Midsummer Night's Dream Inspired Shoot

So grateful to have been a small part of this romantic and gorgeous shoot.
Midsummer Night's Dream was probably my favorite back when I was in school.. I almost jumped up and down when I saw the photos. Breathtaking!

Here are some shots of my contributed work - some of which are not included in the feature. 
See the whole feature here!

Vendors :
photography: Leighanne Herr // venue: Chateau Cocomar Houston, Texas // event design: Leighanne Herr and Dolce Designs // florals: Flora&Eventi // hair + makeup: Sunkissed and Madeup // dress: A & Bé Bridal Shop // paper aisle runner + invitation suite: Kelly Lee Design // ring: Trumpet and Horn // shoes: Bella Belle Shoes // cape: Minaree Finery // veil: Gossamer // men’s suit: Nordstrom // flower crown: Love, Sparkle, Pretty // cakes: Dolce Designs // tables + chairs: Aztec Rentals // cake table + candleholders: The Borrowed Flea // ribbon: Silk and Willow // models: Lauren Toppe and Isaac Thomas // film lab: Richard Photo Lab

POD Box is here.

  

As always, I'm lucky to have such great friends who support what I do and always push me to be better. As I was burning the midnight oil on other projects, my friend Jenna, who knows me inside and out, said I should create a service where people submit their dreams and stories to me, through which I would create a one-of-a-kind (no duplicates) illustration pieces for them to purchase.

I should go back a little. A month ago, I wanted to start designing a piece for Pod Illustrations, my online shop that focused on raw brush lettering. I didn't want to letter out just anything, so I asked my cousin (who is a very talented creative writer) to write out a piece for me to use as content. 

Then, just a couple days ago, my friend Jenna was talking about how she's been having such vivid dreams that she was starting to log them in her journal. I saw an opportunity and asked if she would mind sharing the dreams with me so that I can create illustrations of them. How lucky am I to have such great resources right near me?! Haha.

So, POD Box was born.

Last night.

At around 1:00 in the morning.

The best things happen after midnight, you know.

It's simple.
I created a form on my website for people to share their original written words with me. I'd read each one, and put my ink to paper and see what comes out. I'd share it with the author and other readers on this very blog. I'd post a photo of the piece with the original passage under it, crediting the author. That's the purpose of POD Box.. to share our stuff, collaborate, and show love for it. It'd be a fantastic blog!

However, if the author likes my piece and wishes to purchase it, he/she is of course welcome to. Each author would be able to buy only the piece of art that was interpreted from their own words. 

I can't wait to see what comes in! Thanks in advance to everyone who has been supportive of me, and to those who wants to participate in this new project of mine!
But for now, it's 3:20 a.m. and I guess I should sleep.
Why do all the good things happen so late into the night?!

Goodnight.

A Wall To Remember

I love when my brides push me to new limits and challenges. This wall is definitely on my list of favorites. The bride wanted something more than a typical seating chart, so we came up with this concrete wall (built by hand by her fiancé!) for me to paint on.

The wall was "roughed up" with quick layers of concrete, then I went in with a base muted gray.

The beautiful truth about paintings is that what you see when you look at it is rarely what was first painted on. Underneath the "final" layer are all the rest of the layers that came before. This wall was no exception. I painted, covered with gray, painted some more, covered some more. It was an entire process. Every time I would cover a part up, someone would ask, "why?" I didn't have an answer.. it just wasn't it.

But the best part of the process is that moment when I find "it." When I find "it," that's when I go. I paint fast because I need to get it out of me before I lose "it." 

This wall took me about two full days, and I enjoyed every moment of it. By the time I had most of the background done (before the lettering) I realized I stopped using brushes and began using my hands. I took a photo of my hand because I loved it.

It was.. pretty.

It was so great seeing the final wall at the venue. 

Haley Sheffield Photography

Haley Sheffield Photography

Haley Sheffield Photography

Haley Sheffield Photography

Thankful for the opportunity.

K

Baby Butterfly

Two months ago, my dear friend had a darling baby girl. 
She wanted to create special monthly announcement photos so her photographer and I collaborated - she took the image and I added my illustrations!

So happy and honored to be a part of this pretty little project.
Can't wait to watch this little butterfly grow. Stay tuned for the second one coming soon!

K

Octopus

It's Monday!

Having gotten a new pup (German Shepherd!) I am so.. so tired.
Other than that and the -5˚ weather - all is well. I could use a nap, though.
Meanwhile, here's a few illustrations I did last week.

