Monday, December 08, 2014

What I've been up to...

The last couple weeks I've been almost completely consumed by Minted's To Have And To Hold Wedding Challenge, but in a good way! Never have I had so many ideas swimming in my head: I only wish I started on the challenge sooner! But even still, 5 entries is still 5 times more than the first time I entered one of their wedding challenges with my Only Fish in the Sea design. In this challenge, I was determined to produce a series of bilingual Chinese/English invites after a series of failed attempts in the past. Looking back, I feel like I've come a long way since then. This time I started with 3 ideas and it quickly grew (or maybe that's spiraled out of control) into 5. I was focused on specifically Chinese/English because the wording and formatting for Chinese text is quite specific, especially when you get into formal wording. Plus I feel like I had to include the double-happiness character in there one way or another on them all. So without further ado, here are my 5 designs! Sidenote: voting has not begun yet but I will update you when it does with a look at some of my favorites from other designers. And here's a tip: if you 'like' a design, you can later filter challenge submissions by your likes so you can find them more quickly =)

Double knotted happiness - inspired by the knots found on traditional Chinese clothing. The knotted frame is shown in a rose gold foil texture, which if it gets picked to sell on Minted, would be actual foil when printed and not an illusion, in case you thought it was odd!

Knotted frame - inspired, again, by Chinese knots, but also Chinese architecture.

Neon joy - inspired by neon signs found in many major Asian cities. This bright design was a very big departure from my original starting point. How far did I stray? Well when I went to export to JPG, my AI file was still titled "Sakura", hehe. 
Painterly dew drops - after the last thing I designed, I was still feeling inspired by wreaths and the round shape of the card. It was also a fun challenge fitting all that text into such a small space.

And last but not least, Traditional Dress - inspired by cutesy things that we, Asians, love and traditional Chinese wedding attire.

I must say that no matter how many times I enter these challenges, my heart always skips a beat when I share my work with the world: it is so nerve-wracking! But in a good way =) Neon Joy & Traditional Dress were the last-minute additions to the collection. From concept to final product, most of my time was spent on tweaking the text and consulting my mom on the wording to make sure it all made sense and felt right to a Chinese parent so I have to thank my mom for all her help and patience with me. Thanks 媽媽! And you'll all be proud to know that through this process, I finally learned the keyboard shortcut to switch between Chinese & English typing =p I always knew how to switch on my Mac but on the PC I don't know why, I just never bothered to look up the keys! Working in Chinese & English kinda forced it upon to me to learn though. 

Phew. So that's what I've been up to lately, which would explain why you may or may not see a holiday card from us this year! 'Cause you know, carpenters never get around to fixing their own houses or something like that right? Well, apparently this stationer never gets around to her own stationery! nevertheless, I am going to try my hardest to get something of my own done because I'm still brimming with ideas!

Hope everyone else is feeling not as overhelmed by the impending holidays as I am and having a lovely December =)



PS: I forgot to mention, only because they are as integral to my process as is using my computer, that I owe lots of thanks to my dearest friend Holly & my always-blunt-but-very-constructively-critical husband for all their opinions on the many iterations of these designs I spammed their chat windows/inboxes with =p