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Botanical Inspiration

Botanic Inspiration is part science part art. The technical part was very important in the past for studying biology. With the advent of photography, these techniques have been combined to depict all kinds of plants with the best detail.

I find the artistic side very inspiring and I love to create illustrated products and embroidery inspired by botanical illustration. My favourite botanical artist is called Pierre-Joseph Redouté, he was a famous artist in the court of Napoleon Bonaparte and his favourite flowers were roses.

Do you have any botanical art at home? Where do you think they fit best, hallway, living room, bedroom? Let me know in the comments!

ps. some people messaged me asking the name of the book. It’s named a Garden Eden. I’m linking some more inspiring books below, A Garden Eden, another book by Redouté and one that is actually more towards chinoiserie but have some great art inspired by botanical illustration, from de Gournay. * those are affiliated links and I might get a small commission if you shop using these links *

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New arrivals on the way!

Hello and Happy New Year!

Here is just a quick update. In 2023 I’m increasing my range of products, introducing new bag styles, ceramic mugs and new wall décor. Some of these products will be available exclusively here on my website, others will also be on Etsy.

I’m also experimenting a bit with my visual communication, please feel free to send me feedback!

Let me know how are you doing and if you would like to share any goals for the year please leave me a comment!

Cheers! 🥂

jo

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2022, some amazing updates!

Hi! Can you believe the year just flew like that? By the end of December I always like to reflect on what I accomplished and what are the goals for the future.

What are you most proud this year?

My illustration studio is a very small company that I started in 2021, introducing illustrated and embroidered products and making the lives of people more beautiful. I hope my creations brought a smile to your face, either by bringing warm memories to your walls, helping you carry your errands in a stylish way or surprising your special ones with the perfect gift.

2022 in review

So many new products were released this year! Here is a small sample of some of my most popular creations:

Picking a favorite is really hard but if I had to choose, I’m very happy with…

The embroidered tote bag

Not only did it have the best reviews and feedback, but I was also very proud to see my designs out in the world. If you haven’t checked them yet, I definitely recommend having a peep and keeping them in mind for your everyday errands.

I also need to mention how happy I’m for having launched two pattern collections. It’s amazing to see how some of you used my patterns this year as fabrics and wallpaper in your homes. I hope they added a bit of fun to your lives!

The Year Ahead

I’m very excited about what is coming for 2023. First up, I’m increasing my range of offered products, introducing coffee mugs and other new illustrated products, they will be available exclusively on my website. Also, new pattern collections are on the way!

Thank you for all your feedback, I appreciate it so much! I’ll continue sharing the behind-the-scenes and latest news.

Thank you so much for being part of my life in 2022. I’m so grateful for your support.

Wishing you a Warm and Merry Christmas!

Jonara Oliveira

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Designing the Winter Wishes Collection

When I thought about Christmas and Winter I always remember happy moments from my childhood. One of those moments were watching Christmas movies. I grew up in Brazil, where Christmas happens during summer. I’ve never seen snow until I moved to Canada, so watching those kids playing in the ice and snow was fascinating for me!

One of my favorite movies when I was a kid was Home Alone. I love movies from the 80s and 90s and I thought that would be the perfect inspiration for my new winter collection.

Choosing the elements

I watched the movies again and did an analysis of some key elements, you can read about it below:

I wanted to design some people but I didn’t want to use the thieves or Kevin’s family. Instead, I focused on characters that barely have a screen time during the movie, like the ice skaters, choir singers and shoppers. I also got inspired by some of the house wallpapers, overall colour palette and ornaments.

  1. Characters: Ice Skaters, Shoppers, Choir Singers, Kevin and Santa Claus
  2. Elements: Wallpapers designs and Santa House
  3. Miscellaneous: Toys, Presents and Christmas ornaments

I designed the elements in my own style and then digitalized using Adobe Illustrator. My goal was not to recreate the movie most famous scenes, instead I tried to illustrate the fun atmosphere of Christmas and winter in the 80s and 90s. I really enjoyed dressing the characters in vintage clothes and vibrant colours.

