This article appears in our current issue, #17 and is part of our free UPPERCASE Stationery Guide.
Get your work on stationery
By Lilla Rogers
You walk into your favourite little shop, and you covet the ridiculously cute illustrated journals and cards and notebooks, and even the charming sticky notes, and you ask yourself, “How do I get that gig?”
getting a fab illustration gig
1. Go to shops, turn over products you love and note the manufacturer.
2. Go to the websites of these manufacturers and find their submission details.
3. Stop and reflect on what you love to draw. What’s out there already? Now draw something different.
4. Colours are key. Look at websites like fossil.com or modcloth.com, or at a sumptuous page in this magazine for colour ideas.
5. Set up your palette of these fresh colours.
6. Now draw and paint or vector your images. Make a mess. Use references. Put on awesome music. Dance around your studio. People buy your joy!
7. Free-floating silhouetted icons give the client great flexibility. Having lots of isolated images, such as a mushroom, an anchor or a telescope, give the designer bits to play with. These are used to create coordinating patterns for things like journal endpapers, packaging art and interior pages of sketchbooks. You are making a kind of art kit for the client, a designer, to have fun with.
8. Make sure your icons are related to the theme of your main image.
9. Pop the images onto your website. Post, blog and pin your images. Send out a newsletter with them. Now you’re ready to email them directly to your favourite manufacturers. In the email, pop in about three to five jpgs that are 72 dpi, RGB, and add a link to your website.
10. Rinse and repeat. The system works!
Stay tuned for an amazing opportunity to work with Lilla!
Does your heart beat faster at the sight of beautiful stationery?
Issue 17 of our magazine includes this special Stationery Guide of small stationery companies from around the world. We’d like to share this content with you to help promote their businesses and to give you a small taste of the quality content you’ll find in each and every print edition of UPPERCASE magazine.
Please share this guide on your blogs and your social circles to help promote all the talented people who have contributed their work to this guide.
Typescale is a new stationery company in the UK that features type-based prints, notebooks and stationery "born out of a life long love of photography, typography and collecting stuff. These collections include: vintage typewriters, signage, lettering, flash cards, wood type, word games, packaging, cameras, graphics supplies and printed ephemera." Designer Jane Bernstein sent us these beautiful images—I love her photo styling (with typewriters)!
Verónica Grech is featured in the Stationery Guide and sent us these photos of her enjoying the magazine. She writes, "I studied Fine Arts and Design at San Carlos University in Valencia. Currently I reside in the north of Spain, in a small town nestled between mountains facing the ocean, with beautiful views in every direction. I work with a variety of clients supporting my illustration projects. I love nature and landscapes and enjoy creating strange and fun characters, poetic portraits and colourful urban scenes."
Use the code '4mom' to get one issue free when you buy a gift subscription.*
*Discount cannot be applied retroactively. Valid until May 12 MST. Use your contact information for shipping and your recipient's information for shipping. The first issue will not be delivered by May 12.
UPPERCASE reader Isabell Seidel has an excellent urban sketching project underway: "A sample of postcards and two booklets which will show a selection of Ourense´s culinary scenery. The visits down "in the capital" to have tea have already started." She draws these on location from various cafés in Ourense, a town in northern spain.
Isabell put the back of an UPPERCASE magazine subscription cards to good use! "I'm a slow reader of your magazine," she writes. "I like to taste it page by page because it´s one of the few that deserves attention in each detail you place so carefully. As an addict to all kind of paper stuff I especially liked the last issue =). In one of the previous issues I found a subscription postcard with a beautiful frame that invited to be filled. Today it'll go on its journey from bucolic Galicia/Spain to urban Berlin/Germany."
To see more of Isabell's work, visit her Flickr sets.
"Jonathan’s work deals with the strange and complex relationships that exist between object, written language and the body. Interested in how language can shape thoughts about an object and its context, his works often being inspired by the text’s narrative."
I believe that some of the letterforms are from typewriters and apparently he has designed a typewriter to type out his own handwriting.
I recently heard from Flow Gallery, located in London's Notting Hill. Their current exhibition entitled "Forming Words" includes work by issue 16 cover artist Debbie Smyth. Though I'm on the other side of the ocean, the exhibition has introduced me to some intriguing artists such as Susanne Matche, featured in this post.
If you are fortunate enough to be in London, a visit to this exhibition promises to be an experience of note:
Flow has asked selected artists to create new work based on a piece of writing of their choice, from poetry to a letter to lyrics. Whether it is the shapes, lines and curves which letters create that inspire the work, as in vibrant wall pieces by Debbie Smyth that motivate the work. Or simply the fluidity of the writing, artists exploring this theme express the diverse approaches and outcomes this one theme can manifest. Many of the artists have chosen to utilise the meaning of their selected text or the message that the text communicates to inform their work. Other artists, such as Aino Kajaniemi take a personal approach to using text with particular memories woven in thread. The work in this exhibition traverses disciplines. Jewellery will be exhibited alongside silver teacups, ceramic vessels and enamel plates. The variety in material has resulted in an exhibition that intends to capture the endless inspiration of the written word.The exhibition continues until May 17.
