Life's a garden, dig it!

Okay.. so yes, my saying "Life's a garden, dig it!" did come from the movie Joe Dirt but I promise that isn't the aesthetic I am going for.  (Although I do secretly - well not so secretely now - love that movie).  

So I started making my list of words and started out with the obvious garden themed stuff....

When I picked the words I didn't really have a vision for it other than making it into a print I could hang in my daughter's room.  I was originally thinking something sort of 60's, hippie culture (which is not my style at all) then thought about more of a really flourished english garden... then it became obvious... We just celebrated my daughter's first birthday at the end of the summer and did a whole farmer's market type theme.  Why didn't I think of that before?  It seemed fitting to do something inspired by vintage fruit crate labels, seed packets, farmer's markets etc.  So that, for now, is my direction.

While I haven't created a mood board yet, this was my Pinterest board for her birthday party which will give you a feel for what I was thinking then.  I think some of this could translate over.

So I have yet to get to any actual drawing yet.  Sometimes having 2 little kids, a full time job, plus running a design business can get in the way.  How do you all do it?

I did create a pinterest board to start keeping track of my inspiration.  I'm starting to worry my focus is too narrow.  Wondering what to do.

Spent yesterday getting some sketching in.  Man this is hard.  I really struggle to come up with something from my head.  Apparently I imagine that everyone else has a personal collection of unique fonts in their head.  I'm sure that isn't the case but somehow referring to other images feels like "cheating".  I think I'm psyching myself out too much.  Anyway... here are some things I came up with.  

Apparently I have spacing issues.  I'd drawn the flowerpot one first then did the ornate, not giving myself enough room to finish the word.  I guess I draw big.  Ha.

Drew a lot over the weekend but still seem to be struggling.  I am not an illustrator. I'm just not.  No matter how much I want to be or can picture things in my head, I just can't translate them onto paper.  I have always been much better at rendering things realistically, drawing from life.  Then I transitioned to the computer and can whip up just about anything in Illustrator.  So getting back to pencil and paper has been a challenge.  Am I the only one having a hard time?  And it really isn't even the physical drawing so much as feeling a creative block.

I just couldn't really get motivated with the various thumbnails so excuse this chicken scratch.

I just wasn't feeling inspired.  Plus at the time I thought I already knew what I wanted to do... so I started a rough sketch.

See.... I have major space issues.  I need to work more on what space I have available and fitting everything in better.  From this I tried a more complete sketch.

I don't love it.  I don't hate it.  I do like the "Life's A" lettering.  I think the 'Dig it' part is sort of funny how it looks carved out the ground... too litteral?  But that "garden"... that is where I really struggled.  I think I drew and erased maybe 10 different typefaces?  I finally drew this with the intention of using more embellishments like vines, leaves, flowers etc wrapping around the letters.  I also originally planned for a gingham check pattern in the border but now think it might be too much.  Hmmm.  I just feel stuck.  All suggestions welcome.

Oh... and I added a few more things to my pinterest "inspiration" board, hoping that would help.  Maybe I'll go back and add more. 

Dec 1st

It has been a while since I've posted but I have been working.  Slowly.  I did take a break for a while because I just felt stuck.  I realized that part of the problem was the vertical format.  I just draw BIG so turning the page really helped me spacially.  Here was just a super fast sketch going back to the garden hose idea.

I kept playing around with the word 'garden' and then played with the idea of a little garden snake.

I also started doodling some garden tools and did this more finished sketch.  I also worked with the 'dig it' part to look more like dirt and even added some little seedlings sprouting.

The bad thing about trying to draw with a toddler and a 6 year old around is that there is a good chance someone will spill something on or run off with your drawing.  So excuse the wrinkled pages. :)

Feelng relatively good about what I'd done, I went ahead with ink.  There are lots of errors and smudges and things but a decent first attempt.  I don't know if I really liked the pen I was using.  It was whatever Mary Kate had suggested but it just seemed to fat for me.  I'll have to buy a bunch and try some different options.  I'm not sure how I feel about the tools.  There are some sizing issues among other things.

Tonight I was missing the hose idea so I decided to do an inked version using the hose and add a few other bits in there as well.  This time I used a fine tip Sharpee pen.  I liked it much better and felt like I had a little more control though I still smudged in areas.

I like both the hose and the snake.  I guess I see more potential with the hose in terms of filling the space with the water, etc.  What do you think?  Overall it still feels very empty to me and perhaps it is just because it is missing color.  It needs a border perhaps.

Before I totally redo the font style for some of the wording I wanted to just see what this would look like a little more complete.  Pardon these images.  They are just bad snaps from my phone.

This one I attempted to darken the hose, add some background and a border.  While it is inked it is still pretty rough and would need to be redone.  I feel like the hose looks too much like neon lettering but I think the lack of color is what is throwing me off.  Same with the background.  In the colored version I wouldn't have lines separating the rays in the sky it would just be subtle color shifts... so in this version it looks weird with the lines.

In a colored version I guess I imagine the ground to be a darker color so here a I tried coloring it in and leaving the hose au natural.  Same as above with the lines in the background.  You'll have to use your imagination a bit to picture a colored version.

I did fiddle with the text a little in 'Garden' to fix the A and D but think I need to redraw it.  I don't know if the curvy Garden text is too much with the script at the top so as Mary Kate mentioned... perhaps that needs to change. I just liked how that part turned out so I am hesitating chaning it.  



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