Today we’re sharing an up-close look at Courtney Jentzen’s design process. Courtney is the designer behind Swiss Cottage Designs – and has an amazing collection available with us! We’ll let Courtney take it from here.
As any small business owner will tell you, running your own studio has many positives and, of course, a few negatives too. One of my favorite aspects about having my own design practice is the uniqueness of each project. We’re fortunate enough to work with so many types of clients, each with their own thoughts and ideas. Because of this, every day is new, refreshing, and full of what I love — illustration!
We’re excited to walk you through our process as we work on a custom wedding suite for an upcoming Brooklyn wedding. This has been on of my favorite projects as of late and I’m so happy to share it with everyone. Let’s get started!
When I sit down to create artwork, I double (and triple) check that I have everything I’ll need handy. It usually takes a moment to find a rhythm and warm up when I draw, so it’s quite annoying if I have to get up to find a specific pen or eraser and interrupt my flow. I almost always draw from reference, so I’ve kept a few image of the Wythe Hotel on hand as well as my copious collection of drawing utensils. Not pictured – an endless flow of good, strong tea.
Once I’ve sketched everything in pencil, I go back over it in ink. This is where my Micron pen addiction can truly run rampant! It’s also one of my favorite parts of the process because I can start adding in some of the finer details that really make the illustration fun and personal.
After the illustrations are squared away, I’ll move onto the lettering. With brush lettering, like illustration, it can take a few minutes to get into the zone. I expect to go through several sheets of paper (sorry trees! love ya!) before I go back and edit down. I prefer to play with the ink and let several options develop organically before looking at everything as a whole and choosing which I like best.
All of the artwork is done! Hooray! Now it’s time to scan it and dive into the layout, type, and color on the computer. Creating the artwork by hand and editing it digitally gives the process so much flexibility and allows me to have the best of both worlds. It also ensures that I can accommodate revisions in a timely manner for the client as opposed to starting from scratch when it’s time for edits.
There are few things more exciting than receiving the project back from the printer! It’s the culmination of the initial ideas, inspiration, and artwork that you can hold in your hands and enjoy. Seeing the final colors and textures for these pieces made me fall in love with the project all over again.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into my process.The workflow is a constant evolution as I find what works best for me – and what doesn’t work at all! I’m very fortunate to do work that I enjoy and have clients who love the outcome. If you have any questions I’d love to hear from you! You can find us on Instagram on @SwissCottageDesigns.
A big thanks to Bella Figura for having us on the blog today! Always a pleasure.