Friday, June 26, 2009

★ Craft Savvy Invitation

Last month, my wife and one of her friends asked me to design a cute flower invitation for a book club called "Blossom" that they wanted to start with a few friends. Since my wife is very sweet, my inspiration, and the love of my life, I was happy to acquire the project. To convey the meaning of the name Blossom, (to mature, to grow, to bloom) the invitation had to be colorful, beautiful, and personal. After researching a few flower invitations by other designers, I nailed down the color palette and drew the diecut. Once the diecut was finalized, I created the petals, filled the shape with purple, used some transparency, and added an inner shadow effect. Then, I decided to line the inside of the petals with red dots in order to give the flower kind of a dainty feeling. Next, I designed the Blossom identity, typeset the copy, and put the finishing touches on the layout by placing a light asian pattern behind everything. Early the next morning, I visited Michaels and plowed through the envelope design. While everyone knows that the envelope and enclosure have to compliment each other, I wanted the outside of my invitation to add another level of finesse. To achieve this, I chose a green envelope, wrapped it with a sheer red ribbon, and topped the ribbon with a purple and green flower petal with a single lavender gem stone in the center. I found that these Craft Savvy Invitations were fun, quick, and very cost-effective. While I designed this invitation for a book club, the theme can be used for many other events such as your next informal outdoor party. Below are some of my resources, in case you would like to use them.

Shopping List:
• 8.5" x 11" Sheets of Purple Brocade Stylized Paper by TPC Studios - $0.50 each
• Pack of 60 Lavender Gem Stickers by Martha Stewart Crafts - $4.99
• Pack of 10 "Lucky" 6" Square Envelopes by Mix + Mingle - $3.99
• Calypso Tin of 64 Purple Flower Petals by Prima - $6.99
• Rolls of 1 and 1/2 inch Strawberry colored Ribbon with wire by Home & More - $2.99 each
• 1/2 inch Roll of permanent Double Sided Tape by Scotch - $2.50

1. Draw a Flower diecut in Illustrator measuring 5.75" or click here to download mine
2. Design your Invitation (You will notice that I printed on both sides... If you are going to do the same, it is a little tricky. You have to really know your printer and make sure you leave enough room for shift)
3. Print and Cut your Invitations
4. Stick Lavender Gems in the center of the Flower Petals
5. Place the Invitations in the envelopes
6. Cut the Ribbon into about 12.25" or 12.375" strips
7. Stretch the cut Ribbon out on the table and place the envelope on top of it (Flap down)
8. Place a little piece of Double-Sided Tape on the front of envelope (Centered top and bottom)
9. Stick each side of the Ribbon to the tape on the envelope and secure with another small piece of tape
10. Place the Embellished Petal on the overlap of the ribbon
11. Hand deliver invitations to your special guests

Monday, June 22, 2009

★ Never Forgotten Tributes®

While many artists have designed the most elaborate wedding invitations, marketed for billion dollar corporations, and crafted everything from cutlery to ice sculptures at events of the highest prestige, none have under-taken the task of creating the perfect memory of a loved one who has passed until now.  Lynn Early, Seasoned Designer and Founder of Never Forgotten Tributes®, realized that the best way to celebrate and treasure the memory of her beloved mother was by creating a personalized keepsake card, a task which she had to complete with her own ingenuity. From that keepsake card Never Forgotten Tributes® was born! Last year, I was presented with the monumental opportunity of working along side of her to design the line for Never Forgotten. The Line includes personalized products such as: Prayer Cards, Keepsake Cards, Thank You Cards, and Life Story Dvds! I had the pleasure of branding Never Forgotten and designing the entire Classic Collection for Adults, most of the Traditional Collection for Adults, and the Urban Line for Youth. Please enjoy snapshots of my favorite designs below or follow the links to view Never Forgotten Tributes or Early Riser Incorporated.

