sweet greetings

FolioFocus Sweet Greetings Showcase

kristy decastro

kristy decastro

Following a fab week of creating patterns and illustrations for the greeting cards industry, it's a pleasure to share a showcase of the wonderful art created by FolioFocus classmates for our Sweet Greetings themed brief. Once again we have a couple of designers giving a little behind the scenes look at how they came to their final pieces - Enjoy! 

Sara Aguiar

This week Sara gives us a little insight into her process and how she tackled the brief for our Sweet Greeting Week:

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"First I sketched a lot of anemones in Procreate, then I took them into illustrator and vectorized them. 

I made a repeating pattern using the pattern tool. I also created an illustration for the card. Then I took everything to photoshop and made the mockups card and journals.. I have to say I loved doing this assignment! Thanks Natalie".

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Daniela Glassop

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Classmate Daniela has a background where fabric and sewing has always been important in her life so when there was a mention of looking at embroidery (from this week's trend info), she revisited her Sewing and Embroidery board on Pinterest:

"I was inspired by some photos of flowers that I have taken over time and some greeting cards that I had photographed while looking at what there is already available. I make fibre art too and find that my sewing background is often a source of inspiration.

I always prefer to rough out ideas in a layout pad as the paper is cheap and light and I don't feel precious when making all sorts of notes and thumbnail sketches while working out my designs. I always work with pencil on paper too while thinking and designing, before I have to put a more complex work together.

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When I had worked out what I needed, I started to sketch out some flower forms and work out some colour choices. I will sometimes throw in more elements than I need but I also will sometimes a flower or element that I had not used in a previous design as necessary. When I had a selection, I painted my design elements with gouache. In this case I also drew and painted the hand lettering and made a coloured background which I did not use as it as there would not have been enough contrast between the type and the lettering.

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Once I have finished painting, I will scan my painted illustrations and work with them in Photoshop so that I can easily combine the different elements to get the look I am after. I always prefer to have modelling in my work, so Photoshop is always my preference. I printed off some proofs to check scale and readability as judging these things on a computer screen is not accurate enough"

Heather Powers

Next up sharing her process, we have Heather Powers:

"I started the week creating a few birthday cards but decided to stick closer with the brief and focused on the Mother’s Day theme.

Whenever I start a design I first ask myself what would I buy for myself or as a gift. I looked through some baby animals on Pinterest and when I saw an adorable fox I knew that would be my inspiration for my design. I tied in some of my favorite local wildflowers, adding them to the field surrounding my protective momma and cub.

After my card was finished I moved on to creating coordinating patterns. I pulled the wildflowers from my card, repeating them in an overall pattern by flipping and rotating elements. I decided I needed one more pattern and went with the chicory flower to tie in with my other two designs.

Since I started using my iPad Pro and Procreate this year, I work through the sketching phase right in my drawing. I added a video to share a peek into my process. I also worked up my designs in a few gift related mockups".

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More Wonderful Art for Sweet Greetings

Designer Spotlight:Nataša Kaiser

HELLO, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF:

I’m an Illustrator from Frankfurt/Germany. I’ve been working as a Graphic-designer in advertising for the longest part of my business life, but followed the calling of my heart a few years ago and now spent most of my days illustrating children’s imagery and also love to play with pattern design and hand lettering.

HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE SURFACE PATTERN DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR?

Actually: yes! But for a long time I didn’t follow that dream, because I wasn’t convinced I could earn a living by just doing what I love. I thought, payed work has to be something „more serious“ and so I studied Communication Design and ended up in advertising. It wasn’t bad at all and I had a good time – but this little voice inside of me kept calling me and so I drew and doodled whenever I found the time. I even took painting classes, that I thoroughly enjoyed!

