Today I'm so excited to share my "What's In Your Toolbox" feature with Design*Sponge! I've followed and read Design*Sponge for years and today, to be featured on the platform amongst so many amazing creatives is really a highlight for me. 2017 is starting out so positively!
Almost 1 year ago exactly, I traveled to Big Bend in West Texas and fell in love with the landscape, the fresh air and those stars! I thought I had seen stars before but the clear skies of Texas proved me wrong. Nothing makes you feel so small.
For me, the road trip down from Midland was so peaceful and serene and the cell reception was spotty at best. We listened to music and marveled at the oil rigs, the flat lands and then finally those majestic mountains in Big Bend. It's a spot I think about often and hope to visit again soon.
Back in April, I started a '100 Days of Paper' project on Instagram. The premise was to create something with paper every day to stimulate my mind, jumpstart my collection of paper craft and to challenge myself. It was also a declaration to the public that I'm committed to this project with no excuses which was exciting and terrifying at the same time. I'm happy to say that I am now at the finish line.
During those 100 days, Legion Paper was kind enough to supply the paper throughout my project and I was in paper heaven! There were tons of paper to choose from and the ones I immediately gravitated towards was Colorplan, Mirri, and the Rising Museum Board. These were my staples and the foundation for my project. If you'd like to read more about my favorite papers and about my project, I answered some questions over on Legion Paper's blog.
Have you listened to the podcast, "How I Built This"? Each episode features an innovator or entrepreneur and their story of success. I listened to the episode on Sara Blakely who is the creator of Spanx and it was so inspiring! I went through all the episodes and can't wait to listen to more.
This Back to School illustration came together pretty quickly in a day after a loose sketch. I made the composition notebook and the triangle ruler but a lot of the items I had already created for previous projects like the backpacks, the headphones, sneakers, and pencil. I added the limbs and spent some time figuring out their poses and loved how it turned out!
All the hot pink things I've made so far :) This color makes me so happy
I don't have much to say about this one except that I thought it would be funny to make a miniature paper toilet.
It started off with wanting to create a tile floor so that I could use it as a 'set' piece whenever the need would arise. The tile is all hand cut and I have to say, it was pretty meditative to put together.
It took me awhile to get to the Whitney Museum but I finally made it to the Frank Stella retrospective! It was worth waiting in the long line and craning my neck over all the people to see all the pieces in person. It was incredible to see the wide breadth of work and the variety of mediums he used.
It was also interesting to see glimpses of his process. The large sculptural paintings look so haphazardly constructed but then you'll see a smaller version of the piece constructed out of cardboard showing how he worked through the different forms and landed on the final composition.
It is 2016 and I'm feeling the positive vibes! It's also a time for reflection and a time to think about the future. This year, my #1 resolution is to continue building on my paper work and to grow and experiment. I'm excited for the past 2 years of learning to work with paper 3-dimensionally and I have just grown to love it more and more. If you're interested in my paper journey, follow me on my Instagram where I post pretty regularly on what I'm working on.
I love a really good gift guide but let's be honest, I'm mostly shopping for myself or adding to my wish list. amiright? Shopping, fashion, and paper are my loves, so when Racked reached out to me to create illustrations for their gift guide, I was ecstatic!
The project: 9 Illustrations; 1 overall image and the remainder showcasing 8 different categories.
Final format: Online
Art direction: Each illustration should have a monochromatic color scheme. The 8 categories included Beauty, Tech, Kids, Guys, Accessories, Hostess, Customizable, and Jewelry
Timeline: 3 weeks from sketch to final photograph
I had the most fun creating the objects for the 'Kids' category. It included all the nostalgic iconic toys I could think of.
After creating all these 3D paper objects, I was itching to go back to cut paper where I could 'draw' into the paper with an exacto knife. As if hearing my thoughts, I got an email from The Partners, a design firm in London as well as a few other major cities for an interesting project.
