Facebook Live with Lover.Ly

I had the pleasure in joining Kellee Khalil and her lovely team at Lover.ly headquarters this past Wedding Wednesday to chat all things love letters & Valentine’s Day! Check the full interview in the video below or visit their Facebook page directly!

Inspired By This: How to be a Girl Boss Feature

Inspired By This came to the Eliza Gwendalyn Studios to discuss all the exciting and fabulous new things we have launched this Valentine’s Day! Below is an excerpt from the article.
You can see the full INSPIRED BY THIS feature here!

“After much success with my first font line Petunia, hitting #7 hottest font on myfonts.com this past summer with Great Lakes Lettering, I decided to embark on my own font journey and form a foundry along with Jim Lyles called Studioways.

I fell in love with the process of font making, but I am super meticulous and I felt that it was best for me to take the next step in the font world under my own brand. I couldn’t do it entirely on my own though, because all fonts entail design & program, and I am just a designer. This meant I needed someone who excelled in programming. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Jim Lyles a month after we launched Petunia. Jim is a seasoned font programmer and he has contributed his skills to quite a few famous font families of our time including: Vera font family and Stiggy & Sands’ Kapture. These are just two of many successful typefaces he has created within the 3o years he has been working in the industry. It was pretty exciting that Jim was on board to form a partnership with me. We had an instant connection and within 24 hours our partnership was signed and our foundry Studioways was formed! We dove right in to designing our first font family together, which I am delighted to say is available now on myFonts and our Studioways website. Her name is Lady Slippers and she is the most romantic and delicate style I have created to date. Lady Slippers was a true labor of love. No matter what I work on I give it 150% my all, but with her I had to go above & beyond, after-all, how many times does a newbie like me get to work with a seasoned vet like Jim? I may have made a name for myself in the wedding industry, but I just broke in to into the font world in the summer 2016, so this was a huge deal for me.

The process behind font creating is quite tedious but oh-so rewarding. First, you have to calligraphy or draw the ligatures and ornaments. Then, you scan them and fix it up in Photoshop. After you clean up the artwork in PSD, you bring it into Illustrator to vectorize it. This is the trickiest part for a font like Lady Slippers because of how intricate her letterforms are. Lady Slippers is very delicate, after all it resembles one of my calligraphy styles I write in and the special art of calligraphy is the defined thick and thin lines. We really wanted to instill that calligraphic hand while also making it computer and graphics friendly. To do this, you have to manually manipulate each vector point to achieve that intricacy throughout the letter as well as keep the flow consistent throughout the entire alphabet of upper and lower case. Once you complete vectorization, you are finally ready to program it, which is the most time consuming step of them all! People think hand drawing and writing is the hardest part of creating a typeface but honestly that’s the easiest and most fun step! It’s the weeks, with the computer, which is the most tedious, but totally worth it! The time spent on each step is the beauty of the process. Creating the perfect font family takes months. You invest so much time into a project that it becomes your baby. Lady Slippers took Jim and I about seven months to create from design to finish. You spend so much time planning and editing and then it is time to pick a name for your baby!

Picking a name is just as important as designing the font! I originally created the Lady Slippers’ style during a logo project for a company that hired me to rebrand them. I wanted to name it after the brand I was designing for, but the name was already taken. Just like a company or artwork, a font needs an exclusive name; so one cold Fall day Jim and I went back and forth on delicate pretty names for an hour or two. Petunia was named after my nickname from my parents, and it’s also a flower, so we wanted to keep it in the same genre since they are both designs developed from my personal calligraphy hand-style. We went down a list of hundreds of flowers and just when I was going to throw in the towel, I saw Lady Slippers and it just spoke to me. I often compare calligraphy to ballet, both acts are so graceful but take time to learn and perfect that grace. When I look at Lady Slippers it reminds me of ballet slippers, delicate and pretty yet not so simple to wear, which resembles our journey in creating Lady Slippers Font Family.

