a thankful holiday season

    thanksgiving table setting

thanksgiving name cards

 

tis the season for wonder and splendor and beautiful tables and warm meals and blues and greens and reds and silver and gold all around. here's wishing you and yours a beautiful start to a love-filled holiday season. cheers!

thank you message

 

holiday! holiday! gifts! gifts!

IMG_4021 i'm thinking about holiday season much differently this year. yes, for the past few seasons, i've tried hard as i could to buy local, handmade, artist-created wares, goods, artwork. i've even tried making things for loved ones. this year, i'm going to focus on simple. very simple. well-chosen words, photographs, pictures, drawings, paper. ordinary things made more beautiful by a new, vibrant approach. maybe an intriguing postcard acutely placed in a gorgeous frame. or a set of vintage silverware with the handles dipped in paint.

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along these same lines, in the etsy shop, i'm currently offering simple, hand-lettered quotes on 8x10 paper. whatever quote, saying, words you can think of will be transposed in my calligraphy and sent to you, ready to be gifted, (or framed, and then gifted. or wrapped around something else, and then gifted. or kept for yourself). i figured this was a lovely, cost-effective way to gift my love of lettering to holiday celebrants everywhere.

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it's early, yes, but think how much more you'll be able to enjoy your egg nog and ugly sweater parties knowing your holiday shopping is all done (and looking pretty beautiful, if i say so)? cheers!

 

- find the listing for custom hand lettered quotes here!

words and anchors - tattoo design

drawing and designing tattoos for people near and far has been such a cool and strange and unexpected part of my career. i love love getting to know a little bit (or a lotta bit) about people that i otherwise wouldn't have met had it not been for the great reach of the internet. even more, however, i love being able to create something meaningful for someone i've had the great pleasure of spending some person-to-person time with. it might be faux pas to do work for friends and family, but in my case, having the ability to work with care on something as intimate as a tattoo design has only ever been a joy. it allows me another opening into this person's life - a perspective i might not have been afforded the opportunity to view. if i could, i'd draw all over my friends and family members' arms/legs/backs/necks/etc! IMG_3189

this one is for a special and incredible bostonian - marisa, i can't wait to see how it turns out!

flip the page - new editorial work

IMG_3169 illumine back page

the best part about being a freelancer/small business owner of a creative studio is flexibility in the kind of work i can take on. you'd be surprised, and then actually not surprised at all, at how many venues there can be for hand-lettered text. With tattoo design and wedding envelopes under my belt, not to mention a few wall design branding gigs and some fine art commissions, it's been incredibly fun and exciting to dream up and wonder at where the next piece of work will come from.

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imagine how thrilled i was, then, to receive a call from lourdes paredes, the publisher of a brand spanking new chicago-based yoga magazine. she'd seen my work on the michigan ave lululemon chalkboards, and thought i'd be a good fit for some editorial artwork in the premier issue of illumine. of course of course! not only have i taken her class at exhale spa, but sitting down and chatting with her about the yoga community, bringing people together from all over the city, cross-promoting different businesses, i was instantly inspired and wanted to be a part of something that seemed to speak to a lot of my own personal beliefs. add to that her general inquisitive and authentic demeanor, and the connection was unmistakeable.

illumine sanskrit-namaste

illumine sanskrit-brahma

illumine sanskrit-aum

illumine sanskrit-asana

 

for the premier issue, i was asked to design the inside back cover, as a sort of 'inspiration page'. readers can tear it out, put it on their walls, share it with other people, etc. after having painted a chalkboard wall in my shared studio space at both sides gallery, i knew it needed to be put to good use for this venue. i was also asked if i might take a stab at writing some sanskrit for one of the internal articles. i won't lie, i was a bit nervous about putting my hand to work on such an ancient and intricate language. it took a lot of practice, and a different approach to the written word as more symbol-focused, rather than letter, or meaning-focused, but after a short while, i got the hang of it. the lovely illumine intern, ashley, even came by the gallery to photograph the work and do a mini interview with me about jilly ink, and my apparent obsession with handwriting.

illumine fall inside credit

i'm currently working on the next issue, set to launch this winter, and i'm even more excited for the design in this one. whether or not you're currently a chicagoan, i'd greatly recommend subscribing to this gorgeous magazine. whether you're a devout yogi, or someone who's active in other ways, it's an incredible resource for living a more fulfilled life and taking advantage of some of the yogic principles in less obvious ways. seriously, read it. or at least go over to illuminechicago.com and scope it out first. (and check out my very own page!)

