Watercolor and design … what a stellar combination for branding. Last fall, I was hired by Essential Qi to create an identity for their company as well as packaging for their line of Chinese Medicine Inspired Acupoint Aromatherapy. The company was started by two professional acupuncture therapists based here in Austin. They created three essential oil blends: Shielding, Restful, Soothing. Included within each roller bottle is a stone pertaining to the blend’s function. Each blend smells super yum.
Below you will find the logo I created as well as the finished packaging that I designed, illustrated and produced (using a local printer). The colors are pulled from the 5 elements in Chinese Medicine and the look is an ethereal, balanced and healing one. The packaging includes the box, roller bottle with label, and an informative insert complete with application illustration.
Full and Reverse Logos:
To learn more about this new line of traditional medicine inspired aromatherapy blends, created in Austin, click HERE.
i switched majors in college when i was 19 from ballet pedagogy (university of oklahoma at norman) to visual art (university of arkansas at fayetteville). ballet was a passion of mine but i found that it may not have been my calling. i love dancing … tap, modern, theatre, lyrical, ballet. i wasn’t too shabby at it, but i felt my heart pulling towards working creatively with my hands.
diving into painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and everything else was very therapeutic and natural. however, i missed dance like crazy. after all, i danced from when i was 4 to 18. i ended up taking instruction at a local dance studio, which satisfied that need. while finishing up my BFA, i decided to challenge myself with finding a unique way to express the melding of dance and drawing. i researched various dance photographers and took several figure study courses. figure study from professor ken stout was an inspiring set of courses that pushed me further towards my interests.
at the time, i ended up painting a few pieces that i felt achieved the goal i was going for. but after college, the project was put on hold.
last year, i was inspired by a motivated friend to do a little clean-out of ye ole soul. time leaves its baggage piled up in your chest and sometimes you have to get in there and clean it out. you also have to take time to appreciate all the goodness. it is a great favor to do for yourself. so i began to find a healthy path toward focusing on emotional, physical, spiritual clarity. it’s not something to cross off of your “to do” list, but it’s nice to shift your lifestyle just a bit to gain clarity and let go of some aging hook-ups.
during this process of journaling, sketching, reading, pacing, analyzing, resting (and a little bit of dancing), i began my “undercurrents” series. i’m a pretty private person and have been wanting to challenge myself by exposing a more emotional side in a tasteful, expressive manner. i worked with dear friend and talented photographer Lily Darragh back home in little rock to shoot a couple of dancers. i shared with her my goals, we painted a backdrop and did some planning on how this would best play out.
after spending quite some time narrowing down the emotions/narratives i intended to convey, i built playlists to correlate with each narrative. we met one afternoon with two dancers that ended up really pushing the idea. as the dancers listened to the music, i loosely “choreographed” the shoot and encouraged them to improvise and tap into their own forms of expression. it was a pretty incredible experience watching these talented girls put my description into action.
painting the backdrop.
currently working in the studio.
the photos turned out better than imagined: i now have a beautiful custom library of photographs to create from. and they all tell a personal story. i am currently in the process of organizing the photos, sketching from them and creating mixed-media paintings while also creating from live models. more to come …
thank you to jenny wittenberg, georgia & ashton, lily and momzie.
sometimes design projects come along that involve incredibly interesting subject matter. and sometimes they involve incredibly interesting people. spectacle island comes with it the pair.
bernt kuhlmann, principal of lifestyle resort solutions [<< just click that link and check it out], has created several resort concepts that are beyond one’s everyday imagination: amangiri, dunton hot springs to name a few. he masters escape & comfort while staying in-tune with exclusive features the natural surroundings might bring. he meshes luxury with design and concept.
austria-bred, austin-based bernt owns a small island in mahone bay, nova scotia, where he and his children occasionally withdraw for a bit of family time. he has decided to open up the island to travelers who are searching for a unique and somewhat primitive place to escape. i was thrilled to handle the branding of spectacle island resort.
literally … these days are numbered. i had the honor of designing the bar bc ranch calendar again this year. last year’s was a success and, according to the bossman, this year’s “is fabulous, well done! Maybe the best yet?”
this year, i was asked to not only design the calendar and handle pre-production/production, but they wanted me to paint a series of watercolors to accompany each months “hero” photograph. the series consists of 3 insects, 3 fish, 3 trees and 3 plants. again, this was one of my most favorite jobs. i love large, intense projects that i can get lost in. this satisfied both my overly-organized self as well as the creative daydreamer in me. thanks again to mj for a great experience.
i work with a great partner on the project, which makes it that much more enjoyable (mj, you know i’m talking about you). the organizing, research, working with wyoming photographers, etc, went smoothly with the hillwood team. printing went smoothly, which is always good news. capital printing here in austin does a fantastic job of being technically on-it as well as accommodating and pleasurable to do business with (high five, mickey!). the production side of it can be a headache (and backache and eyeball ache) but they run it smoothly and kink free.
which is your favorite?me, i’m partial to jackson hole in september …
photography with the accompanying watercolor: it’s easiest to click on the first one then scroll through them with the arrows once the image is open large.
i’m a pretty big fan of food … especially since moving to austin. there’s no escaping a delicious meal. recently, several friends and a very talented chef (sonya coté) came up with a concept for a new farm-to-table dining experience in austin. they, along with 3 other skilled partners, developed eden east austin at springdale farm in the heart of east austin. eden east serves a gourmet menu with a down home feel. with a “living chandelier”, large family-style dining tables, live music and a menu that changes weekly, you encounter a fulfilling and creative way to spend your evening.
i signed on to do the branding for eden east as well as some of the on-site creative. the package consisted of their hand-illustrated logo, the website (which I have updated/redesigned since), menu design, gift certificates, info packets, table design, hand-painted signage, hand-painted logo on antique truck.
like to try it out? they are open every weekend, Friday & Saturday, for dinner. make your reservation here.
about a year ago andrew started a small urban farm in east austin called HOPE community farm. after helping him get started i joined him in managing the farm. we are under the blanket of the amazing HOPE campaign, including the HOPE farmers market in east austin. the farmers market is continuously adding local vendors, providing excellent quality produce, clothing, art and more at an affordable cost. the market is moving a few blocks east to the plaza saltillo, a beautiful site (take a look here!).
each month a local artist creates a poster to promote the market and HOPE sells the posters in their shop. lizzie garrett, development director of the hope campaign austin, asked me to do a poster to advertise the market and to help promote the move. keep an eye out for the poster around town and in the next edition of edible austin!