For those of you who don’t know what a ‘font family‘ refers to, it’s the term that is given to a group of one or more variations in a typeface. So a family is formed when you have two or more typefaces under the same name. Petunia has 7 fonts in its family and Lady Slippers has 4, plus an extended version of the main typeface for designers to get crazy with. This extended version includes swashes, ligatures and contextual alternates, among others, in all accessible via OpenType features. If you aren’t tech savvy you probably won’t understand what I just said but if you are, you should head on over to our website and purchase the single Lady Slippers font package to see what I am talking about! For those of you who are not OpenType aware, purchase the Lady Slippers Bundle package. I have also added a font with ornaments, flourishes and crests because I design my families with the bridal and stationery industry in mind.

THERE IS MORE TO COME!

We are constantly designing and generating fonts behind the scenes. I always plan ahead and signed 3 fabulous artist to our foundry this past fall: Virginia Luca Hart, Sarah Richardson and Elaina Deboard whom all have leant their calligraphy styles to their own unique font collaboration for Studioways! Virginia’s font is already on the launch calendar for March so stay tuned for that! Jim and I have also been busy designing a sans serif as well as a monogram font, however they won’t launch until 2018.

We have also branched out with our fonts in to into products. I am excited to announce my launch of wax seals with WaxSeals.com this Valentine’s Day! It’s named Eliza Gwendalyn Collection and it is everything I have hoped for and dreamt of. CEO, Darsh Thomsen and her team reached out to me in late fall after seeing my typeface Petunia with some exciting concepts, so naturally, I couldn’t resist to jump on that opportunity! It’s been quite an exciting few months designing a full collection of personal Eliza Gwendalyn Crest Designs to go along with my font collection for them. It’s a very unique service they provide and quite niche as is calligraphy. If I must say so myself, it’s a perfect pairing, and a joy to work with the ladies of Waxseals.com! You can purchase the full collection directly from their website. Every season we will come out with new colors, designs and scents! Yes, you heard me, they can scent the wax! Order today and receive 25% off on your total order using promo code:

To combine my passion of type and calligraphy into a product like the wax seals is a dream come true. It’s an honor to be apart of two traditional crafts modernizing in our day and age – quite the state of art progression! You can purchase Studioways fonts on our website here 
and check out Eliza Gwendalyn’s Wax Seals collection here.”

Web Design 101: Getting Started

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WEB DESIGN 101:  Getting Started

Are you in need of a website but not sure where to start?
Follow these 3 simple steps on how to get started.

FINDING A DOMAIN NAME

1. Pick a domain name (website name). There are quite a few domain search websites but my personal and most reliable website to find out if your domain names available would be godaddy.com – You can type your name of choice and pick the ending (whether you want .com, .net, or your own . something) and see if it is available for purchase. The more generic or popular the name is the smaller the chance it is available OR available at a reasonable price. Shoot for the stars but be realistic if you want to name your company blue jeans and wish to purchase bluejeans.com, the chances are going to be slim to none that it is still available and if it is, the price is going to be astronomically high (think $5,000+). Don’t let this get you down search for your domain name wisely. If it is taken, try other ways to say it, bluejeans.com maybe $50,000 but bluejeansboutique.com may only be $14.99. Play-on-words is key to get the best price options and availability for your name.

PURCHASING WEBSITE HOSTING

2. Once you purchase your domain now you will want to purchase web hosting. Hosting is a server your website lives on, essentially it is the space your rent out monthly to park your website on like a brick & mortar shop rents a store front, websites rent server space. You cannot have a live website without hosting. If you are a client of mine, I am very particular about the hosting I refer my clients to use. I only design websites off WordPress so I require my clients to purchase a WordPress hosting package from godaddy.com. They have very reasonably priced packages. However, some hosting platforms can run up to $100s of dollars opposed to the $3-20 WordPress hosting I use. This price range is due entirely on the size of your website. Obviously if you have a $50,000 website you will need more space on a server than a $600 website would need, just like Bloomingdales rent is cheaper than a coffee shops.