 

here's to more, and different, and crazy, and cool, and interesting work ahead!

new! art work available on etsy

i've been receiving a lot of lovely feedback on the newest september show up at both sides gallery in pilsen, chicago. and an overwhelming amount of questions on how to purchase the work, if it's for sale, where can it be shipped to, etc etc etc. sept second fridays

so! with great aplomb and excitement, i'm proud to announce that all the framed typographical illustrations currently on view at the gallery are also available for purchase through the jilly ink etsy shop. browse away, but remember- these are one-of-a-kind pieces of work, so be quick to the draw if you want one for yourself!

 

have a lovely and gorgeous and wonderful september autumn day!

the september issue

sept second fridays it may not involve 900 pages of glossy advertisements, and annie leibovitz-esque couture photographs of kiera knightly or cate blanchett, but the september issue (read: show) of artwork at both sides gallery in pilsen, chicago is, in my opinion, pretty spectacular. working in the same space as artist meg frazier has been nothing short of a dream. there are days when we both get nothing done, and spend the day talking about the situation of the artist, how to monitor our finances, what we'd like to be when we grow up, how we pretty much are what we'd like to be when we grow up... and then there are days when the music's playing (or not, if we forgot to turn it on, and we're in the zone) and she's painting and i'm drawing and we're laying down finished pieces like they're cookies coming out of the oven. and so, after all that baking.. err, making.. here's what we recently framed and put up on the walls of both sides gallery, just in time for the september edition of the chicago arts district's second fridays art walk.

 

tighter

 

{'tighter' | '10”x12” | $150 w frame }

 

stronger

{'stronger' | 8”x10” | $100 w frame }

softer

{'softer' | 18.5”x8” | $150 w frame }

smaller

{'smaller' | 3.5”x4.5” | $25 w frame}

sharper

{'sharper' | 5”x 6.25” | $50 w frame}

clearer

{'clearer' | 5.5”x16.5” | $125 w frame}

deeper

{'deeper' | 19.5”x17” | $200 w frame}

longer

 

{'longer' | 10.5”x16” | $150 w frame}

these lovely pieces are on display at both sides gallery - 1840 s halsted st. chicago, il 60608 - and will also be available for purchase in my shop next week, so send me an inquiry at jilly.ink@gmail.com if you want a stab at them first!

joy and weddings and logos galore

for the past few weeks, i've been designing and drawing up a storm here in the (for the meantime) stormless city of chicago. i thought i'd share a few of the most recent projects i've finished. first up, for our recent lululemon athletica store reopening party at the 900 n michigan location, we decided to honor our amazing yoga, run, spin, and dance ambassadors (see the lovley amber cook, rebecca niziol, antonia desantis, mike thomson, karim tonsy, and jim bennit). custom cards housed a very special surprise for them, and i was more than happy to provide the lettering for these inspiring and incredible members of the downtown chicago community.

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secondly, a lovely wedding logo for a couple of engaged new yorkers, wilma and theresa. they wanted a design that brought the two of them together with their new shared surname. i think it'll look lovely on everything they decide to use it on throughout their wedding planning, and thereafter.

wilma wedding logo final

 

and thirdly, the most lovely woman from north carolina contacted me a few weeks ago to design the logo for her wedding photography business. anne liles is incredibly talented, and her style is so indicative of everything i find beautiful about love - the simplicity, the purity, the vibrancy and richness of all the senses. she captures all of that and more, and i was so pleased to be able to design something that represents that, along with her motto, 'life is art'.

anne liles photography final

 

movin on over

hello darling readers! it's been almost a year now since i got my very first tattoo, and first tattoo design request, and this has prompted a massive revamp in my life and career. i could never have foreseen just how much my life has been shaped by starting down the path of custom calligraphy and illustrative work. it's always been something i do because i love it, because it's somewhat natural, because while i'm a writer, sometimes drawing helps me better express what it is i'm trying to share. and now, having jumped down the rabbit hole, i'm so pleasantly surprised and emboldened by the fact that this could all actually lead me somewhere. i'm so grateful for the support and love of friends and family to push me further down the hole, to widen it, deepen it, feel around in all corners and crevices for new or more powerful ways to build upon the strengths i already have. in that vein, i've begun to build two separate websites - www.jillianschiavi.com will house all of my personal artistic work, writing, installations, as well as information about my yoga teaching. www.jillyink.tumblr.com will house all things jillyink - from tattoo designs to other freelance calligraphy/illustration work. take a look around both sites; they're both in progress (especially the tumblr page), but i'm very excited about the possibilities to come from both arenas.

