Slow Down Series

Five illustrations in a rudimentary style of: lemons and leaves, eggs in a nest, woman diving into water, flowers in a mid-century vase, and fireworks in a night sky.

Inspired/triggered by a contest on Instagram, I used some extra time one day to experiment in a new style on the theme slow down. Some of my work is precisely executed (here, here, here and here) so this was good practice in trying to work in a looser, less calculated way while still creating a systematic style for the illustration series. Below you can see the two sketch rounds before working in Adobe Illustrator to make the artwork above: lemonade, bird’s nest, summer swim, fresh bouquet, night fireworks.

Sketches determining basic color and elements for the Slow Down series. Created on an iPadPro in Adobe Sketch.

Holiday Gift Wrap AKA Pattern Palooza!

It’s that time of year again! The time when Danes, half-Danes, quarter-Danes and honorary-Danes go deep into Danish Christmas traditions, as previously documented here, here, here and here.

This year is extra special because I had the opportunity to design some scandinavian-inspired promotional gift wrap paper in collaboration with Laura Luethje from West Coast Paper Solutions and Randy Murray from Brown Printing. So without further ado…

Four rolls of West Coast Paper and Brown Printing collaboration on holiday promotional gift wrap.

Red ribbon and silver snowflake flurry gift wrap paper patterns.

To create a series that was Christmasy without being too over the top, I opted for some patterns that kept it classy – abstract red ribbons and a snowflake flurry. On the back a tiered landscape of wintertime activity is revealed in tonal grays with pops of red, making it easy to mix and match between the three designs.

Tonal gray gnome village pattern with scenes from winter.

Red ribbon and silver snowflake flurry gift wrap paper patterns, along with gnome winter landscape in tonal grays.

Gift wrap patterns on presents: red ribbons, silver snowflakes and tonal gray gnome villages.

The WCP holiday wrap promo happens every year, and this year I was lucky enough to have Laura ask if I would create the designs. While West Coast Paper donated paper and I donated design, Brown Printing donated printing for a final product of two 2-sided promotional sheets produced on 70# Titan Dull Text.

As a bonus, I slipped a non-holiday side onto one of the sheets. Hand drawn with black ink and digitally colored, the feather pattern is an excerpt of a twelve feather series from a few years ago. Hopefully it gives the gift wrap a life past December.

Illustrated feather hand drawn gift wrap pattern or wallpaper.

Illustrated feather pattern gift wrap with watercolor specs.

The Whistling Bird of St. Petersburg

Here is another sketch from creative nights I host after hours. I usually grab the closest thing to me that isn’t the requisite cup of tea or cookie and spend an hour or so on it. This is a whistle my parents brought me from their trip to Russia for my daughter, who has a burgeoning collection of musical souvenirs from their travels. The script on a circle was a good exercise in pre-planning typography.

textured and patterned bird whistle illustration

Quill Feather Illustration Series

Twelve illustrated quill pens, each with one word.

The past year has been one of words. After moving from Portland, Oregon to Copenhagen, Denmark in 2012 I was surrounded by NEW. How do you describe what is happening? What do you say to people when they ask you inanely expected or intensely personal questions? How do you document the experiment of experiencing so many new things, you can barely keep up? Which ideas survive translation, which fail? Words can be wonderfully specific or frustratingly vague, and vice versa.

The past year was spent doing quite a bit of correspondence writing. On Facebook, in emails and postcards home (yes, the kind you send in the mail), with newfound pen pals…even sending letters in a bottle. And, writing single words accompanied by a feather.

The past year resulted in twelve illustrations of quill pens, the old fashioned way of writing your thoughts. Ink and time define what you can lay on a page, extraneous thoughts are omitted in favor of measured words, exactly the ones you want to use.

Light as a Feather

line drawing feather with various patterns inside the feather, a screen printed background and some splotchy neon green dots. Tasty.

To and Fro

Hand illustrated feather with textures and patterns on a bluish screen print background with neon magenta splotches.

It Tickles

A wavy fluttery feather with lots of fine feathering at the top. The parts are filled with textures of lines and dots and zigs and zags and circles and wholes and patterns on top of a screen print texture and hand stippled background.

Dream Maker

texture and pattern filled peacock inspired feather

Coming Around


Heave Ho

Texture filled feather illustration.

Twist and Shout

TWIST AND SHOUT: "Turn" pattern filled feather with screen print background and watercolor dots.

Splitting Hairs

Black line drawing of a split feather filled with patterns and covered with red watercolor dots.

Crackle and Pop

A 3-part feather illustration where the feather has snapped over. Filled with textures and shown on a screen print texture background with watercolor splotches.

As A Bird

line drawn feather with patterns and textures in the feather parts, overlaid with multi-color watercolor textures

Double Edged

One short of a dozen, here is another pattern filled quill feather. The watercolor accents hover at the tip, floating upwards in hope and lightness.

And In The End…

Swirling and patterned feather with a windy shaft and six peacock eyes.