This weekend my family and I went to the Gem, Mineral and Fossil show looking for inspiration for the fall issue (#19) that has rocks and gems as a theme. I'm on the hunt for creative projects using or inspired by rocks, gems and minerals. Please submit your links here.
In addition to being an UPPERCASE contributor, Amy Peppler-Adams is a graphic designer, budding surface pattern designer and co-author of the Vintage Scratch & Sniff Collector's Guide. She recently wrote about her experience as a scratch and sniff sticker collector on her blog.
"Some of you may know that my obsession with collecting (hoarding) includes a passion for vintage stickers from the 1970s and '80s. For the first 10 years of the 2000s, right after I turned 30, I was consumed with finding and buying all the stickers I collected as a kid, replacing all those I had stuck to old notebooks and magnetic photo albums with pristine, unused stickers on their original backings. This included scratch and sniff stickers, which had to be unscratched and still have their smell. And I wasn't the only one—eBay was crawling with avid sticker collectors, especially those who wanted sniff stickers. It was a tense 10 years, watching hundreds if not thousands of listings and usually bidding at the last second to try to win. But my collection is nearly complete, and occasionally I am able to fill in some holes when I get the inkling to check out the eBay listings again.
During this time I was fortunate to collaborate with a fellow collector, bubbledog, writing a book dedicated to scratch and sniff stickers: the Vintage Scratch & Sniff Stickers Collector's Guide."
Amy says she was "thrilled to have contributed a short article about the stinky pieces of paper" for issue #17.
If you're interested in starting your own scratch and sniff sticker collection, you're in luck. Email firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15 to be entered to win a copy of Vintage Scratch & Sniff Stickers Collector's Guide.
Jamie Leonardi (Resident Cheerleader for a. favorite design letterpress greeting cards & blogger for Stumble & Relish) shares the The Wisdom of Moxie:
It was the first sunny, beautiful day in Chicago—Saturday at 7:45 A.M. and I walked into a day-long creative conference. You might think, “YAWN” or “I wanna play outside today”. But you’d be wrong. So wrong. This was a “conference to inspire confident creatives” and it definitely did. I was blown away by the variety of speakers, the creative fields they were from and how they all managed to really make me think.
Aside from brilliant Illustrator, Lisa Congdon, the list of speakers didn’t mean much to me before I heard them speak but they all left quite an impression on me. Designer and illustrator, Elle Luna, was memorable with her poetically, blunt style. She made me laugh, made me think and I will always remember that distractions threaten us daily—“every time you say yes to one of them, you say no to yourself”. The speakers were refreshing, easy-going, smart, forthright, honest, funny, witty, entertaining and so incredibly passionate. There was a common theme of taking the jump off that cliff, quitting your job and start doing what it is you really want to do. I think the eloquent illustrator and fine artist, Lisa Congdon, said it best “Be you. Make the work you love and embrace your path”.
It is a rare chance that you get to feel and experience the true creative passion of others. All creatives have the passion that drives them, fuels them, feeds them but to get inside some true creative genius is a gift. It was fantastic to see the rich, creative community here in Chicago in one room. There was so much to take away but mostly I walked away with many words of wisdom to share:
“Find your MUST. What do you burn for? What moves you?” —Elle Luna, designer & artist
“Safety & comfort obstruct your dreams.” —Rob Loukotka, designer
“Mistakes are so beautiful, lets go paint a million mistakes.” —in the words of a little boy to Elle Luna
“Be you. Make the work you love & embrace your path.” —Lisa Congdon, Illustrator & Fine Artist
“The original Kick Starter.“ —Max Temkin referring to Mr. Rodgers defending PBS in the senate in 1969
“Your haters are really good at pointing out your strengths.” —Ann Friedman, Editor & Writer
“We are all writers, we are all storytellers.” —Susan Betteridge. Group Creative Director
“Always have a business card.” —Mare Swallow, Speaker, Consultant, Author
“It would be better to fail than to suck.” —Max Temkin, Designer & Gamer
“Be prolific. Be brave. Be communal. Be adaptable. Be firm. Be adventurous. Be dependable. Be gracious. Be (occasionally) disentangled. ” —Lisa Congdon, Illustrator & Fine Artist
Over the weekend we were proud to support MoxieCon in Chicago by providing complimentary magazines to attendees. This one-day event was a crash course on the business side of design and technology. Workshops covered topics such as self promotion, how to market your ideas as well as dealing with legal issues. We sent Stationery Guide participants Nina from Tweedle Press, Tiffany and Mary of Kept Casual and Jamie from a. favorite design who all report that the event was very inspiring.
