Wedding Season!

When my sister first asked me to design the invitation for her wedding, I admit I was a bit nervous.  Even though I did some calligraphy and illustration for my own wedding, hers was a much more formal affair.  Did she know that I only drew cute cartoon figures with no neck?  But she was confident in my skills so I began my attempts at reconstructing the family crests and creating an elegant design for her military wedding.  I was taken out of my comfort zone, and as a result, have expanded my skills as a illustrator.

My first task was to reconstruct our family crest as well as her fiance’s.  I had a crude picture of our crest on a silver plate and an artist rendered image of our crest – my dad contacted some website and described our crest and they drew their interpretation.  I merged these two ideas, making sure to clearly show the important symbols in the crest, the dragon and the spear, as well as retain the elements and style of the original silver plate.

Her fiance’s crest was a bit more challenging.  All I had to go on was a pyramid shaped paperweight.  I examined it again and again from each crazy angle and could not figure out what those creatures were jumping out of the water – sea serpents, eels, fish?!  I researched the name online, but it took a long time before I discovered the exact variation of the crest that was represented in the paper weight.  Although the star in the crest was not the Star of David, that was all I could find online.  Dave was Roman Catholic, so I was quite hesitant to add this Jewish symbol to his crest if that was not accurate.

While my future brother-in-law seemed pretty excited about the fact that he might have Jewish ancestry, but I continued to do research.  I finally found out that the this Spanish family line split at one point – some diverged off into Judaism and others remained Christian.  The star is different on each family line depending on the religion.  In addition, I discovered that those crazy ocean creatures were actually dolphins – good thing I didn’t draw some hideous sea monsters!

With Kate and Dave’s vision and my creative interpretation, we developed the invitation that you see here today.  They were the best clients ever – clear with their intentions, few in their revisions, and appreciative of my professional artistic input.  When it was done I realized that I really had branched out into a new territory.  I could do a lot more than round, chubby people with arms in awkward positions because they have no necks.  We continued to use this design throughout the rest of the wedding stationary.

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