Sometimes quotes and proverbs just speak to you, ya know? I have collected so many through the years, ones that uplift and inspire me, ones that make me smile. I have to think that I first got started enjoying quotes paired with illustration in the work of my childhood idol, Mary Engelbreit, whose wit and style was awe-inspiring to me. All through high school, my closest girlfriends and I would make eachother cards and draw our own cartoons, but it was the card designing and quote-scouring that really stuck with me. Later in college, I would get out my watercolors and pens and make cards pairing quotes with illustrations as a part of my classwork, and to send home to my family.
Digging through my Poetry 101 college tome, I earmarked gobs of potential bits of prose for my work. In Lithography class, every stone I etched had a quote—the work of Keats and of Shakespeare, Anaïs Nin and D.H. Lawrence—paired with an illustration. As I discovered new poetic muses, I practiced various illustration styles. This was well before I got into botanical art. I was taking figure drawing, glass blowing, all manner of design classes, and learning how to use the very first version of Photoshop on one of the early Mac computers, so even digital artwork was not safe from my quote-frenzy! Any boy I dated was surely the recipient of my handmade quote-y cards. (Wonder if they kept them?) My teachers were sort of baffled, but I knew what I wanted to do in my heart. It wasn’t the cutting edge design that they were teaching in school.
For a final class project in typography where we were instructed to use motion design on a computer, I animated the lyrics of “Night and Day” by the brilliant Cole Porter. I listened to the song over and over and over (the version I had was sung by Fred Astaire, so it is his voice in my head when I think about that project to this day!). There’s just something about beautiful language, inspiring thought, and wordplay that makes me wanna MAKE THINGS!
To that end... I’m creating more images for the Power Poppy shop that are a pairing of words and image. I will always give you a “blank” image without the quote to insert your own sentiment or design. But you will also get an image with my interpretation of the lettering. The first time I shared something along these lines, it was the Created to Create digital set for our April Instant Garden release. All of you clever artistas have been making the coolest projects with that set — whether using the quote I designed for the little sketchbook, or using the “blank” canvas to give the image a whole new look.
So, let’s see what you might do with this one, our May introduction: Seeds of Today!
I came across this quote, a proverb, at the website Tiny Buddha, which features all kinds of calming zen wonderfulness. It spoke to me. Do ya think it was the gardener in me that felt such a tinge when I read it? Or is it the human nature aspect, because wow, I think the words resonate!
In Seeds of Today, you get three images. One is the large quote with the sprouting vine encircling it. The second is the “blank” version of the flowerpot and vine, sans quote. The third is a little sentiment for a graduate, that you can tuck inside a card. It isn’t designed to fit inside the viney image, sorry folks, but you can pop something else if there if you’d like!
Three of our talented Instant Gardeners graciously created beautiful cards with my newest offering, which you can get lickity split, since it’s a digi set! Let’s go see what they’ve made!
Enjoy your tour, and maybe we can all take this proverb to heart... “All the flowers of all the tomorrows are planted in the seeds of today.” I’m using this for a graduation program to help out at my child’s grade school, because I think it will be just perfect. I’ll share it here after I get it all wrapped up today! (Always at the last minute...)
Addendum updated at 7:10pm: Between watching the kiddos’ baseball and softball games today, I got out my watercolors and sat in the garden to color this up! See photo at the very top of the post.
In Photoshop, I changed the opacity to 50%. Then when I printed onto Neenah Exact Vellum Bristol (from Office Depot in bulk!), I enlarged it 150%. I used my stepdad’s awesome set of Penguin watercolors that are dated 1974 on the exterior. They paint just as saturated and lush as can be; good as new! Or maybe even better.