So Wrapped Up

It is awful that I have the capability as a graphic designer to create my own stationary yet i still choose the easy option of nipping to Tesco and picking up a cheap roll of wrapping paper. Whilst Christmas was looming late in 2016, I made myself a promise, no purchasing of bulk produced goods the year. NONE.

Like a little elf I got to work quickly on a repeating pattern that featured the common Christmas paraphernalia; presents, crackers, gingerbread men… you know the ones. I stuck to what I’m good at, simple freehand Illustrator sketches with a clean look and a hint of playfulness. Colour-wise, there’s so much you can do for Christmas nowadays, no need to don the traditional bright green and red. I was stuck between gold and black luxury and a muted palette of bright sweetness, in the end using one for cards and the other for paper. I also changed up the scale to suit the size and added a little note to the cards.

The printing gods at printed.com came up with some really nice goods, a heavier-than-normal stock of wrapping paper with a shine finish and print precision on the gorgeous laid greetings cards. They were even kind enough to feature my work on their blog HERE.

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Hi, I live here.

A while ago I made the scary but exciting decision to up sticks and move 350miles away from family and friends to the alluring shores of the south west cost. Two weeks in and I’ll fairly certain I’m going to love it here. Nothing can replace family and friends you’ve known since school, but the sights and sounds of Cornwall have a soothing effect that instantly make you feel at home. I feel blessed to be living two minutes from the sea with miles and miles of coastline to be explored, the therapeutic sound of the ocean and quiet country paths for thinking time. My mind is buzzing with the potential for new creative projects inspired by life surrounded by rugged nature which I can’t wait to get started on.

Cheers!

I’ve been part of the rapidly expanding cheerleading world for the past 8 years, performing in various teams and running a program of my own for a number of years which I sadly had to give up last year due to work commitments. As a sport, I love it. It really is a sport that pretty much anyone can do as long as you have the enthusiasm. And please note I do passionately refer to it as a SPORT, there was no standing on the sidelines here. Cheerleading these days is very much about training hard, sweating, getting the odd elbow to the face and going all out when it comes to competing with other teams.

It was natural that the two biggest interests in my life would collide – design and cheer. In my previous employment I designed Cheerleading kit, and it did very well, one of the best companies in the country in fact. It lead to lots of different projects about cheer, one of them being a collaboration I did with the UK Cheerleading Magazine.

The ‘Worlds’ Edition of the magazine is the equivalent of the Vogue September Issue. The big one. And I was kindly asked by the editor to illustrate a piece on what to pack for the teams going to the World Championships. I’ve used this style of illustration many a time consisting of pen tool drawing in Illustrator, taking in to Photoshop to add colour and a little shading then doing some arrangements of InDesign. As you can see from the below the client wasn’t happy with the first arrangement all shooting out of the bag but loved the second. It was loud and bright and CHEERFUL and that’s what made it to print…

I’m On The Photoshop Express

I recently got a the new iPhoneSE (hurray one that actually works finally!) and was so excited to get snap happy on my recent trip to the south coast. I’ve previously tried carrying a SLR around with me but honestly, its a hassle. They’re heavy and there’s lots of putting away and getting back out and keeping protected from the (imminent) rain. This was so convenient to pull out at a seconds notice. I also downloaded the Photoshop Express and Photoshop Fix Apps (full version is free for Adobe cloud members) and was pretty impressed with its capabilities. Here’s what I created with essentially free camera and software…

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Hand Lettering Progression

When I was younger I was obsessed with hand lettering. I’d use it for everything; science books, birthday cards, shopping lists. As I progressed on to university and eventually, an actual grown up career, I became more interested in finding just the right font instead. As with anything, when you don’t practise skills, things get a bit rusty.
There’s been a big comeback of late in the hand lettering game, I think Pinterest and Instagram ‘daily slogans’ are mainly to thank for this. I’ve seen it around a lot anyway and wanted to have a go again.
Things aren’t quite up to scratch. I don’t have the patience (or time let’s be honest!) that I did as a teenager. Hopefully with some more practise I’ll get back in the swing. I’ve decided my ‘thing’ is definitely picking my favourite quotes. In need of some different sized sharpies i think in order to get a more elegant look. But overall feel like the actual lettering shapes are getting much better.

 

ORIGINAL HAND DRAWING THEN PHOTOGRAPHED AND ADJUSTED IN PHOTOSHOP

 

IMAGE TRACE ON ILLUSTRATOR

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FINAL PIECE