Design Showcase: Seven Sevens eBook by Devi Anne Moore

This past fall/winter, a friend of mine put me in touch with a local artist and teacher, Devi Anne Moore, a devoted follower of Christ who felt a calling to “paint” the Book of Revelation 25 years ago. The artwork that came from her study of John’s vision is a series of mixed-media paintings/collages/sculptures that can only be described as breathtaking. She’s exhibited her work throughout the country and received numerous awards and accolades, and for the past few years she’s been eager to produce an ebook of the series to share her vision with the church around the world. She asked me to design the layout for her book and produce a PDF ebook that she could sell on her website.

Devi has divided her work into seven groups of seven “paintings.” Each group represents a different section or subtext of Revelation: for instance, the opening of the seven seals described in chapters six through eight, and the seven women mentioned throughout the book. So I created seven separate eBooks that are available for purchase separately or as a complete set. Each book includes Devi’s prayerful thoughts on the book of Revelation as a whole, as well as specific notes on each piece of work.

The title page of the first ebook, The Seven Letters to the Seven Churches.

A two-page spread from the first ebook, The Seven Letters to the Seven Churches.

It was truly an honor to work with Devi on this project, which I know was not only a labor of love but an act of worship. Not only did I get to help her bring her dream to fruition, I was inspired by her determination and dedication to her calling. She made me want to devote myself even more to encouraging others through art, as she’s done in her life.

Design Showcase: Tattoos

My brother turns forty this week, and to celebrate he got a new tattoo. I was very flattered (and kind of nervous!) when he asked me to come up with a couple of design options for him. He wanted an image that would incorporate the initials of his three daughters: I L K I M E. Originally he’d considered doing just a straight line of text but then decided he wanted something with a little more flair. So I whipped up three very different ideas:

I L K I M E tattoo design option 1

Option #1 This sketch is indicative of my default style – lots of flourishes and shading. If you look over my shoulder during a business meeting, you’ll see something like this in the margins of my notes. The only problem with this sketch, in my opinion, is that it’s a little too soft and “girly.” My brother’s other tattoos have harder edges and are more tribal in their style.

I L K I M E tattoo design option 2

Option #2 I did half a dozen versions of this design and finally had to decide on one as my favorite. I was going for a more primitive feel, like a woodcut print. Can you still pick out the letters?

I L K I M E tattoo design option 3

Option #3 Probably my favorite out of the three because I think it matches my brother’s style the best. The letters are easily identifiable, and because I did this on the computer rather than sketching it by hand, it has an industrial hard-edged look but the shapes formed by the clusters of letters make it look like an abstract, almost alchemical design.

I wasn’t sure which design he was going to go with until I received pictures of the final product. When I did get his picture-mail-text I was THRILLED with how it turned out:

I L K I M E tattoo final

As you can see, his tattoo artist took option #3 and edited it to make the letters even more recognizable and added texture and shading to make the piece look really tough. This is a great example of artistic collaboration – one person came up with a concept, someone else spun a couple of options, and a third person took it to the finish line – all three of us made it happen, and all three of us expressed ourselves through the final design. Love it!

Seven Quick Takes – Pictures Edition

7 Quick Takes Friday - Hosted at

1. I listed my very first crafty-type-thingie on Etsy! Y’all, I’m not sure if I’m doing this etsy thing right or not – well, I’ve got buying stuff down, because I’m good at buying stuff, but I’m not so good at selling stuff, at least not on this particular site. We’ll see what comes of it. Anyway, take a moment to ooh and ahh at my nifty holiday sketch, which I turned into nifty holiday cards that hopefully someone or several someones will like enough to buy.

(Click to embiggen.)

2. Earlier this week we went to my in-laws for dinner and a good bottle of wine. When the wine bottle was empty, Gee Money decided it needed to be his toy:

Please don’t tell Child Protective Services. KTHX.

3. If you have cats, you know that everything in your house is either a cat bed or a cat toy. Case in point, my evil kittens in the laundry basket:

This was AFTER I kicked them out of the basket so I could put away the clean clothes that were neatly folded in it. No outfit is complete without cat hair, yes?

4. My baby is a Jedi Master:

You know you’re jealous.

5. This one’s just cute. My hubby, Gee Money, and one of our dogs – watching NASCAR!

6. What’s that, you ask? I let my baby watch TV? Yeah, I do. See, here’s more pictoral evidence:

Again, please don’t call the authorities on me.

