I am excited to share a new seamless pattern I recently developed for a range of application from textile, home decor and stationery items. This fun and quirky pattern can vary in size and colour as well, if needed.
First, I would like to invite you to visit the Canadian Women in Design website which showcases Canadian women in design who lead and inspire others.
As part of this great initiative, I have been invited to share my thoughts in an interview which got published earlier this week. It has been a pleasure to collaborate and be a part of such a great project, and I would like to invite you to do the same by nominating a Canadian woman that inspires you.
You can read my interview and learn more about me by following this link: https://womenindesign.ca/interviews/valerygoulet/
It has been a very long time since I wrote on this blog. Part of it is because I had a lot of things to take care of (client work and teaching loads) and also, I find the online media consuming a lot of my time. As a result, I have decided to close down the Valérydesignwrks Facebook page and hopefully spend more time here, where I can share my work and knowledge.
Recently, I rediscovered something I enjoyed a lot as a child: illustrating over photographs! Back then, I would illustrate on my grandmother's Châtelaine magazines by adding some black teeth and eyeliner to the models. This time around, I am creating some little stories by adding faces to things.
At first, I wasn't too sure what I was looking for with this project but I realized how inspiring this is and I would like to be able to collaborate with others in order to create more of those little collaborative stories!
If you would like to submit an image, please get in touch. I will be posting more visual on this blog.
Aujourd'hui, I simply wanted to share with you some simple process I go through when creating some of my illustration.
This personal project started as a very simple illustration created directly in Adobe Illustrator. The inspiration came from an image included in an email I received today. I found the colour palette interesting.
Keeping some of the elements from the photograph, I created the vector illustration below.
Finally, I brought this to my iPad and using Procreate, I added all the desired textures!
Recently, I had the pleasure of developing a new line of stationery for little ones. I have always enjoyed illustrating greeting cards in my spare time, but the audience was always for adults. This time around, I thought about kids having the opportunity to share the simple pleasure of the hand-written note. Inspired in part by the French designers working at Papier Tigre, as well as other great designers residing all around the world, I wanted to create a high-quality product that is functional and adorned with great typefaces, graphics and illustrations.
The first collection I am launching is the kid's stationery set Les amis Géo. This little stationery set features six different geometric illustrations on the front with space to write (or draw!) a message on the back.
Each of these cards are printed on high-quality paper allowing you to write easily using the pencil (or crayon!) of your choice. The cards are also very thick which protects them from unwanted folds. A colorful seam runs through the middle of each card. Each note comes matched with a high-quality, white envelope to which an ultra-coloured printed lining is added.
The option for personalization means you can have your child's name printed right on the card. A minimum of 25 cards is required to customize your card.
It is also possible to purchase a single card. For this option, you (or your child) can write their name on the card. This stationery is available in English, French and any other language of your choice!
You can currently order your stationery set online. As we go, the list of stockists will expand! Stay tuned!
As some of you might know, I occupy the Education Chair of the Graphic Designers of Canada in the Alberta North Chapter. Along with the design community, I help shape the future of design.
On Saturday, March 4th we would like to invite you to our Annual General Meeting taking place at the Plaza Bowl to connect with our design community and perhaps play some bowling with us!
It always feels good to complete a project because it means that there is now more room for a new one! With every project comes a load of new learning experience and for this illustration, I was excited to give my new iPad Pen a try.
Additionally, it was recommended for me to try out the digital painting app Procreate, which demonstrates lots of great functionalities. Since both tools were fairly new, I didn't feel confident enough to work solely on my iPad for this commissioned piece but I have decided to try those tools out and sketch with them.
As you can see in the video below, I first sketched my illustration on paper, digitalized it and then I traced over darker lines within the app to clean the sketch up before I could send it to the client.
From there, I brought this sketch in Photoshop and completed the illustration with my Wacom tablet, which I felt more comfortable with.
Discovering new things is always very exciting and I am looking forward to the next illustrative project!
In closing, I would like to invite you to grab a copy of the next issue of Avenue Edmonton Magazine to read the story this illustration accompanies 'Crestwood, now and then' written by the talented Lauralyn Chow.
