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Ieva BielskÄ—

Freelance Illustrator and Linguist




I'm new to hand-lettering and wanted to try my hand at it for a long time. I'm also a recent illustration graduate so I loved that this projects combines both illustration and lettering.

I chose ladybird as my favourite insect. I hope I won't come to regret that because already it has caused me a bit of trouble with the three lettering approaches :)

Anyways, here's my brainstorming part. I listed most distinct features of the ladybird (not that it has that many!), other names it's known both in English and other languages. It basically falls into 3 categories: the first one refers to Virgin Mary, the second to God (mostly in Eastern European, Jewish and other languages - I'm a Lithuanian and one of it's names is "God's little cow" as it is in Polish as well), and the third one refers to it as a bringer of good luck. So I decided to explore this route.


And here's the reference and inspiration material. Yes, they're all ladybirds in the 2nd from the bottom left image :) And apparently they're not bugs, but beetles and there's a difference between the two - was interesting to read more about that.


And finally my three approaches. Sorry for smudged paper, especially at the bottom - I sketched and erased quite a few times before I was finally happy with the results.

For the illustrative approach I chose branches as one of the many habitats of ladybirds is forest. Then, since I was having trouble coming up with the representational route, I moved on to the last one - the decorative. I found it difficult to come up with good ideas for it as well. Since I chose to illustrate the beetle as a symbol of luck, I settled with motifs of a four-leaf clover as the best known symbol of luck in the Western world. So far it's divided into 2 parts, where the top one will be red with black spots, and the bottom green with a bit of Celtic-knots-stylised-4-leaf-clover. I might add a tiny clover at the bottom of each letter as you see in d and b. I'm still not quite decided on this one, but I like the top part. And the second route - after some hard thinking and erasing I sketched round letters that better fit in a children's book :) and added spots and antenae. I was thinking of adding tiny legs too, but that'll probably be too much.


So here's my project so far. I'm liking were I'm going but would use some constructive feedback :)


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