Ohhh Snail Mail Information Graphics!

My bestie Hayley and I have recently been inspired by a designer named Giorgia Lupi, co-founder and design director of Accurat, to undertake the task of creating postcards made completely of infographics based on one topic, once a week, for the whole year!

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The idea was to start to push ourselves creatively, not only to capture and visualise data (no matter how mundane) but also to go back to good old fashioned hand drawn/created work that relied on snail mail!  

Giorgia's work is inspiring and beautiful but I didn't want to directly copy it. I wanted to put my own twist on the idea by trying to keep it illustrative and colourful.

The hardest task is to think of new and interesting topics each week and being disciplined enough to keep on track. 

But it is amazing what happens when you start to focus on one small thing or task and then keep track of it. My favourite information graphic postcards that I have made so far have been those tracking my sleep, drinks, music, words and thoughts. These allowed me to push my creative skills and find new ways to show what I discovered.

Another small detail I have learned by working on this project concerns the weather! When you send a gouache painted postcard and it rains... it is going to run! The same goes for some of the pens I used. Also, the cards can get torn, bent or damaged, but it all adds to the experience.

I love waiting for the postman. He always asks me about the cards from Hayley and what they mean. He has asked to see mine a few times too! The walk to the village postbox takes about 20 minutes, but I enjoy the chance to stomp through the farmland and orchards, come rain or shine, to post my little postcard.   

I am really enjoying this process, I will continue to update you on some of the designs I create. 

Ohhh Wine Time!

Kent Gold

As you know, I am passionate about small businesses, and work hard to support local and family run companies where I can. I love attending local food markets and fairs, stocking up on beautiful and unique food and drink produce.

Therefore I was delighted to be asked to design new wine labels for West Fisher, one of the smallest commercial wine producers in the UK.

I began by working with the product "Kent Gold", which is described as: "A blended medium dry white made from Pinot Blanc and Reichensteiner grapes, Wiltshire grown but all made in our winery near Biggin Hill, of course. Similar to a Soave in character with an almost Sancerre character to the finish, well suited to fish & summer dishes." This is one of my favourite wines in the West Fisher range, so I started to play with my ideas about wineries and Kent to make an illustrative mark. 

The old label (seen to the left of the image) plays with sun, but I wanted to evoke images of the earth. 

Kent is synonymous with countryside, fields and farming and I wanted to imply this heritage with the wine labels, whilst also adding texture and depth.

I started with a gold textured background and a rounded and smooth shape (like a grape), and then I started hand carve out lines, as if the shape was the earth being ploughed for seeding/ growing. 

Once we had arrived at a shape and style, I decided to look at changing the texture from gold foil to watercolour. This way we could make the design work across the range, so each wine has a unique shape and colour whilst retaining the same illustrative style. 

Working with the established West Fisher branding was challenging at first, but I think we came to a happy balance of old and new. The legal requirement for specific font sizes for measurements and alcohol volumes was also tricky, as it is stipulated in cm not in points!

One aspect of the design I felt strongly about was the angle of the horse's head on the logo. I tilted the horse's head up slightly, so it was no longer looking down, as I felt it had previously looked sad and downbeat. We also decided to incorporate it into the illustrations, which was a nice touch. 

Overall, I am very happy with the result, as is Simon from West Fisher. I feel a real sense of pride when I see all the bottles lined up on the market stalls! They look fabulous, plus they taste really good! 

If you are interest in supporting Simon and his amazing range of wines you can learn more and buy from his website: West Fisher Winery or find them at many of Kent's food fairs and markets! 

An Illustration Reflection - Best of 2016

My Favourite Colour Collective Illustration (Twitter Group Challenge) 2016

I so enjoyed taking part on Colour Collective this year. Though I couldn't do it every week, I tried my best to! Every Monday a Pantone colour was announced and the idea is to create a visual piece using that colour. It could be in any medium and on any theme; total freedom.  

This allows you to play with both colour and styles and push yourself to create as you try to make your piece stand out. I was amazed at how supportive and collaborative the group was, how quickly comments, shares and likes were given. There was endless inspiration to be found by just scrolling through everyone's work.

I bought new Photoshop brushes and pushed myself to draw in new styles. This little fellow was the result of an experiment in style, using new Photoshop brushes and taking inspiration from outside my window. A little boy, on his way to school, stopped and splashed about in the puddles, and then tilted his head back to feel the rain on his face before his mum pulled him back into the school run! So cute! 

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MY FAVOURITE PERsonal PIECE of illustration 2016

This was a difficult but rewarding piece of work that I completed for my self help/advice eBook called "Living with Endometriosis".

I wanted to finally write down my story, which is something I had been putting off for a long time. I've spoken about it a lot, but I'd always thought that if I put down my story in writing it would somehow make it feel more real and permanent. That it would somehow make me feel those same feelings or emotions again. In truth, it did, but it also served as a great healing tool; I felt lighter from doing it.

To go alongside my story I illustrated several key moments to help get my message or a particular feeling out to the reader. I shared the illustrations on social media, with Tweets about living with endometriosis, including the physical and psychological effects of living in chronic pain while trying to get a diagnosis.    

 

MY FAVOURITE COMMISSIONED PIECE of ILLUSTRATION 2016

I was asked by a wedding celebrant to create an illustrated bride for her to use across multiple platforms as piece of her brand.  

She wanted to have a "Bo-Ho" bride to promote the handfasterning market to brides, as this was something she was enjoying doing.

I was delighted to help with this as I LOVE drawing bridal dresses. This one was a challenge due to the lace, but I really enjoyed the process and the delicate touches in the dress and flowers.

 

 

S6 & Redbubble PIECE OF ILLUSTRATION 2016

One of the most purchased pieces from my online stores in 2016 was from my Hot Drinks collection.

These started as a study of portraits in the vector style, and three little pieces came about! My favourite piece is "That Hot Chocolate Feeling", because I LOVE hot chocolate in the winter, especially with little marshmallows floating around on top. Yummy.

"That Hot Chocolate Feeling" - Artwork and gifts at S6 Shop

"That Coffee Feeling" - Artwork and gifts S6 Shop

"That Tea Feeling" - Artwork and gifts S6 Shop

 

MY LAST PIECE OF ILLUSTRATION 2016

Ohhh Mr Trump... Mr President-elect...

So much came to light in America's latest Presidential campaign; quotes, news, false reports, back stabbing, lies, truths, Russian tampering (?), excellent comedy sketches and the diverse opinions of the good people of the USA themselves. So much was said, shown and done it was a feast for illustrators everywhere.

One of my last jobs in 2016 was to illustrate an article about the idea of those people who made "him". I wanted to show that certain people and politicians campaigned and manoeuvred Trump into power while both cheering and leering at the "monster they made". This illustration has a Frankenstein feeling, while the "Monster" soaks up the power and glory. 

I think it came out well and the article writer loved it! 

I hope to do more of these political based illustrations in 2017, but not all on Trump, I hope.


OHHHKAYE WORK

I work for a wide range of clients across advertising, editorial and corporate business fields but I don’t really have a ‘typical’ client. I get approached by all sorts of different people and companies and I love the challenge of creating something unique for each one in order to solve a problem visually. 

If you are in need of an illustration, please do get in touch on 07870 662180 or email: hello@ohhhkaye.co.uk