In 1893, suffragette Matilda Joslyn Gage reframed the 17th century witch hunts as an attempt by the church and state to police women and their bodies. Given this context, it is easy to see how, in 2018, the witch has gained new relevance and meaning. To think of the witch as scary is to think of the woman as powerful. The witch has been reborn as a potent feminist icon, a subversive take on everything Malleus Maleficarum and old religious ideology feared.
Coven is a brand for witchy women inspired by this ethos. Drawing on traditional occult imagery and the rich history of witches, each piece in Coven pays homage to and reimagines the witch as a fun, feminine force to be reckoned with. This collection combines the legacy of the witch with modern-day trends and attitudes to create magical pieces any girl can incorporate into her daily rituals.
Each piece features a handlettered phrase or illustrated image. In developing the designs, I researched important touchstones in the history of witches, with a specific person or moment serving as the point of departure for each design. Visually, I was inspired by flash tattoo art, antique apothecary signs, and modern iconography like emojis. This mash-up of old-meets-new is a central component of the brand.
When it came to the visual language and brand components for Coven, I thought about a blend of classic occult practices and a modern, cutting-edge attitude. I added an embroidered component to each silkscreen t shirt, as sewing is a ritualistic act in itself; it's also has traditional connotations of being “women's work,” something I wanted to reimagine. Then, for juxtaposition, I incorporated holographic textures, which themselves feel magical and modern as they shift with perspective. These elements were united in the shirts' tags, which feature Coven in vinyl on holographic paper and a handmade silk tassel. On the reverse, the tag tells a story about a moment in witch history, which relates to the particular shirt's design.
When developing Coven, I also had to consider space and how it would be displayed. Exhibited as a pop-up shop, the pieces in Coven necessitated proper framing to really make them sing. I painted the gallery wall the brand's signature lilac, a girly-sweet contrast to the stark shirts. I curated a shelf of potions, dried flowers, and vintage cigar boxes to add a curio shop feel. Additionally, I incorporated dried, painted flowers, candles, and hand-cut holographic leaves beneath the shirts as a nod to altars used in seances and other rituals.
Coven was completed as my thesis project for my Master of Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art. It was exhibited from March 23–April 8 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Named for the Swedish word for “care,” vård is an organization dedicated to completing anonymous acts of kindness in the wintertime. When developing its identity, I took the circular volle accent mark to be used as a dynamic mark that could be expressed in different analog techniques. It is able to be reproduced and abstracted across media, be it painting or embroidery.
Inspired by Scandinavian folk tales, I incorporated wintry imagery and analog, personal details. Handlettering, painting, illustration, and embroidery combined to create a homespun and folksy feeling.
Each member receives a field ledger in which they record and reflect on the good deeds that they have completed, and a pair of embroidered mittens. Vård’s schedule of events is inspired by Advent calendars, with event information hidden underneath flaps. The poster features a hand-painted iteration of the group’s motto.
I was frustrated by the lack of effective gift vessels for plants; they go topsy-turvy and get crushed in bags. I wanted to create a beautiful, eco-friendly, and practical method for gifting plants that allowed the beauty of the plant to shine and wouldn’t be thrown in the garbage.
Bud Box is a simple, sustainable solution. Crafted from water- and bug-resistant recycled wood, it functions as both a gift box and a planter. Every Bud Box comes with a removable card containing specific, concise care instructions so that the plant's new caretaker can properly maintain it. The card features organic hand lettering and illustrative icons to make each care step enticing and easy.
Yankee Candle Rebrand
For this rebrand, I wanted to reposition Yankee Candle as a luxurious, rich, dark candle brand, worthy of its price.
I took the classic serif Yankee Candle logo (from before their recent rebrand) and updated it in a modern serif with more character. In developing the Y mark, I sourced an antique wax seal featuring flowery ornamentation, and repurposed that.
Rather than using a stock photo to illustrate each scent as Yankee Candle does currently, I developed an illustrated pattern of images relating to the scent. This candle, Vineyard, also has a custom wax seal of a grape. The candle stays a neutral, clean white, the only color injected via raw hand-dyed silk ribbon.
Billie + Brine
Billie + Brine is a company specializing in small-batch, organic vinegar and brine solutions. I reimagined vinegar products—something harsh and acidic—as something light and feminine, marketed towards women making salads rather than men pickling things.
I drew my color scheme from my step-father’s own small-batch vinegar solutions, which serve as the products themselves. The combination of vinegar and herbs creates a translucent pink color, which I wove throughout in varying shades, in addition to a bright, fresh green. Hand-illustrated herbs representing each flavor of vinegar serve as another graphic motif.
Cinephilia is an A-Z lexicon of my love for film. Each letter is either represented by a film that I love or a film term that helps to understand and appreciate the history of cinema. I used standard industry aspect ratio in order to create the dimensions for the book, allowing the screen grab from each film to full bleed with no crop.
I applied a halftone and duotone effect to each image, using a color that felt reminiscent of the given film’s spirit. This created a consistency between the films, which span time, genre, and color (many are black-and-white films!).
As a film nerd Easter egg, I bound the book with an X-shaped stitch, a nod to the famous X motif in the original Scarface (1932).
All of these posters were created using archival wood type belonging to the Globe Collection at MICA. I designed, typeset, and printed each one by hand, a time-consuming process that gave me a great tactile relationship with typography.
For the Strawberry Sleepover gig poster, I first screenprinted the background in a marbled combo of neon pink and red. Then, once it dried, I letterpressed the text on top. I love the patina of vintage wood type, and it works especially well juxtaposed against fresh, modern neon colors.
Hunting Zodiac is a poster visualizing the timeline of the Zodiac Killer’s landmark murders. Inspired by Rorschach tests and spirit photography, the poster features watercolor textures layered with double exposed photography to create a spectral image visualizing the case.
21st Century Innovation
This book is a collection of essays surrounding the concept of modern-day innovation.
In thinking about how to visually represent innovation, I did not want to take the typical avenue of clean lines, bold sans serifs, and other conventions of the digital age. Instead, I wanted to innovate the medium of the book itself.
I printed the book on rice paper, allowing the following page’s text to peek through. I positioned the text such that the paragraphs between pages are slightly offset, as though they are a shadow of one another.
Additionally, running the delicate rice paper through a printer caused some distortion of the paper itself, and thus, slight distortion of the text. Each page took on its own character depending on how the soft paper ran through the printer.
The book is bound with transparent fishing line in order to echo the ethereal, transparent theme.
Familiar Strange is an annual series of workshops and lectures that celebrates and seeks to understand artists’ subversive view of the everyday. The poster and website utilize halftone effects, surreal imagery, and subtle typographic shifts to illustrate the central idea of making the familiar strange.
The poster plays largely with scale and abstraction. At a distance, one can properly see the image, not not read the small text. Up close, one can read the event details, but the image is abstracted into halftone dots.
I translated this same idea to the website, converting photos into their halftone complement and using both layered in tandem.
I worked as Art Director for Birthday, a short black comedy film directed by Julia Gunnison. I sourced props, designed and decorated sets, and worked directly with Julia and the Director of Photography in order to cultivate the film's overall aesthetic.
Birthday premiered in May 2017 at the Charles Theatre in Baltimore.
Open and Broken, Slow Burn, Glad I'm a Girl, and Squash are original films shot, audio recorded, and edited by me.
A Charlie Brown Christmas, Home, and Oh, What a Mess are edits utilizing public domain archival footage and audio.