BIG day as we launch a fun new product for the upcoming holidays 2022 (if you need to see it before reading this post...here is the product page)!! This painting started in my head years ago!! I have always loved to read. My Mum taught me to love books and reading at a young age. When I taught second grade years ago, it was a real pleasure to share my love of books with the children in my class.
This year when I was creating the Colorful Year desk calendar, I had the most fun painting the design for the month of September. It was back to school month, so I always try to make it applicable to that subject (even though I am no longer a teacher and we don't have kids!). I've done a school bus, colored pencils, and this year, I had the idea of painting some of my favorite books.
As a creative person running a business, it's a continuing goal to figure out what my customers like. Some things are just consistently popular...certain designs or themes for cards. There are more ideas in my head than hours in the day. When that painting was complete, I posted it on Facebook to see if anyone liked it.
The response was overwhelming! In the comments under the photo, my friends were commenting on the books and how that was a favorite of theirs too! After the post being up for only a few hours, I had texts and emails from three different clients requesting that I paint a special shelf of their own favorite books! Soooooo.....my brain started putting it all together! A NEW custom gift was in the making. The paintings started forming (in my head). The calendar painting had reading glasses perched on a book, and then I looked around my house for other ideas. Because I love books so much (even though admittedly I often read from my Kindle), there are books all over the house on different shelves here and there.
I immediately reached out to the talented Jenn Bakos about doing some special photos. Then I emailed my web developer about putting the form together! This is before I had even put paintbrush to paper, other than the original calendar painting.. A dear friend was visiting, and she loved the idea so much she placed an order before even seeing the artwork! Then another friend did the very same thing....so now I really had to follow through ;)
In conversation with other friends and family, there was a super enthusiastic response. The designs and ideas kept flowing. So, this project was in my head through the busy wedding season in August and September. Here we are in October, and we are so excited to share this new custom artwork with you. Our good friends Maggie and Gary helped Bob and me fine tune the name...Your Beloved Bookshelf! After tossing around so many different ideas-I loved it!
Next, I got to work on the paintings. I loved coming up with the best color combinations for each of the designs. The glasses shelf from the calendar painting was a neat layout, but I wanted each print to be different. I actually repainted the glasses shelf and then turned it around in photoshop to have more variety in the layouts. The paintings were originally all done in watercolor by hand in my studio (no digital painting here!), then the book titles and authors are added to the print in my exclusive El's Cards fonts. Depending upon the title, there may be a little piece of artwork inserted on a couple of book spines if appropriate. Fonts used will differ depending upon the length of book titles and author names.
We are starting with three different designs-The Teacup, Reading Glasses, and The Plant. The Teacup design example shown is a list of my favorites! To be clear...I didn't overthink this when I did my list. There are so many books and writers that have had special significance in my life. The books on my Beloved Bookshelf are the ones that popped into my head first! One of my friends was working on her list and really took her time. You can make your list any way you like. There are quite a few children's books on my shelf because I have so many great memories connected with those stories I read as a girl and often reread to this day.
Hopefully you will be treating yourself to one of these fun pieces of artwork! If giving this print as a gift, I suggest just asking the recipient to make you a list of their ten favorite books and their authors. Or maybe you love all the same books, so you can just come up with the list on your own! Either way, Your Beloved Bookshelf will be a personal and wonderful surprise!
Your Beloved Bookshelf is offered as either an 11" x 14" print or an 8" x 10" print. We like to offer things in standard sizes so getting a frame isn't stressful! And we do have frames in stock to complete the gift if you would like. There are a few styles that we only have a few left, so if you see one that you like, don't hesitate!
Ordering is simple. You just select the bookshelf design you like best and then fill out the form on that page. Because this is custom artwork, please allow two weeks for design and production-plus shipping.
Since this is a special new item just in time for the holidays, we are offering free gift wrapping of Your Beloved Bookshelf for 2 full weeks-October 25th, 2022-November 8th, 2022. Just place your order and add the gift wrap option to your cart.
We are so excited to introduce this new custom item! Thanks for reading my blog post and have fun making your book list!
Beautiful photos by Jenn Bakos!