handwritten invitations - still a thing of the present

IMG_2781 last monday, i had the pleasure of visiting the ladies and gents of zapwater communications, sit in their sunlit , exposed brick office, and pen out 18 handwritten invitations to a sneak preview of one of their client's new restaurant ventures. it always amazes me how much longer it takes to complete work like this than i'd originally thought. after just 6 short hours, i finished all 18 invitations and envelopes, to be hand-delivered that afternoon. that, and a delicious lemon chocolate chip scone from little goat down the street made my day pretty awesome.

 

 

 

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design crush

i've just been, you know, browsing the interwebs for hours on end, looking at gorgeously designed paper products for inspiration and general soul-quenching purposes, and holy gorgeous have i found something beautiful to share with you. let's dig into this paper design crush session with the imagination and logic that makes up cindy and carl, the couple behind bliss and bone. bliss&bone-reverence std

 

{bliss & bone - reverence suite save the date}

 

i'm in love with everything about this design firm - from the webpage layout, the photos that make you wonder, 'is this a paper design company, or a clothing company, or a fine arts photographer's site?', to the actual, innovative, super unique designs themselves. each suite is only available for one year, so if you choose them, you know you're getting something that won't be around the block tons of times. and honestly, it's the kind of stuff that people will most likely keep on the fridge for a while afterwards, because it's all just so gosh darned beautiful (and i'm sure, really fun to touch).  plus, cindy admits to wearing lululemon while she works, and being a yoga instructor/employee of the company/designer from my own home studio, i can tell you one thing - girl knows how to be comfortable, and stylish. i feel like we'd be friends, if i lived in hollywood hills. anyway, take a look, and gush with me over these suites:

 

the devoir suite - very parisienne (which, of course, i love love love):

 

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the effloresce suite - rorschache-inspired, deep colors, bold lettering that doesn't weigh too heavily on the paper

 

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the lucent suite - very light, airy, loose lettering juxtaposed with laser cut block letters, set amidst a rosy color palette

 

 

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i also love that they include style guides with their invitation suites (and website design, by the way). i might start incorporating that into my own design process. can't wait to see what's in store for them in the coming years!

 

a stationer's dream anniversary

you always remember your first... anniversary. it's special, memorable, fresh in the mind. but the traditional gift isn't necessarily something that most people get all excited about. paper. it's not quite as shiny or sparkly as the jewel years, or the precious metal years. but, as a self-proclaimed paper lover myself, i can't help but think that this one might actually be the best. sure, a lot of people most likely go the traditional book route, but there's so much room for creativity with this one, that it's almost a shame to waste it with something typical. i've had the pleasure to work with two very creative ladies on their first anniversary gifts to their husbands, and while they're both very different takes on the traditional gift, i think they're both incredibly special pieces that will eventually travel with each couple as they move forward beyond this first year of matrimony.

photo (2)for meredith, she wanted her and her husband's vows written out as 'something beautiful, in a romantic script'. they both wrote their own vows - and he even paused in the middle to play the guitar, a gesture that surely brought tears to more than just her eyes - and cherished those words so much that having them hung on their walls was a no-brainer.

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we decided on gray ink (a prevalent color in their wedding decor) and slanted script. i'm so pleased at how thrilled she is with the final result, and i'm sure the prints look even more beautiful framed, and on the walls of their home.

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IMG_3721danielle, my dear wonderful cousin, contacted me with a super unique idea for her first anniversary gift. her husband bobby has a side passion for dj-ing, so her thought was to have the lyrics of their first dance song- songbird - written out to look like a vinyl record. this was so much fun to create, and i'm in love with the progression of the script around the outside of the record. they just celebrated this past weekend, so congratulations danielle and bobby!

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i'm currently working on a super different wedding guest 'book' for a special bride, and i can't wait to see what other interesting and lovely and personal commissions come my way!

 

paper and pen crush

i've been doing a lot of perusing around the stationery world recently (and by recently, i really mean for the better part of the last three years), and i just have to remark on some of the lovely work that's kept my eyes trained on the screen (sometimes at the sacrifice of doing my own work... it's all in the name of inspiration, right?). pitbulls1

pitbulls and posies - an la-based paper goods and design shop run by amber moon (who seems to love her hippy-esque name just as much as i did upon first glancing at it). i love the mixture of softness and edge that permeate all of their projects. some of my favorites include the deconstructed chevron pattern with sequins suite for an elopement announcement, and their desert mod invite suite, full of vibrant colors, tumbleweed silhouettes, and a playful layout.

