Connor Fowler - Brand Designer ( @cfowlerdesign ) Instagram Profile

cfowlerdesign

Connor Fowler - Brand Designer ✏️ Brand Identity Designer 👇🏻 Interested in working together? 📢 Helping product businesses find their voice. 🎤 Host of #fowlerhour podcast

  • 166 posts
  • 29.9k followers
  • 68 following
  • Let me tell you how I became a graphic designer.. 👇🏻
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I was 17 and kind of lost 🤷‍♂️ I was not doing well in college (high school) I'd gone from grade A to C/D and I had no drive.
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At the same time I was part of a band that needed a logo and merchandise. But none of us knew how to make one. I chose to step up to the plate.
-
I spent hundreds of hours in the library tinkering and pushing buttons in Adobe Illustrator until I somehow came up with a logo design. -
Trust me, it wasn't a good design, but it was well worth it just for the process.
-
For the first time in years, I'd felt like I had a purpose again, my passion was reignited and I was learning a truly valuable skill. 🔥
-
From that day forward I spent hours every single day in the library or at home making logos, designs and layouts. Trying to master this skill.
-
I only got so far before my high school grades started to drop, I was failing tests because my passion was elsewhere.
-
But that didn't stop me, I left school with a skill that no one else around me had and for the next 4 years I practiced and honed my design skills to allow me to take the leap into running my own business.
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What begin as a task that needed doing very quickly became a hobby and then 7 years later became my full time job.
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Your hobby, your passion, your wildest dream, could become your full time job. Just show up every day and you'll get there.
-
How did you get into graphic design? What's your story? 🤔
-
-
Photo by @designfestbrum
  • Let me tell you how I became a graphic designer.. 👇🏻
    -
    I was 17 and kind of lost 🤷‍♂️ I was not doing well in college (high school) I'd gone from grade A to C/D and I had no drive.
    -
    At the same time I was part of a band that needed a logo and merchandise. But none of us knew how to make one. I chose to step up to the plate.
    -
    I spent hundreds of hours in the library tinkering and pushing buttons in Adobe Illustrator until I somehow came up with a logo design. -
    Trust me, it wasn't a good design, but it was well worth it just for the process.
    -
    For the first time in years, I'd felt like I had a purpose again, my passion was reignited and I was learning a truly valuable skill. 🔥
    -
    From that day forward I spent hours every single day in the library or at home making logos, designs and layouts. Trying to master this skill.
    -
    I only got so far before my high school grades started to drop, I was failing tests because my passion was elsewhere.
    -
    But that didn't stop me, I left school with a skill that no one else around me had and for the next 4 years I practiced and honed my design skills to allow me to take the leap into running my own business.
    -
    What begin as a task that needed doing very quickly became a hobby and then 7 years later became my full time job.
    -
    Your hobby, your passion, your wildest dream, could become your full time job. Just show up every day and you'll get there.
    -
    How did you get into graphic design? What's your story? 🤔
    -
    -
    Photo by @designfestbrum
  • 1,029 125 29 November, 2018
  • I've got a very egg-citing monogram to share with you today! What letters do you see? 🤔🐣
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Working with startups and new companies is very different from working with an already established brand. Here's how I start to help them create a strong design solution:
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1. We start by uncovering the who, the what, the how, and the why. Digging deeper into their vision, ideal customer and products/services.
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2. Then we take that information and look at their marketplace, who is their competitors and how do they differentiate themselves? Maybe there's something to learn from them?
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3. After we've gathered all of that analytical information before we begin creating concepts I ALWAYS create an art direction mood board. Full of photos, colour palettes, typography, architecture, product design etc to really give us a strong foundation to work from.
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These three stages help me truly understand the direction a new startup is wanting to head in.
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Which ultimately gives you the best starting point to create your concept designs from.
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Don't throw spaghetti at the wall and hope an idea sticks. You're far better off having a thorough research process than just creating concept after concept. -
Particularly with a new company who may need more help understanding themselves and their direction first.
