Custom Event Illustration – Commission – 2 x 51×31.5cm artworks in ACRYLICS
and now for something completely different… because i can 😊
When a two of your favourite, long time clients decide to tie the knot, OF COURSE I will do the invitation illustrations! ‘Yes, of course I will…’ was my spontaneous answer as the thoroughly anticipated, over the top, crazy, fantastic, ridiculously wild and wonderful concept started to spill impossible, contradicting, all encompassing words into my ears for marinating al at once.
I knew itd be a wild ride, and it certainly has been. So we started this journey by finding some cohesion to a vast array of quite differing ideas, concepts and styles. We spoke like little girls, giggling and dreaming in our makeshift, weekend sheet tent, imagining our wildest wedding dreams of when we grew up. The fact that none of it could seem possible in real life halted us none as we dream weaved our way to some clarity.
I was never a romantic as a kid. Weddings…? Not on my mind… but what I lack in romantic notions, Therese makes up in her real life for more than both of us. Bringing ideas, events and magic literally to life with everything she does, she is the wedding venue, party queen. Now its her turn and I am the vessel for this challenge, or at least, to realise my tiny part of the process creating the wedding invitations.
People simply dont realise how much time, thought and effort goes into the simple task of refining an idea. Honestly, its an epic process to build a concept to a single point, to create something you love, thats meaningful and appropriate, and that all comes for days before putting pencil to paper. For Therese it was a smorgasbord of excitement, exhaustion and imagination. Discussions brought clarity. Decisions were made and we kicked the process off with our minds set on a galaxy moonscape scene for illustration 1.
As an illustrator your considerations are far broader than that of a fine artist. Thought has to be given to functionality, purpose, legibility and presentation, and so we set to work on the night sky painting, rich enough to hold the text, beautiful enough to warrant such an event, relevant to the celebration… being a magical, ‘on the stroke of midnight NYE wedding in a circus tent and the State Theatre in Sydney, with the moon featured bright and bold to keep it interesting. Easy as, I thought! No, it wasnt easy at all in fact, but fun? Yes indeed it sure was.
After weeeeeks of picking away at the minute details of my Brachychiton major work, lost in a maze of intricacy, switching mindsets and mediums was a welcome relief really. Now we are playing with crazy beautiful blues in huge washes and glazes, freeform shapes, in a fantasy style… talk about big shifts. Those blues though, wow, those really suck you in like the night sky itself, into its endlessness, complexity and endlessness of it all. I loved it… but easy? No, it wasnt! No matter, you simply allow yourself to fall into it, enjoy it, marvel at its emergence. Its an exploration! Certainly its good to find and know your limits. Professionally, theres not much I cant do.
Eventually I was happy. Layers and layers of colour and texture, each brought their own tiny ingredient to the story. A little airbrushing gave the moon its soft glow and finally, this delicious painting came to life. A starry night sky, blues to blacks and the moon, hovering glorious and luminous amongst it. And so we had the inner pages of the invitation.
Now came the real challenge, the cover! Here we wanted everything, of course! Given that the wedding is set to be held at one of our oldest and most elegant theatres, the stage had to be set in the scene accordingly. Part of the stage was to be a heart, flowers spilling to the sides as Thereses weddings are SO well known for, the moon mirrored in the sky again falls to the distance, and an elegant portrait of the couple hovers in the starry sky, uplifted further with a flush of twinkly stars beneath them.
The back page fades away to a dreamy fantasy land, another world slipping away or perhaps emerging into the night as well. Again, its just enough to compliment and house the text that will be added. Bringing the second painting to a conclusion gives us 4 pages for the illustrated invitation in total, filled with everything we hoped for, plenty of relevance to my client and to the event itself. Thats the wonderful thing about custom illustrations for my clients, its all about you!
I cant even imagine how insane the wedding will be, but Ill be there with bells on, or perhaps flowers, to enjoy every moment of the experience. Memorable? It SURE WILL BE! And so we have it, two very different illustrations from me this week, but a fantastic experience to create, plenty of learning along the way and I can now add ‘fantasy illustration’ to my repertoire… who knew Id ever get to say that hey! Being out of your comfort zone is something we all need to be. Its where the learning, growth and possibilities lie. Thanks for following along with me over this commission, its always good to have you here.
So I cant talk more about the details for this event yet, but Idd surely be back with an update as the invitations come to life, and to let you know more on how the event was