Back in 2012, when we were still based out of our Boerum Hill, Brooklyn design studio, we were commission by an acquaintance—Kristin Lajeunesse—to do some custom illustration work. The work involved a rebranding of her then company, Rose Pedals Vegan Weddings, which was an online resource for anyone wanting to plan a vegan wedding. The idea was that we’d create these personified animal brides, grooms, and fancied-up wedding attendees and then use those throughout the site and in its marketing; key amongst it—tees we were going to have made (see badass mouse bride shirt illustration, to the right).

As you’ve likely guessed from the past tense structure of this introduction, none of that ever came to fruition—we completed a total of five unique illustrations and, a little while later, Kristin stepped away from the business to pursue other work—she’s now a lifestyle coach and author and the company’s since passed hands and been rebranded Vegan Weddings HQ.

Though we’ve got no hard feelings about how things turned out, we were always a little sad the project was never fully realized, only because we were really proud of the work itself.

The illustrations were based on photo composites we created so as to establish a realistic foundation that we could then stylize and embellish from as we liked. We then hand-sketched over the composites, scanned these sketches, and brought them into Adobe Illustrator, where we re-sketched the hand-done lines using a pen + tablet so we ended up with crisp, resizable vector lines. For the shirts, we then used a similar technique to color in forms in layers behind the sketch layer, again, to end up with bold, solid forms; ones that could be resized without degradation and would translate to print well.

In the end though, we’re personally even more fond of the pieces that grew from this original work, which we made by taking the illustrations I (Troy) created, printing them on archival stock, and having Katie tone and bring them to life with hand-watercoloring. There’s something about the pairing of clean, sharp lines and corners of the computer-rendered work that plays so nicely off the organic, natural flow of watercolor in all its nuances.

These three pieces hang in our Los Angeles home now and make me happy every time I look at them. So all’s well that ends well, I’d say.

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