-
How do you help startups and new brands? Is there anything special you provide them in your process? 👇🏻
  • I've got a very egg-citing monogram to share with you today! What letters do you see? 🤔🐣
    -
    Working with startups and new companies is very different from working with an already established brand. Here's how I start to help them create a strong design solution:
    -
    1. We start by uncovering the who, the what, the how, and the why. Digging deeper into their vision, ideal customer and products/services.
    -
    2. Then we take that information and look at their marketplace, who is their competitors and how do they differentiate themselves? Maybe there's something to learn from them?
    -
    3. After we've gathered all of that analytical information before we begin creating concepts I ALWAYS create an art direction mood board. Full of photos, colour palettes, typography, architecture, product design etc to really give us a strong foundation to work from.
    -
    These three stages help me truly understand the direction a new startup is wanting to head in.
    -
    Which ultimately gives you the best starting point to create your concept designs from.
    -
    Don't throw spaghetti at the wall and hope an idea sticks. You're far better off having a thorough research process than just creating concept after concept. -
    Particularly with a new company who may need more help understanding themselves and their direction first.
    -
    How do you help startups and new brands? Is there anything special you provide them in your process? 👇🏻
  • 603 41 14 November, 2018
  • One Post-It note is all you need! Who else loves these chicks? 🐣🐤
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I've been working on a logo design for a new street food company, creating something playful and lighthearted!
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You might be thinking, "Connor but you mainly do minimal geometric design, this is more like an illustration?"
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Good question! In some ways you'd be right but let me tell you about Connor aged 8-18.
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I used to doodle A LOT. ✏️
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Everywhere and anywhere, creating characters, creatures worlds and stories in the back of my notebooks, tables and test papers.
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(I was told off in year 2 for drawing all over a test paper)
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When I start working towards being a graphic designer that side of me started to be pushed aside for the design style I have today.
-
So, when Mikee approached me to take that minimal style and merge it together with a mascot I jumped at the chance.
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14 year old Connor would be beyond excited at this project because I finally had the chance to bring together the artistic and design sides of my skillset.
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Don't feel you have to stick to one style, don't forget what you learnt in school or did as a troublesome teenager. -
It all comes back around. 🌍
-
Let me know in the comments if you got in trouble for anything similar at school 😅 👇🏻
  • One Post-It note is all you need! Who else loves these chicks? 🐣🐤
    -
    I've been working on a logo design for a new street food company, creating something playful and lighthearted!
    -
    You might be thinking, "Connor but you mainly do minimal geometric design, this is more like an illustration?"
    -
    Good question! In some ways you'd be right but let me tell you about Connor aged 8-18.
    -
    I used to doodle A LOT. ✏️
    -
    Everywhere and anywhere, creating characters, creatures worlds and stories in the back of my notebooks, tables and test papers.
    -
    (I was told off in year 2 for drawing all over a test paper)
    -
    When I start working towards being a graphic designer that side of me started to be pushed aside for the design style I have today.
    -
    So, when Mikee approached me to take that minimal style and merge it together with a mascot I jumped at the chance.
    -
    14 year old Connor would be beyond excited at this project because I finally had the chance to bring together the artistic and design sides of my skillset.
    -
    Don't feel you have to stick to one style, don't forget what you learnt in school or did as a troublesome teenager. -
    It all comes back around. 🌍
    -
    Let me know in the comments if you got in trouble for anything similar at school 😅 👇🏻
  • 790 20 13 November, 2018
  • Here's why you should be using mockups... 👇🏻
-
You've probably been in a client meeting or presented a logo design on just plain paper before. How did that go?
-
You may have been met with responses like "it doesn't feel creative enough" or "I can't imagine how it would work". -
You've just poured your heart into this design and the client doesn't "get it".
-
I used to do this as well, at the beginning of my career I thought the best way to do it was slapping a design on paper and just expecting the client to understand.
-
Here's what you should be doing in a client meeting:
-
1. Providing a clear story and reasoning for your design decisions.
-
2. Making sure you explain yourself in a clear, easy to understand manner. Remember your client usually isn't a designer.
