It isn’t easy to start something when you’ve spent years telling yourself you can’t do it. That’s the difficulty that I faced in 2012 when a friend of mine asked if I could design her wedding invitations. I had graduated in illustration in 2007 but had barely picked up a pencil since – I was one of those people that talked about my creative ideas but was too scared to take the first step towards getting them out of my head and into the real world! Luckily, in the process of all that talking, and without being in any way convinced of my own abilities, I had managed to convince my friend that I could make the stationery for her wedding day. At the time I was living in a sparsely decorated flat with only one poster on the wall and as we sat in my living room discussing their requirements I felt more and more afraid that I would let them down. They said they wanted an image of the town in France where they were getting married. I said that at university I had usually worked with cardboard in 3d and that I was absolutely hopeless at drawing. It wasn’t looking good. Then we noticed the travel poster I had on the wall, a print of India with rich, flat colours and fluid lines – evocative, bold and almost exactly the sort of image that they wanted. If only they could find something like that for Fayence the town in France in which they were to be married. With gentle persuasion from Francesca and Tarik I decided that I could try to use my papery skills in a new way, in 2d rather than 3d, to create something along similar lines. I spent a few days cutting and sticking and I haven’t looked back since. The wedding stationery was a huge success – not to mention hugely enjoyable for me to create – and I have since worked with many other couples to create similar suites for their weddings (you can see more at Hollyhock Papercraft).
A poster that only cost me £1 inspired me to think about my favourite medium in a completely new way and opened up a whole new area of inspiration for me – you can see some of the vintage travel posters that I love on Pinterest. Not only that but the opportunity that my friends gave me to play a part in the special day that was to change their lives forever also changed my life too, reminding me of the passion I have for image making and giving me a chance to see how I might be able to make that profitable in some way. So this post is really my way of saying thank you to one of my best friends Francesca who has been championing me since before I knew how to do it myself and also a little story that shows how sometimes the most insignificant things that you see every day can actually inspire you in a way that changes your whole life.
You can see Francesca and Tarik’s finished wedding stationery here.