sf crushing: letterpress letterpress

sf crushing letterpress

my very dear wonderful talented friend, rebecca elliot, came to visit san francisco this weekend, so it seems only apt that my next sf crushing series is focused on letterpress studios in the bay area. rebecca herself is a letterpress maven, with a giant hunk of steel of her own back in chicago, and meekling press as her homestead for printing unique and quirky (not to mention exceptionally well-written) books and story collections. in her honor, here are my picks for this corner of the country’s best handlers of old vandercooks and chandler and prices.

 

Olive Route

 

olive route

 

olivia san mateo, owner of this berkeley based print shop, has such a lovely, natural eye for collection. each piece in one of her wedding suites can stand well on its own, but put together with all the elements, the whole unit speaks clear and well-constructed volumes about the couple getting married. i especially love her use of texture, natural elements, and of course, varied types of type. i really appreciate a designer who can weave a story into their work – and her use of layers, small details, and perfect color palettes does this for everything she prints.

 

Twig & Fig

twig & fig

 

another berkeley enterprise! twig & fig have, first of all, such a quirky and fun website – this tips me off firstly that their work is made up of personalized and unique elements. i love their uncomplicated, slightly edgy, sophisticated, and utterly fresh approach to designing. it’s clear that their inspiration comes primarily from the people they work with. which, when paired with masterful letterpress and design skills, ends up yielding incredibly gorgeous stationery and invitations.

 

Aerialist Press

aerialist press

 

well, apparently i’m in love with letterpress studios based in the east bay. it might be a little biased, since i’m in oakland now, but seriously, when you go take a walk around aerialist press’s website, you just tell me how hard it was for you to leave. not only do they have an abundant portfolio of gorgeous, delicate, type-and-illustration-driven designs, but when executed onto paper, the final product takes your breath away, it’s made so well. i also have a particular penchant for design teams that are motivated not only by their clients’ love, but by their own. alexandra and craig have such a lovely story, and it’s evident that they infuse every project they undertake with the same passion and dedication that they share with each other.

 

 

so much love for these paper wielders. tune in next week for a peek at some of my favorite winery wedding venues in the area!

new coasts

compassion

 

there’s this thing that happens when you move 2/3 of the way across the country. or, technically, all the way across the country – albeit with a 3 1/2 year ‘layover’ in chicago. there’s almost an undoing of yourself, of everything you’ve known, grown accustom to, comfortable with. you’re forced to shed layers of learning that no longer make sense, memories that have become unclear, hazy, that seem to belong to someone else – as if you’d read about them in a book instead of experienced them first hand. you look out the window at mountains in the distance and they feel so far away, until suddenly you realize you’re driving through them. the white caps spilling snow down the front of your rental suv, the back weighed down with your belongings.

moving first to chicago was an undertaking of ownership, of exploration and adventure. i moved there for graduate school in creative writing, and ended up earning an education in who i am, what makes me happy, who i want to surround myself with. i accomplished some devastating setbacks, and survived. i tossed through sleepless nights, and woke to new suns. i rode my bike through rain and sleet and snow and ice, through sun and humidity and perfect fall days. i fell in love with new family, and made the most magical of friendships. i fell and rose up in a love that i can only describe through the endless embraces we’ve shared through moments of trial and utter happiness. i started writing letters for a living, and it’s never felt like work. moving to chicago was the best possible thing i could have done almost four years ago.  leaving chicago was the best possible thing i could have done last week.

 

moving here, to oakland, the bay area, san francisco, california, the west coast – this is, very recognizably, an act of utter and total craziness. this is true ownership. independence. freedom. this is an embrace of everything i’ve built to this point. an unraveling of the things that didn’t work, an unfolding presentation of the things that will take root here.

 

i’m excited to share with you this new adventure, and invite you all to share with me your journeys and success and challenges. thanks so much for reading; west coast, hello!!

