Monday, September 28, 2009

★ October's design freebie sneak peek

It's almost time to start a new month and launch a new freebie on Starting October 1st, the creative community will be able to download the image above for personal and commercial use. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

★ 5Qs with Chris Spooner

When you are a designer, you are used to coping with tight dead lines, creating and revising artwork, and then revising and re-creating artwork to satisfy the needs of every one of your clients. Somewhere in the grind, you find yourself in need of resources. You launch Safari and type in design freebies, photoshop tutorials, or CS4 tips and tricks and when you hit the return key, you find listings of tons of designers who you now feel are your best friends. Chris Spooner is one of those people- a designer that just wants to give back. Today I had the chance to ask him the 5Qs.

Rob: Hey Chris! It's great to talk with you today. All of your freebies are great. One that really caught my eye was your "Vector Doodles and Sketches." Then when I saw your "Hand Drawn Icons," I realized that I had to interview you.

Q1: Tell me a little about yourself?

Chris: Hi, I'm Chris Spooner. I'm a designer from the UK who's pretty crazy about all things creative. I work for myself as a designer/blogger earning a living with a mix of client work and writing about design subjects on my websites Blog.SpoonGraphics and Line25.

Rob: Work is fun when you love what you do. I've never heard of Line25- I'll have to check it out. I bookmarked Blog.SpoonGraphics the first time I visited it and I'm sure I'll be marking Line25 too lol.

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

I wanted to be a designer from a pretty young age. I can't remember exactly how I picked out the career of Graphic Designer alongside Astronaut and Secret Agent, but I managed to go through school, College and University following this aim. I landed my first job in the industry as a web/designer designer for a small local studio where I worked for two years before heading out as a freelancer.

Rob: I should have become a Secret Agent lol. I remember loving to draw when I was young and my parents showcasing my art at parties with family and friends, but I didn't decide that I wanted to be a designer till I was 18 years old. It's great that you were so focused.

Q3: What do you feel is your strongest asset?

Chris: I'm lucky to find myself the type of person that tends to pick up new things quite well. I must have quite an analytical brain. This has proved handy in my career when it comes to learning new software applications or coding languages, so I guess this would be my strongest asset.

Rob: Learning fast is definitely a strong asset.

Q4: What would you like to be known for?

Chris: By offering design tutorials on my blogs I've developed a name for helping people out, which in turn has given exposure to my own work. I'd like to keep up this image of being someone approachable that's always happy to offer advice and tips.

Rob: Two things that people remember in this industry is talent and the willingness to help. Every designer has their work cut out for them and when someone (esp. someone who is talented) is willing to pause their work flow and help you out, you never forget that.

Q5: Why Spoon Graphics?

Chris: It's nothing too complex really, basically my surname is Spooner, so a twist on the word Spoon creates both a fancypants company name while having a personal connection :-)

Rob: That's cool and fitting for your goal of being down to earth. Thanks for your time Chris and keep up the good work!!! Keep checking out and "My Ink Pad" for more 5Qs.

Monday, September 14, 2009

★ Vintage Stamp Template Tutorial

RJS is proud to announce our September freebie, a vector vintage stamp template that can be downloaded on all this month. With Adobe CS, a nice head-shot, and the proper stylizing, this template is very easy to use. But just in case you are a little unsure of how to achieve the same result as I did, I will take you through the process step by step.
Step 1. Find a nice head-shot of your subject. It doesn't have to be a fashion shot, just a pic with good composition and lighting. I used a snap shot of my boy Magellan, aka Seth Thomas, from his FaceBook® Profile.
Step 2. Pull the pic into PhotoShop and do a sepia effect in the menu under Image> Adjustments> Hue/Saturation. (Command + U) Then check the box that reads colorize (otherwise everything will be neon) and adjust the sliders to your liking.
Step 3. Cut your subject out from the background. I always prefer to use Illustrator for this step because I want all edges to be really clean, but you can do this step in PhotoShop as well. (If you do use Illustrator, make sure you mask the image, export it, place it back in Illustrator and then use live trace).
Step 4. In Illustrator, Select the placed image and hit the live trace button at the top. Then set the preset to "Color 16" and the Min Area to 0 px. From there, you can tweak the blend to your liking by adding less or more colors in max colors field. Once you are satisfied, hit the expand button next to live trace. Now, use the white arrow and select the white background. Then, from the menu, choose Select> Same> Fill and Stroke and delete the white so that the background behind your subject will be removed.
Step 5. Open up " and unlock the layer called "Picture." Delete the illustration of me and paste the illustration you just worked on. Resize it however you would like and then mask it. You will notice that the "Cover" layer has some scribble and a blur to fade out the image. You will probably need to tweak this slightly for every image. Also, there is a layer called "Sketch Detail" which has a few thin lines that will give the picture a feeling of a real sketch. Use your judgement. If the sketch lines add to the layout, then add them.
Step 6. Finish your design by selecting the "Name Plate" layer and updating the Name.

Step 7. Hit up my boy Magellan's site at or click here to find him on iTunes. His jams are CRAZY!!!

