I used to have such a love-hate relationship with posters. Back in the earlier 2000's, I pined for poster work. Especially poster work with a budget of screen-printing - if you do not know this, however, know that that almost never exists and even if I'd had the opportunity then, I wouldn't have been worthy of it. After a few years spent taking a self-imposed break from chasing poster work and doing much, much more high-volume-high-turnover graphic work, I'm now much better suited for it than I ever was. Nothing can really replace the high-volume-high-turnover routine for teaching idiot graphic designers how to make quicker, better visual decisions. That being said, I regularly get feedback that's something like "no one can read this."
That's ok. It's good to have some windmills.
I create tutorial videos. Which is like a whole job by itself.
Learn the craft, learn what makes it look good, make it a bunch of times. Then create your set, get your lighting, materials, camera and settings on-point. THEN try and talk people through the craft that is just much easier to make than it is to explain.
And then post-production. And then the social media push.
Creating and publishing these videos has been an experience that I realize I probably should have had in college, but I'm having it now at work and it's incredibly gratifying, a great teacher of patience and best-practice, and usually very satisfying. My first one ever went somewhat-viral on Facebook and since then, I've been addicted to the success.
Bunny Ears Bow Clippie Tutorial
Pinwheel Bow Tutorial
In my first adventurous weeks as Creative Director of a ribbon company, I created this visual tutorial to see if I could get some major Pinterest miles out of it. It has to an extent - it's no Garlic Pull-Apart Bread - but it's gotten some miles; 97 repins as of 3/24/15.
The focus was simple: thorough tutorial, appealing brand. I think I accomplished it although if I'm honest with myself, it ended up fitting much more beautifully into Alaina Latona'sPerjus Magazine than it did the ribbon company's blog. There's just something painterly, dark and glam about that lighter held under that saccharine pink bow tail. And the nail-polish. I'm flattered that she included it in Perjus and also increasingly respectful of the "bell-like clarity"* of her taste, to have included something like this after seeing it.
*quote from some English professor, originally about the sound of middle English
Glassware /// 2014
Late-summer styling of my 2014 glassware. This was a small project for personal use - I mostly wanted to see the glassware and brightly printed tablecloth together to test a loosely-held personal belief about decorating: if you like a thing, it will integrate well with other things you like regardless of how aesthetically different they may seem.
I need to keep pushing this theory. And I need to keep working towards styling this glassware. For now, however, here are my four designs and do I have a favorite? Yes.
Lines Orchids / / / Spring 2014
These are a few of my favorite photos from Lines Orchids' Spring inventory. All of these photos are intended for Facebook and Instagram use except for the second image. The second image in this series is one of many taken on behalf of Southern Living magazine. Lines will be in the May 2014 issue in a spotlight on Chattanooga shopping.
As you can see, I loved the white patio table near the back window - the natural light in that area was a beautiful and consistent temperature, the texture of the tabletop was interesting but not overwhelming.
society of the night
*this is the only project on my website where I was not the photographer of my work. All of these photos were shot by Maura Friedman, all video by Kenneth Munoz*
This has been my biggest project of 2014. I created artwork for glassware, printed the glasses by hand, styled tables, and arranged all bouquets and the hanging branch display. The list of what I contributed to the show goes by so quickly but took hundreds of hours - most of them in the last few days before the event. I was by no means the only person working long hours for this event. Kelly Fitzgerald of Society of Work handled all of the coordination and promotion, Sarah Ervin provided all material for styling and created displays for the photo booth and bar as well as moved all major furniture in and out of the building in the days surrounding the event... the list goes on. All photography credits go to Maura Friedman, my good friend who offered to take photos of the display on her lunch break before I was scheduled to dismantle everything. Kenneth Munoz spent hours filming and editing event trailers as well as the video included on my page. They were all incredible to work with as were the members of Society of Work who put up with days of distracting branch-hanging.
I love being a part of events like this. To be creative outside of a computer or camera screen is a great feeling and this project was so hands-on and fulfilling in a no-computers-needed kind of way.
