happy birthday! cards!

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there are a handful of very very special people who have birthdays in march, and this year i decided to make some custom hand lettered birthday cards to send their way. orange and white, with some very cool gold metallic gel ink on the envelopes. these aren’t up in the shop, but if you’re looking for something to help say, ‘hey! you! i’m so glad you were welcomed onto this planet when you were!’ – well, i’d love to help make that happen.

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photo journalism subject

photojournalism2a few weeks ago, a lovely young woman named megan approached me about being the subject of her photojournalism class final project at northwestern university. she was to follow and document someone with a ‘visually interesting’ career, and after having worked as an intern at illumine magazine this past summer (remember this back cover and sanskrit work I contributed?), she thought my work warranted such documentation.

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it was quite an adventure, especially over the last few weeks, which were filled with incredible inspiration shoots, custom calligraphy prints, and artwork for two different venues. she spent some time photographing my workspace, how i go about my day, and the other gigs i have going on – teaching yoga and consulting for arbonne. she’s lovely, she’s got her own website, writes for her own blog, and is the editor of the northwestern publication, spoon.

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stay tuned for more recent work to come! and and! i’m currently taking new wedding clients for 2014, so if you, or someone you know is getting married in the next year, loves beautiful hand-lettered type, and working with someone who loves love, send on over a message.

 

(photo credits: megan suckut, 2013)

holiday! holiday! gifts! gifts!

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i’m thinking about holiday season much differently this year. yes, for the past few seasons, i’ve tried hard as i could to buy local, handmade, artist-created wares, goods, artwork. i’ve even tried making things for loved ones. this year, i’m going to focus on simple. very simple. well-chosen words, photographs, pictures, drawings, paper. ordinary things made more beautiful by a new, vibrant approach. maybe an intriguing postcard acutely placed in a gorgeous frame. or a set of vintage silverware with the handles dipped in paint.

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along these same lines, in the etsy shop, i’m currently offering simple, hand-lettered quotes on 8×10 paper. whatever quote, saying, words you can think of will be transposed in my calligraphy and sent to you, ready to be gifted, (or framed, and then gifted. or wrapped around something else, and then gifted. or kept for yourself). i figured this was a lovely, cost-effective way to gift my love of lettering to holiday celebrants everywhere.

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it’s early, yes, but think how much more you’ll be able to enjoy your egg nog and ugly sweater parties knowing your holiday shopping is all done (and looking pretty beautiful, if i say so)? cheers!

 

– find the listing for custom hand lettered quotes here!

words and anchors – tattoo design

drawing and designing tattoos for people near and far has been such a cool and strange and unexpected part of my career. i love love getting to know a little bit (or a lotta bit) about people that i otherwise wouldn’t have met had it not been for the great reach of the internet. even more, however, i love being able to create something meaningful for someone i’ve had the great pleasure of spending some person-to-person time with. it might be faux pas to do work for friends and family, but in my case, having the ability to work with care on something as intimate as a tattoo design has only ever been a joy. it allows me another opening into this person’s life – a perspective i might not have been afforded the opportunity to view. if i could, i’d draw all over my friends and family members’ arms/legs/backs/necks/etc!

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this one is for a special and incredible bostonian – marisa, i can’t wait to see how it turns out!

flip the page – new editorial work

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illumine back page

the best part about being a freelancer/small business owner of a creative studio is flexibility in the kind of work i can take on. you’d be surprised, and then actually not surprised at all, at how many venues there can be for hand-lettered text. With tattoo design and wedding envelopes under my belt, not to mention a few wall design branding gigs and some fine art commissions, it’s been incredibly fun and exciting to dream up and wonder at where the next piece of work will come from.

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imagine how thrilled i was, then, to receive a call from lourdes paredes, the publisher of a brand spanking new chicago-based yoga magazine. she’d seen my work on the michigan ave lululemon chalkboards, and thought i’d be a good fit for some editorial artwork in the premier issue of illumine. of course of course! not only have i taken her class at exhale spa, but sitting down and chatting with her about the yoga community, bringing people together from all over the city, cross-promoting different businesses, i was instantly inspired and wanted to be a part of something that seemed to speak to a lot of my own personal beliefs. add to that her general inquisitive and authentic demeanor, and the connection was unmistakeable.

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illumine sanskrit-asana

 

for the premier issue, i was asked to design the inside back cover, as a sort of ‘inspiration page’. readers can tear it out, put it on their walls, share it with other people, etc. after having painted a chalkboard wall in my shared studio space at both sides gallery, i knew it needed to be put to good use for this venue. i was also asked if i might take a stab at writing some sanskrit for one of the internal articles. i won’t lie, i was a bit nervous about putting my hand to work on such an ancient and intricate language. it took a lot of practice, and a different approach to the written word as more symbol-focused, rather than letter, or meaning-focused, but after a short while, i got the hang of it. the lovely illumine intern, ashley, even came by the gallery to photograph the work and do a mini interview with me about jilly ink, and my apparent obsession with handwriting.

