last month two of my dear friends, eitan and joanna, were married. their wedding was a completely epic weekend event that really exemplified the idea of a community coming together to make something happen. but months and months before this monumental weekend i started working on wedding artwork! they asked me to create their wedding invitations and it sort of evolved from there, and i started considering myself the official wedding artist. the first thing i created was their save the date cards. the three of us sat down to get an idea of what they liked and talk about some imagery, then joanna sent me examples of things she liked. then i disregarded every bit of imagery that we had discussed and drew a picture of them. well they are both very kind and patient people and were happy with the save the date card.
save the date card
when it came time for the discussion of the invite i had to remind myself that this invite was about them and what they wanted, not about me!!! so many conversations later we decided upon some imagery, fonts, paper and colors and the drawing for the invite was created. joanna helped me print the invites. if anyone is interested the save the date cards were drawn in pen, scanned and then just photocopied on to recycled cardstock, with 4-up on a page. the invites were letterpress printed from a photopolymer plate, that was created off of a drawing, the text was also printed from a photopolymer plate. then the pond lily was hand colored with watercolor paint. the response cards were also drawn in pen, laid out on the computer and digitally printed.
wedding invite and response card
along with the invite was a hand drawn map of how to get to the location that the wedding was held, and a small card announcing the brunch that would be held the day after the wedding. the last printed piece was a schedule of events for the day of the wedding and the ceremony. once again these were drawn in pen, and digitally printed.
front of the schedule
back of schedule
i stuck to all of my deadlines and everything was finished on time. a lot of people came to the wedding a day or two early to help set up and prepare, myself included. i was immediately put to work on writing out chalkboards. for two days i wrote out many chalkboards, none of which i have pictures of, but they turned out lovely. one of the best things is that we decided to barter for payment. for invites and all the other drawings eitan, with the help of my patrick, made us a dining room table!!!! it is beautiful, and i sit at it as i type this. the table is a farm table that is made from reclaimed pine, from a house torn down in detroit, with cedar legs. we all thought we got the better end of the bargain, so i will take that as a good barter. congratulations eitan and joanna!!!!!
wow, it has been a really long time. and i have a lot of projects that i have been working on for the last 9 months to share! so here we go. in the spring detroit finally got it’s very own farm and garden store, called detroit farm and garden (that we will refer to as dfg from here on) opened by my friend and neighbor jeff. i, along with my talented friend nina created the logo for dfg. i made the center image for the logo and nina did the rest, including creating the font in the word detroit! after the store opened jeff asked me to come in and talk about creating some signage for the store. he had made two huge chalkboards that sit behind the counter. they are made from plywood painted with chalkboard paint, and he envisioned that they would house information on bulk items, new products, classes and any other pertinent information.
blank looming chalkboards
each chalkboard is 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide. as i did some research on chalk i discovered that those handy chalk pens don’t work so well on chalkboard painted boards. they look great, but they leave a ghost image after erased, especially color pigmented markers, as the material is too porous and the pigment seeps in. they apparently erase just fine on a regular chalkboard. so we went with regular chalk, which is harder to work with in some ways than chalk markers. the first thing i did was decide how to divide up information and make a small to scale mock up of the boards and get a basic idea of how much room to allocate each area. then i figured out how big the text had to be for it to be legible from the door.
chalkboards being gridded off
using painters tape (one of my favorite tools to always have on hand!) i marked off the boards into sections and to make sure that the text was straight and evenly spaced.
left board sketched in
right board sketched in
after the board was gridded off i drew everything in with regular white chalk, which was sort of like sketching in with pencil. next i made sure that everything looked as it should and was spelled correctly.
starting to put color in
after the initial laying down of information i went in with the colored chalk to make it pop!!! and then many hours later it was finished and extremely colorful!!
it popped really well in the space as jeff was working with a limited color palette in the space, following the colors in the logo. you may be surprised to hear that a farm and garden store would have a color palette at all, but this is not your average farm and garden store! it has all of your farm and garden needs, and it is a very well put together store. there is a better photo of the chalkboards and the store itself in this slide show from the free press. this post is very process heavy, mainly because i personally love seeing how people do the things that they do, so when i remember to document the process i will post it here, as well as the final project!!
well happy post valentines day, i hope yours was lovely no matter how you spent it. we usually do not celebrate with gifts and such, but getting a valentine is still quite nice. i, in fact spent valentine with my own sweetie and two other sweeties that we are friends with. it was very nice even though i spent most of the day feeling quite ill after accidentally eating a dish with peanut butter in it on sunday. i realized that after abstaining from anything with peanuts in it for the better part of 4 years i am still extremely intolerant. but in other valentine news i was commissioned to make a valentine gift for a someone else’s sweetie. i wasn’t going to post it until after she had received it in the post and given it. but here goes, it was the ninth paper cut i finished in a two week span. sarah, feel free to repost the photo!
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recently i finished the album artwork for my friend bobby’s band, the state lottery. i took a really really long time finishing it. but the final product turned out really nice. megan did the lettering for the front and i cut it. the front and back are both papercuts.
if you are interested in downloading the album for free or buying the album you can do so here. the album is really really wonderful. it is beautiful, fun, and poignant. it chronicles a tough time for a lot of us when we lost dave and the aftermath and consequences of that. i was lucky enough to be asked to come to the recording studio, along with a few other friends, and sing back up vocals for one of the songs. i am sure that at this point bobby is on to the next thing his creative little brain is cooking up, but this album is definitely something to be proud of.
pretty soon i will be back to posting on a more regular basis, as i will be making more artwork. for now i have a drawing i finished last month. my friend eve and her husband david are moving soon, to they don’t know where, as david is going to be employed by the state department. originally for a christmas gift, but it slowly turned into a valentines gift, eve commissioned me to make a drawing chronicling some of david’s passions, loves and triumphs while being a part of this city for well over a decade, maybe two. i did my best working off of photos from facebook and blogs. i ended up making a humorous photoshop montage for me to use as reference. this is how it turned out. it has been a while since i did a straight pen and ink drawing. i often forget how compulsive i am to fill space when i am drawing. but i like it, and they are a wonderful pair of people. eve is a fantastic leathersmith, you can see her work on her etsy shop. we are bartering, which is quite exciting to me. i get a fantastic leather bag in exchange for this drawing. i have been talking about buying a new side bag for two years now, and hers are truly fabulous.
here is another holiday commission. a sea turtle. i had a good time painting this one!!
here is a new painting i just finished. it is a commission from my beekeeping apprentice. if you can’t tell what it is from the title or the image, it is of some jellyfish, and they are swimming. it is a gouache painting with ink over top. after i completed it i read an article about how jelly fish are ruining fishermen and women’s livelihood in japan. they are getting caught in the fishing nets and can weigh up to 400 lbs and are the size of a refrigerator. wowsers. i remember swimming in the chesapeake bay as a kid and once august hit, it was no good. too many sea nettles. i have a distinct memory of jumping off my dad’s crabbing boat into the water and almost immediately being pulled back on due to a large cluster of sea nettles headed our way.