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~~~

neither snow1

neither snow - this lady's penmanship is breathtaking. all at once whimsical, fluid, edgy, and graceful, it's so utterly romantic, it makes complete sense why people would want her script on their invitation designs, or their bodies. i'm in love love with the parisian wedding for which she scripted dinner menus, place cards, and table numbers on distressed vases. it's all so timeless and fluid, organic and wistful, almost melancholic. i tend to draw a lot of inspiration from things that have those traits, and mara's hand is one of them.

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just a little eye-candy to keep you occupied for the rest of your afternoon, as you look longingly out the sunny window and wish you had an extension cord long enough to bring you outside to finish your work... err, or that could be just me. either way, happy wednesday!

gaga for gatsby

recently i was asked (by the lovely ladies of soiree weddings & events) to contribute to a 20s themed wedding vendor spotlight in honor of the highly anticipated dicaprio and mulligan great gatsby premier. i couldn't have been more excited. if i could pick any other era to live in, it would definitely have been the golden, roaring, fringe and feather, pearl and diamond clad 1920s (new york or paris, that's the real question). in preparation for the chalkboard lettering, i started doing some research on art deco fonts, and discovered a few that i immediately fell in love with. herewith - the ones i drew inspiration from, along with some deco-esque lines and accoutrements:

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seriously - isn't pinterest the best? so many resources to draw from. after three hours in the zapwater communications meeting room, here's what i came up with:

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i'm now thoroughly obsessed with art deco lettering. i'm sure you'll see more inspiration and influences on here in the future. until then, go get yourselves some tickets to the great gatsby (opening tomorrow!) - it was simply splendid, gorgeous, and full of life.

{other vendors that contributed to the lovely evening: soiree weddings & events, be u weddings & brides, mignonette, pure kitchen catering, goose island catering, cage & aquarium, fig media, pistil & vine}

the wedding march, a soiree event

soiree banner tablescapes and stemline table

yesterday i had the most amazing opportunity to be a part of the vendor list for the wedding march, an event hosted by soiree weddings and events of chicago. soiree, spearheaded by the amazing tiffany munster, and aided in a large part by the talented molly blonn and rebecca niziol, brought together an impressive array of talented chicagoans to curate a wedding event at the gorgeous floating world gallery space. the event included a florist (see: stemline creative), sweets services (sugar chic designs), dj, photobooth company, photographer, stationer, catering company (fig - so delicious), bridal workout gurus, and many more.

quinn cutler menu

iris finch menu

for my part, i was asked to script and create menus for the center stage table that stemline and tablescapes put together. i had so much fun drawing these up, and then deciding on names for all the guests. i'd love to work on more projects like this, so if all you brides out there need calligraphy services for any paper portion of your wedding, i'm your girl!

bubbles sign

 

invitations - lululemon style

IMG_3382 i recently had the opportunity to design some invitations for a lululemon athletica ambassador event, for the 900 n michigan store in chicago. i love love love all of that store's ambassadors (namely because i know all of them, and have taken all their amazing yoga, pilates, spin classes), and so this project held a special place in my heart. i hope you have fun learning all about the lululemon culture, amber cook, rebecca niziol, antonia desantis, tracy zindell (check out her gorgeous jewelry in her etsy shop too), jenny finkel, jessical aiken, and the token gentleman, mike thomson!

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a different way to say i love you

valentine's day is right around the corner. of course, how could anyone miss it? as soon as the last of the confetti was thrown from rooftops on new year's eve, pink heart-shaped pieces of construction paper began to line the windows of nearly every store - from nail salons to the corner deli to every stationary shop in this town. while i don't quite agree with the amount of pressure that these two back-to-back holidays inevitably assume, i do always think any inclination to let the people in your life know how much you love and appreciate and value and lust after them is good. so, without further ado, the jilly ink valentine suite, currently available in the shop:

'darling don't you know - i fucking love you' cards - $4.50

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'oh baby - oh you kill me' cards - $4.50

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'oh shit - ok - fine - i love you' cards - $4.50

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love stickers! $3 per sheet of 24 stickers

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happy loving!

feel it in my bones

bathroom prints last weekend was my second showing at second fridays down in pilsen, at the lovely and welcoming and gorgeous space at both sides gallery. last month, i showed my wooden-books story installation piece, which was met with a wonderfully positive response.

pelvis illustration

femur bone illustration

calligraphy prints

this time around, i showed an edited version of that piece, along with some screenprints made while at saic, and a few cheeky custom illustration and calligraphy prints.

framed pelvis illustration

framed femur bone illustration

framed calligraphy prints

making these was so much fun. so much fun, that i think i'll prop open my massive gray's anatomy book (bought for $2 at the brown elephant in chicago), and start scouring for some more bones to to pair with suggestive phrases..