-
3. Show them how the design works, referring back to the brief. Don't make them imagine it.
-
You need to be making the design process easy to digest. Don't throw grids on designs to be flashy, be practical, be thoughtful.
-
Put yourself in your clients shoes and show them how beautifully your solution will work in the real world.
-
That's where mockups come in, they give you the freedom to share the story and your reasoning with beautiful imagery.
-
Free or licensed. Cheap or expensive it doesn't matter.
-
What matters is that your client "gets it" and with a few extra minutes of design time you can help them get there.
-
What do you think? Have mockups improved your presentations or client interactions? 🤔
  • Here's why you should be using mockups... 👇🏻
    -
    You've probably been in a client meeting or presented a logo design on just plain paper before. How did that go?
    -
    You may have been met with responses like "it doesn't feel creative enough" or "I can't imagine how it would work". -
    You've just poured your heart into this design and the client doesn't "get it".
    -
    I used to do this as well, at the beginning of my career I thought the best way to do it was slapping a design on paper and just expecting the client to understand.
    -
    Here's what you should be doing in a client meeting:
    -
    1. Providing a clear story and reasoning for your design decisions.
    -
    2. Making sure you explain yourself in a clear, easy to understand manner. Remember your client usually isn't a designer.
    -
    3. Show them how the design works, referring back to the brief. Don't make them imagine it.
    -
    You need to be making the design process easy to digest. Don't throw grids on designs to be flashy, be practical, be thoughtful.
    -
    Put yourself in your clients shoes and show them how beautifully your solution will work in the real world.
    -
    That's where mockups come in, they give you the freedom to share the story and your reasoning with beautiful imagery.
    -
    Free or licensed. Cheap or expensive it doesn't matter.
    -
    What matters is that your client "gets it" and with a few extra minutes of design time you can help them get there.
    -
    What do you think? Have mockups improved your presentations or client interactions? 🤔
  • 698 29 10 November, 2018
  • Mako Mountain Gear business cards are finally here! With a nice pinch of Futura thrown in too! 🔥
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Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! ⬇️
-
Business cards are always one of my favourite parts of a branding project.
-
There is limitation because of the size but, I find that allows me to explore even more interesting ideas. -
How can you grid the card to set the type in a new way, or what colours should I use to really balance well against the card stock we've picked.
-
The constraints make business card design extremely fun in my opinion and a lot of the time I actually prefer working with constraints than a plain blank canvas.
-
Constraints give you direction. A blank canvas can just be a distraction.
-
By the way, you can get your hands on this mockup for free by swiping up on my story highlights! Enjoy! 😍
  • Mako Mountain Gear business cards are finally here! With a nice pinch of Futura thrown in too! 🔥
    -
    Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! ⬇️
    -
    Business cards are always one of my favourite parts of a branding project.
    -
    There is limitation because of the size but, I find that allows me to explore even more interesting ideas. -
    How can you grid the card to set the type in a new way, or what colours should I use to really balance well against the card stock we've picked.
    -
    The constraints make business card design extremely fun in my opinion and a lot of the time I actually prefer working with constraints than a plain blank canvas.
    -
    Constraints give you direction. A blank canvas can just be a distraction.
    -
    By the way, you can get your hands on this mockup for free by swiping up on my story highlights! Enjoy! 😍
  • 932 33 8 November, 2018
  • Combining nature and lettering elements this week, what do you see in this sketch? 🤔✏️
-
The first image shares a refined design, whilst the second shares a raw page from my sketchbook, overlapping ideas and everything 👇🏻
-
I'm amazed by how many people I've spoken to in the last few months are scared about sharing their process. Scared that it's not good enough.
-
"Oh my sketches are awful, I can barely hold a pencil."
-
"I'll never be as good as you, I'm worried what people will think."
-
I don't share my sketches to try and 1-UP people, I don't share them to impress. I share them because I enjoy the process and want to show you, that you can do it too.
