The Kraken Theatre hired me to illustrate a logo to be used on signage, posters, and possibly t-shirts and stickers. Here's a breakdown of my design rationale.
Just for fun (and a $20 credit to Sticker Mule), I designed a potential sticker for the Canada Challenge Playoff. Its concept is based on the welcoming nature of Canadians, retro motel signage, and a simple colour palette of hot reds and cool, icey blues.
If you're interested in participating, it's on until June 29th. Details can be found here.
My grandma passed away a couple of months ago now. She was 104 and she always amazed me with her determination to live life to the fullest and have fun no matter what was happening or how old she was.
She never wanted to think she was getting older or feel like she was losing her independence so she kept life happening for as long as she possibly could before old age got the better of her.
She passed peacefully and her send off was a celebration of all her accomplishments and life experiences and, boy, they were grand. To name a couple, she had her 8th child at 46, she took a voyage on a Mediterranean cruise at 95, and also volunteered at a hospice thrift shop in her 90’s until she was 100. Of course there’s more but that is just a little snapshot to show you that she never let the grass never grow under her feet.
I do believe her young-at-heart spirit and playful outlook, kept her going for so many years and is what kept her mind healthy. The evidence of this may not necessarily be set in stone as fact but the studies that have been conducted state that feeling younger may lead to better health habits which in turn, helps you live longer. Makes sense.
Study or not though, this is a philosophy I believe in personally and try to practice as much as possible in my life because it just feels good to explore new things, be silly, get curious, and to not to take life so seriously sometimes. I also believe that everyone needs that. Just because we're adults, doesn't mean we have to be grown up at all times, right? NO! (That's just me though :) )
This concept serves as the foundation and inspiration for my design work as well which I hope to transfer to everyone that buys a little something from me. Whether it’s a gift for someone or a gift for yourself, my goal is to make you feel silly, happy, or help you brush off the icky things in life. That's what my "Design at play" tagline is all about.
So tell me, what’s your secret to life? What inspires you? What keeps you going?
I’d love to hear it in the comments below.
"The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them." Ernest Hemingway
As designers we're all trained to do our own design work, naturally, to showcase our skills. But we never actually get trained on what it may feel like to be the client hiring a designer.
Police are put through rigorous training to prepare for being on the force. Training techniques may include being cuffed, taken down, pepper sprayed, possibly tasered, and/or more. This is to help them function and maintain discipline in threatening circumstances and also to understand how much force is required to apprehend a suspect without inflicting injury.
As designers we're all trained to do our own design work, naturally, to showcase our skills. We design our own portfolios, business cards, and websites to show off what we can do for our clients. But we never actually get trained on what it may feel like to be the client hiring a designer. How do you build trust? How do you find a process that works for you AND your client? How do you ease any concerns clients may have throughout the process?
When you're throwing money at stuff you can see like clothes, shoes, cars...you know what you're getting. There's no secret, no questions. You either like it and buy it. Or you don't and move on. It's a much different mindset when you're throwing money at something you can't see and won't know you're happy with, until it's finished.
These thoughts have been on my mind recently as I became a client of an artistic venture for the first time; Getting a coverup tattoo.
When I was 18, I got a silly little tattoo of a butterfly on my chest which I didn't put much thought into. After getting it, I felt so rebellious and proud. But a few years passed and I started to resent it. Everyone asked me about it and I hated showing it off because it was ugly and it didn't represent anything. It was just there. I thought about lasering it off but I came to realize that I genuinely really enjoyed having a tattoo; Just not that one. So over the last year I put more thought into what I might want on my body forever. I looked at themes I was generally attracted to and then researched the kind of tattoo styles I liked. That guided me to the appropriate artists and shops that employed them which led me to Craig Moston at Gastown Tattoo.
Going in I definitely had a few beads of sweat. This was my first major piece over $100 that would have some kind of story behind it and was one I had put more thought into. Plus, it would be much bigger than my last. I wouldn't be able to cover it up so easily so I had to make sure I loved it.
I put a deposit down for something I couldn't imagine which is not something I'm used to.
What made me most nervous was that I had no idea how it would all come together or what it was going to look like. I put a deposit down for something I couldn't imagine which is not something I'm used to. As a designer, when a project presents itself I have an idea of the direction I may take and loosely get an idea of how it might look. Whether or not it turns out that way is another story but I have a vision and can imagine some kind of outcome. I couldn't read my artists mind so I had to make a conscious effort to not only trust the fact I did my research but also to trust my artist and his skill. Because, really, I have no idea what kind of considerations go into covering up something that's already there. I have no idea how certain elements will play off the natural flow and shape of the body. So after I put my deposit down, I left it in his capable hands to conceptualize and stylize.
The morning of my tattoo appointment was the first time I saw the concept and when I saw it, I smiled with delight. I really loved it. We made a few minor tweaks and then got setup to do the tattoo. But even at this stage my nerves weren't settled as it was still just an outline so I didn't actually know how it would end up after it was on my body. All the "what if's" swirled but I, again, fell back on trusting my artist, trusting in his skill, and also trusting myself in the fact that I chose wisely.
5 hours later...my tattoo was complete. I was sore and tired but I loved how it turned out.
I now have a new found respect for clients hiring me for design work and have learned to trust my decisions/instincts more.
If you're a designer:
I would encourage you to hire someone for a service you're not familiar with; Writing, coding, art, a tattoo. It will definitely open your eyes to what you client may go through when hiring you to do work for them. Of course there are many that are comfortable with the unknown but a lot of clients aren't when they're throwing thousands of dollars at you for something they may or may not like so if anything, be aware of that.
If you're a client:
Remember you're hiring them because you can't do the job yourself. They are skilled professionals so trust them to deliver. Trust in their skill, experience, and capabilities. If you don't know what that looks like, I would encourage you to research that. Look at their portfolio. Inquire and ask specific questions about portfolio details, their process, and pricing structure. Maybe ask to meet with them if that makes you more comfortable. Tell them what you need to feel comfortable and happy. And always be weary of designers that don't follow a code of ethics. Ex. work for free or cheap. You always get what you pay for.
The proof is in this puddin', I spent the time and the money on a tattoo artist with skill and in the end got a really great art piece on my body I will enjoy for the rest of my life.
The last month has proven to be a busy one; Work, personal projects, and the quest to find some downtime through it all. With so much happening, I haven't had a chance to update my portfolio yet so thought I'd do a quick sneak-peek here. Details on these projects to follow soon but contact me if you have any questions!
I designed a logo for a small startup that developed software for farmers to collect data on and control their growing environment, through wireless networks and handheld devices. Still working on this project, developing marketing & promotional materials so that'll go up soon.
Wizard Gettin' Wiggy
Worked with a weed dispensary to help name & design some jar labels for their product. Had a lot of fun creating something that was whimsical and colourful that would stand out from the plain-jane labels out there. Inspiration for this was the Jack Daniel's whiskey bottle label.
These are my 2 latest designs that were submitted to Threadless. Scoring has already happened so it's just a waiting game to see if they add it to their catalogue or not. For now, I've made them available in my RedBubble shop for you to purchase as a shirt, sticker, or print.
That's all for now folks! Stay tuned for more!