Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Evolution of Design Style throughout Life Verse Design {thus far!}

 I just realized I never followed up on my statement to show you all the evolution process of my Life Verse Design style & how on earth it has transformed from vintage sepia tone, classic photography & design into bold, contemporary subway style typography.

I hope you enjoy the behind the scenes of a designer's mind!

In 2007 I began Life Verse Design by creating a body of work that is available in either sepia tone or black & white photography. I did this for a few reasons:

1. I wanted my work to be timeless & withstand long term home design. You know, a piece that would look gorgeous & not out-dated or trendy.

2. I wanted to create a body of work that had continuity that color photography could not offer. With my varied subject matter of the images {from baby feet to mountains}, I wanted to make sure that any image would still remain a part of the body of work & there would be an immediate "look & feel" to my line.

I first created full bleed images in which the text would overlay & interact with the imagery & elegant embellishments or scroll work. The photo was purposely meant to be seen first, and the text secondary as I wanted the viewer to come close, be intimate with the words & really meditate on them. I also used layers of textures & scratches to again emphasize the vintage & timeless feel of the art.

 I then started insetting the image into a vintage photo box surrounded by the beautiful scrolls & the text became more separate & simplified. A meditative & elegant feel remained, as simplicity reined.

 In 2008 I designed the above book, Red, White & Blue for Tyndale House Publishers. Since I LOVE textures, I decided to roughen up this political thriller with my scratches & yet soften the bold san serif typography with the embellishments since it was a book about a female presidential candidate.

At the same time, my big kids kept telling me, "Mom, you need more color in your art! Why is everything brown?!"

 So, I decided to do just that: combining the inset vintage photo frame edge, I could separate image from text & choose any palette I desired. I created an entire series of contemporary pieces for Demdaco, as I had presented my concept to them & they asked me to create a color line of art cards {which were never produced}. You will see my key elements of scratches & embellishments remain to continue the vintage tie. But now, after working on several contemporary book covers & using LOTS of bold, san serif fonts, I thought this was pretty fun to switch the emphasis from viewing the photo first & text second, to viewing the text first & photo second.

Then came the problem of wanting to create several really powerful quotes that I did not see "marry" an image. {You see, my imagery always has a purpose to the quote: it is never simply eye candy or a pretty picture...} Plus, I wanted to start reaching a different audience: men for one thing + customers who have a more modern style feel. I continued to play with the bold typography & let the quote speak for itself. I could not get rid of the textures though, as I am a texture girl at heart. So, I worked with my oil pastel backgrounds & created an all new color palette that the customer could choose themselves to fit their home decore needs. I dropped the photography all together, and yet kept the swirls as it makes the type move & the scratches which still give it a timeless quality to it. So, this line is my "Words to Move You" : subway art with an elegant twist.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed a peek into my brain.

OH & you can see in this post the 3 versions of The Serenity Prayer I offer... how different & yet how similar they are. Which one would you prefer?

Grace & Peace,

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Diving into College {High School Senior Photography : Downers Grove}

I am chuckling at myself as I try my best to think of clever titles for my blog posts... not always a natural thing for me, but this one is oh-so-perfect! I had the joy of photographing a handsome young man who is also a future diver at the University of Michigan! I felt like I was shooting a future Olympian! He was a breeze: very comfortable in front of the camera & quite photogenic, not always something you can say about a high school senior. There are many more, but here's just a sampling of some of my favorites!

Grace & Peace,

Friday, May 17, 2013

Adorable One Year Old {Downers Grove Photography}

This week I had the joy of photographing my friend's one year old. {You may remember their adorable family from their red couch photos & beautiful adoption art}. The above photo cracked me up, I decided to write some captions for it... what would you have him saying?!

 I always love seeing the one year olds standing & it's also fun to see how they interact with a balloon.

 Daddy came solo as mama was out of town & he did good. I love the shot of Daddy & his boys. Then Baby K had just had it, so I did some new photos of his big brothers.

 The above is seriously one of my favorite photos I have ever taken. This little man is honestly one of my favorite people to photograph. He comes alive in front of the camera & is a beautiful child. I love the above not only for his adorable smile, but for capturing the moment when his Daddy was telling him a story to make him laugh. It was so sweet.

And, here is the "middle child"... oh, those eyes! He is more reserved than big bro, but can still pull off the cheese smile no sweat.

Love you guys! Happy Birthday Little K!

Grace & Peace,

Friday, May 3, 2013

Helping those with a Heart for Adoption

I have had a heart for adoption since watching 20/20 or Dateline news shows as a teenager. I remember one in particular where a photographer did black & white portraits of orphans & I thought, if I see one more photo of a beautiful child, I may scoop them all up.

We are still trying to figure out what my heart for adoption means for our own family, but in the meantime, it has been my joy to help support those adopting through my gift of art.

The above art is traveling to Africa on Monday. My friend & her hubby are off to bring their son home and she asked me to create a piece for the orphanage director. She went on to explain how so many children die while waiting to be placed into a home & how truly they are the forgotten ones. But those dear & selfless orphanage directors who selflessly love & care for those children do not forget.

So, this memorial is to write the names of those children who have passed away in their arms so they will not be forgotten. The other heart breaking thing is that she requested the piece be large and yet has to fit in a suitcase. Friends, there are that many children.

{art available here}
Here is some of the adoption art I have created inspired by my friends who have adopted.

And, I also wanted to announce that this entire month, I am partnering with the Sparrow Fund, an organization who helps support families who are in the process of adoption. 10% of all proceeds will be donated to their incredible ministry. So, start shopping!

If you are adopting or fundraising for another ministry cause, feel free to contact me about a fun new fundraising idea I have that you can partner with Life Verse Design!

Grace & Peace,