This week I had the honor of going to Etsy HQ in Brooklyn, NY as a finalist in the Etsy Open Call. Getting picked as a finalist came as a shock, and I was so honored to be chosen out of so many incredibly talented applicants. I was so glad to have the opportunity to ask myself those really tough questions that I felt I needed to answer to prepare myself for my pitch. I spent the last month preparing, updating my catalog, adding new work, refining old work, and I can’t wait to write all about the experience! But for now, I’m on vacation!!
If you’re active on social media, I sure hope you’ve seen this already. Tuesday Bassen, an incredible illustrator, posted about her experience with fashion company, Zara. Zara copied her designs, and when her lawyer approached them, they basically said “you’re small, we’re big” and completely dismissed her concerns. Fortunately, the virtual world has her back, and we’re all pushing to help her out. What surfaced after her announcement was tons of other talented artists also showing the same thing happening to them. Take a look at the image below to see how blatantly Zara has ripped off these talented designers.
Imagine how differently this would have worked out if Zara had contacted these designers and asked to license their work, or collaborate on a pin collection. Everyone would love Zara for supporting them, and the artists would be making a commission (let’s say 4%) of sales to pay for their artwork. Wouldn’t that be nice? Win/Win.
As a designer, it’s discouraging that this is what we have to watch for. We want to grow, and share our work, but the more we share, the larger we get, the more likely this is to happen. It happens everyday, and often times goes without being talked about. I’m so glad this group of artists is talking about it, and that the media is noticing.
Thank you to Adam J Kurtz for compiling this list, and be sure to support the artists by shopping the link, and buying the originals.
Basically, SCREW YOU ZARA!
Collaboration is a wonderful thing. I recently got the pleasure of having some of my favorite talented friends work together on a very special wedding suite, my sisters!! My sister was really involved in the process, down to hand painting EACH PIECE OF PAPER (yep, she’s crazy ambitious). Her and her (now) husband even helped Amy of greengirlpress, pull each suite off the letterpress! Then, we sent the suite off to Audra Zaba to photograph it in the best way. Even though we weren’t all in the same room working on the project, it was so great to talk to these creatives about the project, and to see how each of us could bring our own special talent to it.
The suite was just featured on the lovely, Oh So Beautiful Paper, so be sure to head over there and see what my sister had to say about the process!
I am SO excited to share today’s post with you! My dear friend Katie and I got matched as Pen Pals a few years ago, and couldn’t believe our paths hadn’t crossed earlier. We went to the same school, same program, just a year apart! We grew up about 3 hours away, and had so much in common, including launching our etsy shops the same week. Since we met, Katie and I have become close friends, and we’ve been able to lean on each other for so many work-related ups and downs. I can’t stress the importance of having industry friends, it has quite literally changed the way I feel about my work, and my confidence in it. Today is a HUGE day for Katie, as her adorable Coloring Book “Don’t Worry, Eat Cake” hits the shelves!
About the book:
Color your way through this feel-good reminder that it’s okay to just be, and if all you accomplish is getting out of bed and putting on pants, that’s fine. Don’t Worry, Eat Cake contains humorous, relatable, original mottos for an inspirational coloring experience that soothes the soul and helps you feel a little bit better about everything.
I don’t want to share TOO many details from this amazing styled shoot, but I’ll share a little teaser because it inspired a new item in my shop! I’m so excited to offer custom love letters for your special someone. Head over to the shop and get more details on the custom piece!
Two weeks ago I attended Create Upstate in Syracuse, NY. I had the honor of actually meeting the founders of the event recently and they’ve become friends, so this year I was really excited to get involved volunteer, and hear little details before the big event. Mostly those details consisted of me telling them how excited I was, and them telling me they were too.
On Thursday before the workshop, I taught a chalk lettering workshop, which was such a blast. The workshop sold out, which was such an awesome feeling. The workshop was longer than I’d taught before, so I was a bit nervous I’d run out of things to do, but I actually felt like another half hour would have been okay! Some people wanted more time, and some people had time to mingle! I was honestly blown away by everyone’s talent, creativity, ideas and enthusiasm. Since I had a few hours to kill, I helped with some set up for the next day after my workshop, and then went to dinner with the speakers and workshop teachers, and the AIGA Kickoff Party. The kickoff party had SO many people! There was even a coloring table for those people who really didn’t feel like interacting 😉 (don’t worry introverts, we’ve got you covered).
Okay the next day was a complete high. Every single speaker brought their A-game. For real, each talk brought enthusiasm, honesty, authenticity, encouragement, inspiration, and hilarious jokes. A photographer came with me, and agreed, even without being a designer, she found so much value in the conference without it being directly in her field. Any creative thinker could have found value here, and a ton of friendships. The vendor market was spot on, the food was good, the venue was great, and Syracuse is surprisingly adorable. Everything was walking distance, parking was easy, and I felt like I was transported to another town.
I also loved getting to be in the “Cropped” competition which made us work on the spot as a team, and was a ton of fun. Whoever nominated me, thank you!! What an honor. 5-8-5!!!
I was really excited to connect with old friends, meet new people, and get inspired. Having the hour and a half ride home gave me some time to really process the roller coaster of thoughts going through my head, and think about how I really wanted to digest everything I learned. I came home and immediately started working on passion projects, saying no to projects that really didn’t bring me joy, and saying yes to the things I really want to be working on.
Should you come to Create Upstate next year? Hell yes.
Check out more pics from the event on Exposure!
I’ve been feeling the urge to create for myself. So I did. Pretty simple, right? It’s graduation time here, and a few of the students I’ve worked with are graduating. Their passion and curiosity is contagious, and I love how they tackle any challenge – it never seems to scare them when they’re faced with a creative problem. I crave that. I decided to take a day off, and revisit a project. Wine labels! I love working in black and white, but as we approach my two year wedding anniversary, it’s really fun to revisit the bold colors from my wild wedding flowers. I definitely have to make this project for a few weddings I’m attending this summer. I used our wedding invitations as the inspiration, and created a series of three wine labels for my husband. One to (hypothetically) open on our wedding day, one to open the day we close on our first house (which actually happened a year BEFORE our wedding), and one to open the day we celebrate our pregnancy (one day!). Adorable, right?! I love this project because I can personalize it for each one of my couples, for the milestones I know they look forward to, and their style, and of course their taste in wines! It’ll be fun to pick wines from the year they met, or got married in, and it’ll be fun to pick what part of the country the wines are made in (hello Finger Lakes!). I had fun incorporating my lettering and my sisters watercolor into the “new home” one, and playing with the wording for each one. Drink Up!!!
I know it LOOKS like I haven’t blogged in a while, but I swear I can explain. I switched by site over to Shopify last year, and really loved the platform for my shop. When Shopify released an integration with WordPress, all my wildest website dreams came true! However, I didn’t do all my research, and I lost a few blog posts in the process of transitions to my new joint platform. But I’m back and I can’t wait to share what I’ve been working on!!
This fall, I took on a new challenge and accepted a position as an adjunct professor teaching Typography at RIT. It’s been really fun to go back and revisit the fundamentals of typography, and explore it in new ways. I’ve been creating materials for my class to learn the basics of type, when someone shared this glossary with me. If you’ve been dying to get into handlettering, the best place to start is by learning about typography – and that site has a ton of information, I just had to share!
Be on the look out for new workshops I’ll be teaching, and get in touch if you want to host one if your area!