I am very happy to share with you hubby’s poster for our daughter’s schools Advent Fair (below) in December. Here is the finished poster, and below it is the image for the back of the accompanying A5 promotional flyer.
Having already created a first draft & researched other Steiner Warldorf school advent fair posters, hubby went for autumnal tones and a gentle font without too many hard edges or square angles, giving a flowing feeling. Here is the first draft.
I love this image, it reminded me of the Birth Art Cafe lecture I once went to which found that the circular images were used time and time again spontaneously by women when making art resembling their birthing experiences.
School staff suggested that an image resembling the entrance to The Snow Queen’s cave would be perfect.
A neighbour drew a picture for hubby of how willow is used to decorate the entrance, and create a magical feel. We had not attended a Steiner advent fair before so this was very helpful.
Hubby decided he wanted to create the feeling that the reader is about to enter into the cave themselves, whilst making it eye catching & capturing the gentle feeling associated with the celebration of the changing seasons & preparing for the winter months.
The event is truly a magical experience especially for the kindergarten aged children (3-6) who are able to meet the Snow Queen herself.
A parent commented that they felt the old version (which had been used as a template for the last few years), was lovely, & that she couldn’t understand why a new one might be needed. But on seeing the completed poster she really liked it & was very complimentary.
Other positive comments hubby has received include;
‘I can’t believe how well it represents the whole event.’
‘Its perfect for what it is advertising.’
‘Its really beautiful!’
There were many other drafts inbetween the leafy autumnal version & the finished snowy one, and at each stage hubby fed back to the school staff & had snippets of feedback from other staff & parents in our support network and wider community.
From the tiniest seed of hope comes faith, and strength & confidence. I am so proud of hubby, having worked in distribution for years and reached management level, the idea of quitting work and going to uni was a million miles away from what he thought his life would look like. Once I finished my degree he started his & he has now been a qualified graphic designer for nearly two years.
Amazingly hubby has been able to continue his graphic design skill development by sourcing briefs of varying shapes & sizes for clients of all types (adverts for anything & everything, painting on canvas, wedding invitations, film editing, typeface & design for a calendar, posters for plays, logos, websites, professional photo editing & restoration, themed personalised gifts, pop art design, wooden items, crafts, the list goes on…). The man can literally lay his hands to anything.
All this alongside maintaining his career as an I.T. manager all through uni and our recent relocation. So not only is he being an ‘at home Dad’, he is also juggling two careers and trying new projects when and if he can, networking, redesigning and tweaking his own website, Facebook business page, volunteering for projects like this with the school, and running his own limited company.
So when I see this poster, I not only see the beautifully designed balance of light & dark, of image and form and font; the darkness of winter brightened only by the promise of another spring. I also see the journey of the young boy making invitations for his mates birthday parties and greetings cards for family members, doodling in a notepad when ideas came to him, tracing comics through sheets of toilet roll, and making up album covers for his favourite bands. The boy who once played games on now huge ancient & primitive computers, grew up to master each and every exciting new gadget which might serve his artistic talent further.
Something striking about this journey is his modesty. Ask him what he does for a living and he may awkwardly volunteer the information followed by an apologetic ‘but I’d love to just do this full time…’ or a statement devaluing his brilliance, and blush at the suggestion that he is an artist in his own right.
I think part of this is self-marketing, promotion and advertisement; skills which can be difficult for those of us who are modest about our talents.
Perhaps by fulfilling the brief of the customer you are bringing alive their vision alongside using your own to make it real. Does that make it any less an organic product, or is the art solely created by the free will of the artist truly authentic? Whatever the answer(s) may be, he is unique & the possibilities are endless.
Another part of it might be about the perception of what a ‘proper job’ in graphic design actually is. For example, if you aren’t sat behind a desk in an office belonging to a graphic design company wearing a shirt and tie, does that mean you aren’t a proper artist?
Or does carving out space in your life to develop your creativity provide opportunities for the development of self that many never get the chance to benefit from? If the value of art is felt only through delivery of payment how can an artist thrive under pressure?
I saw this wonderful lecture on TED Talks, Jarrett J. Krosoczka: How a boy became an artist. I found it inspiring, almost as inspiring as hubby. I hope you enjoy it. I know I say it a lot but ‘the boy done good’.