PICKING A CMS

3. Pick a web programmer and if you are a programmer, pick your website content management system (CMS) you wish to build your website off of. There are many CMS options from Shopify to Squarespace or building your own html file from scratch if you know j-query and javascript. My go-to CMS is WordPress. WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in a PHP file, if you aren’t a nerd like me, PHP is basically the easiest way to create a powerful website without speaking the entire geek language. It only requires you to be proficient in the computer languages named CSS & Html not all the computer programming languages in existence. If you are computer savvy it truly is the best and most efficient way to build a beautiful cohesive website. I will explain more about why I love wordpress and how to use it in may next post. There are a lot of crooks out there so try to become well verse before you sign up with anyone.

WEB DESIGN 101: GETTING STARTED

Loverly Blog Feature: How to Create a Custom Ink

Honored to be able to share some of my tips & tricks over Loverly blog on friday! Check you the full video tutorial in the link below on how to Create a Custom Ink Color Like a DIY Calligraphy Queen!

How on earth can a couple create a custom ink color to perfectly match their wedding palette? We all know how long it takes to pick out the perfect Pantones, so who wants to settle on a not-quite-right ink shade? Read on to see what she had to say…

SUPPLIES

 


  • pipette
  • White or black Winsor & Newton gouache ink
    (Depending on light or dark shade)

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Open your large dinky dip jar and fill 1/4 of the jar with your ink.
2. Take the water and fill the jar up until it is 1/3 filled with the ink & water compound.
3. Close the top and shake vigorously for 2 minutes.
4. Open the jar and take your pipette to gently mix the compound a little more.
5. Take your pen & nib and test the quality of ink. Your goal is to create the perfect milky texture, as thick as milk. If the ink is too opaque and watered-down you will need to add more ink. If the ink is too thick and clumpy you will need to dilute it by adding more water with a pipette. Go slow and gentle until you reach that perfect milky consistency.

GREY LIKES WEDDINGS SOUTHERN SHOOT FEATURE

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We were so excited to be the main feature article on Grey Likes Weddings today! This southern inspiration shoot was the brainchild of GLDN EVENTS who established the baby blue and southern peach palette with a strong emphasis on pattern (check out the adorable hand-painted tablecloths by Carly Home!!) The flowers are by GLEN HEAD FLOWER SHOP and we’re totally obsessing over the white floral installation on the bold, red barn—such a perfect portrait backdrop for a rustic wedding! FOR THE LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY was behind the lens to capture all the fun moments and delightful details of the adorable shoot. You can see some more photos below or you can check out the full article on there website here!

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This shoot stays near and dear to my heart because it was the first time I got to use my font line Petunia on a printed medium and feel it first hand. I am so please with how For The Love Photography captured the suite along side Nally Jewels’ diamond rings. It was even more special to me that Carly Home designed the envelope liner to match the suite.

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The entire shoot was shot through the eyes of Jamie Baldwin of For the Love Photography, from the wide views and the couple sessions down, to the close-up shots of the custom specialty cocktails by the LIQ NY, leather escort pouches by Vianel and the stunning diamond rings from Nally’s Jewels Inc.

Photography: FOR THE LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY // Event Planner: GLDN EVENTS // Calligraphy & Stationery: ELIZA GWENDALYN //  Flowers: GLEN HEAD FLOWER SHOP // Hair & Makeup: A.K. BRIDAL // Cocktails: THE LIQNY // Linens: CARLY HOME // Groom Styling: MR. BALDWIN STYLE // Groom Model: Matthew Billman, Soul Artist Management // Jewelry: NALLY’S JEWELS // Leather goods: VIANEL // Headpiece: NATURAE DESIGN // Venue: Private Residence

Tidewater & Tulle + Cricut DIY Giveaway

easy-wedding-diy-seating-chart-cricutI am completely in awe and totally inspired by this epic DIY seating chart blogger Chelsea LaVere of tidewaterandtulle.com created with my Great Lakes Lettering font Petunia in partnership with Cricut to celebrate the launch of their wedding related projects. You can read more about her DIY project using a cricut printer here and you can enter to win giveaway of $1500 worth of wholesale wedding flowers below from the florist FiftyFlowers.

