Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Theatre Posters; Cabaret & Blonde

I've had the good fortune to work on a couple of really fun Poster design projects recently at Derby Theatre; first was a Theatre Arts production of Cabaret, and secondly the (upcoming) Theatre Arts production of 'Blonde'.

The 'Cabaret' poster was one of those rare projects (rare for me at least!) where you are approached with a vague brief, shown a couple of photos and WHAM! an idea just hits you and from the get go it just makes sense. I like it when that happens and I wish it did more often.

Cabaret 2012

If you haven't seen Cabaret, it is set around a Cabaret club in Berlin during the rise of the Nazi party to power. I liked the striking simplicity and symbolism of the final image... I was pleased to be a part of this, the show was fantastic! The students so talented.

Blonde is the next one; a musical based on the story of Marilyn Monroe / Norma Jean. Two of the Theatre Arts students showed up to do the Photoshoot, they were very brave and very sweet! They waltzed in with a cheap plastic wig, red lippy (I seem to remember one of the girls had borrowed it from their Grandmother!) And a big fluffy, towly white dressing gown to serve as a Monroe stylefur coat! I love when things are thrown together like that, it's so much fun and you get that same creative and imaginative rush you get when you are playing make believe as a kid. The photographer was very professional too, especially considering what little he was given to work with (time and brief!) So the shoot went ahead and the girls made even the silly wig look almost glamourous! The images below are the result - now to be a poster!

'Before' of Charlotte (this pose ended up being the chosen final poster image)
'After' The final poster image of Charlotte, inspired by Monroe
'Before' One of my favourites from Taras shoot
'After' Tara, post 'Monroe' treatment!
 I had lots of fun playing with this - messing around in Photoshop and playing with layers and masks and textures is a fun way to spend a couple of evenings!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Handmade Wedding Invites (and freebie font download!)

There is a special day approaching!!! My littlest brother Josh is getting married in September to his gorgeous fiance Charlotte (hooray!) it's a bit scary too because I can remember rocking Josh back to sleep as a baby and changing his little nappies! (haha, sorry Josh!)

Hard to believe this cheeky little boy... about to be married!

Josh & Char asked me if I'd like to do their invites, and of course I said I would! We went through a few different designs and concepts together until there was something that they were both happy with! They are both very individual and unique so the invites reflect this. 

Some of the concepts included embroidered roses and beads

 The final design chosen (below) was totally handmade, and suited them perfectly. Simple, and eclectic! They loved the idea of using hand stamped lettering. It did look great but it took ages! 

A look at the handstamped lettering, ribbon and paper

The type looked so good that they wanted the same technique for the invite reverse. Now, that was ALOT of information to be individually stamped so I digitalized it and turned it into a usable font (available free for download if you like something a little decorative and different!) It's called 'Jolotte'... took ages to think up that one!

The invite reverse! Jolotte Font in action ...

I'm glad I digitalized it as it allowed me to have alot of control of the layout of the reverse. Then it was time for adding the buttons and then drybrushing the final cards to tie all the elements together... and that was it!

Buttons... I was tired at this point!
The final pile! ready for send-off :)
I feel really honoured to be able to do something special for them both. Although it was very time consuming and tiring at some points (especially for my back!) it was worth it. The individual look and feel you get from handmade it special, and really does suit them both. Hehe, I can't wait for the big day :)

Remember, if you'd like to download and use the font it's totally free! 

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Walking Dead Embroidery - FINISHED!

I am so chuffed ('chuffed' - not said that for years!) that I have finally finished my secret project; a 3 month labour of love as a gift for my fiance (not to mention an homage to the awesomeness that is Robert Kirkmans' Graphic Novel series - 'The Walking Dead') I love the novels and I love the AMC televison series (and those who know me well know generally I kind of love zombies!) It was my fiance, Hans, who introduced  me to The Walking Dead. As soon as the next installment is published it's delivered here, and I wait patiently for Hans to finish with it so I can read it after him (putting whatever book I happen to be reading at the time on hold - priorities, you know?)

Anyhooo, for Hans' birthday this year I thought I'd make him something myself. I've done a couple of embroidery pieces for people before and they've gone down well, so after deciding to make one for Hans I started to look at the art for TWD. The artist(s) for the graphic series are the hugely talented Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn, and earlier in the series Tony Moore - and I decided I'd like to try embroidering a piece of the art. This is the result (including an example of the original artwork which is NOT in ANY way mine! (I wish!) I think you can click on the images to see bigger versions:

. Used different amounts of black strands to achieve shading.

Used my pinky finger to demostrate how tiny the stitches were!

Comparison to the insanely awesome original artwork.

Face(?) close up

So.... finally done. It has taken me 3 months (which isn't bad, my friends' wedding gift was ready 18 months after the special day!) Hans liked it, I am glad! Going to get it framed for him too.

It was pretty fun to work on (if a little frustrating at some parts). I did it at home, at the gym, in coffee shops - which was incredibly funny when a little old dear looks at what you are sewing and gets a shock! 