7. Lastly, Gee and his Lamby:

He REALLY loves stuffed animals. And that particular lamb is really fun because it’s squishy and cuddly and also has a bell around its neck that makes lots of noise. Cuddles + noise = toddler heaven.

Quick Take 7.5: Gee Money had his 15-month check up this week (um, a month late… but who’s counting?) and I talked to the doctor about the fact that he’s not walking, and not really pulling up either. She says nothing seems to be “wrong” with him physically or mentally, especially since he’s hitting other milestones and is obviously bright, happy, and curious. His muscles, however, seem rather loose and untoned, and he’s VERY flexible – the fancy doctor term she used for this was “benign congenital hypotonia.” She referred us to our city’s early intervention program so we can get him evaluated and perhaps do some physical and/or occupational therapy. The good news is that he is still making advancements and learning new things, so I am not TOO worried about him. I know that when he does start walking, I will be in big trouble!

Go see Jen for more Quick Takes!

Design Showcase: Invitations

If there’s anything I enjoy more than a good party, it’s PLANNING a good party. Half the fun of the event is picking out decorations, making the yummy food, and (for an art nerd like me) designing the invitations. Here are a few invites I’ve done over the past couple of years:

Shower invite front - image of a mama's pregnant belly with her hands forming the shape of a heart over the belly button.

Shower invite back - date, place, time, RSVP info

Click on the images to see the full-size artwork. And remember that every time someone steals a picture off the internet, Jesus kills a hamster.

Baby shower invite for a very good friend of mine. Interestingly, I found out I was pregnant just a few weeks before the shower, and my son was born six months after my friend delivered her little angel.

Emma's First Birthday Party Invitation - picture of a super cute lil girl

Here’s the invitation for that little angel’s first birthday party. Emma’s photograph was taken by her auntie.

When my son turned one, we had a Star-Wars-themed party:

Garrett's First Birthday Party Invite - The front has a picture of Darth Vader and says, "Come to the Dark Side, we have cupcakes."

I was super-stoked to find that Star Wars font. I love the internet!

And here’s the design for the thank you cards I sent out after Garrett’s party:

A Very Jedi Thank You

And yes, that’s my cute lil booger in the picture, chillin’ with his BFF, Yoda.

Not really an invitation, but in the same vein: tickets for a fundraiser that a friend organized at her church:

Tickets for a "Ladies' Tea" fundraiser

Lastly, here’s an invite for a Halloween shindig I threw a couple years ago:

Halloween party invite - featuring a black cat and a cauldron!

And in case you’re wondering, YES, I drew that black cat. Neat, huh? Looking at this invite reminds me that I need to start planning THIS year’s party…

A Note from Heaven

Believe it or not, I enjoy these sort of commissions the most. Anytime that someone reaches out to me in their grief and allows me to help ease their pain by honoring their loved one’s memory… well, it’s a great privilege.

Last week, a coworker asked me to create a suitable background for a poem that he and his wife wanted to frame and give to a neighbor, a good friend who was recently widowed. My coworker mentioned that his late friend loved Italy, so a vineyard theme might work well. I searched Deposit Photos for appropriate artwork, and purchased two vector images that were perfect for the project. I edited the images in Adobe Illustrator, added the poem, and here we have the final product:

A papyrus scroll and quill, surrounded by grapes and grapevines.

Fonts used: Palatino (classic!) and English 111 Vivace. Click on the image to see the full-size version, and always remember: sweet baby Jesus weeps at the thought of intellectual property theft.

My coworker and his wife were very pleased with the final product, and were planning to give the framed poem to their friend this weekend. I look forward to hearing what she thought.

New Artwork – Golden Sunrise and Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

I’m very proud of this project. A friend’s son is getting married soon, and I was commissioned to design the invitations for the rehearsal dinner, which will be held at a lovely little club right on the beach at Dam Neck.

First, I created a colored pencil drawing of a sun risingĀ over a tumultuous sea:

Golden Sunrise

I used Prismacolor pencils on Strathmore sketch paper. Click on the image to see a larger version. And remember – baby Jesus hates people who steal art off the internet.

I scanned and edited the image a bit to make it just right, then I did the layout and typography for the invitations in Adobe Illustrator:

Rehearsal Dinner Invite

Fonts used: Parisian and Phyllis. Again, click on the image to see the full-size version.

We had the invitations printed by Business Document Solutions – great folks to work with, by the way, if you’re in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area. My client was so tickled with the final product that he had me design directional placards and seating cards for the event with the same sunset image!

Feedback, please – what do you think?