vector art

All has been quiet on the IMD front lately, though for good reason. Although I’m sure the chirping crickets and tumbleweeds have sorely missed my ramblings.

I’m currently working on a website for a local artist who has exhibited throughout New Zealand with her thought-provoking work (hint: Her latest project involves collecting blankets for needy children. Ring a bell yet?)

And in the quiet moments that tend to exist between waiting upon site feedback or new content to upload, I’ve been working on vector-based portrait art. This is an area I haven’t dabbled in greatly before, particularly in terms of detail work such as shadows & highlights. So you’ll have to excuse my efforts. I’m figuring this out as I go along…

 

vector art

My eldest daughter turned twenty this week. Of course, my seven year old took one look at this and claimed “you’ve made her look OLD!” So I guess that’s an indication that I have to work some more on under-eye lines and the likes..

vector art

vector art

This was for a friend who also celebrated her birthday this week. I’m not exactly sure where I was going with that choice in eye colour. And I can only hope she overlooked what I did to her eyebrows as much as I evidently did.

 

And my current work in progress? Well that seven year old who complained the lines on her big sister’s vector drawing made her look too old is soon going to have something else to complain about. Her own eye bags!

 

vector art work in progress

I’m currently working on her hair, but here’s a sneak peek.

bree

Well, in my defense, the eye-bags are real… See now this is why I keep telling her she needs an earlier bedtime.

 

I’d like to say I’m going to finish this lil personal side-project but… Ooh Hey! Here’s a sneak peek of Donna’s website!

donna's site

Phew. That was a crafty subject change.

autumn design inspiration

To some, the barren, bony frames of deciduous trees can be a melancholic feature of Winter. By the time we’re halfway through July, I’m inclined to agree. Grey upon grey gets depressing after a while. Grey sky. Grey trees. Grey buildings… Hey wasn’t that building bright yellow just a couple of months back? Damnit. Winter just strips the life and colour out of everything.

But there’s a window of time – before the grey haze settles like an unwelcome weight against one’s chest- when Winter is beautiful. When it’s not yet cold enough to merit 15 layers of thermal underwear. When the early morning frosts are more novelty than nuisance. And when there are still enough amber-leaved trees to give striking contrast to the grey-against-grey.

We’re nearly two weeks into Winter, and I’m in love with the season. So far. (Bear in mind, I’m kidding myself that it’s still Autumn. Give me another month and I’ll be lamenting summer.)

It’s the tree skeletons I find particularly appealing. The way their branches arch upwards towards the sky; grasping hungrily for every last ray of sunlight. While those that still boast ochre-coloured leaves capture the light like dryad fire; never burning or consuming, yet radiating warmth all the same. I’m fascinated by the moss and lichens that attempt to dress their poor naked forms; creeping along their aging limbs like a… a…

Oh, I’ve run out of super-lame prose. Which is just as well as I was close to dry-retching on my own attempt at writing it. But you get the drill, right?

There has been more than one occasion this week where I’ve caught myself prattling on about naked trees and autumn leaves to whomever is unfortunate enough to be trapped in conversation with me. Sadly, it was the same person on at least three of those occasions. And while a part of my brain cried ‘really Kelly? This is all you can think of to talk about right now? Do you want her to think you’re MAD?!’ I found a small measure of comfort in the fact that this person has known me for 15 years. Thus, she already knows I’m quite mad.

Having decided graphic design gives me artistic licence to be as obsessed with trees as I darn-well like, I’ve snapped pics of several woody skeletons this week. All in the name of “design inspiration” of course. Not because I have an obsessive personality type or anything…

autumn trees

I passed this tree on my way home, and then had to return with my camera. I must look kinda weird, standing on roadsides, photographing branches and bark…

 

autumn design inspiration

Not actually sure why I put a watermark on this. Not like anyone’s gonna want to steal off with my crappy tree.

 

This afternoon I finished off a set of pre-made Facebook graphics inspired by my current tree obsession. The set includes a timeline cover with matching profile pic (with customisable text), app covers and a promo graphic (to be supplied blank). It’s now up for sale in the store.

autumn fall premade facebook graphics

 

 

 

Stay tuned for more in the way of trees. I fear I’m not over this fixation yet. (If someone would like to pay me to shut up about trees and work on a completely different design project, please… Be my guest. My paying guest.)

the cute stuff

If you spend three seconds looking at my portfolio, you’ll notice the majority of my graphic design work has, thus far, erred on the side of cute and whimsical. I enjoy creating these graphics – not because “cute” is my personal style, but because it’s not.

