Finding inspiration from family

It's almost Thanksgiving, and I'm knee-deep in a new series of illustrations. I was born in the mid-1970's and early on, my Mom worked days at the Lake Forest Library while my Dad worked nights, so many of my early days were spent with my Dad. We have a bond to this day that I know goes back to those lazy days together, looking at bugs and taking walks and having tea parties. One thing my Dad did for me from day one was to include me in his life, not regardless of my gender, but because I was his little person. When he worked on his old car (a really cool one), little toddler me would be out there with him, looking under the car, checking under the hood, and taking it out for a test drive. What happens when you drive a little three year old girl around in a '54 Jag? She grows up to really love cars! :)

All of this is the back story to tell you about my new series: Gift Delivery. I credit my Dad, Dr. Photo, with the inspiration for the VW Bus. I was 5 when our family got our *first* bus. My folks pulled up in front of my Kindergarten in a brand new 1980 two-tone blue VW vanagon. Since then, they've had a newer vanagon, a passat, a scirocco, and a VW CC.

I hope you enjoy my Gift Delivery series! All designs are available for license or purchase, please get in touch for details:  

Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving from One Little Printshop. Here are a few family photos from over the years, from my Dad as a teen when he first got his racecar, to his newest VW-CC, in which he drives my son Max (5).  

I'd love to hear from those of you who love cars, bikes, trucks, any quirky old vehicles!

Escape to Summer School 2016

I just finished my first Make it in Design course, which was the 2016 Summer School Intermediate and Advanced classes. I’ve decided to share with you a bit of my process for one of the briefs, Escape: Souk. The task I gave myself was to design a bohemian-inspired design collection. As I did some preliminary research, I realized my own home is as much a source for this kind of visual inspiration as is Pinterest! I may or may not have a collection of boho vintage glass lamps collected years ago in thrift stores in Kansas City Missouri. :)

I followup my inspiration-gathering by diving into my process with pencils and pens on paper. It’s the fastest route for me to get a concept flowing.

 

When I scan in all my drawings, I’ll put everything into a giant file and start playing. This is where the magic happens, or where it starts anyway. Shapes will combine to form new ones, and when I play around with abstracts, geometrics and florals, things can get very interesting!

Some of you might know that I am a member of the Finch & Foxglove collective. One of the beautiful things about our group is that we are a sounding board for one another, and can present in-progress ideas and projects and get incredible feedback and help. I shared my first mock-up with the group, and finch Mara called out a suggestion to try replacing the red with something cooler like a blue. 

Those of you who have worked with the Adobe programs for decades will know how far they’ve come; I find that the current suite of programs works together like an orchestra, and it’s an incredible boon to the creative process. My Adobe illustrator library for this project is overflowing with a great collection of patterns and graphics and color palettes! The wonderful thing about taking a class is that it allows you to come away with a huge cache of potential future projects. This was a project I could have spent months on - the amazing inspiration I found on Pinterest and in the world could fill a book, and the brief created by the MiiD team was chock-full of inspiring ideas, words and images. To-date, the final dress design is one of my most popular images on Instagram!

I'm still new to the surface design world and would love to find a company to work with to design a collection. Please get in touch if you would like to license any of my designs, or if you'd prefer to create a new collection. 

Yay, I'm on the Print & Pattern Blog!

It's exciting to discover that your email was not only read, but answered when you're included on a favorite website or blog. For me, Print & Pattern Blog has long been a source of inspiration, information and pattern-love. Yesterday I opened my browser and refreshed, and saw MY WORK there! Preparing for Surtex has been such a process, and in the many emails to potential clients, and hopes and dreams about who I might connect with in NYC, this is actually one of the brightest spots for me. 

http://printpattern.blogspot.com/2016/05/surtex-2016-courtney-keller.html 

1920's skeches for Bootcamp

Kicking off 2016 MATS Bootcamp studio school with some vintage ladies...


MATS Home Decor

I'm a fan and repeat participant in Lilla Rogers and Margo Tantau's fabulous Home Decor course, which is a super-intensive five week program with each week focusing on a new substrate. I took this course last summer, but wanted to go through it again for several reasons. This time around, I took a different approach: going in, I knew I wanted to come out the other side with a cohesive collection. I also brainstormed for a way to keep my focus, despite all the mountains of information, inspirations, and distractions that come when taking a course like this. Going into it, I decided to approach the collections as though I were designing and illustrating for a dream client: Vuokko Nurmesniemi. I found this approach incredibly helpful and I credit my fellow art collective member Mara Penny with the idea. 

I'm sharing my five weeks' worth of work, and hope you enjoy! I was designing to a mood board for a beach / seaside cabin. I'd love to hear your feedback!

 

I entered this drawing in a contest...

Sakura of America makes the wonderful drawing pens like Pigma and Micron. I did this drawing inspired by an old poem my Dad used to recite to me, and now recites to my son and niece and nephew. Sakura picked it as one of their ten winners and sent me a box of drawing supplies! Thank you Sakura!