 documentId=120305051338-e3a1ddc8a7ff43e1a6d030874e11a309 name=violet_sneakpeak unit=px id=4874b751-8711-3e53-d9f6-80fd6e6ab50f v=2]
The kids book is about Violet; a beautiful little girl who faces her fears by going from “I don’t want to” to “I try” and her animal friends who accompany her on this journey. The intention of this book is to encourage little children to be curious and to explore new experiences; to reassure them when they are facing their fears.
The author wants to enhance the parents´ understanding for the fear of failure in children, when they express their refusal to try “simple” tasks they have to face. Children learn by using their senses in order to grow. In the story, Violet was able to explore her senses for the first time, therefore the book was designed in a very tactile manner.
To view of more of my past design and photography work don’t forget to check out my portfolio site.
Cristiana Couceiro retro style is awesome, the collage style, the shapes, the colour schemes. And she is from Lisbon. Her work does make me feel nostalgic and think of home. She likes spending her Saturdays at the flea market looking for new materials. Awesome.
Love these simplistic Paris vs New York illustrations I came across on society 6.
Link: flower heads