Tuesday 30 September 2014

Giveaway - Free October Wallpaper!

We're in October tomorrow, and you can definitely tell that the days have gone darker and the sun is sadly disappearing earlier each day, until you wake up in the dark and come back from the office in the dark... Although I'm not liking this aspect of Autumn, I am looking forward to the cosy weekends and the walks in the mountains amongst the fallen leaves. And there's Halloween!

So here are the new handmade wallpapers, inspired by the way I see October and its rainy weather (and I obviously had to illustrate a black cat as well, for good measure).

You can download the first version with the calendar here and the second one, more minimal, here. Don't forget to download the one for your mobile here as well!

Saturday 27 September 2014

France (Part 2)

I know you've been waiting for it, so here is part two of my holiday in France back in August! It was only a month ago, but I miss my family so much! It's one of those days when you realise that your family is far away and that you can't give a hug to your brother for his birthday. But when I see them, I enjoy each second in their company :)

I know right? How amazingly good does this doughnut look?! It was the best I ever had, and I'm not even kidding. My dad said that the last time he ate such a good one was when he was 17 years old and the guy selling them was in a little van doing them freshly in front of him. St Malo is as you can see, a really interesting and beautiful town... with tasty doughnuts!!

The little town we were staying in had one of those traditional markets where you can find gorgeous fresh vegetables and fruits, and typical handmade products from the area. With the sun out, it was certainly a nice morning walk.

Well, Mont St Michel is definitely one of a kind. I really enjoyed walking in these tiny streets and going up the steep stairs to finally arrive at the top and embrace the amazing view on offer. The actual abbey, the history of which takes us back to the VIII century, has an incredible story and has been through so much that you're left wondering how it still stands.

I finished my holiday with the wedding of my cousin that the whole family had been waiting for. You see, it's the first wedding in my generation of the family, so it was a really special day for everyone. We had a whole weekend of festivities, and even though I was really tired at the end, it was such an amazing and emotional time and was definitely worth it. (On the last photo, you can see my little sister Eline, my little brother Thomas and me)

Have a nice weekend! :)

Monday 22 September 2014

Featured on Noor AlQahtani's blog

I was really flattered to be asked by Noor to answer a few questions about my hand-lettering process for an article on her blog. Noor is a graphic designer and web developer, who is also a keen blogger and lover of typography. I've been working on her food blog's header, and I will be working with her on future projects via her Blog Me Pretty shop. Exciting!!

Check out the interview on her blog, or you can have a read through it below.

1. Name:
Carole Chevalier

2. Blog:
My blog is itsnotserious.co.uk but to see my portfolio, head to carolechevalier.co.uk

3. How did you get started in hand lettering?
I started to explore hand-lettering when I was studying Art in college, but at this time, I preferred to focus on photography and illustrations. During my years in a Graphic Design school in France, I was pushed to use my hands more than software to create graphical elements and typography, but a lack of confidence was keeping me from embracing it.

I began to get better at hand-lettering when I started my job in a design agency. It felt a lot more natural for me to pick up some brushes and paint, and start to write whatever I needed to or wanted to. With a bit of practice, I started to really enjoy it and decided to do more hand-lettering outside of work for myself and various clients, and well, here I am!

4. What is your process and what tools do you use?
Before starting anything, I would always put together some moodboards in order to know precisely what style the client is looking for. I use the same process for personal projects as it helps me to focus on an idea I want to explore. I use various brushes, depending on how thick and texturised I would like the lettering to be, and some watercolour paint. It's actually the best part of the process as at this point, nothing is stopping you to do and try whatever you want to. So liberating!

How much water you're mixing it with is something really important as it will change the texture and the style of your artwork. I always do variations of the same thing to be able to select the composition I prefer. Once scanned, I would quite often mix words and letters from different variations to create the perfect artwork (and I am quite the perfectionist). I can then amend in Photoshop if I need to, or vectorise it in Illustrator to be able to use it on big formats.

As I have a small Wacom tablet, which I sometimes use in Photoshop as it can be quite handy when you have a particular idea in your head and you need a quicker way to get it down. Once you try it, you won't go back to the mouse!

I have to say that from time to time, I like to use a pencil to create the base of a new typographic project and finish it with a ballpoint pen as it gives such a nice feel to a piece of artwork.

5. Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to get started in this field?
I know that you must hear these type of tips all the time, but actually, some of them are definitely true. I have to say that being confident in yourself and the work you produce is one of the most important things you need to start in this field. It will give you the motivation you need to start from scratch like I did.

Another thing, trust your guts (and your tastes). You know what looks good, and what doesn't. When you try and try again and you feel like you're going nowhere, start again, and you'll know when it's right. I know it can be hard, so I usually ask people to give me their opinion so that it helps me figure out what could be changed or improved.

And really, don't put pressure on yourself, just pick up a brush and some paint, and do whatever comes into your head. It doesn't have to be perfect anyway, so feel free to explore your skills and go for it!

6. Are you taking clients and if so how can they hire you?
I'm always excited to work on new projects, so if you would like to work with me, get in touch to discuss your project. Speak to you soon!

Friday 19 September 2014

France (Part 1)

Happy Friday! How about going to France for tonight? I wanted to share with you the great holiday in the north of France I had with my family back in August. So here's part 1! Enjoy :)

First thing first, we decided to explore the surroundings of the camp site we were staying at, and we even managed to grab a sight of the impressive Mont St Michel (Yep, that's it, the tiny silhouette in the previous photo).

I've never seen this part of France before, and I have to say, some of the views were absolutely breathtaking! During this day, we explored two areas: Cancale, cute little town that made its success with the delicious oysters people have been cultivating, and La Pointe du Grouin, where the sea was really clear and the cliffs really sharp.

The day after, we enjoyed going around Les Rochers Sculptés in Rothéneuf, where in the ninetinth century, a priest who lost his sense of hearing decided he would spend the rest of his life sculpting the rocks close to where he lived. Impressive!

I shall show you the next part really soon ;)

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Portfolio Update #8 - Ya Salam Cooking Header

Hey everyone! I have been working on quite an exciting project recently and I couldn't wait to show you! The really nice designer and blogger Noor, asked me to work on some nice hand-painted typography for her food blog, and I have to say, I really like the result :)

To make sure to create the perfect header for her, I worked on a host of variations, experimenting with the weight of each letter, trying to get just the right amount of texture. Noor was really pleased with a couple of variations, and I then combined the right elements together to create her final header.

Check out her blog Ya Salam Cooking for a better look.

I also have some exciting news to share with you all soon, so stay tuned!

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Pinterest Addiction #6

Well, it's been a while since I've done a collection of my latest favourite pins! I've been drawn to darker colours lately... Maybe because I feel that the summer is going slowly?

1. How gorgeous are these illustrations from Spiros Halaris?
2. I've been really wanting to do more of these minimal and elegant layouts
3. Love this typography by Drew Ellis
4. This intricate illustration is so interesting, and I love the use of gold on black
5. So much pretty calligraphy on Pinterest... But Cocorrina is actually one of the best!
6. Seagulls are EVIL, but this photograph is so sweet :)

If you would like to see more, you can follow me on Pinterest :)

Saturday 6 September 2014

A Day at Chester Zoo

Hey everyone! Hope you're having a nice weekend so far.

For my birthday, Jason prepared a nice surprise and took me to Chester Zoo, which has been recently awarded the UK's number 1 zoo, for the day. Now, the weather wasn't what we expected for mid-July, but I have to say that we had an amazing day thanks to that as there weren't crowds of people everywhere trying to catch a glimpse of a red panda.

I don't think I've ever seen that many butterflies in one place before, and I really enjoyed taking as many close-up photos as I could!

There is such a wide variety of animals to see that you just can't get bored at this zoo. We actually had to rush a little bit after lunchtime to make sure we could see everything.


Obviously, I couldn't resist the cute little meerkats running around :)

These last photos show the most special moment we had during the day. Just before the Zoo was closing, we decided to go back to the cheetah's enclosure to have a better look at them and hopefully catch them when they weren't chilling out in the grass. We didn't realise that there would be two cheetahs hanging around really close to the glass, and it was pretty amazing to be able to see them that close, as if we could just touch them (well, maybe not as I would quite like to keep my hands).

Overall, I would definitely recommend a visit to Chester Zoo, bad or good weather, as it's a great day out and an amazing place to discover these beautiful animals :)