Watercolour Wedding Invite

by Rong Xin Choy


I am excited to document a project that I have been working on for a lovely couple living in New Zealand! Click to watch the teaser video I sent them when everything was printed and ready to be shipped. (My favourite part is how all the circles line up at the end!)

So let's start from the beginning! 

Early this year I embarked on the task of creating a reusable motif for the wedding, one that I could modify slightly each time the purpose/product changed, while keeping the essential look and feel. I wanted to conceptualise something natural and rustic, in line with New Zealand's reputation for the great outdoors. I also knew the bride-to-be as an elegant and ethereal individual (she would have been a perfect LOTR elf had she not missed the auditions) and so I started with illustrating laurels and various fauna. I also knew she grew up in a peach-growing town, so I experimented with these elements.

After a few rounds of discussion, when I proposed the drawing of golden wheat with a watery underlay, Honor loved it!  

I tweaked the final concept by illustrating tussock grass instead of wheat, a plant native to the area where the wedding was to be held.

There were several products I needed to work on:

  1. "Save the Date" pdf invite 
  2. Official Invite  
  3. Information Cards (to go with main invite)

This is what I love about custom illustration and design, especially in weddings! You get to be part of someone else's experience, helping to shape the atmosphere around the event and create beautiful memories. You are given the privilege of making someone feel special when the design is tailored and personal to them.

Golden Wheat on the Left, Tussock Grass on the Right (and playing around with the layout)

Golden Wheat on the Left, Tussock Grass on the Right (and playing around with the layout)

After Honor selected one of the three tussock grass designs, the 'Save the Date' was sent out in May. 

Next came the main invites. As I was playing around with the Save The Date design we had agreed on, I realised that it would be a bit of a waste to only use one of the illustrations (if you look closely, I have three up there!) So I decided to incorporate the other two into the main invite.  I quite liked the idea of two halves of a whole (lol), using the symbolism of spheres, so I kept the circle concept we had started with . Next, between a portrait and landscape orientation, we decided that more balance was found in a landscape orientation.  I enjoyed the creative possibilities of warping text along the circles, but went for a traditional line across the bottom in the end to preserve some formality. (You can see how the design evolved as I played around with the different elements of the invite.) 

After much tweaking, the final design was approved by Honor below!

Back of the card

Back of the card

Front of the card

Front of the card

A print preview from a website I considered using to print!

Sometimes as a freelance artist I have difficulty sourcing for materials. If the local art and craft store doesn't have it and I have a short timeframe to complete the project (so I can't order it off the the internet.. ) then I find myself extremely limited. Fortunately, I found a shade of sage for the envelopes, which worked with the colours perfectly! After cutting out some 90 envelope liners from 14 stunning sheets of Italian wrapping paper (while using up 6 glue sticks), I was ready to package and ship everything off to New Zealand! 

I'll update when I'm finished with the menus and other things for the wedding ;)

Final conceptualisation of the invites before printing.


A Visit to Jeremyville

by Rong Xin Choy


It was a gorgeous Friday afternoon in Sydney. The sun reigned supreme, unhindered by clouds, browning the bodies of all who dared to walk under it unbathed in sunblock. Rong had wanted to meet Jeremyville since she had discovered his work in LA, and as the fates would have it- he was living right in Bondi! So armed with their sketchbooks, nectarines and cake, Rachel and Rong set off to meet the wizard.

After an hour and a half journey, their trek was rewarded with coconut juice and a lovely afternoon of art and conversation! They had never been so impressed by how humble an accomplished man can be! 

To forever immortalize the afternoon, the trio decided to combine all their powers. First, Rong and Jeremyville did a Bondi-Inspired Collaboration. Rong filled in the inside of the ears and the paws of the Jeremyville citizen with floral doodles, placing behind him a puff of galaxy dust. 

Next, Rachel and Jeremyville added mushrooms and magic to a floral sphere that Rong drew. The outcomes of combing different styles were pretty awesome. 

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Rong and Rachel left that day inspired. They knew they had to forever remember that..

Thank you Jeremyville for being an awesome host and gracious artist! You're the best- a toast to new friends!


by Rong Xin Choy



Just because a body has been pierced,

Tanned, or landscaped with tough flesh

Does not make it an armour.

Just because a body has not been touched

Does not mean it is eager for lessons.

 

Alfian Saat (Extract from Anthem)  


What Do You Get When A Hippo Meets a T-Rex?

by Rong Xin Choy


It was my pleasure and privilege to help one of my childhood best friends with wedding invites for her up-coming nuptials in October. She gave me free rein over the concept but I knew where I was headed from the start- something unique, quirky and fun- just like her. 

I thought I would document the process for myself. The first photo shows the sketches of the initial idea, and the second one is the first complete draft. (Signo 0.28 on Water Colour Paper)

After getting the go-ahead from the happy couple on the layout and theme, I decided to improve the animal drawings and give them a little character. I played with the shape of the dinosaur head and legs, giving him a little formal bib (black tie event, of course) and the hippo, a little bow on the ear to look a little more feminine and adorable.

After finalising the characters, I started on the font and wording on the card. I decided to handwrite all the text as it was necessary to have a more organic feel to the card- a font would have been too rigid. I photographed each set of letters and photoshopped them as layers into the final product. 

The completed PDF was sent to The Gentlemen's Press for letterpress printing (I have an unhealthy obsession with letterpress- I wrote about a class I took here!) and here's Alex holding the final product!

Conceptualising a two-sided print option.. 

Conceptualising a two-sided print option.. 

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I was so glad that the couple liked my design and everything was done and settled in a speedy 2 weeks! If you were wondering why a hippo and a t-rex, there's story behind that- Candy loves hippos. Specifically purple ones. And Alex, L-ex ,T-rex... All quite a natural progression, really. 

Photo Credits: The Gentlemen's Press

Photo Credits: The Gentlemen's Press

Congratulations again Candy baby xx Sending all my love- glad I was able to be a little part of your special celebration! 


Lessons from Charlie

by Rong Xin Choy


Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though its breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
Thats the time you must keep on trying
Smile, whats the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile.
Thats the time you must keep on trying
Smile, whats the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile


All Your Friends are Dead.

by Rong Xin Choy


Dino's farewell present- a collage of random tiny hand-painted dinosaurs, vintage succulent illustrations, polaroids and post-its filled with heart murmurs. Goodbyes are rather rancid things, but they do make you ever grateful for having your paths cross with such amazing individuals. Here's to the hope they cross again, at some point. Hug.