I'm especially proud of the hanging display and the flower arrangements, the former being nearly impossible to capture on camera. They were so beautiful and atmospheric.
llhenley glassware / practice through printing
Graphics, photography, copy writing help, and campaign design - I work with this author on anything she needs. Her website is handled by someone else but I help with all social media work from e-newsletters to Facebook graphics to auto-responders. She outputs two to four graphics a week and has, since the release of her last book, initiated a contest before she starts promoting the release of her third book. We collaborated on concept of the campaign, deciding that a recipe contest would fit the interests of her readership and dovetails nicely into a subplot of the story in which her main character cannot cook and is about to be a wife and mother with the need to do more than make poptarts (< we talk about this in one of the graphics).
This project just started but the next step in the process is for "Davis" to make a recipe once a month, photograph it, and post the process for the readers to enjoy. The winners whose recipes are made by Davis receive a gift-package with the first two books, a monogrammed apron with the Burnt by Davis logo, and a set of tea towels. I will create and shoot the making of the recipe with Gretchen writing the copy for the recipe. We'll actually be keeping every recipe submitted to then turn into a pdf booklet so that all users who contributed to the contest will receive acknowledgement and not feel as though any favoritism has been shown to some readers over others.
I'm not active on Facebook so working with Gretchen Archer and Lines Orchids allows me to gauge what kind of advertising works on Facebook. We talk regularly about the culture of Facebook and it's users, what works and what doesn't, who is running interesting self-promotional campaigns.
This is Bently, the author's famous Yorkie. Her readership is big on pets and they love this kind of insight into her life. Pictures and mention of Bently have been a genuine community-builder among her followers.
This past winter I created Tinsel App with two developer friends Summer and Luke Prince and Kenneth Munoz. The idea was to make three suites of pretty, hand-drawn holiday-themed graphics to overlay on photos. Our app developers created a working app that is available with 64 different overlays in the Andriod store and has received over 70,000 downloads since December 1st.
I created all of the overlay graphics, the logo, and buttons. It was a project that was conceived and executed in a matter of weeks and was rushed to the Google Play store with careful attention the functionality and artwork but with a very simple interface. Given more time, I would have liked to turn out a more refined interface. However, people seem to like it! And I couldn't have worked with more diligent and talented developers.
My two-time college roommate was an artist who excelled in the use recycled material - not just in her artwork but in all things. This made for some weird cooking and soap-making projects, but in terms of creative work, her stuff had such a strong sense of purpose and direction. Probably because was guided by a great principle - don't let pretty material go to waste.
These paper cuts / collages are made from paper from old books that I amassed over the years, books I wanted stop moving between houses but didn't want to throw away. Children's books, old travel books, graduate school catalogues and old issues of Anthropologie as well as some misprints from my risograph duplicator. These hung in Mean Mug Coffee House from October to December of 2013.
laura h show invitation
This was the e-invite to my show in October. It was headed out to just close family and friends so I wanted it to be delightful and different since they were already committed to coming. I made all of the lettering, scanned it in and loosely laid it out on the invite. I love brush lettering, although I'm doing it with much more precision these days. At the time of the show I just needed something quick and cute.
Flower arrangements for my Papercuts show - this was such a beautiful project. I made five or six of these arrangements in this combination of roses, black-eyed susans and rosemary.
Lines Orchids / / / Fall 2013
A few of my favorites from the Fall 2013 inventory at Lines Orchids.
The owner of the family business has an incredible talent for purchasing and interior design and I collaborate with her to style her latest home and gift items. Our intention with her store photos is to represent the products and lifestyle of Lines Orchids in a way that appeals to consumers who patronize brands like Terain, Anthropologie, Martha Stewart, and Real Simple.
Sometimes we simplify the styling of the products so there is a clearly represented item for purchase, other times we work on getting store layouts in order to encourage interest in visiting the store's location in Warehouse Row.
This was a birthday present for my sister who went to Charleston for college and considers it a second home. I created the graphics and then printed this on my risograph duplicator - the wrinkling of the paper screen inside the machine causes the cool rippling on the surface in the printed object. I love this machine for this reason. It takes harsh graphics and makes them so soft and beautiful.