The Popsicle People

Because sometimes when you’re drawing popsicles, you feel it necessary to dress them in coordinating bathing suits…

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Then you wonder, wait, do these look like cute popsicles in bikinis or headless torsos? But you like them so you submit them to your instructor and she tells you, very nicely but plainly, that they’re creepy. So you edit them down and lose the suits… But you still can’t help but love them and want to share them with those who might also love popsicles wearing bikinis. This is just a general story, by the way. Not about me in particular.

Here’s the edited down set that’s probably much more appealing to the masses. The popsicles standing alone are cuter, if a little more boring, I suppose. This is one of the newer listings in my Etsy Shop. So far, I’ve made TWO sales baby! Whoop whoop! Momentum!

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Be COOL popsicle peeps. Have a great weekend.

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Desi Right Now

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Is this child not a ham and a half?! Here’s what he’s up to lately, 3 months shy of 2 years old:

  • He asks “what that be?” whenever he hears an interesting noise
  • He channels his inner truck and walks slowly backwards saying “beep beep beep” all the while
  • When asked what his name is, he says “you.”  When he wants to do something he says “you do it,” and points to himself. Try explaining to a child that you’re not “you,” specifically. I’m you. You say me when you talk about you. Yea… it’s pretty much impossible to explain the proper use of these pronouns to a kid…
  • He knows the name of each of our neighbors. “Who mowing lawn?” he asks and then goes on to list, “Joe. Pete. Jackie. Michael.” and so on until he’s covered the entire neighborhood by name.

desmond_29adesmond_29bdesmond_29cLove you bud! xo.

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Clip Art a la Mojo | A Nautical Night

My newest clip art collection combines two trends – nautical and constellations. I’ve seen about a million nautical sets, and with good reason because they’re super popular, but I realized I hadn’t seen any at night. I’ve been drawn to constellation art lately, (see #6 art print below sold on Minted. Want this), so I thought it’d be kind of awesome to draw in this style. And so the collection of inspiration images began…

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Image Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

I drew the sailboat featured below while having a nap-time (Des’ nap, not mine, unfortunately) car picnic, appropriately, while looking at boats in the harbor. It was pretty cool to draw from real life instead of just reference images. A few months ago John and I found this secret, quiet spot by the water with a view of the Boston skyline where nobody ever seems to be, except us. We’ve visited a few times now and on this particular Sunday, we had homemade sangies in the front seat while Des snoozed in the back. It drizzled and I sketched and it was a happy day.

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Imagine the Brand | 3

I’m back to imagining brands because, well, it’s fun. I created this branding board from my favorite hand-drawn illustration in my first clip art set called “well, aren’t you just a sweet treat” (full set shown in this post). I thought it would be cool to create a logo from one of these clip art elements to show just one way they can be used. As I create more sets and open up my digital illustration Etsy shop (plans, plans, plans), I think I’ll show different ways these design elements can be used in real life. I feel like most people think, “clip art? what the heck can I do with that?” so I’ll show you real life uses that aren’t lame-o.

The Candy Man Can is a little ode to my favorite childhood movie, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, which I can still proudly say every single line to. To prove it I just youtubed this opening scene and both impressed and annoyed myself while nailing every word. Still got it!

The candy candy man can ’cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste gooooood….

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Clip Art a la Mojo | Geek Chic

My next clip art set is a wrap. It’s geeky, it’s chic…(y)? Here’s my inspiration board. I combined neutral greys and the Pantone color of the year, marsala. Also very chic(y?) right now is the plus pattern and geometric shapes, so I went ahead and put those into this set too.

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Image Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

And here’s the set I created! I imagine this could be used for “hey I’m a geek, but I still like to party, so come to my party” invites, prints, and for other hipster dreams hipsters may dream. Whilst researching some inspiration I saw a few “nerdy thirty,” party ideas and I’m geeking (baaaaahaha. sorry. no, really.) about how perfect this set would be for a party like that.

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Peace out, fellow geeks!

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What I’ve Been up to | Gettin’ Ahtsy

Hi long lost bloggie friends! I’ve been quite detached from my blog lately so I thought it was time I popped in and said a little hello. There are a few reasons I’ve been quiet here.

My 19-month-old Desmond is keeping me so, so busy these days. He’s so smart and funny, becoming much more independent, stringing 2 and 3 words together, and basically running the show over here, demanding to be outside during all waking hours. Here are a few recent snapshots of him. I really love being able to look back here and see how much he changes and just how quickly, so even if I am not posting about Desi as often, I still do want to add some photos sometimes.

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I also got a new job that’s keeping me so creatively fulfilled and I just love it so much. I don’t tend to share too much about work here in this space, so I’ll keep it that way, but I will say that I am just so happy and this job feels right through and through. You know that feeling when you just trust and know something is right and good things will come of certain opportunities? This is one of those times. I’m in the right place. I’m happy and grateful!

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I’ve been putting any and all of my spare time into a new hobby that I’m absolutely nutso over! I finally invested in the Foundations Class offered by Sabina of Design Garden that I’ve mentioned wanting to take a few times here on my blog. I learned how to convert my hand-drawn design elements into vector clip art.

Okay, so what the heck does that mean, you’re asking me, right? Designers and bloggers need design elements to work with when they’re creating their designs (invitations, logos, web templates, etc).  Unless the designer wants to create all the little artistic elements of any design themselves, which is not likely and sometimes not possible, they probably purchased a little clip art set from some online marketplace like Etsy, the Ink Nest, or Creative Market. I usually do this. They then use those little elements to make their own designs. Now, I can make my own digital elements AND sell them to others. I plan to open an Etsy shop myself once I get a few more sets together.

