Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Print - You So Fresh to Death

This beauty will be up in my shop just in time for the holidays.

copyright Karen O'Bryan, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Holiday Cards Fo Sale!

I have two new delicious cards in my shop for you to devour and send to all the loves in your life this holiday season. You can also swing by i like you in NE Mpls and pick them up in person - along with lots of other locally made goodies.

I plan to make more before the holidays are over, so stay tuned! And Happy whatever you celebrate!

copyright Karen O'Bryan, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bluzy's Roadside: Logo and Menu Design

There are a lot of pro's to being a freelancer, one of which is having the opportunity to work on a variety of projects. The downside is keeping quiet until the project is over...

So it gives me great pleasure to finally be able to share one of the amazing projects I spent months working on! I was contacted to come up with the identity for a new restaurant that just opened in Blaine, MN: Bluzy's Roadside.

The owner of Bluzy's owns several other restaurants, and wanted this one to be different. A pared down menu (only 26 items) that are all served in baskets on trays, like an old school diner.  The restaurant itself was going to be in a converted gas station, so he wanted to have a very rustic / retro feel to not only the interior, but to the logo and menu as well.

There were many rounds of revisions on the logo design (as I'm sure you can imagine.) We came up with 2 final versions - one of which is an homage to the 40ft sign outside on the road.

The menu was fun to design, and actually didn't take too long to come up with something he loved. The revisions that we needed really came from changing prices / names of the items, etc., not on the design itself. 


We also had the idea of including a pin-up character to be a kind of 'mascot' for Bluzy's. The character was never finished, but here are some of the sketches that I came up with for the idea. 


Now that the project is done and the restaurant is open, I got to enjoy the best part of my job; eating the food for the menu I designed! :D I had the Ahi tuna ceviche tacos, and Ryan had the tuna melt. Both were TO DIE FOR. (Drool!) Just thinking about it makes my mouth water for more. 

I'll leave you with more photos of Bluzy's. If you ever find yourself in Blaine, I highly recommend you make your way over - you wont be disappointed! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

OH! A Wedding Celebration

For the 7 of you who actually read this blog, I'm sure you already know by now that I recently got married to my oh-so-wonderful, "monster-loving fiance" that I always refer to in my artist bio. I never really wanted to post anything about the wedding planning process on here because the internet is already inundated with wedding sites, I figured there are far better resources if you're looking for advice. (One of my favorite's is Off Beat Bride)

However, I would like to post some of the things I designed for our big day - and maybe I'll throw a photo in or two from our AMAZING photographer, Kate Sommers

Our wedding was fantastic and very D.I.Y. (Great for saving that sweet cash money, but not so good for one's stress level.) All I can say is thank the gods for our wonderful family and friends for all of their help!

Ryan and I collaborated to design our 'Save the Date,'  which turned out exactly like we wanted and helped set the theme of the black and white chalkboard / banners that we used throughout the wedding.

For many reasons, I've decided to keep my last name. (I'm Karen O, what can I say?) Since we knew that going into our wedding, I came up with an identity of sorts for all of our design collateral.

After our ceremony, we left to go to a near by park to take photos before we lost all of the light. I knew that we were going to be gone at least an hour, so we planned to have things to do for our guests. Obviously, eating and drinking are a must at any party - but we didn't have the budget for a traditional catered dinner service. So instead, we decided to have a food truck. We booked World Street Kitchen for the big day and everyone loved it! I had a lot of people coming up to tell me they thought having a food truck was a brilliant idea.

We also came up with a mingling "BingOH!" game for our guests to play, and as a way for both sides of the family to break the ice. I got the idea from Off Beat Bride, and just designed the cards to fit with our theme.

I had 10 different cards with categories like: Is over 6 feet tall (All of the Hanson family are giants!) Went to high school with the groom, is wearing blue shoes, is a freelancer.. stuff that I knew pertained to our guests. I think people really enjoyed playing - and having a free drink as incentive really helped.

Well, there you have it. Those are just a few of the things we put together ourselves. We also made all of our flower arrangements - thank you Minneapolis Farmer's Market and Trader Joe's.. had friends bake desserts for us, my unbelievably talented mother made my dress, and we set up the wedding space with the help of our amazing bridal party.

I know I said I didn't want to post about wedding planning, but I will leave you with one piece of advice. A wedding isn't just about the bride (Gasp!) It's about two people bringing all of their loved ones together in celebration of the love they have for each other. It's about community. And if I learned anything from trying to do my wedding on my own, is that it takes a community to pull it off!

Photo by KNG Sommers

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Zombie Prom / Gods and Monsters Openings

This past weekend was full of ghoulish delights, including 2 awesome monster themed shows: Zombie Prom and Gods and Monsters.

First up: Zombie Prom at QXC
Featuring work by Sean Monahan, Matthew Klockeman, RM Hanson, Jared Chubbybones Martin, Ben Cournye, Eric Schuster, Sarah J. Schultz, Chris Crammer, Isaac Berends, Jeff Klingle, Bryan Jordal, Keith Eric Williams, and yours truly. 

"I"ll Stay Here With You"
Acrylic and graphite on wood
copyright Karen O'Bryan, 2013

Saturday was the GODS AND MONSTERS 5: Le Grand Horreur show put on by Nate Vincent Szklarski and the Abstracted Gallery in NE. This year the artists were asked to take on a favorite horror film of their own and perform as if they were commissioned to design, paint, photograph, create the original one sheet for the film.

The line up includes work by: Nate Vincent Szklarski, Garrett Rautio, Jeremy Calverley, Kao Lee Thao, Courtney Stout, CAW, Matthew Jenkins, RM Hanson, Tyler Straw, Will Kamas, Angel Hawari
Dan Dittmer , Steve Tenebrini, Adam Underwood, Lauryn Buda, Savannah Louise, Amy Bambi Wendt, Meat-Jeffery Paul Gadbois, Zach Clarke, Ron Brown, Lizzy Blu, Joel Vugteveen
Jesse Golfis, Tom Janssen, PseudoManitou/Jonathan Reese, Gabby Mohlis, Carolyn Kopecky
Taylor Lindgren, Sara Syverhus, Katherine ruth, Rico Lindquist, Sandra Anderson, Mike Bean
Pete Hansen, Shea Bartel, Amoreena ("Amo") Tarvas, Louisa Greenstock and many more..