I met Ashley through my longtime blog friend Mandi (you must also check out her new work over here, if you haven't already!). They both live in Akron, Ohio and I guess Ashley stumbled onto my blog through Mandi's? No matter how we met, I am so glad we did! She's a sweetheart and such a talented musician and singer. I've enjoyed getting to know her through the wonders of the internet (you can follow her on Instagram and Facebook). I'm so inspired by people that follow their hearts and do what they love... and as we artists know - that is not always the easy path to take! But when you do something you love, that you're wildly passionate about - well, only goodness can come from that.
Here are some photos of Ashley that Mandi took a couple years ago. Aren't they the best? Ashley is such a doll!
When she approached me to design her new EP Release Show Poster, I was so crazy excited. I've been a long-time admirer of show poster designers, and while I don't equate myself with that caliber of artists (they've been doing it for years!), the idea of designing my first gig poster was really exciting.
I knew it would be the perfect collaboration, as she and I obviously have a shared love of nostalgia and vintage style. I knew this would be a great addition to my graphic design portfolio that I'm trying to build as I focus on growing my business. Even though I did graphic design at various companies for over a decade, I never really got to work with many fun clients (hello, building supply companies?!), with the exception of a few projects here and there (designing logos for some local consignment shops was a highlight!) And when I went to work for myself, I got to go crazy designing in an aesthetic that I loved.
But as I mentioned here, I'm excited to start designing more for others - especially other creative individuals and small businesses!
Without giving away too much about Ashley's inspiration for this EP (I'll let her share that with you!), when she mentioned that she listened to (among other things) Doris Day and Sesame Street Music videos while recording - I knew I could have fun with that. She let me listen to her songs (they.are.so.good) so I could get a feel for the music while I designed.
There's definitely some country tones in there, but in her signature sweet sound. With the country influence (there is some steel guitar - or pedal steel - in the mixes), I did some inspiration googling for country and other album artwork from the 60s. I knew Dolly would be a great reference, and I while I didn't take direct inspiration from this album cover, I liked the idea of a portrait. And I loved the colors (my favorites!) and groovy shapes in the Tremeloes album cover (I've never heard of them but they were apparently a 60s beat band?).
Old school country music, and the sound of that steel guitar, really hit home with me. I grew up listening to that music and it brings back memories of playing at my grandparents' homes in Louisiana - this music often playing in the background, or in the car on roadtrips. I can tell you now, that Ashley's new EP will be a perfect addition to your Summer soundtrack this year! Don't worry though, the sound is not 100% country... it's sweet and folky with such pretty melodies.
I'm so happy with how the poster came out! I only wish I could go to Ashley's show. How fun would that be? She'll be hanging them at a couple places in town, and they'll also be available for sale at the show.
She's planning a crowd funding campaign to raise money for production costs soon, so I'll be sure to keep you posted on that in case you want to contribute. She's also releasing one of the songs early, and the entire EP will be released May 20th. Again, I'll keep you posted! In the meantime, you can watch this sweet music video she made and you can also purchase her previous music "All Songs in English" here and "Sweetheart" here. I have several of her new songs stuck in my head today, in such a great way. : ) I feel honored to get to listen to them early!
If you are a small business or independent artist and need some design help, please drop me a line at thousandclowns (AT) gmail (DOT) com... I'd love to work with you!
We did it! We survived! I have so, so much to say about this show and experience, and I have lots of blog content that I've generated from the process of putting this booth together, that I'll be sharing soon. I was also finally able to photograph SO much vintage that I've been collecting over the years. Excited to finally show you those finds here. But for now, I have some major catching up to do on some client work. Much, much more to come.
P.S. I've never been so exhausted in my life as I was after doing this. I likened it to having a newborn in the house + working on my graduation project as a fine arts major in college - there were no trips to the emergency room from slicing off the tip of my finger with an Xacto blade, but wow - vending a craft show definitely puts a hurtin' on the body. Phew.
P.P.S. You might have spotted some new embroidery and cross-stitch pattern projects in these pics... be sure to check out our new products - and I'm adding more this week! So much stitchy goodness. Great Easter basket gift ideas! ALSO, if you see anything in these pics, or from previews I've posted on Instagram (here or here), chances are I might still have it - so leave me a comment here and let me know if you see something you want! I'll let you know if I still have it. I'm allowing International shipping depending on how large the item is.
I'm knee deep in prep for Salvage! So excited! It's been quite a roller coaster ride lately. I've made some newbie mistakes (just found out that my table is actually 6'x2.5' instead of 6'x5'... big difference!), been sorting through tons of my own vintage, as well as vintage that I've found recently, designing business cards and booth signs, making craft packs from vintage supplies for swag bags, and more. It's been so much work, and at times I've had some near panic attacks, but I thrive on this sort of thing. I'm so, so excited. I might throw up the night before, but it will all be worth it (I'm kidding).
I've been receiving project samples from our designers at Kitschy Digitals in the mail to display at the show, and I have to tell you... it's one thing to see patterns online.. but to see actual completed projects - it's so exciting to see these things in person. This is the whole reason why I created Kitschy Digitals - I love handmade! And I love encouraging people to make things themselves... you can do it, too! There is absolutely nothing like the feeling of making something with your own two hands. (P.S. You can make these adorable plush animals yourself with this pattern in the shop! As well as the gnome and mushroom and Flapper Girl Embroideries!)
