morning calligraphy: rumi style

rumi love

valentines day is around the corner, and to lead up, i’m doing a series of love poetry calligraphy. starting with rumi’s ‘i swear’.

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I swear, since seeing Your face,

the whole world is fraud and fantasy

The garden is bewildered as to what is leaf

or blossom. The distracted birds

can’t distinguish the birdseed from the snare.

A house of love with no limits,

a presence more beautiful than venus or the moon,

a beauty whose image fills the mirror of the heart.

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A little beauty for your January morning. I hope you enjoy!

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antlers antlers wedding inspiration shoot

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over the holidays i had the great fortune to work with some amazing new clients, chicago-based wedding and event planners, and some very creative individuals. one of my favorite (favorite!) shoots took place at the historic keith house in chicago’s prairie district. it’s located in a pocket of chicago that’s home to some old mansions, a quaint little park, one of my best friends, and a path that takes you straight to the lakefront.

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splendid occasion shoot

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tiffany siladke (a splendid occasion), a talented chicago-based wedding planner and event stylist, had such a gorgeous vision for this inspiration shoot. she wanted to air on the darker side of things – it being winter and all – and decided to incorporate some animal-inspired elements. complete with antlers, cages, fur, darker, lush florals from natural beauties florals, antique pieces from rent vintage chicago and aged vintage rentals, amazing pies from bang bang pie shop, the whole shoot had an amazing woodland wonderland/big bad wolf feel to it. not to mention the models were stunning, with hair and makeup from nika vaughan.

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i was asked to create some hand-lettered menus for the table design, a sign for the place card table, and individual place cards that fit into gold-painted animal figurines. tiffany hand-charred the edges of the paper, which gave everything even more of a forest-feel.

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in truth, i loved putting together the paper elements for this shoot. and i love the photos even more. i can’t quite share the professional (and might i say breathtaking) photos that karissa kreager took, but here are a few self-shots of the menus and place cards for you. i promise to share the full photo set once it’s been published!

 

 

other vendors that worked on the shoot:

treat bags- fox and hound paperie, http://www.etsy.com/shop/FoxandHoundPaperie?ref=search_shop_redirect

invitation- tweedle press, www.tweedlepress.com

dress – nearly newlywed, www.nearlynewlywed.com

hairpiece –  danani handmade adornments, www.dananionline.com

men’s attire – bonobos, www.bonobos.com

video – amelia st. studios, www.ameliastreetstudios.com

models – nick zmuda & bri kreager

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!

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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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!

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}

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{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}

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{visiting hammerpress in kansas city}

octopus drawing

{octopus doodling}

a whole bunch of bones

2nd fridays wallribcage illustration{‘bigger is better’ 11×14 original illustraion – $175 w/frame}

Phew! August is already more than halfway over, and it seems crazy to me that so much has happened in the first 19 days of this summery month. Renovating and revamping a gallery space in Pilsen, frantically making work for the Chicago Arts District 2nd Fridays Art Walk, hanging the show, frantically making more work for the Pilsen Unisono Festival, designing a mini jilly ink booth, teaching painting classes, planning for the next three months at the gallery, putting together some exciting editorial work for magazines, commercial work for clients, and plugging away at the upcoming designs from the jilly ink wedding stationery line – this has been one crazy month, to say the least.

pelvis illustration{‘so tight’ 8×10 original illustration – $120 w/frame SOLD}

finger illustration{‘long and hard’ 8×10 original illustration – $120 w/frame SOLD}

cheekbone illustration{‘nice cheeks’ 8×10 original illustration – $120 w/frame}

 

The thing is, though, I’m realizing I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ok, maybe with a little less pressure, but honestly, the deadlines, the excitement, the collaboration, planning, productive daydreaming, painting – living fully in everything I’m passionate about is so incredibly exhilarating. I’m so pleased to share with you the work that made it into the gallery for the month of August.

 

rockin curves{‘rockin’ curves’ 11×14 original illustration – $175 w/frame}

 

 

And! Look for some pretty/strange/pretty strange skull prints to be popping up in the jilly ink Etsy shop this week as well!

 

unisono fest table{skulls & script 11×14 prints – $15 each – coming soon to the jilly ink shop}

 

 

(* if you’re interested in purchasing any of the original art work from the 2nd Fridays Art Show, please feel free to email me at jilly.ink@gmail.com or call Both Sides Gallery at 419-543-2248)

terrariums terrariums!

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what a lovely night it was, last week, at the gorgeous both sides space, making little terrariums (although, at the time, it was still a bit in shambles before we’d hung the second fridays art show).

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i spent the morning and afternoon at sprout home, picking through their newest shipment of tiny, adorable succulents and cacti, choosing soil, lava rocks, charcoal, sand and rocks. i must say, they are incredibly  wonderful, helpful people, and the store itself is lovely and full of so many plants that i wanted desperately to adopt as my own.

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from there i traveled to blumgarten, a new florist shop that just opened up on halsted and 18th, across from the gallery, in the chicago arts district. they have such a wide array of glassware; it was such fun picking out little vessels for the succulents. with delicious veggie and port pasties from bridgeport pasty, and handmade plant-inspired jilly ink cards, the tables looked inviting and well laid out.

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the workshop was a success, and culminated in the cutest little terrariums that everyone took with them at the end of the night. special thanks to alexis buryk of lexi b photography for taking these perfectly lit photos.

 

i loved sharing this newfound love, and look forward to holding the next one in september! stay tuned, and if you’re in the chicago area, i’d love to have you at the next workshop!

nine months and a new show

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nine months ago, i was invited to show work at the gorgeous both sides gallery space in pilsen, chicago. it was a magical experience, full of meeting new people (one of which just so happens to be pouring me a cup of coffee right now), putting my art work out there, gathering feedback, and becoming exposed to one of the most vibrant art communities in this fair city.

tonight, nine months (to the day, and date – how about that?) later, i’ll be showing another series. you may remember when i drew a few bones back in the fall.. well, i’ve decided to expand on that idea and move a little deeper..ehem.. into the body, and context. the theme of this month’s show is ‘inner beauty’, so my take on that was to use suggestive phrases typically geared towards certain parts of the female and male bodies, and juxtapose them alongside illustrations of bones about which they’d be construed as positive attributes. i’ll have much more photos to post next week about the opening tonight (i might have a few pieces that need finishing this afternoon… ever the procrastinating artist), but here’s a sneak preview of two of the pieces i’ll be framing and hanging on the walls.

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if you happen to find yourself in chicago tonight, stop by both sides gallery from 6-10pm, on the corner of 19th and halsted. or stop by anytime this month to take a gander at the show!

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!