Friday, October 7, 2011

Inspiration to Invitation: A Margot Madison Design Exposé

Every once in a while, I think it might be interesting to show you how I get some of the designs I create. It makes me feel a little vulnerable actually, I don't even show people my sketchbooks! But I am continually fascinated by creatives and how they are influenced by other artists, and the world around them.

In yesterday's post, I talked about Mary Blair, an illustrator who created iconic illustrations in the 1950s and 60s. I was particularly inspired by this book cover, and thought I should try to use it to push me in a fresh direction.


I've been working on a party concept that is a woodsy-fairie theme for my friend and brilliant songstress April 8. After seeing that book cover, I decided to give that style a try for the invitation. Here's what mine ended up looking like:
The most interesting thing to me is that I created the invitation design by recycling artwork that I've had for years. The birch trees in the background are from a cute winter save the date I did about 4 years ago. The bird and the mushrooms were part of a holiday card series I did about 3 years ago. The berries and branches I'd created the day before on another holiday project. Even the starburst shape that makes the white space of the invitation came from some sketches I did this summer on vacation.

I literally had all the pieces for this design, I just needed to see them with a fresh pair of eyes! I also used a really cool set of Illustrator Brushes to make the textured strokes which add some depth to my otherwise quite flat and computer-ized images. It makes me wonder: did my subconscious liked Mary Blair's cover because it was so close to something I could create, but just hadn't yet? Or did it take away the overwhelming fear I have in creating a more "complete" illustration? A single image is easy for me but many images within a colorful composition scares the heck out of me. Maybe the difference is that I wanted to try. I didn't know if it would work at all, but as the great saying goes, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained". And I like how the invitation turned out. More importantly I am so rejuvenated by the process of creating because of it. The creative mind is such a mysterious and interesting place, don't you think?

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