Coasters for Shopify

I had the pleasure of meeting Keir Whitaker when we were both a bit too early to Brooklyn Beta 2014 and bumped into each other at the neighboring coffee shop. Since then, we've continued to bump into each other at conferences and online. When he asked me to collaborate with Shopify on a design for the Event Apart series, I was already on board. Serena Ngai helped to art direct, and the fine folks at Holstee stepped up to printing the final design. I designed this large with a pointed pen and lots of calligraphic flourishes, so the printing was not an easy task. They knocked it out of the park, with perfect registration and gorgeous color.

If you happen to be at An Event Apart events, look out for Shopify and see if you can grab a coaster!

Jen and Squarespace: BFF in Texas

You may have heard me singing the praises of Squarespace at some point or another. The fact is, they are one of my all-time favorite companies and I use their services every day. As someone who has tried every portfolio service/blogging platform under the sun, Squarespace is a breath of fresh air for my visual (read: I don't know how to code at all) brain. It doesn't hurt that the company is made up of tons of creative, awesome, super nice people who deserve every ounce of success that comes their way. To say I'm a fangirl might be an understatement.

So when Squarespace contacted me for some custom artwork I just about leapt out of my seat to get started. We had a fantastic collaboration, and I can't wait to show you the finished piece once it launches in March.

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I'll be headed to Luck, Texas with my friends at Squarespace for the Heartbreaker Banquet music festival from March 12th-14th. The festival takes place on Willie Nelson's ranch (this just keeps getting better) where there exists a ghost town (I know) where Squarespace will be setting up shop (literally, you'll see) as a sponsor. I can't wait to see what shenanigans we get into together! 

Back in action! Death Before Decaf!

I've been lucky enough to have my Cotton Bureau shirt reprinted due to popular demand! Wrap your favorite specialty coffee beans (I suggest a bag of Handsome Coffee, Ritual Roasters, or good ol' Stumptown) in one of these babies, tie it all up with some twine, and you have the perfect holiday gift. Get it while it's hot, like your espresso! 

Oh, dang! Guess who's back? Only the softest, coolest coffee shirt EVER. Click through to get yours!

Oh, dang! Guess who's back? Only the softest, coolest coffee shirt EVER. Click through to get yours!

I got myself a shirt during the first print, and I have to say it is the softest tee around. And I'm not even a regular tee shirt wearer, so that's saying something! I've gotten all sorts of laughs and compliments wearing mine around Brooklyn. The women's sizes are fitted and true-to-size. Men's shirts are also true-to-size and neither of these shirts will shrink in the wash. Cotton Bureau isn't kidding around when they say they use the best quality shirts for printing. 

I was lucky enough to meet the Cotton Bureau dudes while they were visiting my neck of the woods for Brooklyn Beta in October, and let me tell you: they are as nice as you could have ever imagined. Due to the successes of PixelWorkers and Cotton Bureau they have been able to take this project full-time. Every purchase from them is in support of small businesses and freelancers. Three cheers for alternative economies! 


EDIT: Holey Moley! In just eight hours this shirt sold enough to go to print again!

Today is the Day

Today is a great day! Not only do I have a new Tattly tattoo design available, but "Today is the Day" that Tattly launches their new line of greeting cards!

Each card is printed on a soft paper and comes with a temporary tattoo of the printed design.   

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These cards are lovingly printed in the USA by the fine folks at Mama's Sauce, my new favorite people in the world. They put so much care into printing these and I'm lucky enough to be featured in this oddly gratifying short process gif below. We assemble these cards here in my studio in Brooklyn, so it's surely a family affair. Yay!

Be sure to get 'em while they're hot off the presses! 

 


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Draft and Draw

I spent a night in October going out of my comfort zone while drawing in public. Yeesh!

photo by the ever-handsome and super nice Chris Rushing

photo by the ever-handsome and super nice Chris Rushing

I heard about an event called Draft and Draw from my buddy, Michael Tabie of Two Arms Inc. and bought a ticket on the spot. It wasn't until I got on the train to Manhattan that night that I realized a.) I was going alone to a room full of talented people and that b.) I would end up drawing in front of and amongst all of these talented people. Now, I tend to be a very confident person; I didn't work so hard and practice for countless hours to be sheepish about what I can do with a brush pen. But I'm definitely not one to show off, and sometimes drawing in a group can feel like just that. So when I got there, and I ran into Chris Rushing for the first time, I may have been a bit nervous. But then sitting down with my friend Aaron and quickly making friends with the unfamiliar faces around me, I felt at home. This is what I love. And these are people that love what I love. 

I can't wait for the next one and I am now a Draft and Draw addict. Chris, get ready, because you are going to have a ton of people wanting to draw together next time. 

I Will Always Love You, Brooklyn Beta

On the second day of Brooklyn Beta, I climbed the stairs of the Invisible Dog for the hundreth time on a mission that I promptly forgot when I saw Chris Shiflett and Nate Bolt having a discussion over the drawing table. The drawing table had been set up with crayons, sharpies, chalk, and plenty of brown butcher's paper for anyone and everyone to scribble all over. Nate was hesitantly picking up a colored pencil when I heard Chris say "why don't we get Jen to do it, she's real good at drawing" and I hopped over to the conversation. See, Nate was using his drone, his iPhone, and his connections at the NYPL to shoot a video for Chris. The last thing they needed was a poster that said "Thank You."

Oh, and they needed it in five minutes. 

Chris shot this stop motion video of me at work (I'm pleased to announce that I did, in fact, make the five-minute deadline) using my fastest and most reliable tool, a basic brush pen by Tombow. 

Along with the finished drawing I leant Nate a giant wooden "B" that I had gold leafed earlier in the day. I met up with Nate later on in the night to get back my gold "B" and he showed me what he had done. 

When Chris and Cameron screened the final product in front of 1300 people at the final event of Brooklyn Beta, I couldn't stop laughing and smiling. I would do anything for the amazing people that I have met through this conference and I am completely honored to be a part of it. In the words of Nate Bolt, thanks for letting me get *pretty* weird with you guys.

Working for free

Working for free is fine, once in awhile. When you look at it in the long-run, doing someone a favor now could really benefit you in the future. Ultimately, it's a gamble, but I like the excitement of the risk. I also like the kind of friendship you can create from giving your work away generously. 

 

Here's the thing, for the client's perspective: If you ask someone to work for free, you need to trust them. What you would be paying for is some sort of creative input, and since you haven't paid up you need to leave most of your creative opinions at the door.  

 

I recently asked a friend for a favor, to work for me for free. What I offered was buckets and buckets of creative trust. I might have had a few aesthetic requests, but ultimately I needed to accept what I've been given.  And the end result was awesome.

 

The work is always better because of trust.