A couple weeks ago, I was invited to sell some of my illustration work at Curioos, an online store that sells mostly exclusive art prints. After some research and after having interesting discussions with other current Curioos' artists, I felt it was a great fit and I submitted my first design.
All prints are manually numbered, signed, embossed and shipped with a certificate of authenticity, which I thought was also pretty interesting.
The first piece I submitted is Lapin de laine, a personal project of mine. Each illustration can be reproduced not only on heavyweight fine art paper but also on canvas, acrylic glass and aluminum.
Between teaching my three classes and working on other client projects this past winter, I had the opportunity to work with Art Director Natalie Kress for the April 2016 issue of the Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine. The article I illustrated for this client speaks to the sinking stocks and how they don't necessarily presage an economic downturn.
Working for a new client is always a little stressful and very exciting as you want to make sure you create something that both of you will find interesting. For me, each new project is an opportunity to learn and improve myself. With editorial illustrations, you want to make sure your message is well communicated and that your illustration captures the essence of the article you illustrate well. This is easy to say but sometimes the ideas are not that easy to find.
With each client, my creative process needs to adapt to them. To better understand my client's expectations, I always get started with some rough sketches and share different ideas we could work on. Since most of my editorial illustrations are created for clients that are often located in different cities, many of our conversations take place through emails. With this project, since the article wasn't fully written at the time I started, the Art Director sent me the following information:
Ahead – The Bear Market, 1/3 page - We are thinking to have two bears peeking out of a cave
Below is the very first document I sent to my client. Those sketches were accompanied by a short sentence. With editorial illustrations, I feel that the image must speak for itself. If you need to write up a long story that explains it, it is probably because you didn't get the right idea in the first place.
Once the concept was selected (Idea no.3), I recreated the bear illustration with the Adobe Draw application.
Once the bear was completed, I imported the illustrations in Illustrator, where I added the colours and created the simple graphic elements that compose the illustration.
Lastly, I completed the illustration in Photoshop before I could send my final illustration to the Art Director.
This assignment was really pleasant to work on. Finding the right idea is probably the toughest part of a project of this kind. I had a lot of fun creating this illustration and Kiplinger's Art Director Natalie Kress was amazing to work with.
If you have any question about this project, please feel free to send an email and I will be happy to get back to you.
I have always had a lot of admiration for illustrators that could simply draw something on an object, a wall or any other surface with ease, and without any 'mistake'. Last year, I forced myself into a project that would allow me to develop such a skill. I created this '5 Minute Face' portable booth, in which I create a portrait of the person sitting in front of me with an inked pen. Having a person in front of me, waiting for their face to be illustrated felt extremely uncomfortable at first but also really exciting at the same time because I was challenged to do great work. Since then, drawing people's faces doesn't stress me anymore and I feel quite confident doing so. Over the last year, I have attended multiple corporate events as well as weddings and I have illustrated over 500 faces! I don't think I am quite as good as I originally wished to be, but I am getting there, and this experience helped me improve my illustration skills by a lot.
This year, I was wondering what kind of cards I should be creating for my clients. I had this idea of creating a digital illustration of something whimsical. After spending some time sketching, I realized I wasn't thrilled about any of my sketches and just for fun, I started illustrating cards on blank card stock for my family and friends. Drawing for them is always fun because they know me well and whatever I come up with, they smile at the quirkiness of my drawings.
After drawing a dozen of cards, I realized that this was pretty fun. I actually liked the fact that none of my reindeers was the same on any card and I started adding some little characteristics to give each of them a little bit of personality. I kept creating family members for Rudolph thinking that my clients would probably appreciate this handmade card, since most of the ones that they will receive will be printed. Once more, I challenged myself with something I have never done before and I am pretty happy with the result!
I wish I had enough time to document the whole project and had digitalized all the different reindeers, but forcing myself into this helped once more building some confidence in my own work.
If you wish to receive or give a reindeer card, it is possible to purchase them in my Etsy shop.
I recently shared the fantastic work of the talented illustrator Victo Ngai with my students and I thought it would be a good idea to also share it with you here.
Victo Ngai is a New York based illustrator from Hong Kong who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. "Victo" is not a boy nor a typo, but a nickname derived from Victoria - a leftover from the British colonization.