alphabetical stamps

i can't remember what it was, but i was perusing one of the many design blogs that i love the other day, and came across a rather fun and perhaps brilliant idea.  you all know how much i enjoy making return address stamps for people - what if i expanded on that idea, and created custom/themed stamps for other occasions?  currently i'm working on designs for initial stamps - that is, a stamp that contains one hand-drawn letter to represent someone's first initial.  it's the cool, chic way to sign things nowadays, right?  what?  you haven't heard this?  well, it's a good thing you're reading this, because now you can order your own initial hand stamp and be in with all the cool kids.

 

 

here's what i've got so far... more letters to come, and perhaps some holiday themed stamps as well.  when they're all finished, i may even open up that little etsy shop i've been neglecting for quite a while.  what do you think?  is there any interest in custom-designed wooden-handled rubber stamps out there in the world?

 

cheers,

jilly

halloween treats

happy halloween everyone!  

copyright jillian schiavi 2010

 

such a good turnout for costumes and treats this past friday night.  here's what we had on tap:

 

 

the people: lollipop princess, medieval wench, monkfish, the windy man, annie hall, flapper, fireman, a banana within a banana, the oil spill, the late devil, sam adams, a bag of leaves, pulp fiction, general washington, art and gym, the sex pistols, gypsy, hermione granger and the nerd, the garden of eden, hamburger helper, the cat burglar, holmes and watson

 

 

the food: bacon brownies, savory puff pastry palmiers, pumpkin whoopie pies, cheddar-herb biscuits, cheese plate, curried butternut squash tart, apple crisp

 

enjoy the gorgeous weather and the rest of your haunting halloween weekend!

 

a new venture

good evening from the midwest!

so here i am in this lovely little city called chicago.  i've been tapping into my writer mind quite a bit (which makes sense, seeing as i'm here to, well, get a degree in writing), and just suddenly realized (with the help of a few persistent friends back east - you're right, you're right) that i haven't been on here in a while.  the truth is, i haven't been producing very much visual work of late, my time being taken up with story crafting and yoga practicing and lululemon lululemoning.  BUT.  i got a nice surprise in the mail the other day (ok, the other week - man time flies by in graduate school).  this past summer, for a few of my recently wedded friends, i designed custom made return address stamps as part of their gifts.  handwritten and consisting of their new names, these stamps were so much fun to create, and to see in their finished state.  so how lovely was it to receive a thank you note with the inked product on the back?  well, it was very lovely, thank you.

i'm thinking of producing these regularly, so if you know of anyone who would like a custom stamp, please forward the message on!  oh, and happy autumn - the past few weeks has been full of pumpkin scones, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread... with pumpkin carving to come this weekend.

cheers,

jilly

there's always next year

yes, unfortunately, earlier today, in the blistering cold of foxboro, massachusetts, my beloved new england patriots lost their first playoff game against the baltimore ravens.  it was a sad, sad game, and with it came the sad realization that another football season is yet again over before i'm ready.  being a new england fan in new york isn't easy (especially after the giants killed our near-perfect season with a surprise superbowl win a couple of years ago), but i do try to wear my colors proudly, even after admitting defeat at the end of a long and nail-biting season.  i don't know how much of you are sports fans, but there really isn't anything better than sunday afternoons spent yelling at a television, drinking a few beers and eating deliciously cheesy snack foods with friends (whether they be rooting for the same team or not). but now on to an entirely different subject.  are any of you as obsessed with wedding blogs as i have been for the last year or so?  some of the ideas that people come up with for their day of nuptials are truly spectacular; i don't think i've been quite as captivated with any other sort of styling than that i've seen of wedding ceremonies, receptions, rehearsal dinners, engagement shoots, etc.  it's all making me want to dive into the industry and become a wedding stylist.  what an amazingly beautiful job that would be - talking with a couple about their interests, ideas, visions, and then pulling together all the details to make it a visual representation of the day they've been planning in their minds.  i'm in love with blogs like once wed, style me pretty, 100 layer cake and green wedding shoes, all of which highlight photos and details from real weddings, musings on the various subjects involved in pulling a wedding together, inspiration boards, self-styled photo shoots, and various vendors in the field.  the girls behind these blogs must be in love with their jobs: spending hours looking at gorgeous photos from vintage, modern, rustic, french-inspired, carnival-esque, etc. events, building relationships with some of the most gifted and innovative wedding photographers, stationers, designers, and caterers, and just generally being around people in the business of promoting the love of two people.  in light of that, and because i'll be attending and participating in a few weddings myself this year, i've decided to devote sundays to posting what i've found beautiful, helpful, and inspiring in the wide world of wedding blogs.

