Growth as a creative is an incredibly important thing. It is tempting, when you see your own designs day after day and work alone without criticism, to become complacent, or even worse, arrogant. While I love owning my own business, one of the things I miss most about working for someone else is the constant opportunities for thoughtful critique and tips for improvement. We don't really have that in the wedding industry, at least not anywhere I have experienced. A workshop is perhaps the closest thing I've found to a critique; it's a wonderfully unique experience for vendors and attendees alike. The attendees have a chance to learn from a carefully selected team of wedding professionals, but the vendors themselves have a huge opportunity to grow, expanding their knowledge by learning from each other, the experience, and the attendees, as well.
Jake Anderson Workshops was just that type of experience for me. I was thrilled when Jake asked me to create some materials for him; he is a talented photographer and works with so many amazing vendors. While creating the suite for his workshop, I found myself feeling pushed to expand my horizons and try something new, something unique. I strive for excellence in all my work, but this...this had to be my very best. The source of the pressure I felt was applied entirely from my own mind and desire to succeed, but sometimes that is the most effective motivator! The mood board for the workshop was full of soft, gorgeous neutral colors, rich texture, and light details. These were the things that I decided to incorporate into my suite.
When creating texture-heavy stationery, my starting point is always handmade paper. These sheets from Saint Signora, Share Studios, and Silk & Willow were the perfect canvas for the rest of the textural elements I incorporated: smooth vellum, wispy, carefree calligraphy, thick-yet-subtle strokes of paint, and dried flower petals. I also created some small hand-embossed details, and finished the whole suite off with minimal typeface.
Creating this suite was definitely out of my comfort zone! I usually specialize in more simple styles and rely on my illustrations to add that extra touch of je ne sais quoi. Using more texture and loosening up my calligraphy style were huge growth opportunities for me. However, I found myself learning just as much on the day of the workshop as I did while I created the stationery! I picked up film photography tidbits from Jake and his attendees, and I loved watching each photographer style stationery in her own unique way. It was so refreshing to watch other people working with my stationery instead of styling and photographing it myself!
Ashley Fox, a wonderfully talented floral designer, was another huge source of knowledge and inspiration on that day. Ashley has spent lots of time in the wedding industry, has developed a clear style and voice in her work, and has creativity galore. Her words of wisdom and kind instruction were so valuable! I'm grateful to Jake for bringing together so many wonderful humans and creating an environment that fosters learning and improvement. An environment that brings loads of creatives together and then requires them to use and increase their skills is a wonderful thing indeed.