A custom proposal book for Samantha & Sian

I get a lot of very sweet commission requests. Every now and then, there's one that comes along that scares the hell out of me. A commission so big and so sweet that I'm terrified of screwing it up, and ultimately screwing up the big day or surprise for someone else. 

This book was one of those "holy hell sweet and daunting" books. 

Sian contacted me a while ago about putting together a "children's book" about how she and her then girlfriend Sam met. The book would go through how they met, their travels together, meeting family, and ultimately end with a surprise trip where Sian would propose on the last night, on the very last page. Ring illustration included. 

Like I said, holy hell sweet and daunting. 

Luckily, Sian already had the story framed out so all I needed to do was illustrate and bind it! It was so fun to watercolor these two and their incredible story of dating across two continents. 

Sian was so sweet and so much fun to collaborate with that it made the entire daunting process so much easier to tackle. I also got a sweet review from Sian so I can guess the proposal went over well!

There's some more photos up on my website if you're curious to see...


Quilà, the traveling sketchbook

Heading into my road trip to Oregon over spring break, I knew I wanted sketch while on the road. Usually the only time I really ever dedicate time to sketching is when I'm in Europe. So I decided to grab one of the mixed paper travel sketchbooks that I made for my Etsy shop and put it to use! 

It was interesting working with this size, especially compared to how large Quarto and Terzo were. Overall I really liked it, and I'm excited to keep adding to it. Once I head back to Italy this summer, I'll start working in my 5th Italy sketchbook, Quinto! 

I had a hard time picking a name for this sketchbook, especially since all the others were easy because they were numerical. I decided to go with a combination of the Italian words for 'here' and 'there,' which is 'qui' and 'là.' Apparently 'quila' without the accent means eagle in Italian, so I'm alright with the name! 

I'll be keeping track of these sketches on Instagram under the hashtag #quilathetravelingsketchbook and I'll be adding photos to my website as well. Here's a peek at the progress I made between Big Sur, California and Carlton, Oregon. 

I'm also excited about using this sketchbook because of the cover. Last summer when we visited my grandpa in Utah, I found a roll of this brown leathery vinyl in his shop. Turns out it's leftover seat fabric from a boat he used to have. I'm pretty happy to finally put this fabric to use, and carry a bit of the 70s around with me! 

One place I had to stop was at Il Vecchio in Pacific Grove. I went there a few years ago with my little sister on a mini road trip, and I actually got to meet Ariele Alasko that night too! Their food is still some of my favorite Italian food in California. 

I added photos of the whole sketchbook to my website is you're curious to see the rest of the progress in more detail.