Kept Casual’s TOP 10 List of the Most Noteworthy Observations and Moments from Our Inspiring Experience at MoxieCon:
10. Lots of prints, patterns and cool eye wear all around us. Designers are so chic.
9. Cool bag of swag, including a back issue of UPPERCASE Magazine and a bundle of Field Notes!
8. From Susan Betteridge—tell a story when presenting your work. Don’t undersell the journey you took to get to your idea.
7. Lawyer up!
6. Jen Myers talked about Girl Develop It, a meetup community of women that offers classes and resources to women interested in learning how to code. Sign us up!
5. Read autobiographies of really successful people.
4. From Mare Swallows —“Inspire confidence [in yourself and your work] from the start.” And, “Create a web presence, and keep up with it.”
3. Elle Luna advised, “Know the difference between the work that you can do and the work that you must do. What do you burn for?”
2. Favourite piece of advice from Lisa Congdon—“Be communal. Surround yourself with good people. Don’t bother with the jerks.”
1. Hands down best thing said all day came from Ann Friedman, “You’re doing something right if you have haters.” Amen.
Publish your news in honest-to-goodness ink on paper.
We're now accepting peeps for our Summer issue.
Think of a peep as a creative cross between a tweet, the community newspaper classifieds and a type specimen. Thanks to lithographic technology, these "paper tweets" leave a lasting impression. And with beautiful typography and design for each message (typeset by UPPERCASE designer Janine Vangool), these peeps transform a classified into something classy.
Submit your peep by Friday, May 17 for inclusion in our Summer issue!
The submission deadline for my 100 artists is nearing, so my inbox is bursting with questions, artwork and downloads. While I'm busy sorting, here are some images of Lea Vervoort working on her illustration for the forthcoming Work/Life book.
From her home studio in the Netherlands, Lea answered some of our questions on her illustrated life:
Has being an illustrator affected your personal life? (ie the choice of where or how you live?) Actually I can live where ever I want to. My work is international orientated. As long as I have a roof, my computer and my paper with pencils I can work.
Does your personal life (i.e. children, working from a home studio) affect your career? Working from a home studio sometimes affects my career. I would love to work at a studio away from home, but I'm not able to afford it (yet).
How do you maintain a balance between your work and your life? (or not?) Illustration is a really big part of my life. It’s my passion and it's my work. And even if I’m not working I’m thinking about it, so there's not really a balance between work and life here. But I don't mind, it makes me happy.
What is your ideal day? A day with lots of sun! Living in the Netherlands with all the rain can be a bit depressing sometime.
Where do you work? Do you have a studio at home or somewhere else? How is your workspace enhance or hinder creativity? I work at home. I live together with my boyfriend. He is an animator and works from home too. We share the office, a room (15m2) next to our living room. It's quite nice to have company of another creative soul.
Is your image-making inspired by personal interests or do you prefer to be driven by specific assignment? Mostly my image-making is inspired by a specific assignment, but I always try to put some things of own interest in it too. And when I have some spare time I love to make personal work.
How is your creative vision expressed through your work? Because of my imagination I love to create/make up worlds. In my work you are likely to find things like environments, surroundings and cities with a certain atmosphere or characters such as animals, people or non-existing beings. Sometimes I’m still a kid who thinks that grown-ups are boring. With my work I hope to surprise and bring back a little sparkle to dusty lives.
A row of houses in my neighbourhood is slated for demolition (seems to be a recurring theme) and a community of artists have transformed the buildings before they're torn down. We headed down to see Wreck City before this art installation project ends tonight.
Though it was certainly interesting to see something like this on mass scale and I can see how this was a fun project for lots of young artists to do whatever they wanted, it did feel a bit like a missed conceptual opportunity. Perhaps there could have been some way to comment intelligently on development (ie 'progress'), on respect for the past, on recycling and upcycling, on 'home-fullness' and homelessness... or the history of the houses? Who used to live there? How do they feel about their former homes being torn down? Where are they now?
Maybe I missed some of these concepts as I held tightly to Finley's hand in some potentially hazardous spaces (for a curious 3-year-old) and juggled my camera. I'm not sure. (There was a house with a lineup and controlled entry that intrigued me but we couldn't wait in line.) The overall experience left me melancholic.
A commenter on the Wreck City site wrote something that I agree with:
"As a neighbour, I am glad to see the demolisher (aka Developer) interested in some of the neighbourhood’s culture by supporting WRECK CITY, however, I find it a bit funny that we’re going to have this influx of art and culture just to have the culture entirely wiped out by a colossal condominium spanning an entire city block in the heart of this heritage community."