Pinterest Find of the Week: Mary Kate McDevitt

Alright, guys.

As has been the routine lately, this week’s Pinterest Find of the Week is a tad behind schedule. Things have been pretty busy at my day job, and I’m simply exhausted by the time I get home. I know, I know- excuses, excuses. Anyway, let’s get this thing rolling!

This week, I chose to feature Mary Kate McDevitt, who is an illustrator currently located in Portland, Oregon. She also just so happens to be phenomenally talented at hand-lettering. I’ve come across some of her designs a few times now, and I can’t remember when I had actually seen any of her work first.

Here’s the inital pin that I found this week, which is a logo for a vintage clothing and accessory boutique:

I love this design.
Love it.

I love the dream-like quality of the lettering, and the swirls and curves they produce. I think it fits well with the idea of Wanderlust, by itself, and I think that’s pretty cool. It helps move your eye around the logo, and the whole design just gives you a good feeling as it’s very pleasing to look at. I also really enjoy the choice of colors. Just a simple mint and salmon (salmon? sure!) working together to create that vintage, retro appeal. I’ve been on a huge mint kick lately, and I really like seeing it used in different places.

I looked around Mary Kate’s website, which is also beautifully designed by the way, and discovered she had designed the cover for this book:

I have this book on my Amazon wishlist! Mary Kate designed the cover! How cool is that?! When I started researching ideas for Ruby July, I looked at a bunch of different books supporting various techniques, and this one honestly caught my attention right away. It absolutely made me want to learn more about hand-lettering and to try to study and execute it for myself. I like the appeal of pen-on-paper designing, as I think it takes you back to classic age of design and advertising. Everything was created and drawn by hand, and nothing was computer generated. I really like this approach to design, and I do plan to challenge myself with a few projects utilizing only a pen and paper in the future.

For one final image for this post, I looked around Mary Kate’s site a bit more, and discovered that she does illustrations as well.

This particular image was used for holiday cards, which she sent out to family, friends, and any internet strangers who requested one. That’s pretty cool. I wish I had known then, because I’d totally (hopefully!) have one of these guys hanging on my fridge now!

Mary Kate has built up a beautiful portfolio of work in just a few years, and she gives me a lot of hope for my future in design, whatever that may be. I think once you can figure out what you’re good at, you do it and you do it well. Mary Kate does hand-lettering and illustration very, very well. Check out her website here, and hopefully you’ll be as inspired by her work as I am!

BIRTHDAY, HAPPY, YAY!!!

I’ll just get this out of the way, and say IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!

HOORAY!

Usually, in years past, I haven’t gotten too excited about it because it generally ended up being a letdown. This year, however, I took the day off of work (great start with that!), and have made weekend plans with some close friends.

In the past, every year on my birthday I waited for the flood of Facebook notifications and text messages to come in throughout the day. In the years after I graduated college, I’ve noticed that this “flood” is now more of a “trickle”. As sad as it was at first (“Why don’t people like me?!”), I just kind of got over it. Those people weren’t really good friends anyway. And even the people that I work with, whom I once considered good friends, I now realize are simply work friends. They’re just people I talk to while at work, and that’s it.

In a way, I’m kind of glad about that. The past few years have definitely been trying, especially with my parents divorce and with good friendships being put to the test (with some of them not passing!). Even through all of that, if you’re able to get through it and keep your head up, I think it really does make you stronger. It makes you realize the important things in life, and to not waste even one more second on the things that aren’t.

I think the older you get, and the more distanced from high school and from college you get, the more you realize who’s really there for you. Those friends are the one worth keeping. Those friends are the ones to be thankful for, and be happy that they’re in your life and you’re in theirs. Those friends are in it for the long haul. And to those friends, I say thank you.

On another, somewhat similar note, I got an email today and in it was this quote:
“Don’t just count your years, make your years count.”

How perfect is that?! It fits right along with everything I’ve been trying to do with my life, and with Ruby July, and I think it’s a great mindset to have. Make the most out of every single day. I know I have the tendency to get wrapped up in the daily routine, and just let life fly by. That’s not something I want to do anymore. It only took me twenty-seven years, but I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of them. No thanks, quarter-life-crisis, I’ll have none of you anymore!

I will have some of this polar bear cake though! YUM! ๐Ÿ˜€

Pinterest Find of the Week: Zeus Jones

Alex Register, from my previous post, is a local artist to the Twin Cities area. He works with Zeus Jones, a creative agency located in Minneapolis (literally blocks from my apartment, actually!) that centers around modern branding.

zj_logo

I did a little digging through their website, and I loved it.

All of it.

With my getting reacquainted to the world of design, it is really refreshing to see what kind of agencies are out there. And for this one to be so close is pretty amazing. THIS is what I wanted to be a part of when I moved to the Twin Cities. You don’t find many companies like this in small-town-Wisconsin.

They work with big name clients, like Google and Cheerios, and they also work with outside designers. Zeus Jones kind of gives me that large family feel. They have a lot of staff, and they’re proud to showcase every one of them, but they also work with a variety of other artists. It’s like a huge, wonderful family, that I would love to someday be a part of.