Client: The Partners for Investec Asset Management
The project: To create 9 cut paper illustrations that would act as the chapter pages for a book
Final format: A printed book with each illustration as a full page spread
Art direction: They wanted a more traditional Chinese look to tie in the Chinese theme. Each illustration would be cut out of red paper and with each chapter, the illustrations would be more red signifying more luck.
Timeline: 1 month
The project was exciting and the idea of each illustration gradually becoming more red through smaller areas of paper being cut out really interested me. The entire project was pretty time and labor intensive and though it's a hard toss up on which was the more time intensive, I would have to say that the sketches took the most time. The sketches turned out to look pretty final in itself as it showed exactly how the final design will turn out.
Once all of the sketches were finalized, it was on to the cut paper part! It was important to note that through the final act of cutting the paper, elements of the design could and would naturally change. If you look at the linework in the sketch, it's much finer but due to the strength of the paper, it was impossible to achieve that would ripping the paper.
All in all, I was really happy with the outcome and all the hard work paid off! Did I also mention that after the final photographs were emailed, I had to move apartments?? Fun times! Needless to say, after the project was done and the apartment move, I had a nice cold beer.
The past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind! I recently got an email from Aelfie, a Brooklyn based home goods company (of my dreams) to do a fun project.
The project: A lookbook showcasing Aelfie products in paper form. Includes rugs, pillows, bedding, and bowls.
Final format: A printed booklet to be distributed at ICFF and for use online
Art direction: Have fun and do whatever I want!
Timeline: 2 weeks which was tight with my 9-5 but the date was not flexible as it was determined by the print shop deadline
To say it was a dream project was an understatement. The possibilities were endless but my main concern was being able to replicate the products in paper, after all, the main end goal was to showcase the product in the best light to sell to potential buyers. My idea was to create a tropical paradise where all these fun products would live. I think I also had vacation on my mind :) The overall feeling is of happiness, sunshine and cool vibes. Yes, those are all descriptive art terms.
You know when you're excited and scared but mostly excited and you say yes to a fun project because of those endorphins blocking the logic left side of your brain and you think you can do it but you've never actually done anything like it? That's what this project was like for me and my sister, Jessica Nam aka type genius. The project was to create a short stop motion animation using the 3D paper objects for Valentine's Day.
Client: For Neuland + Herzer for Lufthansa
The project: A short stop motion animation for Valentine's Day
Final format: For Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
Art direction: Have fun and do whatever I want!
Timeline: 1 week from sketch to finish!!!
Now keep in mind, I had never done a stop motion animation before. Neither has my sister. And we were aware of what the process was like...conceptually. Naturally we were very confident in our abilities to just figure it out along the way and I think it turned out great!
Our storyline pitch was of 2 iconic cities: New York and Paris. Paris missed New York and wrote a letter saying "I wish you were here." The next scene cuts to a Lufthansa plane landing in Paris. Ahhh, amore.
We made all the paper objects, shot all the photographs, compiled them all for the animation, and put in the hand drawn type for the final message.
Parks are funny things. The purpose of parks is to enjoy nature but in a very convenient and well manicured way. The grass is always cut, there are sidewalks to walk on if you're wearing nice shoes, and there are benches to sit on. It's a very pleasant way to enjoy nature in a "please, don't get me dirty with dirt" way. That's probably why I enjoy going to parks.
I especially love going to Central Park. Although it is a bit of a trek from Brooklyn, Central Park is incredibly beautiful and incredibly huuuuge. This cut paper piece is a map of all my favorite places including the Carousel, the statue of Balto, the Conservatory Water where Stuart Little raced his boat and the Waterfall in the Loch.
Here's a quick pencil sketch of something I've been working on.
And here's the much bigger cut paper version. I found this paper at a Brooklyn art supply store and it seriously cuts like buttah. The color is also amazing in person. This photo just doesn't do it justice. P.S. Can you spot Balto?