-
Sketching isn't doesn't have to be glamorous, it's an idea, a scratch on the surface of the best design in existence.
-
What matters is that you share what you create.
-
When I first started sharing sketches they looked really bad so sometimes I would redraw them but, I quickly realised that the image is not the important part.
-
It's the story that goes along with it.
-
Next time you're worried about sharing a design, or anything you've created just remember everyone is here for the journey.
-
So go ahead and share a piece of it 🙌🏻
-
If you've ever been anxious about posting or sharing your ideas on Instagram, let me know in the comments. I'll respond to everyone ❤️
  • Combining nature and lettering elements this week, what do you see in this sketch? 🤔✏️
    -
    The first image shares a refined design, whilst the second shares a raw page from my sketchbook, overlapping ideas and everything 👇🏻
    -
    I'm amazed by how many people I've spoken to in the last few months are scared about sharing their process. Scared that it's not good enough.
    -
    "Oh my sketches are awful, I can barely hold a pencil."
    -
    "I'll never be as good as you, I'm worried what people will think."
    -
    I don't share my sketches to try and 1-UP people, I don't share them to impress. I share them because I enjoy the process and want to show you, that you can do it too.
    -
    Sketching isn't doesn't have to be glamorous, it's an idea, a scratch on the surface of the best design in existence.
    -
    What matters is that you share what you create.
    -
    When I first started sharing sketches they looked really bad so sometimes I would redraw them but, I quickly realised that the image is not the important part.
    -
    It's the story that goes along with it.
    -
    Next time you're worried about sharing a design, or anything you've created just remember everyone is here for the journey.
    -
    So go ahead and share a piece of it 🙌🏻
    -
    If you've ever been anxious about posting or sharing your ideas on Instagram, let me know in the comments. I'll respond to everyone ❤️
  • 809 37 6 November, 2018
  • Introducing Zestily! ..What do you think of the final logotype? 🤔
-
Zestily - "To do something in a zesty/excited manner"
-
The team over at Zestily have one focus in mind. To create apps that help people reduce the effects of climate change. -
You might be thinking, "how does an app reduce climate change". Good question! -
The apps are designed to educate people about climate change and provide them with tools and information to help reduce their carbon footprint.
-
Whilst, simultaneously donating a portion of their profits to charities, researchers and tree planting efforts worldwide. A win-win situation! 🌳
-
Although Zestily is a tech company, their products are directed at nature so we had to find a balance between the two.
-
Balancing between using a sharper, contrasting logotype with a subtle nod towards their cause.
-
In an abstract sense, the logo represents two hands wrapping around a leaf, demonstrating the caring, thoughtful approach Zestily has towards combating climate change.
-
If you enjoyed seeing this project write "yes for the zest" in the comments below! I'll respond to them all 💥
  • Introducing Zestily! ..What do you think of the final logotype? 🤔
    -
    Zestily - "To do something in a zesty/excited manner"
    -
    The team over at Zestily have one focus in mind. To create apps that help people reduce the effects of climate change. -
    You might be thinking, "how does an app reduce climate change". Good question! -
    The apps are designed to educate people about climate change and provide them with tools and information to help reduce their carbon footprint.
    -
    Whilst, simultaneously donating a portion of their profits to charities, researchers and tree planting efforts worldwide. A win-win situation! 🌳
    -
    Although Zestily is a tech company, their products are directed at nature so we had to find a balance between the two.
    -
    Balancing between using a sharper, contrasting logotype with a subtle nod towards their cause.
    -
    In an abstract sense, the logo represents two hands wrapping around a leaf, demonstrating the caring, thoughtful approach Zestily has towards combating climate change.
    -
    If you enjoyed seeing this project write "yes for the zest" in the comments below! I'll respond to them all 💥
  • 677 55 2 November, 2018
  • I'm getting closer to the final version of this logo.. what elements do you see? 🤔
-
-
In the last few weeks I've been working on my copywriting, mockup and layout skills. -
Working towards a more cohesive voice and building a network of people around me that can aid in that vision.