Slide the picture below to see my original drawings and the digitalized version

Slide and watch the magic!

Creating the Patterns

For this collection I decided to create 5 hero prints,5 secondary prints and 5 blenders.

Hero Prints: the statement ones! Patterns with characters, lots of elements and colours.

Secondary Prints: patterns with smaller elements and medium complexity

Blender Prints: abstract patterns with limited colours

I tried to create patterns that could be used not only for Christmas but also for the whole winter, so colours include not only the basics red, green and golden but also some whites and blues to add a bit of ice and snow to the mix.

Mock-ups

I always like to visualise how the patterns are going to work in products, here are some tests

Printing Fabrics and Licensing

This collection available for purchase in my Spoonflower shop – that means you can shop fabric by the yard and create your own projects.

I ordered a small quilt to make sure colours will look all right, that’s how it’s going to look like:

Producing Embroidered Products

As usual I’m offering some of the designs in an embroidered version. The winter tote bag is a must have, and the hoops are a great idea for decorating your house or for giving as gifts. Visit my Etsy Shop to see what is available.

What did you think about this project? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments!

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Designing The Book Lovers Collection

It’s been more than a year since the last time I drew a surface pattern design collection. Reading is one of my passions and drawing a book collection has always been in my plans. I’m also a big fan of the visuals in the movie You’ve Got Mail, since the main characters are owners of bookstores and there are books everywhere. I’m specifically attracted by the decoration with so many bookshelves and cozy objects, I find it simply brilliant. With a bit of inspiration and lots of imagination, here is a bit of my process creating The Book Lovers Collection.

The Book Lovers Collection

This collection is perfect for book enthusiasts, writers, students, all people who loves vintage vibes of old paper books, typewriters, lots of coffee and a cozy environment. Adding a hint of humor, warm elements and colours, it’s a perfect collection for back to school in the fall or to enjoy the whole year.

Deciding what to draw

I decided I wanted to get most of my inspiration from the movie You’ve Got Mail, so I watched it again. There are so many things to get inspired, like the Shop Around the Corner, or NY in the fall, or even the Fox Books store. But the place I would love to seat and read was actually Kathleen Kelly’s brownstone house. You can read my analysis of her living room here.

I wanted to have a mix of characters, objects and miscellaneous designs. Watching the movie, I tried to focus on the people who visited the house, on objects, patterns and colours that decorate the space. I divided those in 3 categories:

  1. Characters: the people who frequent the house
  2. Elements: The furniture and larger objects
  3. Miscellaneous: Small objects that decorate the place

With that in mind I drew each element by hand in my own style, and later digitalized using Adobe Illustrator. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see a likeness to Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks or Greg Kinnear, that was intentional. I placed these characters in new situations and tried to focus in the book lovers theme. I want my drawings to appeal to all book lovers, not only fans of the movie.

Slide the picture below to see my original drawings and the digitalized version

Slide and watch the magic!

Creating a Pattern Collection

For this collection I decided to create 4 hero prints, 6 secondary prints and 6 blenders.

  • Hero Prints: the ones with more colours, more elements and higher complexity. All the characters are in the hero prints.
  • Secondary Prints: patterns with medium complexity, moderate use of colours, medium contrast and no characters
  • Blender Prints: simple patterns with limited colours and no complex elements, low contrast

When choosing colours I always try to imagine if the patterns were transmitting that cozy, cute and fun atmosphere. My goal was to create an attractive universe for book lovers, with patterns that work well in different applications.

Trying a few mock-ups

It’s always great to visualise how the patterns are going to work in products, so I always make a few mock ups to test.

Printing Fabrics and Licensing

I decided to make this collection available for purchase at Spoonflower – that means you can shop fabric by the yard and create your own projects.

In order to sell on their website we need to print prof the designs and make sure all colours are fine. I ordered a sample of each fabric on a cheater’s quilt (an amazing option available on their website, you can make one for yourself!). Here is how mine is going to look like, in case you need some inspiration. (If you would like to shop these fabrics visit my shop ).