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY/WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

My ideal day looks like this: When everybody left the house for work and school I walk the dog and shop for lunch. Back home I make myself a big cup of coffee and sit down to check my emails andtodo list. Right now I’m busy with prepping my second exhibit at Surtex, where I will be in May together with our art collective Finch&Foxglove. So I’m working on my portfolio book, booth banner, promotion items and so forth. At around noon I start cooking lunch for my daughter and husband who are usually home for that time. We enjoy eating together and updating each other, and afterwards everybody turns to their businesses again. I go to my studio in the basement and try to get some more work done. When I’m satisfied with my achievement for the day I love to have a glas of whine on the couch, where I’m accompanied by our dog and the two cats – and my husband, when he’s home. I love drawing on my iPad pro. Many projects start out as a sketch here and are taken further on my computer afterwards.

When the day is not so ideal I have to do a lot of errandsin the morning and I am my daughter’s taxi driver in the afternoon. So I eventually start my design work in the late afternoon and stay up late.

IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 10 YEARS YOUNGER SELF ONE KEY PIECE OF ADVICE OR AN INSIGHT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I think I’ve just answered this one: Listen to your heart, follow your dream and work hard towards it. 

WHEN YOU FEEL STUCK OR IN A DESIGN RUT, HOW DO YOU GET YOURSELF OUT OF IT AND BACK ON TRACK?

I flip through old sketchbooks, while listening to music or audiobooks. I keep a list of things that I want to draw and sometimes I’ll pick one, start drawing and see what happens. If I don’t feel like creating at all, then I don’t force myself too much. Usually a one-or-two-day-break is enough to miss pen and paper again.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN TOOLS?

Inexpensive paper, mechanical pencil with 0.9 lead „B“, kneaded eraser. Caran d’Ache Gouache and Kuretake Gainsai watercolor. When painting I use a DIN A 3 paper pad with heavyweight paper and pretty smooth surface. It scans really well and I don’t have to remove a lot of grain when working in photoshop. Lately I’ve enjoyed drawing directly on my iPad pro a lot!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? FAVOURITE APPS AND PROGRAMS

Usually I brainstorm an idea and draw some thumbnail sketches. Sometimes I’ll sketch straight on the iPad and manipulate the sketch till I like it. When using paint I dedicate some hours to playing with paper and paint. I scan in and clean up all my icons and then arrange everything in Photoshop. I’m a pixel gal. I love experimenting with different media just for fun, such as potato print and mixed media. The output can be very inspiring…

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN PROJECTS TO DATE?

I’m a MATSIE and thankful for many great experiences and learnings I had in that classes. (The biggest plus for me certainly was being connected to „my tribe“ and especially to the girls from Finch&Foxglove.)

The last class I’ve taken was the first „Illustrating children’s books“ that was great fun! I learned, that I really enjoy the process of developing imagery for a story, bringing characters to life and working on the same topic over a certain period of time.

In general developing characters is what I love most. Also drawing little scenes and trying to show certain expressions is great fun to me. 

Last but not least: the FolioFocus challenge is super and certainly one of my favorite portfolio building projects!

WHO ARE YOUR DREAM CLIENTS OR WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT?

I would love to illustrate a children’s book with animal characters and a fictional story. Also it would be great to see my art on stationery or in the gift market.

THERE HAS BEEN AN ART SUPPLY SANCTION IMPOSED AND DESIGNERS ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO POSSESS 3 ITEMS/TOOLS, WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE?

My Japan Sakura SumoGrip mechanical pencil, paper and my iPad pro.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Watching people in cafes or on the train, study their poses and expressions is very inspiring to me. 

The turning of the seasons is something I’ve been observing much closer since we have a dog and I’m outside everyday – nature is very inspiring and the greatest artist to me.

WHO WOULD YOU SAY THE GREATEST DESIGNER IS?

Really hard to point out only one. There are so many fantastic designers out there and each of them is great for another reason. And if only I knew all the names…

When I'm long gone, I hope people remember me for this one super beautiful children’s book that every child and their parents want to read over and over every evening before going to sleep…

Where you can find me:

www.natasakaiser.com

www.facebook.com/natasakaiserart

www.instagram.com/natasakaiser

FolioFocus Week 1 Roundup!

What a wonderful week of sweet greetings and what beautiful designs!

Here are a few from Facebook and Instagram and our Gallery can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/foliofocusspring17/