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July 2016

Looks Good, Tastes Good

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So, it’s July already. Actually it’s the end of July which means it’s basically August and that also means that summer is almost over in New York. Depressing thought. I’ve decided that I really only like to wear sandals and flats. Not a huge fan of socks and shoes. Socks alone, yes. But not with shoes on top. So the thought of fall and winter approaching is not thrilling. I might be the only person who doesn’t get excited for pumpkin spice lattes, uggs and sweaters. Put the AC on high enough in your house and you can still enjoy those things while it’s still summer outside. Best of both worlds if you ask me.

With this realization that summer is coming to an end, I wanted to take a day to explore somewhere outdoors. I chose the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and Ample Hills Creamery in Prospect Heights. I’m not too familiar with that area so it felt new and exciting. And believe it or not, I’ve never been to that Botanic Garden! I almost don’t believe it myself  considering most of my days are spent drawing and painting flowers. It was about time.

Ample Hills Creamery is a must for anyone who has never been. They homemake small batch ice cream fresh on site everyday. Their flavors are totally intriguing such as “Mexican Hot Chocolate” which is dark chocolate ice cream mixed with hot chili flakes. Pretty Awesome. They also have your originals like “Cookies and Cream” but they call it “Sweet Cream and Cookies” and it’s about a billion times better than the regular stuff. John, my husband went rogue and ordered a Rice Krispy flavor. To. Die. For. Adventure part one, operation success.

The Botanical Gardens were of course, beautiful and serene. I gathered some beautiful photos of roses to put to good use sometime this week. Taking a long walk is also something I never do and made me very aware that I need to up my cardio so I don’t have an early heart attack. I’ll definitely be taking a trip back for the cherry blossoms next spring and hopefully in better physical shape. Shin splints are real.

After the gardens, we ventured out to one of our favorite areas in Williamsburg, Bedford. Rosarito’s Fish Shack stole my heart about 6 years ago when I was still a student at FIT. Their tacos and margaritas are incredible. This Argentinian restaurant is not only delicious but an entire source of inspiration. It’s got a very spanish, nautical vibe going on and you feel like you left Brooklyn and sailed away to an island. Or maybe like you’re on an actual boat. Either way, it’s an escape. The neon colored buoys are my absolute favorite. Along with the stunning pink opuntia margarita. Thank you Rosarito, whoever you are and wherever you learned these recipes, for satisfying my mouth and stomach.

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The rest of the images reflect random finds on our walk through prospect heights. Vintage fabrics, a sweet logo from a bagel shop, an adorable pie store, etc. It was revitalizing to get out of my office and out of my town for a day and see something new. Looking forward to the next adventure, for sure.

Something New

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In addition to my new stationery collection, I’m also illustrating some artwork. Simply putting brush to paper to paint something for pleasure is the beginning of it all for most of us designers. Before any of us knew it could one day become a career, it was just a hobby. Along the way I feel I have lost that joy in just painting and drawing and creating new. I’m so focused on creating something that will sell that I sometimes forget to venture out and try new things, that are maybe scary or uncertain, or maybe the next big trend! You won’t know until you try.

I like to preach to my friends and family that we must always do what we’re afraid of. This sentence can be interpreted in many ways so let me be clear. I don’t necessarily mean if you’re afraid to sky dive then you definitely should jump out of the nearest plane (I am referring to my own fear here). What I mean is something that could better you and maybe where you can imagine yourself as a more successful and fulfilled person after this scary thing has been conquered.

I will be working on a collection of paintings that will be summer themed, fresh and fun. Below is the first of hopefully many. My goal is for them to all eclectically work well together as an art wall or even individually.

So I snuck a kitten in here, sue me.blog18

 

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I haven’t worked with acrylics in quite some time. I remember really enjoying the thickness of the paint and how pure the color appears on the page. Using this medium again in en entirely new way helped me creatively break out of the box. I’m curious to see where this collection will go!

Kittens & Stationery

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I felt a surge of inspiration this month. You would think the warm weather would be distracting in the beginning of July but it turned out it was just the opposite. Partly due to a new addition to our family, kittens! Luna and Jade have kept me indoors, happily I might add, which has forced me to keep productive. Below you’ll see some photos of the progression from artwork to finished product! And some photos of the kittens, obviously (typical cat mom, sorry I’m not sorry).