I hope this tutorial was helpful and that you enjoyed my "Vintage Stamp" template.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

★ Creative at Heart Ad

Recently I stumbled over a wonderful find on This san-serif beauty called "Champagne & Limousines" has the style and poise of famous fashion fonts such as Avant Garde and Futura, yet it has a unique quality that stole my heart. After test driving the font, I decided that I had to use it for RJS's marketing! So I contacted the talented typographer, Lauren Thompson and made a donation to her work in exchange for rights to use Champagne & Limousines commercially. Above is the first of many ads and promotions for Rob Jelinski Studios that will use this sleek typeface. Click here to visit Lauren's dafont page or here to visit her blog. If you are a fan of my "Creative at Heart" ad or of Champagne & Limousines, leave a comment and show some love.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

★ 5Qs with with Ryan and Kelly Portnoy

What is your definition of a brilliant photograph? Crisp clarity? Perfect Lighting? Witty angles? A great photograph must have all of these, but a brilliant one must captivate your sight, mind, and imagination. The photography by Kellan Studios is nothing less then brilliant! Ryan and Kelly Portnoy capture the personality, emotion, and mood of each model and their surroundings with skill and ease. It's no wonder why their work has been featured on Weddings Unveiled and the Bride's Cafe. Now, I have the pleasure of bringing you this exclusive interview with these two master-minds.

Rob: Ryan and Kelly, it is so great to talk with you today. You recently photographed my friend, Chrissy Romine's wedding (the fashionista pictured above) and ever since I have been a huge fan of your work.
(Click on the links and see more pics from Chrissy's wedding! You won't regret it.) Click here for Wedding Shots of Chrissy and Jay or Click here for the Day After Session)

Q1: Tell me a little about yourselves?

Kelly: I'm very short at 5'2" while Ryan is very tall at 6'6". I prefer sarcasm while Ryan is a gold medalist in puns. I can organize, categorize, and color code just about anything while Ryan prefers to "organically" organize his possessions.

Ryan: Kelly is a technology leper while I have technology autism. Kelly prefers watching E News while I would rather spend my time watching ESPN. She could eat gourmet meals every night while I prefer the more refined pallet of mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and hotdogs.

Kelly: I own a Britney Spears CD while Ryan would rather pluck his nose hairs one by one than be caught dead with a Britney Spears CD.

As different as our perspectives can be both figuratively and literally, it is the very essence of what makes our photography tick! We see the world uniquely, the masculine and feminine, the structure and composition, the details and the big picture. We are a virtual Venn Diagram. Our differences make us unique and we overlap in the middle to produce the images that you see here. We love photography. We love being photographers together. We love laughter, romance, fashion and irony. We love our clients and consider it a supreme privilege to capture life's greatest moments as they happen.

Rob: I see that you paint a vivid picture with your words as well as film. Like I said before, I am a huge fan and l can really tell that you both love what you do. Not everyone can take the kind of pictures you guys take.

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

Ryan: Both of us have had an interest in photography as a hobby.

Kelly: I took a film/photography class in highschool where you process everything by hand. It definitely ignited the desire to capture art. Ryan started in college with his first purchase of a Canon Rebel XTI. He mostly took pictures of events and friends to start out with. You could say we both have a natural ability for composition, but it has taken years to refine the post production side of our photography. When Ryan and I were dating, a friend asked him if he would mind taking his cousin's wedding pictures. They were having a small/casual wedding and so Ryan agreed. After we got married, four years ago, somehow photography got brought up and the idea of wedding photography. I am a total girly girl and love the romantic side of photography. I also have a business minor so I knew I could handle the business/marketing side of things while Ryan is extremely technology savvy so he holds down the fort with album design and our website.

Ryan: We both shoot and both edit. Three and a half years ago we got our business license and shot our first wedding together in April 2006. Things naturally took off from there as we began to get better, upgrade equipment and market ourselves.

Kelly: We never dreamed we would be where we are today in such a short time. We are definitely blessed.

Rob: I can't believe your studio was established only three years ago. Your photographs and over-all style look as if you have been doing this for years.

Q3: What do you feel is your strongest asset?

Kelly: Definitely being a husband and wife team. Brides and grooms like the fact that we shoot both perspectives. It also gives us the advantage of me hanging with the girls while they get ready and Ryan with the guys while they get ready so we never miss a moment. Not to mention, we have been there ourselves. We know all too well what goes into planning a wedding so we are sensitive to the process and realize that we play a MAJOR role on a wedding day. I feel we bring confidence and calmness to what it typically a stressful day.

Rob: The husband and wife combo is definitely a big plus! Who can tailor the perfect photo of the bride and groom better than a couple who has been their themselves and knows all about the precious moments?

Q4: What would you like to be known for?

Kelly: We would loved to be known for creating images that sweep people into a different world. One full of romance, beauty, fun, a bit quirky at times....REAL. We want people to get to know complete strangers stories without us saying anything. The images tell the story or their love and relationship as well as their personalities.

Rob: When I look at your photography, I see individuality, infatuation, security, and love flowing out of the couples, almost as if I was viewing a film reel with music, words, and movement instead of a still photo.

Q5: Why Kellan Studios?

Ryan: Kelly is the "Kell" in Kellan, Ryan is the "an" of Kellan. Yup folks, it's just that simple! We didn't want to pick a name that is too trendy or cliche about photography...we figure our names aren't going anywhere...let's stick with what our mama's gave us.

Rob: I love how you bring your own flare to the industry in your profession. No wonder why you can bring that same tone to your work! Thanks Kelly and Ryan. I really enjoyed this. Keep snapping those shots we all love! More 5Qs with the best in the industry coming your way.

Click and become their fan on FaceBook