-
Whilst you might feel comfortable where you are right now you should never be stagnant.
-
By constantly learning and building towards your larger goals you keep your mind fresh and your brand at the top of its game.
-
Today might feel just like any other day but, it could also be your first step towards building a brand you can be proud of. Keep moving forward one day at a time 💥
-
**My schedule is almost full until the end of the year! There are only a couple of spaces left for new projects so if you'd like to work together please get in contact asap! Spaces are limited.**
  • I'm getting closer to the final version of this logo.. what elements do you see? 🤔
    -
    -
    In the last few weeks I've been working on my copywriting, mockup and layout skills. -
    Working towards a more cohesive voice and building a network of people around me that can aid in that vision.
    -
    Whilst you might feel comfortable where you are right now you should never be stagnant.
    -
    By constantly learning and building towards your larger goals you keep your mind fresh and your brand at the top of its game.
    -
    Today might feel just like any other day but, it could also be your first step towards building a brand you can be proud of. Keep moving forward one day at a time 💥
    -
    **My schedule is almost full until the end of the year! There are only a couple of spaces left for new projects so if you'd like to work together please get in contact asap! Spaces are limited.**
  • 446 32 1 November, 2018
  • Finding the perfect way to use negative space is hard, but sketching helps. Who else uses sketching in their process? ✏️🤔
-
Sketching gives you so much freedom, in seconds you can be filling pages with ideas and scratches that could grow into becoming the perfect solution for your client.
-
I've sketched and scribbled since I was tiny, one of my earliest memories is getting yelled at by a teacher for sketching monsters all over a test paper when I was 6. They were not impressed 😅
-
You might be thinking that you're faster with mouse and keyboard, and sketching is archaic when we have digital tools. But, that is exactly the benefit of sketching.
-
Sketching, drawing and putting pen to paper is a practice that is 1000s of years old and has been proven to build stronger connections in your brain, inspiring you and expanding your ideas faster than just another digital tool.
-
You might even find that when you sketch you become faster at generating concepts, procrastinating less and being more present with your work as there are no distractions. I've seen all of these benefits in my work as well.
-
Drop a comment below with "pencil power!" to let me know that you do sketch as well! -
Have a great week everyone! 💥
  • Finding the perfect way to use negative space is hard, but sketching helps. Who else uses sketching in their process? ✏️🤔
    -
    Sketching gives you so much freedom, in seconds you can be filling pages with ideas and scratches that could grow into becoming the perfect solution for your client.
    -
    I've sketched and scribbled since I was tiny, one of my earliest memories is getting yelled at by a teacher for sketching monsters all over a test paper when I was 6. They were not impressed 😅
    -
    You might be thinking that you're faster with mouse and keyboard, and sketching is archaic when we have digital tools. But, that is exactly the benefit of sketching.
    -
    Sketching, drawing and putting pen to paper is a practice that is 1000s of years old and has been proven to build stronger connections in your brain, inspiring you and expanding your ideas faster than just another digital tool.
    -
    You might even find that when you sketch you become faster at generating concepts, procrastinating less and being more present with your work as there are no distractions. I've seen all of these benefits in my work as well.
    -
    Drop a comment below with "pencil power!" to let me know that you do sketch as well! -
    Have a great week everyone! 💥
  • 788 48 29 October, 2018
  • A logo just for me! The final K 😅 Should I get some of these stickers made? 🤔
.
Swipe through and check the date on the inside of this notebook.. 👉🏻
.
2016? Over two years ago now. It's the oldest notebook I own and I think it was the first Field Notes I owned.
.
I don't think I even knew who @draplin was at this point and yet I was obsessed with these.
.
Having the ability to sketch down a design idea, or a funny quote someone said to send to my friends when they're hungover is amazing.
.
This tiny piece of paper gave me so much freedom. I still don't know how I went anywhere without a notebook in the past.
.
Now I carry my pencil case or at least one of these and a pen everywhere.
.
They're idea lifesavers.
.
