This blog has always been about family life, gratitude and positive thinking. In amongst that I’ve always talked openly about my faith in Jesus and what it means to me.
Now I’ve moved this blog forwards to be more faith + personal growth focussed, I felt this new season needed a new visual blog header design to match it.
Choosing the designer for the task was a no brainer really. Bekki Flaherty is a member of my church, super talented and right under my nose in Yeovil. I’ve used her business, Love Lettered by Bekki before, she did amazing calligraphy work for me when I wrote some poems for my children and seeing her work on social media and on Etsy meant I knew she could do design work too.
I tasked Bekki with designing a new blog header in a botanical style with greens and whites as my main colours. For me my faith grounds me and keeps me calm, which for me green and white ‘says in colour form’ if that makes sense?
I asked Bekki to tell me abit about her blog header design process (because I’m so interested in step by step guides and behind the story myself and I thought you might enjoy it too.)
Over to Bekki:
“Staying inspired as an artist is almost a full time job in itself and I’ll admit that I do find it hard to step away from my desk and give my eyes and mind the time they need to drift and soak up fresh inspiration!
“The first and most important source (but the hardest to make time for) is from real life and the things I spot whilst out and about. I never go anywhere without my smartphone which has a fantastic camera and I am always snapping flowers, leaves, patterns, colours, and pretty much anything that looks pretty and colourful or just makes me smile. Some of the photos I use just for inspiration, but I also use digital drawing techniques on some photos, especially florals and foliage, to create vector artwork for use in my surface pattern design work.
“The second source of inspiration is of course, Pinterest. Who doesn’t love spending more time than they care to admit browsing through the never ending stream of images on there! I have several inspiration boards for things like watercolour, florals, lettering, colour palettes and pattern design which are great for helping me keep everything organised and easy to find when I need some quick inspiration. The great thing about Pinterest is it is full of pins that other people love too, so it is a good way of staying‘relevant’and making sure that I am in the loop on what is trending in design at the moment. Succulents, anyone?? For personal projects of course, I just go with whatever is inspiring me without worrying about how‘ontrend’ it is or how many likes it might get, but when researching commercial work, it’s important to be thinking about mass appeal.
“The third thing that I do for any commercial project is to research what is out there already. This might be a trip into town to browse through greetings cards, or invitations if that’s something that I’m designing or in this case with Lizzie, I asked her to send me some screen shots other headers and branding packages she liked to give me an idea of the direction she wanted to go in.
“Although I might often directly copy someone else’s artwork if I’m trying to learn a new technique or improve my skills, in order to make sure that any public/commercial work I do is my own take on something and not a copy of someone else’s, once I have done my initial research on Pinterest I only have a quick skim though it and then set it aside before starting to draw or paint so that I’m not too heavily influenced by one design or another. As artists, all we can ever do is pick small ideas and elements from a range of sources and put them together to make something‘new.’As Picasso once said“Art is theft” and Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes puts it this way:
9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look!This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
“I love the truth that whatever I draw, whether it’s flowers growing in my own garden or palm leaves from my holiday snaps, I am in fact just copying the creations of our Creator, God himself. Anything we can ever create has already been created by him.
“I knew Lizzie wanted mostly leaves and greenery in her design, which made me happy as leaves are my favourite thing to paint and actually the thing I always start with as a warm up exercise! I pretty much always paint individual elements when painting florals and use them as‘clipart’which I then piece together on the computer after scanning them in. My sketchbooks are pretty much just pages and pages of florals, foliage and other doodles which I scan and edit and then use to make arrangements or patterns with.
“Once I have all the individual pieces for the design it’s then just a case of putting them all together and tweaking the layout until it looks just right. I shared the initial layout with Lizzie to check I was heading in the right direction and then it was on to the lettering.
“We decided to go for a handwritten name rather than us a typed font to give it a more personal feel. Although I do a lot of real handwritten calligraphy and brush lettering with a dip pen or brush and ink for wedding place cards, I use an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil for all my digital hand lettering as handwritten calligraphy doesn’t scan as well. I absolutely love working this way and it was a real game changer being able to sketch and refine designs over and over without having to use half a forest in the process each time!
“I love how the header turned out but also enjoyed working with Lizzie on it too. I make my own graphics for my website, but there’s something really energising and creative about having someone else involved in the choices and direction that the project takes, and it’s really exiting to be able to do the final“Ta-da!”When you hand the finished files over!”
I absolutely love my new blog header, the sheer amount of thought and work that Bekki put into it is incredible. She grasped what I was hoping to achieve and delivered way and above my hopes, dreams and expectations.
It may sound silly but I feel ready now to do the task set before me. The blog is ready and so am I.
See more of Bekki’s amazing, beautiful work on her website, Love Lettered.
Also, you can check out her social media profiles through the links below:
And, if you’d love to own some of Bekki’s art, she’s kindly designed this FREE printable for me to give away to you! Simply click on the image below to go to the PDF download.