to start off, a little while ago, oh so beautiful paper featured a real invitation by jefferson perky (incidentally, also the groom in that particular wedding), that absolutely blew me away.

some of you may recall how much i love autumn, and this woodgrain design captures the rustic and earthy qualities of the season in a very stylized and beautiful way.  i also adore the typography - it has a little 'alice in wonderland' feel, which brings a sense of whimsy to the theme.

if you want to see more, check out the perky bros. website, and read jefferson's take on the process of designing the invitations over on o.s.b.p.

{image credits: perky bros}

look for more wedding-inspired posts every sunday (unless i become completely overtaken, and feel the need to post more often), and i hope you all have a lovely week!

mmmm september

copyright jillian schiavi 2009 it's been a bit of a long hiatus, and a bit of a whirlwind end-of-summer for me.  from trips home to massachusetts, to a gorgeous and adventurous week in san francisco for the outside lands music festival, to visiting philadelphia and celebrating the start of 'fall' with friends and cocktails, i feel like august existed as part of a month-long dream, from which i just woke up, and it's suddenly the middle of september.

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

i absolutely love this time of year.  when i was younger (who am i kidding, if i had reason to do it now, i would), i used to go crazy for school supplies.  color coordinated binders, folders, notebooks (3-subject, college-ruled, 5 star), mechanical pencils, black (never blue) ink pens, the list goes on.  there's something refreshing, settling and exciting all at the same time about starting a new school year, and i've recently felt myself missing that sensation.  maybe i should have taken my father's teasing about becoming a teacher more seriously... really though, i think this itch means that it's about time i went back to graduate school.

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

i've always felt that if i was going to invest more time (and more time spent paying back more loans) into another degree, it would be for something i'm really passionate about.  something that i may not have looked at as a 'serious' point of study, perhaps because it's not regarded as particularly practical or career-oriented.  something that i've always loved to do, that i keep coming back to subconsiously; something that i've continually tried to integrate into various areas of my life.  now, there are 3 things that fit that description: performance (acting), writing and illustration.  if i could find a way to include all three into my graduate studies (and post-graduate career path), i would be ecstatic.  if it was possible to include two of the three, i would be thrilled.  if i could only focus on one, i would be immensely happy. 

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

whatever i'm able to find (and this is if i even get accepted to program), i know that fine art and illustration will be the main emphasis.  i'm still putting my portfolio together, and these are a few pieces that i'll be including for admission.  any feedback or suggestions would be more than welcome, and thank you for coming along with me on this (slightly trepidatious) journey!

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

sundays and sundaes

it's been the most beautiful weekend in new york.  i swear i caught a gust of autumn yesterday afternoon as i was walking towards the train to head uptown for a 'speak easy' themed party at a friend's apartment. autumn.  my eyes close and the corners of my mouth start to rise at the thought of crisp breezes and falling leaves; weather that's perfect enough to warrant just a sweater and a pair of jeans, curling up on a blanket in the park with a book and long sleeves that reach just down past your fingertips to prevent them from a chill.  hot chai.  apple crisp.  thanksgiving. i'm getting ahead of myself here, i know.

now we're in the back half of summer - august, usually the most abrasive of months in regards to heat, humidity, utter agony in an apartment that functions without air conditioning.  but surprisingly, and thankfully, this august has started off quite mild, with days like yesterday and today, sunny yet not overwhelmingly hot.  i'm dreading tomorrow, not just because it's another monday where 8 hours are spent tucked in an office and devoid of any real contact with the outdoors, but because i'm afraid this weather will forget itself as soon as the 'real world' calls us all back.  i certainly hope it doesn't.

one thing that this gorgeous weekend has provided (besides that sudden and elongated autumnal sensation) is a wonderful sense of inspiration.  i now know how to fill my very good friend andra's page for the sketchbook project: maps.  she's the most world and travel savvy person i know, so what better way to depict her than through a display of (most of) the places she's visited throughout the world.  here's the rough beginning.  i'm thinking of adding color - making it look a bit antiquated, like the maps of yore:

 

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

 

let me know what you think (and i apologize for the poor photo quality - these are all taken with my phone as a new camera is still a bit of a way's away), and have a lovely sunday night.

 

cheers,

jilly