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i’m currently working on the next issue, set to launch this winter, and i’m even more excited for the design in this one. whether or not you’re currently a chicagoan, i’d greatly recommend subscribing to this gorgeous magazine. whether you’re a devout yogi, or someone who’s active in other ways, it’s an incredible resource for living a more fulfilled life and taking advantage of some of the yogic principles in less obvious ways. seriously, read it. or at least go over to illuminechicago.com and scope it out first. (and check out my very own page!)

 

here’s to more, and different, and crazy, and cool, and interesting work ahead!

new! art work available on etsy

i’ve been receiving a lot of lovely feedback on the newest september show up at both sides gallery in pilsen, chicago. and an overwhelming amount of questions on how to purchase the work, if it’s for sale, where can it be shipped to, etc etc etc.

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so! with great aplomb and excitement, i’m proud to announce that all the framed typographical illustrations currently on view at the gallery are also available for purchase through the jilly ink etsy shop. browse away, but remember- these are one-of-a-kind pieces of work, so be quick to the draw if you want one for yourself!

 

have a lovely and gorgeous and wonderful september autumn day!

the september issue

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it may not involve 900 pages of glossy advertisements, and annie leibovitz-esque couture photographs of kiera knightly or cate blanchett, but the september issue (read: show) of artwork at both sides gallery in pilsen, chicago is, in my opinion, pretty spectacular. working in the same space as artist meg frazier has been nothing short of a dream. there are days when we both get nothing done, and spend the day talking about the situation of the artist, how to monitor our finances, what we’d like to be when we grow up, how we pretty much are what we’d like to be when we grow up… and then there are days when the music’s playing (or not, if we forgot to turn it on, and we’re in the zone) and she’s painting and i’m drawing and we’re laying down finished pieces like they’re cookies coming out of the oven. and so, after all that baking.. err, making.. here’s what we recently framed and put up on the walls of both sides gallery, just in time for the september edition of the chicago arts district’s second fridays art walk.

 

tighter

 

{‘tighter’ | ’10”x12” | $150 w frame }

 

stronger

{‘stronger’ | 8”x10” | $100 w frame }

softer

{‘softer’ | 18.5”x8” | $150 w frame }

smaller

{‘smaller’ | 3.5”x4.5” | $25 w frame}

sharper

{‘sharper’ | 5”x 6.25” | $50 w frame}

clearer

{‘clearer’ | 5.5”x16.5” | $125 w frame}

deeper

{‘deeper’ | 19.5”x17” | $200 w frame}

longer

 

{‘longer’ | 10.5”x16” | $150 w frame}

these lovely pieces are on display at both sides gallery – 1840 s halsted st. chicago, il 60608 – and will also be available for purchase in my shop next week, so send me an inquiry at jilly.ink@gmail.com if you want a stab at them first!

artist in residence like whoa

the month has come! september! both sides gallery! my work, supplies, kitchen dishes and pens and favorite coffee mug – we’re all moved in and ready and raring to get started on the next 6-9 months of intensive art making, calligraphy business-building, networking, life-owning, inspiration-seeking, and general craziness that’s surely to come. i can’t wait to share it all with you as it unfolds. in the meantime, take a look at some of the words i’ve been writing and places i’ve been visiting over the last two weeks!

 

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{skull prints: $15 in the etsy shop}

sanskrit photo shoot

{sanskrit being photographed for the new illumine chicago magazine}

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{clockwise from top left: event cards for zapwater communications, new chalkboard mural at both sides gallery, skull prints: $15 in the etsy shop}

hammerpress

{visiting hammerpress in kansas city}

octopus drawing

{octopus doodling}

wedding guest book: revamped

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i love the idea of a wedding guest book; a timeless record of all the people you’ve loved and cherished enough to invite and spend $70 a plate on at your momentous wedding day. a space for everyone, the young, the old, those just walking in, and those a little less sober than when they walked in, to write pages upon pages of just how happy they are for you on this next chapter of your life with your partner. theoretically, it’s lovely. in reality, what actually happens to it? maybe you read it once – maybe once a year on your anniversary – maybe one third of the pages are filled, maybe no one managed to spill wine all over it at one point in the night. regardless, it’s usually put away after the big day, with the photos of the wedding taking precedent as the day’s record.

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but, what if there was a different way to keep track of your loved ones in attendance? and then, instead of putting it away, it’s displayed, framed, hung for all to see and marvel at? well, a dear friend and former coworker of mine commissioned me to make such a piece for her this past week, and i’m delighted to share it with you.

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modeled after a snapshot she sent of another guest book she’d seen, this is a print with a cutout vw bug, and lots and lots of little 3d balloons for guests to write their names on. afterwards, whitney and scott can frame this and hang it up; a gorgeous reminder of the love they shared together, and with their family and friends! congratulations whitney and scott!

handwritten invitations – still a thing of the present

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last monday, i had the pleasure of visiting the ladies and gents of zapwater communications, sit in their sunlit , exposed brick office, and pen out 18 handwritten invitations to a sneak preview of one of their client’s new restaurant ventures. it always amazes me how much longer it takes to complete work like this than i’d originally thought. after just 6 short hours, i finished all 18 invitations and envelopes, to be hand-delivered that afternoon. that, and a delicious lemon chocolate chip scone from little goat down the street made my day pretty awesome.

 

 

 

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