I've known London-based artist and illustrator Jacqui Lee for six years and I've always admired her beautiful gouache paintings. I was thrilled to collaborate with her earlier in the year to commission eight new and exclusive greeting cards for Ricicle Cards. Jacqui kindly photographed her original paintings so I thought I'd talk you through the collection, the ideas behind the designs and showcase the final artwork.
Even before sketchpads and paint brushes came out of their boxes, I got to have fun and play around with the ideas! I always begin by thinking about the things I love and what I'd like to see on a greeting card. So much of my personality comes out in the designs and ideas. I mean, I love Disney and the Disney parks - so you might pick up on some of those influences in the balloon bunch birthday card and the rollercoaster birthday card.
Working on the brief for the 'live your best life' card, I took inspiration from Taylor Swift (yep, seriously) and her music video for 'You Need To Calm Down'. For me, there's nothing else I need to live my best life than a cocktail, a flamingo pool float and a warm pool. Am I right?!
Something that was really important to me in the designs was inclusivity. I wanted male cheerleaders as well as women in the birthday cheer card (not necessarily just because I'd secretly love to be one) and I wanted lots of people from different ethnic backgrounds too.
I love Jacqui's hand-painted townhouses and pubs! Number one on my list was getting a new home card designed and I think my favourite character out of all the designs is the chap in the grey sweater here!
The super scrumptious cake below was inspired by a real-life one that I had seen in a shop window when I was in London. I love the cute mini doughnuts on the top of the cake, the confetti-filled sponge and obviously the pink drip icing! The pink drip icing makes this birthday cake extra special. I love baking in my spare time, so maybe I should give this one a go! Leave a comment below if you'd be up for me doing this!
It was amazing seeing the designs come to life through each stage of the process. I loved seeing the initial sketches, the paintings and obviously the final printed product! I hope you love the collection as much as I do! You can find Jacqui on Instagram @leejacqui. All the designs are available in the online shop at £2.50 each - shop the collection here.
Thanks for reading and I'll see you real soon.