Six Years in the Making.

As Beth sleeps, I’ve finally got a little time to myself. I did a little survey on what people would like to read here and one of it was how I started this creative journey.

To begin, I’ve always been a doodler. I was a three-year old with serious separation anxiety. I somehow always ended up bawling for my parents in childrens’ church so the next best option was to keep me quiet in adult sermons with a pack of coloured pencils and paper. I suspect we threw away most of the drawings from that era, but I remember my mom used to help me with art and craft projects I had in primary school. She probably was an early influence –  I specifically remember how she taught me to draw simple birds in the sky (an m with a dash below), and that she had told me to colour in my backgrounds because they look nicer. The latter advise is something I still keep in mind when designing books (especially I’ll Love You Anyway) and selected artwork. Note the colored background:

 

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Fast forward to 2014. I was in my second year of the Speech Therapy Masters course. I think that’s when lettering was starting to become trendy, but some of the trend setters had set their price point really high. Instead of studying, I thought I should try some lettering myself and see if I could eventually letter my own wedding invites. I had no idea what tools to use, so I went with highlighters, random brushes, and a flat-nibbed pen and wrote my name about 400 times because if I’m going to calligraph my own invites I’ll need to know how to write my name right?

 

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I never thought it was going to go very far but in late 2014/early 2015 before I started full-time work, I had requests for commissions. I remember back in the day my commissions costed like $25 to $80 eventually. I look back now and laugh, because I didn’t know anything back then. I also was making a lot of mistakes then so there was quite a bit of anxiety accompanied with every work, and there were some re-dos as well. All that comes with being a newbie doesn’t it?

 

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The coffee & tea commissioned set! 93 of #100typographydays #kristenwrites #kristen100

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In 2016, I finally did get my dream of illustrating and lettering my own invites. It was actually more stressful than anything I’d done, probably because of the expectations I’d set on myself.

 

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Finally revealing these after getting many many texts to say that the cards have arrived safely in your mailboxes!

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In Jan 2017, #kkslittlepeople was born. It’s been my style ever since. It’s not easy finding your style. It took me 3 years to get my style. I did not intend to draw myself, but somehow people are telling me my little people look like me! Interestingly, the techniques I use to draw humans were techniques I picked up from “How to Draw Winnie the Pooh” instructionals when I was a child (I never understood the importance back then though!).

 

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I’ve since stumbled and picked myself up, done some work that I felt were backbreaking and willed myself to charge more for something similar in future. All that’s contributed to where I am right now. Looking back, it’s been an incredible journey and I’m looking forward to even more exciting times as Beth grows up. I actually hope she likes whatever mom does, rather than find it uncool. We’ll find out in several years time.

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