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’.

rumi close up

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.

rumi letter

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

rumi close up 2

antlers antlers wedding inspiration shoot

woodland_menus top

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.

woodland_menus3

 

splendid occasion shoot

woodland pc

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.

woodland_menus bottom

woodland pc4

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.

woodland pc close2

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

a new year for systems, not resolutions

well, hello there! happy 2014! i hope all of your holidays were filled with joy and abundance and love and laughter and good wine and plenty of pie. and now that all that’s over with, and our attention inevitably draws towards cleansing.. well, everything – our health, our careers, our relationships, our closets – i thought i’d share what my new year focus is for 2014.

 

instead of resolutions, instead of goals, instead of deadlines (though not the ones set by my clients – of course, i’ll still adhere to those).. i’m setting systems. consistency is the name of the game for this year; developing clearly outlined, manageable, workable systems for my career and my health that i can plug into and remain committed to, no matter the outcome. i read this great article over the holidays that put a lot into perspective for me – goals have a way of making you feel like a failure if you don’t succeed. systems have a way of perpetuating success, validating positivity, and ultimately sustaining motivation. even after you achieve a particular goal, it can become very easy to fall off the building you worked so hard to create.. or to stand atop it and not know what to do next. with creating a system, if your consistent action is to build a little bit every day, eventually you’ll have created an entire city of structures.

 

so – for jilly ink, creating a system for reaching new clients, developing new relationships, venturing out into new industries, honing new and old skills, and making work – regardless of pay – every day is my focus. i can only believe that investing time in my business is the best thing i can do.

 

what are your focuses for the new year?

nine months and a new show

bigger is better insta

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.

rockin curves insta

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!

feel it in my bones

bathroom prints

last weekend was my second showing at second fridays down in pilsen, at the lovely and welcoming and gorgeous space at both sides gallery. last month, i showed my wooden-books story installation piece, which was met with a wonderfully positive response.

pelvis illustration

femur bone illustration

calligraphy prints

this time around, i showed an edited version of that piece, along with some screenprints made while at saic, and a few cheeky custom illustration and calligraphy prints.

framed pelvis illustration

framed femur bone illustration

framed calligraphy prints

making these was so much fun. so much fun, that i think i’ll prop open my massive gray’s anatomy book (bought for $2 at the brown elephant in chicago), and start scouring for some more bones to to pair with suggestive phrases..

 

movin on over

hello darling readers! it’s been almost a year now since i got my very first tattoo, and first tattoo design request, and this has prompted a massive revamp in my life and career. i could never have foreseen just how much my life has been shaped by starting down the path of custom calligraphy and illustrative work. it’s always been something i do because i love it, because it’s somewhat natural, because while i’m a writer, sometimes drawing helps me better express what it is i’m trying to share. and now, having jumped down the rabbit hole, i’m so pleasantly surprised and emboldened by the fact that this could all actually lead me somewhere. i’m so grateful for the support and love of friends and family to push me further down the hole, to widen it, deepen it, feel around in all corners and crevices for new or more powerful ways to build upon the strengths i already have. in that vein, i’ve begun to build two separate websites – www.jillianschiavi.com will house all of my personal artistic work, writing, installations, as well as information about my yoga teaching. www.jillyink.tumblr.com will house all things jillyink – from tattoo designs to other freelance calligraphy/illustration work. take a look around both sites; they’re both in progress (especially the tumblr page), but i’m very excited about the possibilities to come from both arenas.

spooky address stamp

i had so much fun designing this return address stamp. a dear friend of mine wanted to give a gift that spoke to this couple’s love of all things halloween and ‘day of the dead’. is it a coincidence that their last name also fits into this theme? i’m not sure, but i sure love how this all came together! happy stamping!

manifesto – lululemon style

a few weeks ago, my dear friend (and amazing, inspiring, ridiculously hilarious woman) leigh trombley invited me to come in to the brand (spanking) new lululemon on newbury street (of which she is the inaugural manager) in boston to paint an excerpt from the lululemon manifesto in their back room.

i have to say, so much of this manifesto speaks to me personally; i’ve preached it to friends, i’ve shared it through my yoga classes, and i’m living it by following my passions. here are a few photos of the finished product.

thank you so much, leigh, for having me in your new home. and thank you to the phenomenal team at the newbury street lululemon, for welcoming me in, and inspiring me with your goals, your visions, and your follow-through!