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TIDEWATER & TULLE CONTEST WITH CRICUT

Win $1500 in wholesale wedding flowers from FiftyFlowers!

Whether you want to make your professional wedding florist very happy or have some florists in your family, FiftyFlowers helps get you your dream blooms from farm to doorstep. Trendy flowers like peonies and protea to classic flowers like lilies and roses, there’s a bit of everything depending on your wedding theme and style!

Head over to Cricut to enter to win this week’s prize and more!

“IT’S YOUR STORY, MAKE IT PERSONAL”

Photos taken by Tidewater & Tulle

Lover.ly Facebook Live Interview

I had such a blast visiting the headquarters of Lover.ly in NYC and hanging with Kellee and her fabulous team. Below is the full video interview of how I started my calligraphy stationery career, some basic pricing for designers starting out in the industry, and some tips & tricks for beginners.

 

 

FIND A TONE FOR YOUR BRAND

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Most of you know, if you follow me on instagram, that I am not just a calligrapher but also a web designer and graphic artist. What you don’t know is how I was able to combine both lifelong passions into one dream career! In the next couple of weeks I will be writing post on tips & tricks on how I built my brand. From simple do-it yourself branding to partnering and working with others to raise brand awareness. I will open the doors to a little sliver of how-to’s of the Eliza Gwendalyn brand development.

BRANDING 101: FIND A VOICE

Whether you are starting a brand from scratch or rebranding an existing brand you should establish a tone or what I like to refer to as your brands ‘VOICE’ — It sounds simple but what if you have multiple voices? A common question and concern for most people just starting out. It is fine if you have multiple tones but we want to make sure they all go hand-in-hand. So get a pen a paper and answer these five questions:

I did it along with you as an example.

  1. What are your favorite colors?
    EG: Pinks, Black & White
  2. What 10 traits does your target client have?
    EG: Loves Weddings, Feminine, Girlie, Clean, Elegant, Bubbly, Outgoing, Ambitious, Bold, Precise
  3. Who is your dream client?
    EG: A person who trust my design expertise yet has a vision of their own and we can work together as one to make awesome pieces.
  4. Who or What inspires you?
    EG: Alice in Wonderland, Dr. Seuss, Fellow Calligraphy Artist, Flowers, Pastels, Typography
  5. What are you selling?
    EG: Myself and my skills — calligraphy, graphic design, web design

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Now that we have established our answers. Let’s visualize our dream brand so we can take the next steps to creating a visual brand identity. We will take my brand as an example on how to do this. From the list of questions we have established that I want my brand to consist of pinks, black and white. My target audience is feminine and most likely in the wedding industry. Someone who trust me but has their opinions and needs my skills & knowledge. So what does this mean? This means we are finally ready to design a logo that attracts this kind of client.

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GREEN WEDDING SHOES: LABOR DAY SHOOT

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I had the honor to contribute my calligraphy and watercolor skills to a fabulously fun invitation suite which was featured on Green Wedding Shoes’ Blog! Read more on their site here.

Labor Day weekend is officially around the corner and we always feel like this weekend is a reminder to soak up those last bits of summer before they slip away!

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It’s a time for cocktails and sunsets and time spent with friends. And we’re pretty sure the talented team behind today’s ultra-lovely editorial – Summer Newman EventsPrecious and Blooming + Sanaz Photography – were reading our minds when they dreamt up this stylish Labor Day soiree scene! Summer shares, Wedding weekends are some of my favorite events to plan, so when Be Inspired PRapproached me to design a Glam Labor Wedding Weekend, I was completely on board. With Malibu Solstice Vineyards‘ stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains as a backdrop, I was inspired to create an intimate garden style shoot with subtle glam touches…

