Monday, August 26, 2013

"Un cafe?" -- "Oui, avec plaisir."

I heard a terrific quote yesterday: "There is a heavy distinction between mundane reality and ecstatic mind-journeying in which coffee plays at least a basic role."

While most of my "ecstatic mind-journeying" is actually comprised of me staring blearily at my monitor, clutching my mug for dear life, I confess that my addiction to the coffee bean combined with my intensifying desire to travel has led me towards the creation of a new illustration.

A lot of coffee drinkers will say that, as time goes on, coffee drinking really becomes more of a ritual, more of moment for oneself than just an impersonal cup of caffeine. I must agree. It symbolizes a slowness of the moment in a day that - for the life of a freelancer or entrepreneur - is typically filled with chaos and flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants.

Because this illustration is near and dear to my heart, I wanted to share some of my process work with you. These past few months, my work style has been evolving, and taking on new methods.

First I begin with a traditional pencil sketch. I look at several references, and keep my lines as clean as possible (and, of course, drink coffee while I work).


I have also been working on developing my skills in hand-drawn type. I have done a bunch of samples for a Style Guide I illustrated (forthcoming this Thanksgiving), and have since fallen in love. I will use my ruler to make sure I have even, straight lines, and then I will sketch out my type in pencil. 

After I am satisfied with my pencil lines, I will tape a piece of tracing paper over my sketch and VERY carefully start tracing the letterforms in pen. I typically use Staedtler Pigment Liners in "FineLiner". These pens are acid-free and archival and give a good, black mark.

From there I will scan in the inked type, adjust the levels and colourize the lines. This print was instantly a hit at one of the boutiques my work is in here in Atlanta!

Recently I have been taking more and more opportunities to grow my illustration business, and in time for the holidays will be offering a new line of greeting cards! These have been an idea in my head for quite some time. Using my illustrations and giving them some fresh new colours and type, I transformed them into new Thank You Cards.

The type has all been hand-drawn and colourized in Photoshop, and the cards are printed on my Epson R1800 on 60lb creamy, gorgeous photo supreme matte paper. I have cut and folded them by hand. More seasonal cards will be coming :)

I am so happy to admit that this summer I have felt my business getting the excited rumblings of an expected jump to the next level, and now we are climbing upward for sure :) 

Good things are happening!

As always, thank you for reading. In the moments between keeping the plates of my projects spinning, I am striving more and more to keep accountable and share my progress with you on this blog.

If you'd like daily visual updates, please feel free to follow me on Instagram :)

* Please note, all illustrations, photos and type on this blog are copyrighted and not for use without permission on other blogs or websites. Please feel free to pin with proper credit, though!


  1. Erin, LOVE the un café print!!
    So whimsical :)

  2. I follow you on Instagram so I'm already up-to-date on your work, but it's nice to read about it in a little more detail. I'm glad things are starting to pick up for you! :-)

    1. Thanks! I'm still just churning up hours, trying to "live the dream". Ya know ;)

  3. So exciting! I love that cafe' print! Can't wait to see what you create next. Good luck with all the new changes :)

    1. Thanks Chelsea! I'm glad you like the print!

  4. "It symbolizes a slowness of the moment in a day that - for the life of a freelancer or entrepreneur - is typically filled with chaos and flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants." Truer words were never spoken!

    I love the peek behind the scenes on this one and have loved following along as your work has been developing over the past few months. I'm so glad to hear you're seeing all that hard work pay off! I must confess, you've inspired me to challenge myself more and be more productive as an artist too. Merci beaucoup!

    1. I'm so glad to inspire! Sometimes it's really hard to be your own motivator. I look for inspiration wherever I can, so it's super flattering to hear that I provided a small bit to someone else :) Thanks girl!

  5. Your work is wonderfull :-) Love it


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