Australian Marriage Equality: A Poster

The Australian government is currently conducting a national postal survey to gauge public opinion about same sex marriage. I can't take part... but I still want to be involved! My vote would be a massive YES! If you feel the same way, feel free to share my illustration (please credit the artist!) and if you're elegible to vote in Australia, don't forget to look out for the survey in the mail - the first ones should be arriving today. Read more here#VoteYes #LoveisLove

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Wedding Invitation Design... In Greek!

Hello! This is another custom wedding party invitation I recently designed. I had a lot of fun creating the cheerful layered florals for this one, and I also enjoyed  experimenting with typesetting in another language!

As you might have guessed from my name, I am Greek. I speak and write Greek fluently, but this was the first time I got to use my bilingualism at work! It was initially a bit of a challenge as I didn't own any Greek typefaces and had frankly no idea where to source decent ones, but thankfully my friends at the Athens-based graphic design studio WIZ Creative were able to point us in the right direction! Thanks guys!

I love the way these turned out. The fresh colours and geometric-print background stop the flowers from being twee, and I'm a fan of the playful script typeface. The invitations are A5, and are printed on beautiful velvetty matte board, with crisp white textured envelopes to match. Watermelon-hued summery wedding stationery goodness is just about my favourite thing!

Thefty x EBSA custom Mug Design

Thefty news alert! Over on the Thefty blog I've just shared an exciting recent project, namely our collaboration with the European Biosafety Association (EBSA).

Thefty created a custom mug design for the EBSA 20th anniversary conference in Lille, France - read more about it here.

Flowers and Frames: Wedding Invitation Design for Emily & Greg

As you already know, I really really love working on wedding illustrations! Emily & Greg got in touch early last year to ask me to design their invitations, so we had plenty of time to make sure they turned out just right. 

I can't take credit for the concept of these invitations, as Emily already knew she wanted to have herself, Greg and their (cheeky, gluttonous) cat pictured in flower-wreathed frames. I sketched a variety of layouts for E&G, and we settled on this version where we could showcase their names as well as their faces! The invitation is postcard sized, and we managed to squeeze in lots of personal details (that's my favourite bit of the process). 

We decided that Emily, a poet, should be pictured reading some Sylvia Plath. I also gave her some earrings to match the flowers: peonies and lily of the valley. Greg's hanging out in his Boba Fett t-shirt, because why not?! Meanwhile, E&G's feline fur child is busy enjoying a slice of pepperoni pizza. The reverse of the postcards echoes the front, with bits of foliage and flowers 'hanging' over the edges.  I really love the palette of dusty pinks and greens, and we added embossed forest green envelopes to match. The overall vibe we were going for was sweet but relaxed - much like Emily and Greg's wedding plans, and also very much like their personalities.  

Weirdly enough, this was one of TWO times I've been asked to include pizza on a wedding invitation this year! I guess people who are currently of average marriage age grew up watching the Ninja Turtles? WHO KNOWS.

Emily and Greg, I hope you have the loveliest of lovely wedding days! You were so fun to work with, and without wanting to sound creepy, I really enjoyed drawing your smiling faces! 

Thefty x Roger la Borde Typographical Card Collection!

Last year, my label Thefty was commissioned to produce a collection of typographical greeting card designs for Roger la Borde, London-based publisher and producer of luxurious and eclectic stationery products.

I created five designs, drawn by hand and digitally rendered and coloured. I am beyond thrilled with how they look in print - Roger la Borde printed them on matte, antique wove board, with glossy raised sections produced by specialty thermographic printing. You can see the range on the Roger la Borde Website, and you can now buy them from the Thefty online store.

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Wedding O'Clock! An Illustrated Coat of Arms for a Well-Travelled Couple

I love working on wedding-related projects! It's never boring to hear a couple's story and turn it into personalised illustrations for them. I've worked on several wedding invitations this year, and this is the first that I can (finally!) share with you. 

'Sebleni', as you may have guessed, is a a mash-up of the Bride and Groom's names. They commissioned me to create a Coat of Arms to illustrate their wedding invitations. I took a rather classic shield layout and filled it with many of Sebleni's shared interests (music, photography, travel and, er, mimosas and pizza) as well as representing their cultural heritage. I drew symbols of the places they come from, as well as the place they now call home together. Everything I included has special significance to them both, from the Hawaiian frangipani flowers to the twisted pretzel heart!

Sebleni decided to post their invitations digitally,  rather than opting for a paper version. Although I love printed goodies, I think this was a highly sensible idea given their very, very international guest list! They used Paperless Post, and the template they chose is truly gorgeous and luxe. I included a screenshot below, with all personal info blurred out.

I love the way the invitations turned out, and I hope the happy couple enjoy using their Coat of Arms as their official seal...for their wedding and beyond! Here's to an amazing wedding and a happy life filled with delicious mimosas for you both, Sebleni! 

 

Self-Portraits, Musings, and David Bowie

Many of us have been thinking about David Bowie this week, and reflecting on his life. If you're anything like me, you'll have been caught off guard by the way these Bowie-musings have made you think about your own creative work. 

