A Whimsical Letterpress and Design Studio Based in Winter Park, Florida

/ / WEEK TWO / / 

HOORAY! We've made it to week numero dos...only 50 more weeks to go! 

FOR my 27th birthday (three years ago now) I had all of my girlfriends dress up in little black dresses for a night out to celebrate making it to my "late twenties". What did I want to do? Eat good food (Houston's!) and...go see Jane Eyre. I know right? Wild times. In my defense, this story is one of my favorites and on my birthday I wanted to do one of my favorite things (being told a story, and not just that, one of my favorites) with all of my favorite people.  

WITH this story, I thought I would go over not just the way I start any project but the ever debated and controversial "inspiration process". By that I mean, finding something inspiring and wanting to use that to make something else, something completely your own. I am of the mind that not only has everything been done before, but it's also somewhat silly to proclaim something you've done wholly original. Everything you might create has been shaped and molded by your own life, what you've seen or what you've heard. In short, you're going down a path someone has gone down before. And that's good, since it will push you to become a much better artist. What isn't good is taking something you've come to love or admire and merely tweaking it to satisfy our nation's copyright laws. I believe it's something absurd like 20% of the created piece has to be different than the original. To be inspired by something and to use that to fuel your own creative juices to create something that looks, sounds and breathes like you is much better than to try to fit into what someone has already done. You are much more creative and clever than a measly 20%, I promise. 

AS an example, I thought I'd show you the inspiration behind this week's book cover. 

NOW, this is a beautiful book cover done by Coralie Bickfird Smith and because it's so darn pretty, I thought this would be a great example of using something as inspiration. Looking at this cover, I'm immediately pulled into a few elements I'd like to carry over to my own version. I love the color scheme, it's dark and somber, and red is notoriously a passionate color. If you've read Jane Eyre you know that she is not only passionate but fiercely and unashamedly herself. It's one of the reasons why I love this character in particular. I also love that the designer chose to go with a pattern, it feels very much from that era and I could very well see the book cover as a print for a dress. 

WHEN it comes to my own design, I'm looking to create something with a dark color scheme, possibly a print and I definitely want to incorporate hand lettering. I also like the idea of bringing in some floral elements since it is the English country side where the novel takes place. And possibly a skull or two. I mean, Jane Eyre is a gothic novel. I also love architecture and it might be fun to include a sketch of Thornfield Hall. 

 

AND the final result! After sketching out all of the concepts I wanted to incorporate into the final piece, I came up with two different ideas. Hope you like them! 

 AND there you have it! 

IF you're interested, here's some trivia about Charlotte Bronte: 

  • She was born on April 20th, 1816. For reference, that's one year before Jane Austen died. It's the same year that Mary, Percy, Lord Byron and John Polidori got together in Switzerland one dark and stormy night and told each tall tales. That night prompted two works of scary fiction; Mary's Frankenstein and Polidori's The Vampyre. It's also the year Argentina claims independence from Spain. James Madison is the current president of the United States. 
  • Charlotte and her two sisters wrote under gender-ambiguous names: Charlotte took the name Currer Bell (how cool is that?) while her sisters Emily and Anne called themselves Ellis and Acton Bell, respectively. 
  • She had popular literary friends: William Makepeace Thackery and Elizabeth Gaskell.
  • She rejected several offers of marriage but accepted her third proposal but dies the very next year. 
  • Her father, Patrick Bronte, survives all of his children.
  • Elizabeth Gaskell writes The Life of Charlotte Bronte three years after her death. 
THANKS for reading! Up next week, the fabulous mystery novelist Wilkie Collins' The Lady in White. This novel has one of my all time favorite literary villains. 

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