Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Cupcake Richard Rebrand

 I can't stress enough how very important the glorious little life-sustaining nugget known as creative freedom really is to an artist, especially when trying to create something unique. In the seemingly creative industry of commercial design and illustration it is not quite as commonplace as you might think. That is why I always enjoy working with Wida, the lovely baker and food stylist behind Cupcake Richard. Not only is she the sweetest creature, but a great supporter of local artists and their unique styles and capabilities. I was super stoked when she entrusted me with her company's rebranding because I knew this project was going to be a goody. Also. I love drawing plants and animals and as you can tell from our last project together, she is very good at indulging these wishes..

The name of her vegan baking company, 'Cupcake Richard' is a reference to the tiger Richard Parker from The Life of Pi, as she is a lover of anything of the feline persuasion. So the logo had to include a tiger, of course! The greenery alludes to the wholesome | vegan aspect. Plus Richard was crying for a little jungle to be king of when I was painting him and really, who am I to say no. You may know by now that I have a tendency to lean toward less literal interpretations when it comes to titles and logos, because who doesn't love a bit of mystery instead of captain obvious being up in yo face. So working around this title was right up my alley. 

During a meeting of coffee and croissants (the best kind of meetings) I was shown a beautiful array of inspiration images that looked like they could be straight off my own Pintrest board. Aside from a few general stipulations as to what the logo should include, I was allowed pretty much free reign and it made the conceptual and design process both fun and really creatively stimulating. Once the design was approved, I couldn't wait to start painting it up and I love the end result. 

*if you have even the slightest sweet tooth, I recommend checking out her instagram. Its full of beautifully photographed treats and recipes..and you will also be graced with images of Party Bear, her magnificent cat.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The Surfing Midwife

As I speak to you now, I am sitting at the window counter of a cafe in a renovated colonial-style building on a Cape Town beach front.
Muizenberg beach to be specific. Johnny Cash plays in the background and in front of me, sparkling lines in the ocean stack up to the horizon. A multitude of rubber clad surfers play in the glassy but cold, no. Lets call it what it is.. frigid water. Its just a terribly appropriate setting for me to tell you about this recent branding project I did for Margreet, also known as the 'Surfing Midwife'. 

 I'd love to share with you what this lady is all about so that you can get to know her better. Not only is she a talented and passionate surfer, the Surfing Midwife makes waves in her community too. 
I grew up in the Eastern Cape, and if you have spent any amount of time there, you will immediately see why it bears the title of South Africa's most impoverished province. Margreet noticed a deep need for better healthcare and parental education amongst the many underprivileged mama's and babies where she is based in Jeffreys Bay, and
unlike most of us, she decided to use her skills to actually do something about it. Through compassion and I'm sure no small amount of dedication, The Healthy Mom and Baby Clinic was born. It is a non-profit organization which provides quality healthcare, support and post-natal education to underprivileged expectant and new mothers. This means that both they and their children get the best possible start, irrespective of their income. What a beautiful cause with such a far-reaching positive impact.. 

Her blog, the Surfing Midwife is a place to share her stories and experiences encountered along the unusual path that surfing and midwifery and have led her on. I was obviously intrigued and so keen to design a blog header for her.
Being a fellow gurfer (that is, a girl surfer), identifying with this awesome lady and her love of surfing and the ocean was no challenge. However when it came down to the midwifery part, well.. not quite as relateable! She envisioned a simple logo combining illustrations of both elements of her unusual title. But because both spheres of interest are so fundamentally different from each other, I thought a literal interpretation would fall short of representing her. I believe that the title alone does the job of explaining what she does better than any actual surf/midwifery elements thrown together would achieve. I used calm, blue shades and slowly built up layers of 'waves' with watercolour to create the background pattern. It creates a lulling, natural, peaceful feel reminiscent of surfing and the energies you would want to focus on during pregnancy, although goodness knows all that goes straight out the window during labour! I also think the 'wave' shapes are reminiscent of pregnant bellies, but that is perhaps me indulging my Fine Art background and reading too much into things ;) Anyway, I hand-painted the text and converted it to white to contrast it against the dark background of the waves to make it stand out clearly.
All in all I think it makes a successful blog header and I had a lot of fun with this technique.

To learn more about the Surfing Midwife you can visit her page and you can spread the care and compassion by donating to the Healthy Mom and Baby clinic here to help them continue the incredible work they do.


Monday, 12 May 2014

Wonder Meyer Illustration + Cupcake Richard

Here is a quick post about what I've been up to recently.
I was contacted a while ago by the lovely folk at Cupcake Richard, a start up bakery headed by a tiger enthusiast and maker of all things good and sweet. She initiated a wonderful little project in aid of tiger conservation, and have commissioned myself and 3 other local illustrators to design a series of postcards. 100% of the proceeds will go to the tiger conservation effort, and this project is backed by the prestigious World Wildlife Fund organization. Its not often that you come across passionate people who are willing to fully fund a project on behalf of a charity, and I'm so happy to be a part of this great initiative.
It was a really fun little project to work on, with an open brief (the only prerequisite was that the design had to involve tigers) and best of all, super sweet and easygoing people to work with (not to mention the bonus cupcakes that were part of the deal)!

I have been a long time follower of Greenpeace, pretty much ever since I had the opportunity to climb aboard the Rainbow Warrior in Panama when I was 9. How I got into that position is a fairly long story involving a childhood spent travelling around the world on a boat, but let's leave that for another post. Anyway, the point is that the declining population of wild tigers has been on my radar for a while now, thanks to daily updates from Greenpeace. But because of this project, I got to do some research on the topic and delve a bit deeper into the subject. I was suprised to find that loss of habitat was only second on the list for reasons for the rapid decline of the wild tiger population. Much like our Rhino tragedy here in South Africa, tigers are being poached for their organs and body parts for an Asian market that believes them to contain magical and medicinal properties. 
Its estimated that we have lost 97% of the wild tiger population over the past century. ?? And that 3 of the 9 of tiger subspecies are already extinct. I had no idea. To learn more about the threats to tiger populations and to see what you can do to help, have a browse around the WWF  or Greenpeace sites.

The title of my illustration 'Up in Smoke' refers to the rapidly declining numbers of the current tiger population, and also references the ghosts of the already extinct species. I started out by painting some foliage at the bottom in burned hues, then faded into barren branches and eventually smoke towards the top. This alludes to the destruction of habitat caused by overpopulation and the growing Palm oil industry in particular. For some or other reason I enjoy making cards in oval formats, so I continued to do so in this drawing and I think it worked out just fine. Sir Richard Parker himself solemnly sits in the middle with his monkey-face and dainty paws. I used watercolour and coffee stain for this painting..more like ingredients that mediums..I think I had cupcakes on the brain. 
I can't wait to see the full series of postcards which will be released on the 16th of May- I'll do another post to let you know how and where you can get your paws on them so you can do your bit for these stripeys.