The Sketch Book

Maison Ilan – Le Chambertin 2010

This is something new and different and totally exciting for me to share with you all.

Behold my very first wine label design.

From my embarrassingly limited understanding of the world of wine, this label will grace bottles of Maison Ilan‘s newest vintage of Le Chambertin… which is a Grand Cru from one of the oldest vineyards in one of the oldest wine regions in the world. Burgundy … which is a Big. Deal.

Not to bad for my first label eh? Everyone who has asked me about this project has asked “oh is it a west coast producer?” and I’ve relished getting to haughtily inform them that my label is for a French wine.

Really, becoming a wine snob is not hard to do.

The project began with this loose watercolor…

and through the vision of Ray Walker, the man behind the wine, it evolved and became a refined portrait of the vineyard…

Next we carefully chose fonts – which I then recreated by hand – confirming yet again that I do not have attention deficit disorder.

Yes, this took a while, to put it mildly. But I couldn’t be prouder of how it turned out, or more relieved to know if this whole illustration thing falls through I may have a future as a calligrapher.

The finishing flourish was the vine border, which you will notice combines both grapes and roses. This particular vineyard has rose bushes near the rows of vines…

I could go on and on about this and tell you the significance of every line of text, but I’ll stop. I may be a wine snob now, but I know when to stop flexing my new found knowledge and get back to what you really want…

So, I’ll be back soon with girls and dresses!

sketches from last night

A few sketches from illustrating for Coye Nokes last night. We met at Coye’s bright and airy studio above Chelsea Market for prosecco and shoe sampling. Her friends each got to choose a pair of shoes from her new collection to be sketched in. Fun, right?

Coye’s new spring ’13 collection of shoes is beautiful, lots of feminine heels in bright corals and turquoise. These striped ones above were a personal favorite of mine too.

You’ll notice I posed all the girls the same way, that definitely helped me speed along! I’ve started getting lots of requests for live illustration events lately and questions about how fast I can whip up one of my girls. And of course friends and family have been asking me for years “how long it takes”… after last night I now finally know, if I have to I can draw one of these girls in about 10 minutes.

Did I mention that Coye and I are both W&L graduates? It was cool to meet another female entrepreneur alum and watch her in action with her friends and coworkers celebrating her beautiful collection. Oh and her lovely interns are current W&L students! Generals love! I felt so proud to be part of this smart, creative group of women last night.

coye nokes

Tonight i get to meet shoe designer, Coye Nokes and sketch some of her newest creations. I’m pretty excited to see these beauties in person!


A breezy summer sketch on this Friday afternoon. I can’t get past the fact that her hair is blowing one way and her skirt the other way. Breezin all over the place. It just doesn’t make sense!

She got cut from the 2013 Calendar because of this conflicting cross wind situation.

Oh well, I hope she brightens your afternoon. I was feeling so disheartened by this horrible movie theater massacre today and I wasn’t quite sure what the official Inslee By Design statement was – I’m not good at “my heart goes out” tweets – but I figured I could share some artwork and put some positivity out there in this way.

Anyway, bon weekend. NYC-ers, lets hope this rain ends soon!


My favorite summer flower. Which is yours? I got carried away playing with hydrangeas yesterday afternoon, I think I want to quit my job and start making wallpaper…

Hmm… maybe someday. But for now, I can give you a print!

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