When my friend Flick came asking if I could do her wedding invitations, I accepted with the enthusiasm of someone who has just been given a genuine excuse to pin wedding-related pictures on Pinterest for hours.
One over-full Pin-spiration board later, and Flick had been presented with some design ideas to begin the development process.
The initial ideas focused on lace as a design feature, as Flick had said she wanted a traditional invitation. However, when shown the designs, she preferred the more simple design with the elegant headers, and we developed the final designs from there.
The collection below showcases the finished result; a delicate pink and grey theme highlighted by silky blush ribbons and grey swirling borders to top and tail the text.
The Order of Service also features a bespoke drawing of St John's College Chapel in Cambridge, as this is where the ceremony will be held and is a place of personal significance to Flick.
The set includes an order of service, RSVP cards, a menu (yum!) and both daytime and evening invitations.
So I got interviewed by the lovely team at Cambridge Creatives; a society for creativity in all its forms. As they're a group with a number of budding designers and illustrators, they picked my brains about starting out as a freelancer, what plans I had for the future, and what advice I could give on the design world.
Read the full interview here.
Told you I'd been busy last week!
The idea for this poster came about as I was desperately trying to avoid the clichéd 'glowing DNA' type image that so often frequents posters of this kind. After admiring a particularly clear starry sky some weeks back, I decided to base the poster on man's awe at the world around him, conveying that through the small figure and the dominating but inspiring central composition.
The idea behind the Earth/Moon/text/hypotrochoid was that of elements coming together to make a whole - elegant puzzle pieces, if you will. Regardless of religious inclination, I want this to be one of those posters that conveys that deep sense of wonder at the stars and the universe beyond us.
Happy New Year! It's been a crazy start to the year as I got a new job near London so had to pack up and move, but now the last box has been flattened, the last design deadline has passed and BT have finally activated my internet connection, I thought it's about time I blogged about some of the work I've been doing since Christmas.
This poster is another one for The Choir of Jesus College in Cambridge, in partnership with Britten Sinfonia. I'd previously designed their 'Handel Messiah' poster, so needed a unique design that still conveyed the raw depth and passion of Bach's music without crossing over with the Messiah poster.
Although this one shares similar features - the subtle crown of thorns and a deep stained background, the sharp angles and contrasting colours combine both the modern and the traditional in a design that will stand out once it's printed and hung on Cambridge's railings.
I've got another few pieces of work that are almost ready to be made public, so keep an eye out over the next week or so for posts about them.
I've been practising drawing hair a lot recently, partly because I have a mass of my own that falls in all sorts of interesting ways and partly because it's always been the weakest part of my drawing - having the patience to work out the body and structure and draw in so many hairs doesn't come easily! Anyway, when I tied it up yesterday and threw on my new Christmas jumper, I decided it would be worth spending a few hours drawing a tumbling mass of ponytail rather than some of the more carefully coiffed styles I've drawn in the past.
However, the jumper pattern ended up stealing the show on this one. I wasn't intending to draw it, then when experimenting, it just seemed to really balance the picture and add a real pop of colour. Not to mention that drawing knitted patterns is great when you can experiment with Photoshop layers and don't have to worry about precision! I added the background texture at the last minute to give the picture some warmth. Enjoy - and if you have anything/anyone you'd like me to draw, get in touch via the 'Contact' tab!
Here's the latest poster hot off the press for the Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge. I had worked with their Development Assistant Natasha for the 'Songbound' poster (click here for the blog post) and was pleased to be able to design for the choir again, especially with the challenge of reinventing the poster for what is undoubtedly the most famous choral work in the world.
Ideas of stained glass windows and chipped statues of Jesus were thrown straight out the window - we wanted something fresh and evocative but still strongly linked with 'Messiah'. After exploring some candle imagery, we settled on the crown of thorns, regal typography and a holy glow - whether you see it as passionate, sacred or dramatic is for you to decide.
'Messiah' will be performed in Cambridge on Tuesday 10th December, and will no doubt be the perfect start to the Christmas season (for those of us who like Christmas to start in December rather than September...)
My greatest weakness with drawing has undoubtedly been hair. Curls aren't too tricky as they flow with the pen or pencil, but the patience required to get strands looking realistic rather than over or underdone is often too much for me! Still, in my pursuit to learn how to do it properly, I turned to self-portraiture today in the hope that my own messy mop would prove challenging enough to teach me something.
The composition was inspired by the sudden turn in weather - pretty much everyone's snuggled up in woolly jumpers and scarves right now, sipping hot tea in an attempt to get warm. Snuggly jumpers are definitely the best part of the colder weather, but it's definitely better in front of a fire, which sadly it's not quite cold enough to light yet. This piece was done on the tablet, so I've included a mid-way screenshot so you can see how the layers have built up. Click each image below to enlarge it.
After some much-needed time off over the last week or so to catch up on design commissions, I finally got round to doing a digital sketch of my favourite creature: the owl. There's something about these creatures that is just fascinating - whether it's their large, wise eyes or their ability to turn their head around at odd angles, those that know me well know that they have a firm place in my heart. This sketch was drawn using my well-loved tablet, and is a careful combination of many different layers of shadows, lines and textures.
In terms of design, should you want anything doing, now is the time to ask as I'm finishing the last few commissions. My summer was spent in educational publishing, hence the silence on the blog front, but there should be some progress updates shortly. Don't forget, you can also follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for sneak peeks, news and updates about the site.
Having been away from the design board for just over a month now, I'm pleased to announce things are back up and ready to go with a new lot of commissions (get them in while I've still got space!) having survived exam term (hopefully) unscathed. The prospect of being able to read what I want, paint for fun and generally expand my design skills a bit is an excellent prospect for the next few months. Coming up, of course, is Homerton's May Ball, and I'll be showcasing some of the graphic design work for that on here towards the end of June.
In the meantime, here's an image I created for a poster which sadly didn't make the final cut, but which is nonetheless somehow intriguing. Enjoy, and don't worry - I'll tell you what it was for when the poster is finished! Things here are rolling along nicely, so there should be some more updates in the next week or so, including that long-awaited mystery commission from Marketing Chap.