Hip Hip Hooray We’ve Got New Birthdays

So that title didn’t work out quite as well as I was hoping, but we’ve got a new line of birthday cards nonetheless. And with every new line I launch I get more and more excited, because that means we are that much closer to having a full line of greeting cards, which is my ultimate goal right now. So to kickoff our birthday line we have seven, fresh off the press, beauties. They are all 5″x7″, hand illustrated and printed on natural recycled cover stock. Click on each image to go to the shop listing for more information.

Get ‘em while they’re hot.
Inside: Just don’t count ‘em.

Happy Birthday
Inside: Live it up.

Have a super birthday!
Inside: Hope it’s more exciting than a flying dog.

Mmmake a wish
Inside: You know you want to wish for more cake.

It’s your birthday!!
Inside: Hot diggity dog. Enjoy!

Celebrate
Inside: Happy Birthday!

Daily Project Inspiration

I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration lately ​from the daily creative projects of other designers. They range in subject matter and method of creation, but they do share one big common factor – to create. I am a maker by nature, I thrive on it. During my internet surfing it has really become clear to me that this is a great way to push yourself to create new work, build a portfolio of diverse pieces, learn new skills, expand your visual styles and show off your creative talents. Some of the daily projects that have inspired me are:​

Daily Dishonesty by Lauren Hom
Hand Written Letters by Mary Kate McDevitt
The Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische
Daily Drawings by Chris Piascik
365 Patterns by Fifth and Hazel
365 Patterns in 2013 by Ollibird
#365 Drawing Project by Sarah Jane
Logo a Day by Dear Miss Modern (this is a little different, but same principle)

I’ve been thinking about starting one of my own for a while now, and have a few rules that I want to follow. 1.) I want to do something unique. 2.) I want create my work based on a theme. ​3.) I want to showcase varied styles of work within that theme. 4.) I want this to remain a fun endeavor. I’m still hashing out the specifics like length of time, type of work, and how often I will realistically be able to post new pieces – keeping in mind rule #4, but I’m really excited about this. The project is going to kickoff on March 21st with full details and how to get involved if you’re interested.

Without the Doing, Dreaming Is Useless

ideas

I love new ideas. Ideas are my most favorite thing in the world. And I too suffer from creative paralysis. Does that phrase hit home with anyone else, “creative paralysis”? The first time I heard it something clicked and I realized that I’m not the only one that deals with it. The mental overload of projects and possibilities can be overwhelming. I stumbled across this video today while keeping up on my rss feed and completely fell in love with it. If you are a creative professional and are anything like me, you might just identify with this talk like I did. It’s completely brilliant and insightful.

The process goes a little something like this. I get a genius idea – maybe my best idea ever. I research and gather and procrastinate just a little bit, sometimes more, then finally start working. Then the artistic decisions eventually start to stall out the progress I am making. There are so many choices to make and questions to answer. “Which way is the best direction to go? What should I do here?” This continues until my idea haunts me and I avoid even thinking about it. Not long after the project comes to a complete halt as my brain goes numb with overload of possibilities. I couldn’t restart it again if I wanted to. I begin to loathe my idea. It sits in my studio and stares at me day after day. Then my idea turns on me and I begin to doubt myself and my abilities. But something happens, the time passes and all of the sudden the idea has a new life again. I’ve grown, and learned and I have a new light to bring back to the project. So I work and work and work until its finally finished. I feel accomplished. I’m on top of the world. My creative confidence is soaring. I now understand that the idea wasn’t ready when I first thought of it, something was missing. It needed time to develop subconsciously. No, I wasn’t ready for it. I needed time. Everything is right with the world. Onto the next brilliant idea. Sound familiar? Me too, friend.

One of the biggest life lessons I’ve learned is that you take things on as you are ready for them. And that’s okay. Things have a way of silently passing by when you aren’t actively seeking them out. So get ready, give yourself time and trust your instincts. Just don’t wait until you are 100% ready because the day will never come. 90% is perfect.

I highly recommend reading Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. It follows along the same topic line and is hugely inspirational and motivating.

It is not just you.

Sigwalt No. 9.. Come to Mama

Ebay is genius. I can’t say I’ve always thought this, but I definitely think so now. I recently won a bid for a glorious vintage Sigwalt No. 9 clamshell letterpress made in 1888. She arrived late last week, 15 pounds, 12 inches tall, 18 inches long. Fully restored and awaiting new rollers. Isn’t she beautiful? I can’t even express my sheer excitement to get this girl into production. I am a longtime admirer of letterpress printing, but new to actually making my own prints. Its going to be a learning experience, but its going to be great. I’ve been compiling resources for supplies and advice and plan on posting that for reference once its closer to being completed.

What nobody tells beginners..

Although I am not a beginner anymore, this video really spoke to me. I wish I could have watched this back in 2005 when I was about to graduate from college and enter the real world. Better yet, I wish I could have watched this back in 2001 when I was graduating from high school. Back then I felt lost. I didn’t know how I would ever make it as a creative, all I knew was that I had to try – I had to figure it out somehow. All my life I’ve felt this anxiety like my work wasn’t good enough and that I’d never be able to compete with all of the amazingly creative people out there. Even today I still feel it, but it has morphed from a doubtful, overwhelming anxiety into an intense drive to be better, shine brighter and to produce awesome work. That relief can only come from confidence in yourself, your abilities and your work. Greatness is built with practice. I think that this is such a wonderful, heartfelt message that can apply to so many different people in and out of the creative field. It’s a powerful 1 minute and 54 seconds.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

Baby Lemanski: ETA 1/31/2012

In preparations for their coming baby, Lori and Nick asked me to create baby shower invitations for them. With a little magic, glue dots, baker’s twine and a Silhouette SD machine we landed on an air planes in the clouds theme. These were double-layered 5×7 invites with a white coverstock front and Kraftboard backing. I used the Silhouette SD to cut clouds out of the Kraftboard and strung the cutouts on red & white baker’s twine that was wrapped twice around the invites and tied in a pretty little bow for an extra touch of something special. Baby Lemanski is expected to arrive January 31, 2012. More photos available on Flickr.

Lisa & Brandon’s Wedding Stationery

Lisa and Brandon’s wedding has come and gone. It went off with out a hitch and everything was absolutely wonderful. I thought it was about time to share a few more pieces of stationery I worked on for them, the programs, seating chart and table cards.

The programs consisted of 3 long sheets tied together at the top with a black satin ribbon. A Catholic ceremony requires a lengthy program and luckily we had some extra space on the last page that allowed us to include the same quote from their invitations “My whole heart, for my whole life.” So sweet.

The seating chart was a new adventure for me that turned out very nice. The board measured 24″x36″ and was displayed near the front entrance so everyone could easily find their seat. The chart was alphabetically ordered and included tables named by locations that Lisa and Brandon have visited together.

The table cards were made to match the seating chart. The front listed the name of the location and a picture of that particular place, while the back had a written description of the time they shared there. It was a lot of fun for everyone to go from table to table reading about their adventures together.

After the wedding was over I received the nicest letter in the mail from Lisa’s mother thanking me for everything. They are just the sweetest family. Congratulations Lisa and Brandon! I couldn’t be happier for you two.