For nearly three decades, Thymes has applied artisan craftsmanship to enriching the quality of daily experience through naturally-derived scents. Its fragrances are composed at its on-site fragrance studio, where perfumers blend nature, art, and science to create products that soothe and delight us. For the past three years, Wink in Minneapolis, has been helping the company integrate its message across its brand identity through artistic quality photography, integrated website design, product catalogs, and brand packaging. It is an aesthetic that celebrates the natural, botanical, and organic. Read the rest here.
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Best post: Drawing for Graphic Design: 6 Exercises to Sharpen Your Skills | by Emily Potts.
Sarah Lovell Art
Wimborne Minster, Dorset, UK
Business founded in 2012
Sarah Lovell started her art print business after having her second baby. She drew and painted in her spare time, so she figured she’d take a go at making greeting cards, art prints, and coloring books. She says, “I am inspired by wildlife, my three small children and the magic all around us. I try to capture some of that magic in my illustrations.”
I hand illustrate/paint the original pictures with watercolor, gouache or acrylic and black ink. Then I send the originals to my printer (also in Dorset) who scans them in and digitally prints the cards and art prints or assembles the coloring books. The paper used is all ‘Carbon Captured’ and the inks used are biodegradable, so they are all very eco friendly products which is important to me. Read the rest here.
It started in 2010 with a crate of figs, some fetuccine, butter and balsamic vinegar. The next thing they knew, they had spawned a community of food and illustrations around the word. Salli S. Swindell and her brother Nate Padavick of Studio SSS—were on vacation.
“Nate was cooking fettuccine with figs in butter balsamic sauce—sounds amazing, right?” recall Salli. “While he was cooking, I was at the counter drawing the crate of fresh figs and sipping wine. It was an ‘Aha!’ moment. Drawing food is fun! I told Nate we needed to find more food illustration jobs.”
They Draw and Cook first began as a printed book of illustrated recipes they’d give away to friends, family, and clients. Nate had the idea to invite other friends to contribute to the book. Weeks and months passed. While awaiting one submission for the book, Nate grew impatient. On a whim, he posted eight of the illustrated recipes to a blog he and Salli decided to brand They Draw and Cook.
Word spread. Others began submitting illustrated recipes. In a short time, they had hundreds. Then thousands: more than 250,000 follow the blog on Facebook; more than 40,000 follow it on Instagram. Schools are using these sites for classroom assignments. “Some of our finest illustrated recipes are from students attending MICA, CCAD, and SCAD,” adds Salli. “We welcome a range of styles and skill level, and especially like it when we see an artist improve their skills one recipe or map at a time.”
The site’s popularity has inspired Nate and Salli to think of fresh ideas to unite illustration and personal interests. The compiled a list of “They Draw and …” variations. Nate’s love of travel includes an interest in map design. The brother and sister added a map feature to their site to enable visitors to find other illustrators around the world. Then they created They Draw and Travel—a companion site that is just as fun as their food site. Read the rest here.
Windy Chien has made an indelible mark in the craft market, primarily with her line of Fat Bottomed Girls spoons. These hand-carved, wooden beauties are created using special hand tools that Chien has mastered over the years while working in her backyard studio. In addition to selling her wares, she is a craft teacher who teaches the art of spoon carving workshops at Handcraft Studio School in Emeryville, Calif.
“I love teaching — it’s super satisfying to help people gain the skills to express their own aesthetic,” she says. “Some people have been concerned that I should keep my skills to myself so no one rips me off. Thankfully this hasn’t happened, and I feel that there is a big difference between giving people skills, and teaching your aesthetic so they can copy it.”
This niche category, has surprisingly broad appeal in the hand-crafting community. Her workshops, which are limited to ten people, often sell out. “Spoons are having a bit of a moment. They are beautiful, functional objects, and if you use a sweet one you made yourself, you’re elevating the experience,” she notes. Read rest here.
Husband and wife duo, Dirk and Carol Fowler have been running f2design since 2000, but each takes on their own clients in their specialties. Carol focuses mainly on print collateral and event graphics, while Dirk is busy designing letterpress posters, music packaging, corporate identities, and editorial illustration. The beauty of this set-up is that they collaborate when needed and and bounce ideas off each other, so they’re not working in a vacuum from their remote studio in Lubbock, Texas.
“We are comfortable with each other and the way we work, and we have intentionally kept our shop to just the two of us. We have had the opportunity to work for high profile clients, but we are just as happy designing something for our kids’ schools,” Dirk says. “One of our kids is usually hanging out right beside us while we are working, and we are OK with that.” Read the rest here.
Business founded: 2012
Ryan Hamrick is a busy guy these days, doing hand-lettering projects for a range of clients. Fortunately, he’s carving time out of his schedule next month to teach The Business of HandLettering workshop with Roxy Prima and Joanna Munoz.
“My decision to become an independent designer full-time was probably about as random as it gets. I’d never worked in a primarily design capacity ever before, be it for a company, an agency, nothing. I also had no design or art schooling beyond the ‘Intro to Graphic Design’ and ‘Ancient and Medieval Art History’ classes I squeaked by in my first semester of community college (actually, I may have flunked the latter, now that I think about it),” he explains. Read the rest here.