Whew! x

Thursday, 27 January 2011

The Country Child

Wow, it's been a while since I posted! Christmas and the New Year have been really busy. Since October I have been working 7 days & 2 evenings a week (on non-design jobs!) and finally it's getting back to a more manageable pace. I was working on design projects when I could so it's meant alot of very late nights, but I think it's all part of the job! Why else do all designers seem to live on coffee?! I also had limited internet access for a while which in this day and age is disasterous!

So my last post showed early developments of Alison Uttley's 'The Country Child'. Derby Theatre are holding a week long event this summer celebrating her life and books, with a produced version of The Country Child as the main event.

It's been a long time spent working on the poster - Uttley has written some beautiful books (she has been unofficially dubbed as Derbyshire's Beatrix Potter) and undoubtably her writings have touched many people. For these reasons, something delicate and with alot of love put into it is needed to represent her.

So, here are some of the final(ish) images, needs a bit more work on selective contrast etc, and of course poster text to be added, but I am pretty pleased with it. What I love most is that it is totally handmade, the paper sculpture of the girl, my own textures, hand painted type... I found some lovely old wallpaper that I scanned in and messed with for the flowers...

Poster - made to look like a bookpage come to life!

Theatre (Studio) Leaflet version

The web banner version of the poster

Anyway, best get back to work!


Monday, 29 November 2010

The Country Child

Here are a few early developments on a poster I am working on for the production of Alison Uttleys', 'The Country Child'. The production will be happening some time next year in Derby. Uttley was from Derbyshire (Cromford) and wrote some very well loved books - she was said to be Derbyshire's 'answer to Beatrix Potter' (which I don't think Beatrix Potter liked very much!)

Anyway, onto the poster...

The poster is going to be a mixed media piece, and so far I've worked in Ink ....and of course my favourite; PAPER!:

Ink drawings for the poster background

3D paper sculpture with some digital extras added in!
Silouette of the sculpture

The ink drawing was done to mimic the style of C.F.Tunnicliffe who illustrated many of Uttleys' books. There is still quite a bit of work to be done, I'm still at the fun fun fun stage of making and experimenting.

To be continued...!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Wedding celebrations and birthday gifts!

Sorry it's been a while! I have been really busy, still getting set up actually.

Just wanted to show a couple of paper projects I have worked on lately. Both utilised slightly different methods so here goes!

Roxannes' 21st birthday! (my little sis :] )

Remember a few posts back, the jewellery storage frame? I said I would make one for my sisters 21st and I did! It's a much smaller version, I made it specifically for earrings and I also bought her a lovely pair from Accessorize to go with it

Roxannes' frame

A close up of the earrings I bought her for her 21st.

I found inspiration from a wrought iron panel and made her a paper cutting for her birthday card;

A close up of the bird detail

Steve and Chantelles' wedding;

I hand made this wedding card using 2 different methods of paper craft; paper cutting for the main piece and for the inside of the dress I used iris folding.  

A full view of the piece for the wedding card

A close up of the cut lettering and the heart / leaves detail

A closer look at the iris folding for the dress
Unfortunately I had to work that evening, so I didn't get to attend the reception. At least the card shows I had thought of them :)

Anyway, just a quick one this evening, very tired and have a busy and long day tomorrow!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Paper Sculpture - my favourite medium! (Tutorials coming soon!)

If I had to pick one thing concerning my creativity that I would NEVER give up, (it would be extremely difficult to pick) but it would be my paper crafting and sculpture. It covers so many areas such as quilling, folding, decoupage, cutouts, etc. I love to work with paper so much - the different weights, textures and colours and how each respond differently to manipulation. I may be weird but it gets me going - but each to their own, eh? If I could be paid enough to do nothing but paper sculpture, that would be ideal. One day it will happen!

I will be posting often on this topic, so I wanted to use this as an introductory post on the subject and show some works I have previously done. I am working on a big project at the moment and taking pictures along the way, so when it's done I will give a write up and tutorial for anyone who wants to try this amazing art form.

The way I work focuses heavily on layering techniques, and very importantly - lighting, to convey emotion and show the work in it's true form or the way it is meant to be seen.

Some previous works; the first few pictures are from my final self directed project during my degree - the theme was Imprints, and I took the memories of a good friend after interviewing her and making a series of paper sculptures.It's actually not finished, there is alot i want to do with it, but here are some images as they stand now:

Introductory / typographic sculpture  
'Nanna' and 'Poppa's' wedding day
A close up of the bouquet, made with wedding confetti!
Watching through the window
Another piece I made for self promotion (they went on business cards)

A very recent piece, done in practice for my new secret project!

Without Lighting, still interesting and beautiful
Lighting makes all the difference
A closer and more detailed / high contrast view
Anyway, I hope you see why I love paper - so versatile and so beautiful. All of the sculptures are made with nothing but paper, maybe glue, 3d tape, knives obviously, scissors and like the last image some jewels used for decoration.

Hope you enjoyed this! More to come, so stay posted!