Registered trademark and snapshots are the exclusive property of Early Riser Incorporated. Used by Permission.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

★ 5Qs with Wolf Soto

Today I had the honor of interviewing a dear friend and one of the industry's best, Wolf Soto. Wolf has unleashed his God-given creativity in such forms as Stage and Costume Design, Print Design, Photography, Videography, and Traditional Media. If you have seen promotions for "Oraia" an amazing Spoken Word artist, (View) viewed Pastor Chris Durso's Blog "Mind of a Misfit" (View) or watched the "Red Army" Promo on YouTube® (View) then you have seen Wolf's wealth of talent. Currently, He Works on the Production team at Christ Tabernacle and is the founder of "Red Army Media." (Click

Rob: Hey Wolf. It's great to talk with you today.

Q1: Tell me a little about yourself?

Wolf: I was born in Brooklyn, New York and at the age of 1, my family moved to the South Bronx where I was raised by my Puerto Rican grandmother, Rosalia and mother Raquel. Growing up in the ghetto of the South Bronx was rough. We didn’t have much money, but that helped me look at life from a different angle. Poverty inspired my creativity! Whatever I couldn't afford, I created a substitute for it, so my art and music was and still is my escape from poverty and pain.

I praise God from where all creativity flows

Rob: Wow that's a great outlook. God has truly gifted you.

Q2: When did you first realize that you wanted to do this?

Wolf: Well I got really fed up with pop culture dictating
the way we should think, speak, and believe.
As christians we're called to stand out from among the rest; We should be the ones setting the trends in our culture!

Rob: When I attended ReLoad at Christ Tab, I was in the workshop called "Reaching a Generation of Creators, Thinkers, and Misfits" with Pastor Chris and I raised my hand spoke almost those exact same words. I too am sick of the arts being used to lead people away from God and little by little we are changing that.

Q3: What do you feel is your strongest asset?

Wolf: I guess that would be creativity and helping people.

Rob: true.

Q4: What would you like to be known for?

Wolf: I want to be known as someone who gave it all for Christ and wasn't afraid to take chances.

Rob: definitely.

Q5: Why Red Army Media?

Wolf: Let me start by saying I do not support socialism or communism... Lol
I chose Red because it sybolizes the blood of Christ and Army because that's the way I see christians as one huge army. Media is what we do.

Rob: Cool. Thanks Wolf! It was so nice talking with you. This has been the first, but not the last of "5Qs." Keep checking "My Ink Pad" for more Satellite Interviews with the best in the industry!

Friday, June 12, 2009

★ Crowds Applaud One Day After...

Joel wanted a vintage feel for his sophomore release entitled "One Day After..." At first glance the packaging seems plain, but just like the music, the layout has many unique surprises. The inside spread showcases bright and playful doodles adding an intresting intensity as they blend into the sepia imagery. Since the May 30th Release, my design has been hailed by locals, musicians and now fellow designers! After a recent submission to iStockPhoto, the design has received an almost flawless review by iStock members. Click here to vote or to read the reviews. Click here to enlarge the layout above.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

★ I Heart Revolution is truly a "Masterpiece"

Recently, at a Hillsongs United Concert I purchased the "I Heart Revolution" T-shirt. I had already seen the design on the album cover, but when I saw the shirt, I fell in love with it all over again. I rarely give a compliment of this caliber, but this design is truly a MASTERPIECE! From afar off you see a semi-modern, mosaic looking "I ♥." with a picture of the statue "Christ the Redeemer" in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil right in the middle of the heart, but when you look closer you find that the design is a collage of pictures from all around the world. Pictures from Africa, Asia, India, Australia, and the USA; Pictures of children, tigers, astronauts, elephants, snowboarders, the statue of Liberty, palm trees, and even the moon! For the past few days I have been studying this design and I have been astonished at how much thought and precision was put into it. This is how all design should be!!! Below is a snapshot of the detail. Click here to purchase the shirt.