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photography: Sanaz Photography // venue name: Malibu Solstice Vineyards, Malibu, California // event design: Summer Newman Events // wedding planning: Be Inspired PR // florals: Precious and Blooming // wedding dress: Rebecca Schoneveld // bridesmaid dresses: Joanna August // hair stylist: Mobile Bridal Salon // makeup artist: Mobile Bridal Salon // groom’s suit: Zara // paper goods: Eliza Gwendalyn // catering: Contemporary Catering // cake: Beverly’s Bakery // desserts: Si Paletas // tabletop rentals: Vini’s Party Rentals // furniture rentals: Found Rentals // linen rentals: Napa Valley Linens

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Inspired By This: Studio Tour

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I had the most fabulous opportunity to have the ladies from Inspired By This visit my studio in March along with photographer Kathi Littwin to chat about a day in the life as a designer and take some pictures of me at work. Read below for some highlights from the interview or visit their site for the full article and see more photos!

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From a new line of fonts, to a studio designed to a T, Eliza Shkolnik is at the helm of her dream career, taking on every new project with passion & finesse. We may be touring her calligraphy studio, but we’re also taking a peek into her everyday life as a young entrepreneur. Read on for her tidbits of advice and more on what’s next for the Eliza Gwendalyn brand.

NO. 01

Tell us a bit about how you got into calligraphy and graphic design?

I have been working with the adobe even before it became a creative suite! I think the first programs I used were back when they were called quark and pages. My grandpa was one of the founders of the yellow-pages. The finger logo was his drawing! My mother worked for his company up until I was in high school so I got a taste of design at a young age. I always knew I wanted to be in the design industry but I wasn’t sure where. I LOVED stationery and all things type. I think my first real obsession with calligraphy spawned from my mothers obsession with calligraphy and type, but it really struck me when we were picking out my bat mitzvah invitations. I fell in love with the style Pendragon wrote in — the designer who created my invitations. They were the most delicate things I had ever seen — later on I learned she wrote mine in a spencerian hand – something I am currently trying to teach myself today — but back then I was just a little pre-teen in awe of her ‘script.’

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NO. 05

You’re coming out with your own line of fonts – how exciting! Can you tell us more about them?

This is my ultimate dream project, combining calligraphy and graphics! My first font will be a suite that includes my everyday style the modern copperplate plus a handwritten sans serif, serif, some flourished ornaments and monograms! I call her ‘Alice’ to pay tribute to Alice in wonderland falling down the rabbit whole; I like to think my flourishes mimic that scene. My second font line to follow will be called ‘petunia’ which is one of my parents nicknames for me. It’s a very simple style.

NO. 06

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs out there looking to start their own business?

So much to say, but where to start? First and foremost, I can’t stress enough that you must crawl before you walk. When I first started out I never said ‘no’ to anything and I ended up biting off more than I could chew. In my case it was a good thing in the beginning because even when I had never done something that was presented to me I would tell my clients YES I can do it for you and through that I gained more experience and added more skills and services to my company’s list BUT there is a certain extent that one should go before you are saying yes to everyone and not having time for things that matter.

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It is important to make sure your business comes first but not before your friends, family and sanity! I am on my fifth year as an entrepreneur and it is still a constant battle for me to find a balance between work + play, but it really is important to work on this balance. Make sure as hard as you work to make time to play hard too, even if your form of ‘playing hard’ is curling up on the couch with a good glass of vino and your family. Make sure you take time to do that or you won’t be happy being your own boss. It isn’t a 9-5 gig, you have to be ready to give 150% even if that means pulling all nighters that you thought you would never have to do after leaving college or taking a call at 3am. You are basically having a baby, this is for life — there are pros and cons but man do the PROS outweigh the cons. It will be one of the scariest adventures you go on but a fun ride if you don’t give up. Lastly don’t forget, time management is everything — buy a planner or five!

QUICK Q’s

What Gets You Going on Monday Morning:

My poodle Amy jumping on me with kisses.

Secret talent:

I can photoshop like no other!

Words to live by:

Rose all day

Dream Collab:

To provide my calligraphy for opening credits on a box office film!