Producing Embroidered Products

And of course I wouldn’t miss the opportunity of offering some of these designs in an embroidered version. So hoops and tote bags are available featuring some of the icons from the collection. Visit my Etsy Shop to purchase them.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about my process. I find it amazing and surprising to see how much we are able to create with few pieces of inspiration. As the times passes I’ll have even more items to grow this collection so keep in touch! And please let me know what do you think in the comments!

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The Happiness of Designing a New Collection

Hello and welcome back!

This year started with great productivity for me. When we are happy at our work, everything flows better, isn’t right? Since I started creating illustrated embroidery designs I’ve been more relaxed and stable in my process as never before.

One part of me was able to lower my expectations and focus on simple things. I guess on the surface it might look like as I’m not pushing hard or not trying to do anything complex or new. But it’s really interesting how our mind works. As I create a lot of simple designs, I’m having a lot of ideas and I guess you will see some very original projects here if you keep in touch.

You can’t have new ideas if you are not creating. At least that’s how it works for me. I need to do constant research and produce tons of things to start merging all the ideas in my mind. I have way more concepts than I have time to explore them, but I’m not anxious. It’s such a pleasure to create and I’m glad I have a huge list of subjects, I can just pick one and go.

This week I’m launching some floral designs for Valentine’s day and they are inspired by Botanical Illustration. This is a subject I’ve been always thinking about exploring and it’s a constant presence in the interior decorations I’m attracted to. I’m going to add more designs to this first launch but if you enjoy them you can shop the hoops on my shop.

I hope you are having a great start of the year! Keep in touch! Cheers!

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Embroidery and the cute life

I got an embroidery machine. A beautiful, amazing machine and I’m enjoying every minute!

Did I ever tell you I worked with custom embroidered products from when I was 15 until my 20s? When I was teenager, my parents opened an embroidery shop and I worked with them for a long while. We used to make mostly hats and t-shirts. Themes were more casual and we didn’t focus on home decoration.

Working in my family business, 1997. I’m the one on the phone.

A few weeks ago I went to Brazil to visit my parents, and they still have the same shop. While I was explaining my project for illustrated products, my mom insisted that I should buy an embroidery machine. That thought actually crossed my mind a few times but I was not thinking seriously about it. But she was confident I should get a machine now, and I should start creating embroidered illustration.

Well, I got myself some courage, cave in a bit of my savings and here it is. A lovely Brother Innovis NQ1700e.

Her name is Fofina

The machine come with many designs but of course I’m not so interested in using other peoples designs. I want to create my own illustrations and convert them in stiches. For that I use the same program my parents have been using for the last 20 years, a Brazilian software called Bordarte.

Bordarte and I, a partnership of more than 20 years

I’m amazed at how beautiful anything looks as you transform them in thread and stitches. I decided to start as simple as possible so I’m creating just embroidery hoops. Some are ready to shop, and others are custom designs. After that, my next step is to get back to the tote bags, but this time, embroidered.

Check some of my first creations:

A custom name embroidered flower hoop
A monochromatic hoop to decorate the studio

It’s been a lovely experience. I really enjoy the texture and the cozy feeling of these pieces and I’m thinking in more ways to explore the machine and software possibilities.

This is just the beginning! I hope you enjoyed my big news and keep in touch to see lots of new cute embroidery designs coming in.

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Creating my first pattern collection

Drawing patterns is an old dream and I did my first course on the subject in 2018 (with the lovely Elizabeth Olwen on Skillshare).

I got way too busy with other things, time passed and I forgot the little I learned.

This year I said: the time has come!

I enrolled in a course by Ana Sanfelippo at Domestika and it is exactly about what I wanted to learn: tell stories with patterns.

1. Chose the theme

NBC Universal

I was inspired by a short scene in the movie Gosford Park. I love the bedroom furniture and ladies style.

If you want to read my full analysis of this bedroom click here.