What's in your every day carry? Is there something you can't be without? 📝
  • A logo just for me! The final K 😅 Should I get some of these stickers made? 🤔
    .
    Swipe through and check the date on the inside of this notebook.. 👉🏻
    .
    2016? Over two years ago now. It's the oldest notebook I own and I think it was the first Field Notes I owned.
    .
    I don't think I even knew who @draplin was at this point and yet I was obsessed with these.
    .
    Having the ability to sketch down a design idea, or a funny quote someone said to send to my friends when they're hungover is amazing.
    .
    This tiny piece of paper gave me so much freedom. I still don't know how I went anywhere without a notebook in the past.
    .
    Now I carry my pencil case or at least one of these and a pen everywhere.
    .
    They're idea lifesavers.
    .
    What's in your every day carry? Is there something you can't be without? 📝
  • 512 37 26 October, 2018
  • My entire process, all the main stages in one place. Shall I do more of these? 🤔
.
Practice makes perfect, along with a pinch of luck ✨
.
After I finished making this logo I sat back, zoomed out on my worksheet and just marvelled in all the stages.
.
All of the developments that will go unseen and not shared with the world. I wanted to change that.
.
Instagram is a place where people share their "best lives" so don't get it twisted, what you see is not the entire process more often than not. You're not seeing the slip ups, that one really bad anchor or the nasty muddy gradient that took five attempts and still looks bad (totally not me) 👀
.
So next time you're looking at a finished logo or someones crazy refined sketch, take a moment and consider where it came from.
.
It probably looked like that S graffiti logo everyone drew in school at some point. Yeah, the one with the 6 lines..
.
Nothing starts out perfect, and there is nothing wrong with sharing your journey!
.
I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this post, let me know what you think in the comments 👇🏻
  • My entire process, all the main stages in one place. Shall I do more of these? 🤔
    .
    Practice makes perfect, along with a pinch of luck ✨
    .
    After I finished making this logo I sat back, zoomed out on my worksheet and just marvelled in all the stages.
    .
    All of the developments that will go unseen and not shared with the world. I wanted to change that.
    .
    Instagram is a place where people share their "best lives" so don't get it twisted, what you see is not the entire process more often than not. You're not seeing the slip ups, that one really bad anchor or the nasty muddy gradient that took five attempts and still looks bad (totally not me) 👀
    .
    So next time you're looking at a finished logo or someones crazy refined sketch, take a moment and consider where it came from.
    .
    It probably looked like that S graffiti logo everyone drew in school at some point. Yeah, the one with the 6 lines..
    .
    Nothing starts out perfect, and there is nothing wrong with sharing your journey!
    .
    I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this post, let me know what you think in the comments 👇🏻
  • 1,715 61 24 October, 2018
  • I should really do something with all these Field Notes.. What are your sketchbooks full of? 🤔
.
Here's a new letter I'm working on, big, bold and blocky 💪🏻
.
This concept was born a week ago as I dug through old sketchbooks, just flipping through random pages, gameshow style until something stuck.
.
As I spend more time designing, as more of my life is devoted to this craft I notice how inspiration can come from the strangest of places.
.
And sometimes for the briefest of moments as well. The idea can come into your mind and without a little sketchbook like @fieldnotesbrand you miss the chance to put it down and poof. It's gone. 😬
.
It'll be good to finally make a vector out of this one 🔥
  • I should really do something with all these Field Notes.. What are your sketchbooks full of? 🤔
    .
    Here's a new letter I'm working on, big, bold and blocky 💪🏻
    .
    This concept was born a week ago as I dug through old sketchbooks, just flipping through random pages, gameshow style until something stuck.
    .
    As I spend more time designing, as more of my life is devoted to this craft I notice how inspiration can come from the strangest of places.
    .
    And sometimes for the briefest of moments as well. The idea can come into your mind and without a little sketchbook like @fieldnotesbrand you miss the chance to put it down and poof. It's gone. 😬
    .
    It'll be good to finally make a vector out of this one 🔥
  • 1,698 36 21 hours ago