Victo creates art for newspaper and magazines such as the New York Times and the New Yorker; makes books for publishers such as the Folio Society, Abrams and Tor Forge; and works on advertisement campaigns with companies like the McDonald's, IMAX, MTA Art for Transit (New York subway), Lufthansa Airline and General Electric.
Not only is her work fantastic but I also found the following video to be quite true to the reality of most professional illustrators. You can discover more of her work by visiting her website.
This week, while preparing my material for the illustration class I teach at Grant MacEwan University, I discovered the amazing work of Mouni Feddag, a UK based illustrator who graduated from the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt in Germany.
Her work is incredibly colourful and each piece is so interesting! She works mostly with lead pencils and black ink on inkjet paper and she colours everything digitally.
Lately, I have been experimenting with Linocut. As I was researching the topic, I discovered great illustrators and artists and I wanted to share their work with you. To start this series of posts, I chose the work of Olga Ezova-Denisova, who is an artist and illustrator based in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Her work is fantastic. She not only applies her illustrations to a range of paper mediums, but also to fabric and it is definitely gorgeous.
I also read an interesting interview she did with Frankie, an online Australian Magazine. You can find more of her work on her website as well as her blog. You can also follow her journey on Instagram and Behance. Enjoy!
Below are some projects and images of her process I found interesting and beautiful.
This time around, I want to walk you through the most recent illustration I've completed for the Avenue Edmonton magazine 'Living on the Fringe'.
For many illustrators and designers, the process is what they struggle with the most. With editorial illustration specifically, because the budget is often tight, having an efficient process is really important in order to stay within budget.
For this assignment, I started with reading the article I had to illustrate and highlighting the group of words I felt were important and that I could represent somehow in my illustration.
• Whyte avenue
• meet Edmonton
• dazzling sun
• melody of sounds
• sweet, salty tang of food
Once I had this list, I started imagining how they could be translated into images and started sketching on blank sheets of paper. Some people like to sketch with a pencil, I prefer to sketch with ink. In this case, I used my Pentel brush pen since this brush was inline with the look I was going for.
After I illustrated some elements, I started to think about my layout and then created images to present to Pete Nguyen, the Art Director on the project.
Once those sketches were presented, the Art Director and I both agreed that it would be interesting to complete the first sketch. He also suggested that we illustrated most elements in monochrome and have the couple being fully coloured.
Once you have your idea and your plan, it is way easier to get into the final execution of your illustration. All I needed to determine was which tool I would be using for the final execution. In this particular case, I wanted to keep the style of the brush pen but wanted to have something that looked cleaner so I recreated all the elements using my iPad, stylus and Adobe Draw.
That app is great for a clean brush pen look. You can certainly also create the same effect in Illustrator but I found using the app faster and more natural.
For the most part, I worked in Illustrator. I refined the layout and coloured the illustration using that software. Once I was happy with it, I brought my illustration into Photoshop to add the textures.
It was a very efficient process and my client and I are happy with the result! If you have any question about this project, please feel free to send an email and I will be happy to get back to you.
I recently went to the post office to purchase some new stamps and the Love your Pet Collection immediately caught my attention. This beautiful series of stamps was illustrated by Genevieve Simms, a talented illustrator who once lived in Edmonton. Genevieve has been working in collaboration with Lara Minja atLime Design who art directed and designed the project. I have had the opportunity to work with Lara in the past and I can only imagine how fun this project must have been. Bravo to both of them! Hopefully, Canada Post releases other beautiful collections soon!
I want to use this blog to share with you all the great things that inspire me and feed my passion for the work that I do. l'm also hoping that this blog will become a great place for my students (and other Creatives) to find resources that will help them with not only the assignments that I am tasking them with, but also with their professional and personal projects.
Finally, I will also use this little blog to share with you what is going on in my little studio and hopefully inspire you to follow a similar path - or not. Working in this creative industry is not always as simple as it may seem. The possibilities are endless and unfortunately, when we are new to this world, it can sometimes be tough to see through it all. I hope to be a useful resource in this.
Alesya Nesolenova is an illustrator located in Toronto. She amazes me with her linocut work which we can appreciate on her Facebook page.