I gave the last one some eye lashes, because, why not?
I think I will turn one of them into a large print for the bathroom. Yaas.

K

Quick Doodle

So yesterday morning, I was brushing my teeth - la la la.
I'm looking at the mirror and I turn my head a little and I see something out of the corner of my eye. I see a face flash and disappear and I do a double-take. And that's when I realize, my Waterpik looks like a Storm Trooper. 

Kelly-Lee-Design-quick-doodle-tooth-pick.jpg

So I did a quick doodle of it.

Now, I have a whole list of things to do on my post-it, the first being to complete a print design for the shop (coming soon).. Hoping to launch the shop sometime -oh, I don't know! - within a couple months?! 

Happy hump day, everyone!

K
 

The Process

The first question from clients is always about the process. No, that's a lie. The first question is about pricing. But that is another topic for another day.

The second question is about the process. How does it work? What are the steps? But I always appreciate that because it means they understand that I'm not a vending machine. My time is valuable and they want to know what my process is. You take that for granted until the day comes when that one person says, "So, I need this by tomorrow. Can you do it?" At that point, I'm thinking, well that's demanding, but what am I going to do? Say no to work?

I've had to remind myself time and time again that I don't work for a boss anymore. I work for me. So that means I am allowed to let myself say no under certain circumstances, but it's never easy (at least for me) to say no to work, so it's a constant battle.

part of a logo sketch for organic baby linens line

part of a logo sketch for organic baby linens line

BRAINSTORMING
My favorite part of the process.
That's the best part! When I'm trying to find the solution to a design problem and ideas are bouncing around in my head faster than I can translate them onto paper so I don't forget. I get so excited at this stage; sometimes I think I'm getting ahead of myself and I have to calm myself down. 

THE PITCH
The worst part? Pitching the ideas to the client. It's not necessarily the worst, but it's definitely where I am most weak. I feel so vulnerable, thinking, what if they don't like this idea? I begin to question and doubt myself about the very ideas that I was so excited about during the brainstorming. I do enjoy the sweet relief, though, when the client loves the pitch and gets excited. It's a roller coaster of emotions, man.

variety hand drawings of a corn chip for a salsa company

variety hand drawings of a corn chip for a salsa company

PROOFING
Sometimes, it's an easy home-run. That's when I grind it out and do exactly what I had pictured in my mind, show the client and they love it. Done!
Other times, it's like a chess game. I go through several proofs because the client isn't sure of what they want and they start asking, well, what about this? What if we did this? I have to use my sixth sense; I feel out what they're looking for and guide them until I hit the right string and bam! Checkmate.

FINALIZE
It's the best feeling when I finish up a job and the client is in love with the final product just as much as I am. It's so rewarding, and I guess that's what keeps me going back to it - I'm addicted. It's such an unstable and emotional way of life, but I wouldn't trade it for anything else.

No wonder I have trouble falling asleep at night.
I'll end on a quote - it's one of my all-time favorites by my favorite illustrator.

"If there was sadness in this creative world of mine, it was a pleasant sadness. If there were problems, they were humorous problems." - Norman Rockwell

K

Sea Creatures

Happy Saturday!

Here's one of my favorite whales, the orca, that I drew a few months back.
I drew over it and scribbled madly with my Pilot pen. I actually wanted a tattoo of an orca a while back but couldn't figure out where I would put it on my body. Anyway, I really like drawings with "movement" so maybe I will keep at it. Ooh, maybe I can have a series of framed illustrations of ocean dwellers.

I wonder if I am the only one who has trouble getting my brain to sizzle with inspiration.. I read many articles where they talk about how creative brains tend to run too fast or too slow - never consistent. But, I mean, that's everyone, no? I think I just need to keep pushing myself to go back to the basics. Grab my sketchbook and just go sit somewhere and draw what I see. Pen, so that I can't erase any mistakes. I found a quote..

"I don't have inspiration. I only have ideas. Ideas and deadlines." -Stan Lee

How awesome is that quote?
Has the concept of finding inspiration become hollow and vague now? Sometimes I find so much "inspiration" around me that I don't know what to do. That makes no sense!

I think I ruined my favorite pen..
I'm thinking octopus next? Yes.

K

Quick Doodle

It's been drizzling steadily all day..
Maybe it will help dissolve the solid snow that's been sitting on the ground for the past week.

In the middle of trying to organize my thoughts for my soon-to-be online shop, I took my pencil and doodled this..

Kelly Lee Design Blog quick doodle blue whale sketch

A blue whale.
I think it would be such a cute little print for a baby's room, no?

K