Below are the three clip art sets I’ve done during and since taking the course. I have plans for so many more and can barely focus on getting anything else done at home. Isn’t it awesome when a new passion takes such a front seat? I’m just loving this. Again, good feelings!

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I do plan to include a more depth review of the course (if you’re interesting in taking it, and you should be) sometime soon and also continue to post my future sets. I see this blog kind of transitioning from the share my baby and thoughts on motherhood type into mostly a place for my artwork, with just a dash of family life to keep it personal. We’ll see how that goes. I reserve the right to change my mind tomorrow.

I hope you’ve all been just great! Until next time…

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Car Keys and Khakis

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Desmond is a huge fan of car keys these days, so really it wasn’t a big surprise that the Easter Bunny and his Nana each gave him a set of his own for Easter. He spent the morning walking around the house, pointing them out the window towards the car, obviously quite pleased with his Easter keys. He kept repeating “car keys, car keys,” which also might have been “khakis, khakis,” in reference to his crisp new holiday pants.

Even when it’s as cold as it was today, and it was pretty darn cold, Easter always feels like a definite sign of warmer and longer days ahead. Easter pictures usually deliver the gentle nudge (uhm, yea…) I need to realize that I should probably get my hair colored for spring, but I digress…

The wind was whipping but the sun was shining today and Des had a blast searching for colorful plastic eggs at his Auntie Tina’s, competing with about ten or so of his cousins (not pictured because we were too busy hunting). The boy found about five with our help, but was more excited about the pucks and hockey sticks that his cousins had in their yard. The poor kid has been so cooped up all winter, he’s overjoyed every time he’s able to play outside. Aren’t we all.

It really was an eggtra special day. Okay, if I were you, I’d literally never read again. That was so, so bad… But the boy below, he’s pretty darn cute. So there’s that.

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The Desmond Picture Project | 28

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Saint Patty’s Day, or the weekend before or after, is one of those times that really shows me how different my life is now that I have a baby than it was a few years ago. I didn’t go to back to back parades in Newport and Southie like I used to. I didn’t even have any beers before 10 a.m. I didn’t rock my green shamrock shades or beads with dangling plastic shot glasses, or even dig out one of my green fitted Flogging Molly tees. I put my son in a Irish sweater and scally and squealed as I took these pictures, and that’s as rowdy as I got. I miss those crazier days, but I’d take these 100 times over.

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Company Re-Brand | JPod Films

I’m excited to reveal a rebrand I worked on recently for JPod Films, a Boston-based company creating (mostly) wedding films in a cinematic style that really emphases storytelling to capture the personalities of the couple. I met Jamie, the owner and lead cinematographer, at my own wedding as he was one of the amazing dudes who filmed our big day.

I was so pumped when Jamie approached me to talk about giving his business a makeover, first, because I absolutely love this style of wedding films and his are nothing short of amazing and, second, because he’d seen my Imagine-a-Brand posts here on my blog which prompted him to consider me for his rebrand. Imagine this!? A real company I didn’t have to make up wanted to work with me! Whoop, whoop! I’m kidding sort of of course, but it really was a nice affirmation that sharing my design jazz here, even when its for imaginary clients, on the blog is a good thing.

Here’s a quick summary of how the rebranding process went down.

The Questionnaire:

After a couple initial conversations about the rebrand, Jamie and I agreed we were a good fit for each other. I asked him to fill out a questionnaire that would help me get a better grasp of his company and what he had in mind for the new look. I asked a bit about his target audience, competitors, what he had in mind for his new look – basically what he wanted and what he didn’t want.

The Takeaways:

Jamie wanted a classic logo with a little pop. I was relieved he wanted to avoid obvious, cliche elements associated with a wedding (think rings, cake, lace) and films (filmstrips, cameras, etc.) and wanted his updated look to appeal to his sophisticated, modern, and stylish couples. He was also open to incorporating hand-lettering, which was super cool because that’s really popular and beautiful right now and I don’t see that trend going anywhere for a long, long time.

The Original Concepts:

I proposed four original concepts and let Jamie and his team marinate with these four choices before introducing a color palette. original logo concepts

At first glance, Jamie liked the 4th sample but, especially now as I look back on it, it’s definitely the most masculine and even a bit too sporty and we knew it had to better fit his target audience. Jamie’s wife and one of his employees (a women of his target market age) liked the first sample the best. Jamie and I agreed and I moved on to introduce color. I also tried the same concept with an alternate scripty font, per request.

The Two Finalists:

logo color palette optionsJamie and co. opted for the first option, which was cool because those are my hand-lettered initials versus a purchased font shown in the second example, so it’s truly one of a kind. The palette is sophisticated, modern, and feminine, but not over the top girly-girly.

The Final Branding Board:

Here’s the final look with logo, palette, textures, and supporting submarks. And that, my friends, is the re-brand of JPod Films! Yesssss.

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Jamie is developing a new website for JPod Films as I type this. Literally, he’s probably in WordPress at the same moment as me…right…now. Anyway, I’ll share his new site that features the new brand when it’s finished. In the meantime, check out some of his films on Facebook.

Thanks for working with me, JPod! You’re looking good.

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