In a bid to blog more and to give a better idea of what happens in my lair made of pens I thought I'd do monthly round ups of what projects I've been working on (if I can talk about them) and general musings from the past month. This has been on my to-do list since Aug 1st so we're doing well already ha! Never mind. Please note I'm doing all of this purely by looking back at my calendar so loads will probably get missed out but hey ho. You expect me to remember months?!
So July! It actually proved to be an exciting month after the grey bleakness of June. Wow that was quiet (it happens, self-employment and all that...) but in the last week of June a brilliant ray of sunshine called Buzzfeed brightened my inbox with a super exciting project that was turned around and released in only a few weeks! I love when that happens as waiting to talk about work is the worst. In case you haven't seen it on my social media I was asked by Buzzfeed UK to create a series of lettering pieces based on "8 important things about sex people say they know but don't always do" for their collaboration with the Home Office's "Disrespect Nobody" campaign. I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to work on this project because, for one, flipping BUZZFEED and for two it's a super important topic that needs to be talked about more. I feel like these messages should be made into billboards and splashed across the country so no one is under any illusions about consent. It seems obvious to you or I (I hope!) but there are some gross scumbags out there.
That project took up a lot of my time during July. The style of lettering I used is quite labour intensive as it involves sketching, more sketching, drawing it all up in procreate (yay for my ipad pro!) and then colouring in Photoshop. I prefer to do all colouring on my desktop as the monitor has better colour calibration than my various gadgets. There was also a week mid-July spent making edits to all the pieces as the initial colours used were deemed a bit too light. I'm a fan of bright colours on darker backgrounds so that was some feedback I could get on board with! This project as a whole just summed up why I love doing this for a living. The work was inspiring, I was allowed a fair amount of creative freedom (being hired due to MY style) and the people I was working with were lovely to talk to. I felt good.
In between the Buzzfeed work I did a couple of quick turnaround lettering bits for Penguin Random House which I do every now and then. Not stuff for actual books (at the moment) but for what I'm assuming are pitches and the initial stages of book jacket design. I've done a fair amount during the past year so I'll have to whack it in the portfolio en masse at some point. I do love a quick mini project to keep me on my toes! It sends my brain into "organise calendar" mode and I start looking into the matrix and swapping things around and squeezing extra bits of time. Makes me feel alive hah!
Towards the end of the month I squeezed in a quick project for Moonpig. I still design a fair amount of cards for them but as they all tend to be licensed designs they don't go into my portfolio. This time it was a very quick Little Mermaid card for Valentine's Day next year. Yes, I have a ridiculous job, but I LOVE it. Oh the variation. On an unsettling note I was informed that next year is the Little Mermaid's 30th anniversary. I was sure they were mistaken because I remember seeing it in the cinema. Nope. Oh dear *tucks white hair out of sight*.
In all the in-between bits of these projects I was beavering away working on my own greetings card ranges which I license out to Moonpig (and hopefully more companies in the future!). I have an increasingly massive back catalogue of card designs now and I really need to find a way to display them on my website. I'll find a way at some point!
So as you can see, Letters by Julia is about a lot more than calligraphy and the stuff I show on instagram. I did have a wedding place card job somewhere in the mix but that work in general seems to be on the downturn for me as I'm focusing more on the commercial side of my business. It's a balance I'm happy with.
I hope you enjoyed a little insight into my studio! Let me know if you enjoyed it and want to be a regular thing.