Collaborative Work

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. 

 Photo Amy Shamblen and illustration by Valéry Goulet

Photo Amy Shamblen and illustration by Valéry Goulet

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. 

Une succulente toast dorée!

Aujourd'hui, I simply wanted to share with you some simple process I go through when creating some of my illustration. 

Final 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. 

 Nuppu (2017) © Katri Kapanen & Anna Pirkola

Nuppu (2017) © Katri Kapanen & Anna Pirkola

Keeping some of the elements from the photograph, I created the vector illustration below. 

Vector illustration created in Adobe Illustrator

Finally, I brought this to my iPad and using Procreate, I added all the desired textures!

Kid's stationery Les amis Géo

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.

Stationery set of 6 designs with a green lining colour for the envelope

Personalized stationery in French

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!

Papa Géo flat note

You can currently order your stationery set online. As we go, the list of stockists will expand! Stay tuned!

Crestwood, now and then

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.

 Digital sketch created with the app Procreate

Digital sketch created with the app Procreate

Discovering new things is always very exciting and I am looking forward to the next illustrative project!

 Avenue Edmonton, December 2016 - Illustration: Valéry Goulet -  Art direction:  Pete Nguyen

Avenue Edmonton, December 2016 - Illustration: Valéry Goulet -  Art direction: Pete Nguyen

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. 

Something new at Curioos

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.

To learn more about this product and also to keep an eye on my upcoming designs (some great exclusives), I would like to invite you to visit my Curioos page

 Frame art print

Frame art print

Canvas print

Mixed Signals on a Recession, a fun project.

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.  

 llustration detail

llustration detail

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. 

 Rough sketches

Rough sketches

Once the concept was selected (Idea no.3), I recreated the bear illustration with the Adobe Draw application. 

 Screen capture from Adobe Draw

Screen capture from Adobe Draw

 Screen capture from Adobe Draw

Screen capture from Adobe Draw

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. 

Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

Lastly, I completed the illustration in Photoshop before I could send my final illustration to the Art Director.

Kiplinger's Personal Finance, April 2016 - Illustration: Valéry Goulet -  Art direction: Natalie Kress

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. 

 

Discover Victo Ngai

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.

 MoneyHorse, The New York Times - Source: victo-ngai.com

MoneyHorse, The New York Times - Source: victo-ngai.com

  Living in the Moment, Sarah Lawrence Alumni Magazine  - Source: victo-ngai.com

Living in the Moment, Sarah Lawrence Alumni Magazine - Source: victo-ngai.com

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

Colourful illustrations by Mouni Feddag

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.

 Source: mounifeddag.com

Source: mounifeddag.com

 Source: mounifeddag.com

Source: mounifeddag.com

You can see her work on her website, purchase her great illustrations on her Society6 shop and add some great colours to you Instagram feed by following her work @mounifeddag!

 Source: mounifeddag.com

Source: mounifeddag.com

 Source: mounifeddag.com

Source: mounifeddag.com

 Source: mounifeddag.com

Source: mounifeddag.com

 Source: mounifeddag.com

Source: mounifeddag.com

 Source: mounifeddag.com

Source: mounifeddag.com

Linogravure (Linocut) by Olga Ezova-Denisova

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!

 Olga's studio - Source: ezovadenisova.ru

Olga's studio - Source: ezovadenisova.ru


Below are some projects and images of her process I found interesting and beautiful. 

 Source: ezovadenisova.ru

Source: ezovadenisova.ru

 Source: ezovadenisova.ru

Source: ezovadenisova.ru


 Source: ezovadenisova.ru

Source: ezovadenisova.ru

 Source: ezovadenisova.ru

Source: ezovadenisova.ru

 Source: ezovadenisova.ru

Source: ezovadenisova.ru

 Source: ezovadenisova.ru

Source: ezovadenisova.ru


 Source: ezovadenisova.ru

Source: ezovadenisova.ru

 Source: ezovadenisova.ru

Source: ezovadenisova.ru

 Source: ezovadenisova.ru

Source: ezovadenisova.ru

 Source: ezovadenisova.ru

Source: ezovadenisova.ru

 Source: ezovadenisova.ru

Source: ezovadenisova.ru


Living on the Fringe

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
• Fringe
• dazzling sun
• melody of sounds
• sweet, salty tang of food
• wine
• tickets

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.

Sketch no.1

Sketch no.2

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. 

Screen capture from Adobe Draw

Screen capture from Adobe Draw

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. 

Illustration detail

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. 



Beautiful Canadian Stamps

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! 

 

 Illustration: Genevieve Simms - Design: Lara Minja, Lime Design Inc.

Illustration: Genevieve Simms - Design: Lara Minja, Lime Design Inc.

Riikka Laakso

I recently discovered the work of Riikka Laakso and I fell in love with her illustrations. She also has a very interesting process which you can read about on the Eye on Design Blog published by the AIGA.

Here are some of the projects I enjoyed the most. 

  Source:   riikkalaakso.tumblr.com

Source: riikkalaakso.tumblr.com

  Source:   riikkalaakso.tumblr.com

Source: riikkalaakso.tumblr.com

  Source:   riikkalaakso.tumblr.com

Source: riikkalaakso.tumblr.com

The very first blog post: Alesya Nesolenova, a great Canadian illustrator

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

 Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini


 Photography taken from her Facebook page.

Photography taken from her Facebook page.

 Photography taken from her Facebook page. 

Photography taken from her Facebook page. 

 Photography taken from her Facebook page. 

Photography taken from her Facebook page.