 

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

 

spooky address stamp

i had so much fun designing this return address stamp. a dear friend of mine wanted to give a gift that spoke to this couple's love of all things halloween and 'day of the dead'. is it a coincidence that their last name also fits into this theme? i'm not sure, but i sure love how this all came together! happy stamping!

manifesto - lululemon style

a few weeks ago, my dear friend (and amazing, inspiring, ridiculously hilarious woman) leigh trombley invited me to come in to the brand (spanking) new lululemon on newbury street (of which she is the inaugural manager) in boston to paint an excerpt from the lululemon manifesto in their back room.

i have to say, so much of this manifesto speaks to me personally; i've preached it to friends, i've shared it through my yoga classes, and i'm living it by following my passions. here are a few photos of the finished product.

thank you so much, leigh, for having me in your new home. and thank you to the phenomenal team at the newbury street lululemon, for welcoming me in, and inspiring me with your goals, your visions, and your follow-through!

tattooing like whoa

these are all currently up on my tumblr and instagram (@jillyink) accounts, but i thought it'd be a good idea to post them here too - i'd love to share with you all the plethora of custom tattoo designs i've been drawing for people all over the world in the last few weeks. here we go!

{'wait and hope' for reed dunn}

{'friendship: one mind, two bodies' for two best friends}

{infinity symbol with 'memere' and '1.23' to commemorate kate lindsley's grandmother}

{'life/love' infinity symbol with feather detail for megan quesenberry}

{'non est ad astra mollis e terris via' translation: 'there is no easy path from earth to the stars' for shannon}

{'time bomb' last-minute design for megan holly}

this is all so surreal, and amazing. i love being able to share what i love with so many people. keep the commissions coming! more calligraphy, wedding-style, is on the way as well! cheers.

tattooed in uganda

(His angels will guard us in all our ways - for melinda ozongwu)

the other day, a lovely woman named melinda emailed me from uganda. she was on her way to london, and while there, was planning to get a phrase tattooed on her forearm. the design was finalized, the appointment was made, everything was ready. and then, so she says, she stumbled upon this blog. and overhauled her entire design. what an honor it was to take up the task of creating something she could really fall in love with. something that she'd look at every day, and know that taking the extra steps to make it perfect was well worth it. personally, i think it looks just lovely.

getting inky

(earth, wind, fire, water, moon - for alex raffael)

sometimes how we envision things happening doesn't end up being the case. in fact, this happens most of the time. if, a year ago, someone was to tell me i'd be receiving weekly commissions to draw and design words and pictures that people all over the world would be permanently marking themselves with, i'd have thought that sounded amazing, and completely unbelievable. well, now, just seven months after designing my own, first tattoo, i am happily occupied with translating ideas, words, and images into tattoos. i love it. of course, now i can't imagine not thinking of this in the first place.

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(tattooed version of this design - for jessica silva)

here are a few recent tattoos that i've designed, and as always, i welcome many more to come.

('bird' - for katie prange)

(meaning 'to live life passionately and unafraid - for megan mateer)

wedding guest tree: ms. buryk and mr. borchert

this past weekend was the darling wedding of darling friends alexis buryk and scott borchert (see their spotlight in the ny times!). having been friends since our nyu days, alexis and i are now both about to gather our mfa's in writing from the school of the art institute of chicago. she is one of my dearest and closest and most wonderful friends, and i was honored not only to be a part of her wedding party, but also to be asked to create the wedding guest 'book'.

instead of a traditional page-turner, she and scott decided they'd rather be able to look at something that spoke to their wedding day in a very unique way, so they chose to present a tree that guests could fill in with thumbprint 'leaves' and a note for the couple. it turned out lovely, just like the day itself. congratulations scott and alexis, and may this tree be a constant reminder of the vast circle of supporters and loved ones who will honor your union every step of the way.

 

(ps. be on the lookout for new additions/sections to my jillyink etsy shop - coming soon!)

a very 'creative' tattoo design

this is the highest honor - to be able to design something so personal for someone else that they'd want to, they'd plan to put it on their body permanently. the other day, a lovely lady named jenifer contacted me via etsy to ask if i could design the word 'create' in the same manner as the 'love stamp' that's currently for sale in my shop. just two short days later, we came to a final decision - and just in time, since she's got a tattoo appointment today!

 

congratulations jenifer, and thank you for allowing me to be a part of this moment!

danielle and bobby: envelopes are on their way

my darling, lovely, hilarious, gorgeous cousin danielle is getting married this coming june to an equally wonderful, funny, fun, handsome fellow, and they asked me to help in the preparations by addressing their wedding invites. this being something i love, of course i said yes! here are the final envelopes, about to be packed up with a bow and shipped back to massachusetts where they'll be stuffed and sent out to the world. many many congratulations to danielle and bobby - i can't wait to see them tie the knot this spring!