Category Archives: Design

I’m Working On // Reading Inspired Art + A Free Download!

iwo-bookart-1One of the most exciting things about our new place is that it has an extra bedroom – ie dedicated office space for me!! I have been working on whipping this room into shape – buying furniture, hanging things on the wall… the fun stuff!

I’m super excited to not only have my own workspace (A pink desk! A wide open floor to lay out projects! A door to close when I’m in the middle of something and don’t want to clean up!) but also to have a spot for a little reading nook. Our corner shelves and most of our books ended up in this room, and I wanted to use the books as inspiration for some fun, simple, and inexpensive wall art. 

First up is this humorous, “I like big books and I cannot lie” print. I saw this saying on a bookstore tote bag and immediately knew it needed to be hanging up in my office. 

I set some type in a minty green circle in Illustrator, and printed it out. If I had big enough paper, this would have been the only step, but in order to fill a 12×12 frame I had laying around, I cut out the circle and pasted it onto a piece of spare mat board. I cleaned the glass and BOOM. Awesome and hilarious – it makes me smile every time I look at it. 

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This next piece is (believe it or not) even geekier. As I was re-reading Harry Potter for the 297852930645034th time, I realized how awesome the drop caps are at the beginning of each chapter. I wondered if I could find an “M” (for our last name) or a “K” for my first name and cleverly crop it. 

I paged through several books and found a couple of “M’s” and one “K” – but the “K” was in the word “Kreacher” which… just… didn’t do it for me. So “M” it was! I took a couple pictures with my phone (this would totally be better if I had a scanner and scanned it in, but since I printed it so small, the quality didn’t matter as much).

Then I brought it into Photoshop, adjusted the levels a bit and cropped it to fit another frame I had on hand. Voila! Subtle HP fan art. 

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I know you’re all dying to have such amazing art grace your walls too, so here is a free download of the “big books” art – it’s ready for printing and framing in any 8×10 frame. High fives to all my fellow book nerds! 

PS I turned all of our books around on a whim the other day. It’s definitely not the most practical, but it is a bit less distracting… not sure how long they’ll stay this way :)

I’m Working On // Bookworm Bridal Shower Invites

It’s no big secret that I love to read. Books are my favorite. So when my friend Beth asked for help with some invitations for her sister’s book-themed bridal shower, I was like:

And then I got to work! This was a super fun project and the final design came out so sweet. 

Beth, this was a blast to work on – I hope your sister had a wonderful shower!

I’m Working On // Un-BEAL-ievable

My friend Alexa contacted me a couple weeks ago looking for some help designing a birthday party favor for her boyfriend’s 30th. Johnny and I go way back – we started at Select a couple months apart, and worked together for years on most of the digital projects that came through the office. He and Lex sort of adopted Casey and I into their awesome group of friends, and we spent lots of time hanging out with them outside of work – playing kickball, hiking, skiing, sailing – you get the idea. So I was psyched to help out! The koozies were Lex’s idea, and she simply requested a fun design that mentioned “Johnny’s 30th Birthday.” 

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I was inspired by these weird internet mashup animals (Johnny always had a few hanging at his desk) and the fact that he used to live in Wyoming, home of the Jackalope. So, a too-cool, sunglass wearing character plus a play on words (Johnny’s last name is “Beal”) and voila! A super fun party favor was born. 

They came out awesome and I hear that Johnny had a fabulous celebration. Happy happy birthday, friend! Wish we could have been there!

*Photo by Johnny’s awesome sister, Sarah. Thanks, Sarah!

I’m Working On // Andiamo!

Awhile ago, my friend Natalie sent me a link to this year’s Print Exchange and simply said, “Let’s do this!”

You can read more about the project here, but basically, the gist is, make 12 prints, mail them to us, and we’ll send you 10 in exchange. It’s kind of like an artsy/designer/grown-up version of those funny pen-pal chain letters my cousin and I used to do when we were kids (anyone else remember those? I can’t quite put my finger on the deliverable – stickers, maybe?!!).

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It had been a long time since I carved a linoleum block – since Studio Art my freshman year of high school, I think. I ordered a kit from Amazon and started brainstorming – the theme was Let This Be a Sign, which was nice and open.

I wanted my print to be travel/adventure based. Our “motto” is Let’s Go Anywhere. Casey and I are always up for an adventure (like moving to Puerto Rico!). Plus, we vacationed in Italy last fall (which just happens to be my most favorite place in the entire world. I can’t explain the pull that that country has on me – it’s magnetic and magical. I’m so grateful Casey got to experience it with me!) and I was full of inspiration and ideas from our trip. My absolute favorite word in Italian is Andiamo.. which means “Let’s go.”

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I thought it would be cool to combine the Italian and the motto (which are basically the same thing), but I was worried that something text-based would be super boring. So instead of using plain paper, I purchased some old European maps on Etsy and used them as the background, which provided tons of visual interest. And made each one just a little bit more unique/special.

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You guys, linoleum printing is SO FUN. I designed my text in illustrator, printed it in reverse, and used a simple lead-transfer technique to get it onto my block. The carving only took an hour or two, and it was so rewarding! The progress was immediately visible and made me feel so accomplished.

The printing was almost as easy. I was glad I had extra pieces to test – some definitely came out better than others. But that was the other awesome thing about this process – it was supposed to be imperfect. I wanted it to feel handmade and to have a bit quirky irregularity. I am so happy with how it turned out! I have a feeling that this technique might be a new obsession.

I’m Working On//Elephant in the Room

For Art Hop this year, my company put on a camouflage-themed gallery opening. It was based on the history of camouflage, and featured textile designs by Burton, camouflage in nature and a poster series by the creative team.

I was leaning heavily towards an animal-based poster, since I found camouflage in nature fascinating…but I didn’t really want it to feel too literal. Elephants have always been my favorite animal. Known for their incredible memories, human-like emotions, and intelligence, they have always been special to me. I liked their strong, recognizable profile, and I liked that elephants are kind of difficult to camouflage, and thought of the phrase, “You can’t hide the elephant in the room.” A quirky, somewhat humorous, animal-based poster was born.

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I’m Working On//Wings Over VT

In April, my company had the pleasure of hosting the National Poster Retrospecticus—a one night only show celebrating the art of screenprinted posters. There were posters from many of the greats—Two Arms Inc, DraplinAesthetic Apparatus, etc. The creative department was allowed to contribute to the show, as long as our poster featured a local event. I teamed up with the amazing Katelyn Peissig to make this piece in anticipation of the Burlington Air Show.

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Some cool things to note:

The ink for the map background was a huge gamble/experiment. We wanted something unique that gave the map a little something extra and our ink master totally nailed it. We ended up with a really cool dimensional texture on that layer.

A local artist (who I am a big fan of) instagrammed our poster, praising us on the type. I think that I almost fainted from excitement.

The show itself was incredible, posters on every surface. Plus, most were for sale (and fairly affordable!) so people were snatching up unique pieces left and right. The event felt super down-to-earth and fun—posters = art for everyone. Even my engineer husband couldn’t leave without choosing one to bring home… and art shows definitely aren’t his thing.

It was a pleasure to work on this piece.. hopefully it’s only the beginning of many collaborations between myself and other designers (up for another project, Katelyn?!!).

 

*Photos by the multi-talented Katelyn.