I’m finally starting to figure it out. I’ve talked before about developing a personal illustration style, and branding. When I first started branching out into the business of illustration and surface design, I was all over the map. I couldn’t really find my style in terms of how I was drawing, what colors or techniques I liked. And that’s understandable. I hadn’t illustrated anything for almost 20 years! My first foray into branding was born out of making a watermark/logo for my Society 6 shop:
I had been working so long as a graphic designer and knew logotypes like the back of my hand, but I wanted to incorporate my illustrations so people knew what I was about. It’s okay. It did the trick. I liked it, but I’ve grown out of it into something that is more comfortably me.
I had included the owl because he is cute and funny, but I had also recognized that all the illustrators and surface designers that I followed were really into drawing woodland creatures.
I still love drawing characters. It’s natural for me, but over the years, a lot changed. The catalyst for me was when I completed a bright floral abstract pattern collection based on very organic mark making that I blogged about here.
Not only did I get some good feedback on this, but I felt that it was a breakthrough for me in letting loose.
In addition, I realized, as I spent time getting ready for my first Surtex show, that over two years I have really developed a consistent brand style. And it all started with Pinterest. In a Creative Live class taught by the lovely Megan Auman, we did an exercise on making a brand board for ourselves. This is mine. Who know I loved pink so much?
The purpose of the Pinterest exercise was to find our target audience. Shocker, the target customer is me! And yours is probably you!
This was an aha moment for me. I am a weirdo, and this comes across in my board. I also really like bright colors and unusual materials, and imagery. Oh yeah, and a lot of neon.
It really shows in my work:
Over the year, I found a great joy in creating my own hand done typography and mark making/drawing icons for pattern use. Because I believe it is my best work to date, my debut collection for the bolt fabric market, Abstract Florals, is the base for all my collateral look and feel. And is the sole focus of my printed portfolio for the show. I didn't realize I was doing this, but in putting together my package for Surtex, I realize that I finally found my voice with typography, color and style It’s a color explosion just tike me: Dawn Gonzales, Illustrator, aka pom pom lady! I have not seen HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS yet, but I do know that I will attempt to wear my home made triangle scarf with fringe in the style of Sally Field as the lead character. And maybe my cat eye classes.
As a side note, I have been teaching a lot of craft workshops and participating in craft fairs throughout this year. I finally have a kiT of parts display that shows what I am all about: it’s very craft driven, colorful and totally me. I love making things with my hands, up-cycling, and mixed media. It seems like my booth identity for all my classes relate! In fact, two weeks ago at the up cycle event, I had a great interest in my hand made banner that I displayed to call attention to my printmaking booth. I conveniently directed the people who commented on it to my workshop on how to craft the banner last Saturday. It’s all related! I try to wear my pom-poms, or duct tape jewelry whenever I can for the same reason. It all goes together and helps promote my brand.
Anyway, Lets jump to today. Look at all this stuff! I’ve created business cards, postcards, stickers, a blurb book, scarves and zippered phone cases. Does it look like it all came from the same place? I think so. By George, I think I've got it!
I hope you enjoy this video flip of my blurb book.
I’ll see you at Surtex 2016, Booth 427. If you are local and would like to learn more about branding your art business through social media, please take my class at THE RICHMOND ART CENTER this summer. It will be a two hour introductory class of the best ways to talk about your art and create a streamlined brand across three social platforms: Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I’d love to see you there.
After that, as I mentioned in my previous post, I am so excited to be teaching a Summer Camp class for Rosie’s Girls about branding, design and marketing. We are going to make a display booth for their on going events. Guess those 15 years of environmental design came in handy! (Universe, have I told you lately that I love you?)
Thank you for reading. Go out there and be you in all your neon pink, duct taped pom-pommed glory! Good luck for all of you who will be in NYC exhibiting your work. I’ll look for you!