Updated: Jul 9, 2021
Here's a look at the design process for my 'Love Grows' card designed for Made in Greenwich and GCDA (Greenwich Cooperative Development Agency). It was sold as a mindful colouring card to raise money for local gardening projects. The card was also included in 'Bags of Hope' presented to 350 frontline NHS workers to thank them for their extraordinary work at the height of the Covid- 19 pandemic as part of Project Hope, organised by Royal Borough of Greenwich and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust. The bags contained goodies from a range of local makers who sell their handmade products through Made in Greenwich.
The brief from Made in Greenwich was to design an alternative Valentine's card to send a 'hug in the post' to friends and family we were missing in the lockdown of spring 2021. After a lot of sketching and deliberation over the text, I came up with a design based on a runner bean plant that we had grown in a glass jar on our kitchen window-sill as a home-school project and the wording: 'Even when you're far away, love grows stronger every day'. I transferred the design onto a lino block with tracing paper and pencil, outlined the design with a permanent marker and carved with Pfeil linocut tools. I found the little L 12/1 tool especially useful for carving the detailed lettering. I rolled out black ink, inked up the block, placed the paper on top and rubbed the back with a wooden spoon to transfer the ink. Next, the black and white print was scanned as a bitmap and digitally coloured it in green and red using a graphics programme. Made in Greenwich Curator, Mary Jane Baxter, suggested that the design would work well as a mindful colouring card. For this, I made a 'cleaner' black and white print with less of the background texture showing and reversed the positive and negative parts of the design so that the stem, leaves and beans were left white to colour while the background is dark.