2. Define what to draw

My drawings were divided in 3 categories:

Characters: the ladies who socialize in the bedroom
Elements: the furniture and window
Miscellaneous: small objects of the room and wallpaper details

3. Decide where to use the patterns

Early on I decided I wanted to apply the patterns mostly for decoration. Fabrics, wallpapers and art prints are my main goal.

4. Search for references

I always like to get extra references for my projects, so they feel very unique.

For this project I also got inspired by:

  • Chinese scrolls and vases
  • French Toile de Jouy fabric and wallpapers
Images: British Museum and Pattern Observer

5. Draw the elements

This part took forever but it’s so important! I drew all elements by hand in my personal style, then digitalized all elements on Illustrator. It was a very long and exhausting process but now that I’m done I understand how important it is to draw each element very carefully.

Slide to see before and after!

Before and after

6. Pattern creation

For this collection I drew 10 patterns, but in this first moment, I’m publishing just 3:

  • Micro elements
  • Vertical Stripes
  • Brick / Toile inspired

7. Have fun with mockups!

I can’t finish an illustration without testing on a mockup. That’s how I adjust colors, proportion and other small details. When I worked as an architect, I couldn’t live without 3D models and mood boards.

I guess my brain still works the same, I need to see it in the real world!

8. Print fabrics and licensing!

Ok I’m not there yet! I’m still waiting for my fabric samples to arrive, but we will get there and I’ll be here updating you ASAP!

In the mean time check this super cute video I did for my my Instagram, speaking about my pattern process.

Gosford Park Scene: NBC Universal / Video Music: Spring @iksonmusic

If you love it and would like to see more, please check my portfolio page:

Thank you so much for reading! Tell me what do you think about it in the comments!

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The collection saga

Remember when I said I was going to postpone the launch of my collections for 2 months? I thought that would be enough. Guess what? That won’t be enough!

I was working on my Halloween collection last week and I was really enjoying and having tons of fun. But yesterday I realized it’s already September 3rd and I don’t have any completed drawings. Not even 1! You might think, oh you have almost 2 months to Halloween. But I actually don’t.

  1. I have a full time job
  2. I’m going to visit my husband’s family for 10 days
  3. Halloween collection should be released about 2 weeks before Halloween…

So I calculated and basically I have 20 days to do everything (16 pieces, between stickers, illustrations and handwriting quotes). I started to think about cutting some of the drawings and making a smaller collection. Then I thought about skipping Halloween completely and start working on the Christmas collection. But I didn’t like that idea. Why would I publish the whole Thanksgiving collection for September/October and then spend again another month and a half without posting anything again and then suddenly post a ton of Christmas drawings? People want some consistency!

Well, yesterday I was painting the floor of one of the art studios I work at. I love those days when I can do something mechanical, it helps me put my mind back in place. I thought a lot about many things.

Pushing myself so hard is destroying my creativity

Drawing takes time! While it’s nice to work with a sense of urgency, I can’t keep like a machine. I need to be kind to myself. So I took a hard decision, but this will give me peace of mind. I postponed everything for the next year, including the Thanksgiving collection that is already done.

I’m going to create enough drawings to have a “savings account” of drawings. I want to have 6 months of drawing collections ready before starting posting on social media.

This might not make sense for most people. You might be thinking: why don’t you just draw and post like you did before? Why make such a big deal?

It’s been a while I like to work in collections (astrological signs collections, months collections, holidays collections, etc). I prefer to work in collections because it allows me to tell a complete story and I feel very accomplished. The other reason is that collections help organize visually my portfolio and offer a variety of products on the same theme. It’s pretty much like a fashion collection. I’m pretty much inspired by fashion, so it makes sense to plan collections like a fashion designer plans for the runway.

So that’s what’s going to happen. I’ll keep posting behind the scenes here and I’ll offer a few isolated drawings online until I get my collections organized and well stocked. Best news I got this week, I was approved on Giphy, so soon I’ll make lots of gifs available for Instagram and Facebook. Keep in touch!

I love gifs and stickers! 🙂