Families Come in All Varieties | Skillshare Projects

Elena Maria

Graphic Artist



Families Come in All Varieties


Hello! Long time no see!

Outside of the occasional bit of work, I had to take a lengthy hiatus from the graphic arts world. I’m dipping my toes into the design waters again, starting with a class or two.

I still feel that “Families Come in All Varieties”, now more than ever. I hope this poster provides a visual for folks to ground themselves. Families can be mixed up and all over the place, but they pull together into a fun, vibrant bunch.

I kept apples as my main visual, but added the berries for contrast, variety, and color pop. The berries also help keep the eye moving around the poster.

The fruit is painted with watercolor, gouache, and acrylic. Lettering is a weak point for me, so I wrote something up in marker, and played with a million versions of it; I know that more lettering classes are in my future. The background is a vector brush that I’ve weaved into a placemat. All elements have been touched up in Photoshop.

Now I’m off to take a lettering class!




What I learned from my trip to Target’s:

I like cuteness, pops of color, and whimsy. Yet, I like a soft, sophistication as well. The less overwhelming the pattern and/or subject, the better for me. I’m drawn to things which focus on a theme/color/subject and give the eye a chance to rest & take it all in. I’m inspired to try a softer palette and incorporate things together which I don’t normally think go together. I was surprised by what worked design-wise versus what I normally like to see.

This Target trip also inspired me to change my phrase. There were a lot of themed boards of greeting cards that were beautiful as a whole and got even better when you examined the individual cards. So, I have to think about this more, but I’m leaning towards the theme of “the whole is made greater by the sum of its pieces” or the "whole enchilada"--not that exact phrase, but something like it.

The breakdown of what I like:

  1. Children’s T-Shirts: The 80’s pops of pattern and color, cuteness, whimsy, character.
  2. Framed Prints: Soft, delicate, sophisticated, singular subject, pattern, mood, calming, organic.
  3. Greeting Cards: Pops of bright color with a neutral that creates a sharpness to the subject. Also, a neutral is not just beige, black, or white; it can be any color which creates a supporting contrast. I.E. the warm, bright red background of the ornament card is a complement to the greenish-blue of the ornaments, but it doesn’t overwhelm; it enhances.
  4. Children’s Book: I love the fun, bold lettering, and the characterization of the penguins. I want to incorporate this fun emotion into whatever object I use; not as anthropomorphic or cartoonish, but with feeling to them. I hope that makes sense.
  5. Stationary/Desk: This is more of a trend-spotting thing for me. I see a lot of metallics being used lately. Either as a the main color or a background neutral. Great for me, because I have been painting with a lot of metallics and iridescents during the holidays.
  6. Valentine’s Day: Again, more trend-spotting with metallics, but I do like the softness of the patterns I saw on packages. Also, hot pink with red is not something I’m fond of seeing, but it works with the white to break it up.

I know this is a lot of info, but I'm excited about this class & enjoyed the 'sightseeing.' I really did learn a lot about what sells and I suprised myself with re-thinking my project idea as well. On to the next step! :-)




Here is my 10 minute LOVE sketch, with about another 10 minutes for some inside detail and a bit o' shading.


My phrasing themed changed a little. After seeing Sandra Bullock's on the PCA's last night, I remembered her past interview talking about a family being a family no matter where they come from (her children are adopted & of a different race). I realized that my own family has changed over the years and blood doesn't always mean family. The bond can be built as long as the love is there with you.

So I chose, "Families come in all varieties" and I feel really good about it.


After doing some grocery shopping, I decided to focus on using apples. They're so beautiful and there are so many kinds! Plus, I like eating them.  :->  They're perfect for my phrase.



My favorite is the 1st one, Apple Chute; but we'll see.



I tend to overthink things, so seeing Amarilys's post about the key being FUN really struck home. I took a little time to relax & just waste some time. That finally led me to my concept. Now I feel good about where I'm going.


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