The first 100 attendees at the show get swag bags and I've put together these vintage craft packs for my contribution. I've been accumulating all of these vintage elements (buttons, wallpaper, wrapping paper, ephemera, trim, beads and more) for years and I've honestly just felt so overwhelmed by all of it because I wasn't quite sure what to do with it all - but assembling the elements into these cute little coordinating packs makes it much more inspiring, and it actually gets me excited to do some paper-crafting myself, which I haven't done in Y E A R S! I have more packs to put together and I have to admit, I could make these all day. So fun. The little vintage style cutouts above of the children, I found on our Netherlands trip last year.
The show also gave me an excuse to have some more business cards printed for Kitschy Digitals, as well as for my own freelance graphic design. I had some printed at Overnight Prints (who I've used many times) as well as some Luxe cards printed at Moo for my personal design cards. They have the feel of letterpress, without the high price of actual letterpress. I'm happy with them!
I've always wanted some of these vintage inflatable hangers... I found some on Etsy - perfect for my vintage clothing display for the show! I'm keeping these beauties!
And here are the life-size cutouts I alluded to in a previous post. They came out great! I had to take a deep breath because I wasn't sure if it would work out. I didn't want to have to spend mucho $$ to have one made, but I was coming up empty handed when searching for good DIY options online. I will be sure to share how I made mine after the show.
I've always wanted one of these vintage crochet vests (I've seen them in old crochet patterns and actual handmade ones on Etsy), but have never found one with colors I liked.. until last week! I'm going to have to add some length to it because these are usually cropped, and I for one do not look good in a crop top. No. So, we'll see how it goes. Hopefully it won't be too difficult. I'm going to wear it to the show. They are having a vintage style contest, so if you go, be sure to come in your best vintage! Or, if you buy a vintage outfit at the show, there are changing rooms and you can wear that! : ) Here are the $5 voucher cards (mini cards from Moo) I'll be adding to the swag bags and I might have some at my booth as well if I have leftovers.
Here is the event poster (which I think is quite lovely). If you're local, I hope you can make it! Lots of great food, a sewing lounge (!!!), photo booth fun and of course, tons of great vintage and vintage-inspired handmade goods.
I wanted to share this very fun freelance graphic design job I've been working on with you - a Media Kit for BeauXOXO Hair Accessories based out of the UK! I've been a graphic designer for going on 16 years now, but for the past 5 (?) years or so, I've been designing exclusively for myself and Kitschy Digitals. Although I have over a decade of print design experience, over the past few years I would say 90% of what I design is for the web (with the exception of my printables and other products at KD). So, although I use a lot of Photoshop and Illustrator, I haven't used a layout program such as InDesign in all that time. In fact, before I left my part-time design job to work at home full-time, I had mostly used Quark Xpress (how's that for dating myself!).
When I decided that I wanted to start taking on new design work, I realized I really needed to get comfortable with InDesign. Luckily, there are a lot of similarities with Quark, and it's been a mostly smooth process. I love this program!
When Georgie (the owner and creater at BeauXOXO) contacted me (she found Kitschy Digitals through Pinterest I think?) to see if I'd be interested in designing her Media Kit, I was a little nervous, but so very excited! I know it's most designers' dream to design for themselves, but since I've been fortunate enough to do that for a while now, I was really looking forward to the challenge of working with other people on THEIR labor of love. And I am really wanting to build up my portfolio, so this was a great opportunity.
When I saw the products that Georgie makes, I knew we would work together great because we are both into similar things! (Not to mention, she is such a sweetheart and has been a breeze to work with.) I also loved the idea of helping out a fellow small business owner, and the fact that her products are handmade (by her!) was of course a winner in my book.
This is only the cover and two spreads of the kit. I'll be sure to share the completed project when I finish. Georgie was nice enough to let me share the progress with you.
When I was gathering information from her, I asked her to tell me her inspirations for her accessory line - what imagery encompasses the look and feel of her style. Some things that came to mind with what she sent were: kawaii, Tokyo-inspired, sparkly, pastels, rainbows, super girly, yet totally bold. I had so much fun playing with lots of different elements. I was inspired by a Japanese fashion magazine I picked up in Tokyo LA last year. I was going for sort of a paper-craft-collage-type-feel. (Hello Sandwich definitely comes to mind.)
It doesn't hurt that she has fantastic photography to work with, not to mention so many fun products to highlight! Of course my favorites are anything with glitter, but I especially love this rainbow heart headband.
I'm looking forward to finishing this piece and adding it to my online portfolio (have MUCH to do on that).
If you are in need of some design work, let me know! Logo development, print design (business cards, letterhead, flyers, posters, brochures, etc.), web design (blog graphics, site graphics, etc.), you name it. I'm also available for website design work (creating the look of your site - I'd help you find a developer to make it functional as a website). No job is too small.
Contact me at thousandclowns (AT) gmail (DOT) com with inquiries! : )