Sticking to your guns about what you like, with clarity and conviction, is no mean feat. Bowie did it so well, again and again and again. His dedication to his changing personal tastes - and ability to unabashedly embrace his 'weirdness' - is what made Bowie so beloved by anyone who felt they might be a 'weirdo' too. But he's also a role model for anyone trying to make a life out of creating beautiful things that they love. To quote from my Instagram:

 'I used to draw self portraits ALL THE TIME but then I just... stopped. When I started freelancing with my creative work, I stopped making enough time to create things for ME, things I made for the simple reason that I felt like it. I've been thinking about this a lot this week, as a direct result of David Bowie’s death - he was so loyal to his personal vision, and didn't give a damn about producing work that stayed 'on brand'. If anything, he changed his brand on a whim, as soon as he got bored, and always kept pushing ahead creatively. I need to do more of that, and keep exploring and switching things up, even if it just means posting the occasional moody self portrait amongst my usual, more upbeat, doodles! Thanks for the reminder, David. This should be my resolution, not just for 2016, but for life.'

And so, this week, I got out my inks and my mirror and stared at my face and my paper for a while. And it felt good.

Here's to a creative and experimental 2016. Thanks for the inspiration, DB.

I've Been Shortlisted for the Winsor & Newton #Colouryourcity Competition!

Exciting news! My artwork has been shortlisted in the #Colouryourcity contest by Winsor & Newton. My illustration - along with illustrations by four other artists - is now in the running to be featured on the worldwide Limited Edition packaging of Winsor & Newton's new Pigment Marker sets! Follow the contest's progress over on Instagram.

It's wonderful to have been shortlisted. A big thanks to the panel who selected my work! I've got my fingers crossed!

Testing out Winsor & Newton's New Pigment Markers: An event at Cowling & Wilcox

Last month I recived a very happy-making email from Cowling & Wilcox, asking if I wanted to try the top secret new Pigment Markers by Winsor & Newton. My answer was yes. You know I love pens. And secrets.

I was sent a 24-pack of the markers which I immediately began experimenting with - you can see some of my drawings here.  The official product launch was on November 7th, and as artist-in-residence at the Shoreditch branch of Cowling & Wilcox, I hosted a demonstration afternoon where I showed shoppers how to get the most out of the pens. Much fun (and chocolate) was had!

The markers feel halfway between drawing with paint markers, and painting with watercolours.  They're certainly different to anything I've used before and I had a lot of fun with them! Thank you so much to the team at Cowling & Wilcox for inviting me to take part. 

New Painting: Orchid Jungle

Hello! I've been doing a lot of painting recently, and this one is my most recent piece. It also comes with a pretty good backstory...

This piece was commisioned as a surprise gift for A, who has just completed a PhD about...er...wild orchids something something orchid trade something. (Just kidding A, I kinda know what you're PhD was about.) In case you haven't guessed, A is a friend of mine, and her partner P who commissioned the painting is also a friend of mine. Such a thoughtful gift, no?

P and I worked together on the sly to decide what to paint, and I got to work with my paints and pens. However, A and P live in another town, so the problem was getting the giant canvas to them safely. Luckily, it turned out that A was going to be in London, so I contacted her 'out of the blue' to do me a big favour by carrying something back to her town 'for my friend'. I didn't tell her that the parcel was a huge 100x50cm unwieldy thing, and I didn't give her any details about this mystery person who it belonged to, but A very kindly took the canvas on a cross-country train without any fuss. (I hope she doesn't do the same with items strangers want her to pack in her suitcase.)

Unless she is an even better liar than me or P, A apparently had no idea what was going on until she got back home and all was revealed. Hopefully, if she'd been thinking I was a super demanding friend for sticking her with this annoying thing, all was then forgiven. Enjoy it A!

I created Orchid Jungle using acrylic paints, gloss paint and metallic markers, and acrylic rhinestones (my favourite). I had a lot of fun adding layer upon layer of colour and pattern to this piece, and I enjoyed looking up images of wild orchids from the other side of the world to use as source material. Lord knows I love me some natural history. (Look out fo r the orchid mantises hidden in there, too!)

If you're curious about how such a piece comes to be, here's the final sketch I used as a reference. My sketches are always a mess, and they rarely look so much like the finished product. Here, I mapped out the different layers that I would include: A blue layer on the bottom, then pale blue stripes running in different directions, then green foliage, then pink foliage and flowers, then black drawings, then sparkly and shiny embellishments on top. I love seeing it come together as I paint. 

New Painting: Pink Tearbursts

Hello! This poor blog has been seriously abandoned (GULP), but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy making and designing.

One of the things I hadn't done in a while was get to work on a canvas, and I had really, really missed it. This piece was commissioned by a fellow lover of pattern and appreciator of rhinestones (yay!) who wanted a custom piece for their home. I painted this multi-layered, sunset-hued rectangle of joy for her.

My favourite thing, as ever, about working with metallics and rhinestones is the way they change appearance depending on the light, either glowing brightly or sinking into the background. I also love the way rhinestones cast shadows when the light hits them.

I hope you enjoy living with your new painting, A!

Jenni's Table Portrait

Hello! My latest illustration is a portrait of Jenni Barnett for the 'About' section of her namesake blog, Jenni's Table. If you haven't already seen the blog, and you're into styling, shopping and entertaining, you really ought to take a look! You'll find photography and illustration by yours truly...