I guess that sounds odd, right? Okay so maybe you’re right. But allow me to explain (in my long-winded rambling way.)

When it comes to my own personal style – both in terms of graphic design and general me-ness (yeah let’s just pretend that’s a word), I have a bit of a Jekyll & Hyde thing going on. On the one hand, I find Nature – in all it’s colours, textures and forms – to be an endless source on inspiration. While on the other hand, I’m attracted to dark, industrial, grungy, deconstruction.

scrapbook gothic scrapbook fallen angel

Little known secret: I kinda sometimes like scrap-booking. I may even at times find myself slightly obsessed with scrap-booking papers.
Hey! Remind me to show you the drawers of pretty papers I have squirreled away in my scrapbooking closet one day. *giggles maniacally*
*giggles even more maniacally at the realisation no one’s reading this and I’m talking to myself*

That’s not to say I don’t like to dabble in cute and pretty. Pretty things are lovey, for sure. But pretty grungy things are even better. I distress my photos with sandpaper; I love gardens when they’re rambling (much like my conversational skills) and filled with wildflowers; grunge textures make me drool; crumbling old stuff begs to be photographed… And my children are at their most adorable when playing in mud.

An ensemble of my photography that aims to make a point but ultimately does nothing to serve a purpose upon this page.

Beauty is at its best when it’s worn at the edges.

 

I like vintage nostalgia. I like chaos. I like Gothic romance. I like the whimsical. I like my flourishes and florals splattered with ink stains and treated with a grunge overlay. There’s beauty to be found in the darker side of life, and I enjoy exploring old cemeteries in search of it.

But like I said at the start of my post… *scrolls back up to remember what the point of this was* … I also enjoy creating graphics that are that are bright and fresh and kinda cutesy. Not because it’s my personal style, but because it’s not. I kinda figure that by stepping out of the confines of my own preferences, I can allow my imagination to explore different forms. And by doing so, delve into a side to my psyche that I usually try to smother under a pillow.

fairy wings

As well as a great opportunity to dust off the DSLR and photograph the kids chasing each other amid the last of the autumn Liquid Amber((for the record, I thought these were maple trees, but as google revealed, they’re Liquid Amber. It’s the spikey nuts that gave them away. ;))) leaves this afternoon, I lugged home a collection of leaves to photograph and convert into Photoshop textures and brushes.

autumn leaves

autumn leaves

 

I think Autumn is my favourite season, if for no other reason than that I love the way the leaves change colour as they get ready to fall. There’s something about the rich reds and, when you turn them over, antiqued tan of Liquid Amber trees in particular that I find incredibly compelling. And look at the luscious yellow of that Ginko! Sure, the leaf-litter would all become a bit much to deal with after a while… But I wish these beautiful trees were in our backyard. (The fact that they’re available at our local park will have to suffice!)

Meanwhile, a photo of my daughter sitting on a tree stump, making dinosaur impersonations, inspired me to create for her a set of leafy fairy wings in Photoshop:

 

Liquid Amber leaf wings created in photoshop new zealand Liquidamber leaf (not to be confused with Maple, as it turns out..)

 

 

In hindsight, I don’t know what the hell I was thinking, making fairy wings. If it’s not dinosaurs she’s obsessing over, it’s dragons. Think I’ll be whipping up some reptilian wings tonight. And perhaps I’ll post a tutorial here to go with it. (Of course, don’t hold your breath on that one.)

 

infinite monkey design

I’ve had an epiphany as to the inspiration behind my site graphics/colours: My immediate environment.

The wine reds come from the walls of our computer area. The shade depending on the cast of the light (an issue I found particularly problematic while trying to take a photo this morning.)

The weathered paper-look graphics with their coffee stains and ink splatters come from our worn out computer desk – complete with dark red hair dye stains and ever-present luke-warm cup of coffee. (Half-empty or half-full, depending on the mood of the day ;))

 

infinite monkey design

 

 

And then there’s the name, Infinite Monkey. This one has less to do with my ‘design style’ and more with my tendency to natter on incessantly in the hope of eventually producing words that make sense.

….Okay so maybe it does have a little something to do with my design style.

Opening Photoshop and mucking around with various brushes and overlay effects until I finally scrape together something half-way presentable, is akin to a monkey smacking away at the keys of a typewriter until it eventually flukes a proper word or two, isn’t it? (Yeah I know, really selling myself here…)