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This is Luna, a little grey cutie with green eyes. She loves the camera and I sometimes catch her posing for me.

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This is Jade, she wears a tuxedo. Not such a fan of the camera, in fact I’m almost positive she hates it. This is one of the better pictures I’ve managed to get of her. Normally she looks away.

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And back to the art now..

I’m very happy with how the collection came out so far! The color story feels spring/summer-ish and happy which is ideal for the wedding season! I may even add a couple more pieces to this since I enjoyed the theme of these illustrations so much.

 

 

Not Stationery You Say?

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Yes, it is true. As much as I love to spend my days designing wedding stationery, I do have another love and that love is named print & pattern. Print and pattern is where it all began for me. I studied textile and surface design at FIT in New York City for 3 years and interned at multiple studios where I gathered an understanding of this industry. I bet you never realized this was even a job. Those curtains in your kitchen with the cute vegetable print? Someone designed that print. Your bedspread with the watercolor flowers? Someone designed that print too. Your dress with the tribal print? Also, a print designer. It’s a job that keeps your mind working constantly. Keeping up with trends, colors, styles. How many different ways can you draw a flower? Trillions or more, probably. This industry is full of people bursting with creative energies and sometimes those bursts go far enough that they land in another industry altogether, like wedding stationery! However, they’re really not that different and I’ll explain. All the skills I’ve used to design prints and patterns are easily transferable to my stationery designs. The one big difference is instead of appealing to a mass market, I only have to appeal to one bride and one brides vision. It allows me to hone in on a style and really dig deep with it and watch it blossom into something original and beautiful but most importantly something that tells a story specifically for one person (or two if you want to be romantic, but let’s be honest, it’s mostly the brides vision!)

But back to my prints and patterns. Lately watercolor flowers have been all the rage (In both the print/pattern industry as well as the stationery industry. Trends like this read across the board). Watercolor tends to come in and out of style, like anything else. But lately it’s been a very washy, free handed watercolor look that the people want. Think less realistic, more wild and free. I’ll show you below some examples of what I work on in the time that I’m not obsessing on pinterest over the latest wedding decor.

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watercolor3There are so many options when it comes to watercolor paint. I recently came across these SAI watercolor markers that really aid in adding details or doing small designs!

Once I’ve completed these paintings and cleaned them in photoshop,  I create an all over print with coordinates that I submit to the studio I freelance for. They then take these prints all over, (I mean seriously, they hustle!) to sell to buyers who then turn the prints into products. Sometimes they become paper goods, bedding, clothing, really anything. The most exciting part is finding them out in the world! I really love what I do if you couldn’t tell. And by that I mean both the print/pattern and the stationery! It’s 50/50 and it always will be.

Spring Summary

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Hello! The new year has been full of learning and adventure, which is why I’ve neglected to blog as much as I would have liked. So! I’m going to summarize some of what has been happening in the studio.

blog1blog2blog3For starters, it was bittersweet wrapping up this custom rustic rose wedding suite for an absolute dream of a bride to work with! She was full of ideas and passion, which as a designer makes my job that much more fulfilling. I love when a bride knows what she wants and we are able to work together to achieve it. I can’t wait to see pictures from the big day!

 

blog5blog6Second, I received a last minute spring bridal shower invitation request! Luckily a design I already had suited this clients needs and we were able to pop it up with a bright pink envelope. As a wedding stationery designer you would think I am all for the shower shenanigans but to be honest, some of it does make me cringe. Games, not my specialty. Decor on the other hand, hit me up! I hope this shower had one of those toilet paper wedding dress contests. I think that’s one of the few games I’ve seen played that are totally and ridiculously hilarious. Especially when the lucky models get to walk down the “runway” to show off the serious designing skills put to use after a few mimosas 😉

blog9blog8blog7Lastly, I created a custom wedding suite for a special family friend who’s fiancé was initially afraid of flowers and foliage (insanity, I know), but the wedding is taking place at a garden! So, I of course, had to show them we could do classy, timeless flowers without it being overly feminine. I think we achieved this look. Subtle, organic and garden wedding perfect. I wish them all the happiness.

That wraps up the completed wedding and shower projects thus far! I’m working towards a new venture in the studio this month. July is typically quiet on all fronts which gives me time to research and brainstorm these new ideas and by August I’ll be ready to tackle them all.