Zeus Jones also worked with Tad Carpenter, who is an illustrator that I discovered awhile back. For some failure of a reason, I haven’t pinned any of his designs yet, but I do follow him on Twitter. Weird. Anyway, here’s a poster he designed as part of a collaborative project for Purina ONE beyOndยฎ, with other designers and with Zeus Jones.

1Cats! Dogs! Yes!!!

All in all, I really like what Zeus Jones has to offer. They have a great creative team, and a fresh mindset that is so important to have in this wonderful age of social media. And it seems like a really cool place to work. (Methinks I will be creeping around their employment site… hey guys, ‘sup? ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

So go check out Zeus Jones’ website here. While you’re at it take a look at their blog here, for tips, links, advice and everything that is definitely worth your time to check out. I will probably be spending the rest of my night browsing and looking around as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Pinterest Find of the Week: Alex Register

Alright, we’re back at it. After a lengthy bout of laziness and some employment rejection (hooray… :/ ), we are back at it with the Pinterest Find of the Week. Since I didn’t do one last week, this one just so happened to work out to split into two lovely posts. Here we go!

So I did some perusing today, and came across this pin, by designer Alex Register:

I liked the retro kind of vibe it was giving off, and the simple, clean design style. As usual, I clicked through to Alex’s website, where I discovered even more great design. He has everything from wedding invites (his own!) to screenprints (love!), and even a giant 4×8 foot woodcut print.

Yes, 4×8 FEET. Huge. Either way, I gotta love me some of that Midwest. ๐Ÿ™‚

I liked Alex’s style with all of his work. It is all very clean and precise, which I appreciate as a designer myself. I think sometimes it takes more skill to know when you have enough, than it does to keep adding and adding until you have something totally cluttered that kind of works. I lean towards simplicity, myself, and I am always drawn to this particular style. I think Alex does it extremely well, and I think he’s another designer you should definitely check out. Click here to view his website, and check out some of his other work!

I did a little more digging, and discovered that he is actually a local artist, and that is AMAZING. I love seeing the work of other creative people in my neighborhood, and this leads me to the next Pinterest Find of the Week: Zeus Jones.

Fourth of July

Today is July 4th.
To most Americans, it’s Independence Day or the 4th of July.

To me, it’s the best holiday ever.

I’ve always loved this time of year, and even today it remains one of my favorites. I think it’s a great time to be patriotic and proud of what this country has become, and really, I just absolutely love fireworks. The past few years I haven’t been able to get the chance to see as many of them, but it’s always something I enjoy watching. You just lay back in the grass and stare towards the sky, and there’s this wonderful, larger-than-life fireworks show happening in the clouds above you. That’s pure awesome, and I love it so much.

If you don’t get the chance to see a great fireworks show, there’s still always sparklers! Gotta give these guys some loving, too. Just be careful not to burn yourself! ๐Ÿ™‚

This year, I’m also looking at today as another push to take control of my life. It’s an independence from the daily routine that so many of us find ourselves in.

This year is all about change and progress, and it’s rolling along towards more positive things. If bad things happen, you don’t let it derail you, you let it make you stronger. 2013 is already halfway done, and it’s completely flown by. But I think during even the past six months, I’ve made more of a effort in myself, than I have throughout my whole life.

It’s a great thing, and even though I’m not where I want to be quite yet, I’m definitely proud in knowing I’ve determined something needs to change, and I’m making progress to get there. Any progress at all is a good thing. All it takes is one step in the right direction, to keep moving forward. Keep stepping, keep moving, and you’ll get there eventually. And hopefully, you be able to gather some good stories along the way! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, here’s to Independence. Here’s to the final half of 2013.

And here’s to July, the best month with the best holiday (and my birthday, wee!).
After all, this is Ruby July, guys. July is my turning point towards a great future.

Let’s see how the rest of this year goes! Make yours the best it can be, too! ๐Ÿ˜€

Pinterest Find of the Week: Helen Dardik

Go figure.

While I was nice and ambitious last week, this week I super-slacked off. I didn’t have time to search through the treasure trove of pins this week, so I figured I’d look back on some of the things I already pinned. Give them a second chance and all. Generous. …Right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, here’s this week’s Pinterest Find of the (Last) Week.

Looking through my earlier pins, my eyes stopped on this one of a pattern by Helen Dardik, that I had discovered a few weeks ago:

I was once again impressed by the pattern and colors used in this design, as well as the whimsical quality of the illustrations. I clicked through to Helen’s blog, Orange You Lucky! (which you can find here!), and was just as happy to see it as I was the first time.

All of her illustrations fit a similar style, with the wide eyes and I think, a kind of retro child-like appeal. I’ve been on a big retro kick lately, and it’s something I want to challenge myself to try. Helen’s designs make it look so pleasing and fun. The colors are so bright and happy, and the illustrations are just wonderful to view.

She has a variety of patterns posted on the blog as well as some centralized designs, like this one, which I loved:

And really guys, you are super. I hope you know it!

Helen’s super too, and I really think she’s worth checking out. If you take a look at her blog, and look through the designs, you won’t be able to help but have a smile on your face. What are you waiting for? Go take a look!