Journal

Honest to gumption.

One of my early jobs for Speedo was a SMU (special make-up) for Target’s 2014 learn-to-swim kid’s products. This project came in around the holidays of 2012 and my assignment was 20 spot prints— 10 each for boys and girls. In two weeks I created some of my favorite private label work to date— I love designing for the youth market and the team at Speedo is really great to work with. One of my favorite girl’s options was on a black background and I was really rooting the design, but I was reminded that we’re not quite there yet with consumers. I know *I* would buy it, and some of my more stylish mommy friends would too— but this needs to appeal to the larger demographic, so when it came to the final color-ups we stuck with brights.

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The process consisted of research and illustration, idea/sketch approval, color way suggestions and revisions, and the creation of mood boards. I then applied the final designs to product CADS, designed prints, and chose fabrication and stitching details.

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The final choice for girls ended up being this sketchy, doodle-y, floral— colored up in a Lilly Pulitzer-inspired palette. Internal design changes, production requirements, and factory timing can all influence the final outcome so these look a bit different from the last time I saw them, but I’m thrilled with the collection and it was a real thrill to see them at my local Target store! Check back for more job/process updates or follow me on Instagram, which seems to be my preferred social media tool of the moment!

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Donkey wants to be a bunny. Happy April Fools Day! Click to download this month’s desktop calendar.NickyOvitt2014_AprilCalendar

Happy to report I’ve been spotting many of the caps I did for Speedo out on the market now. Like this little mer-girl. You can see some of the new designs in my updated projects here.

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I’ve got a few very important donkey related things to share but this one is the most time-sensitive. I’ve been a fan of artist, author and animal lover, Katherine Dunn of Apifera Farm since discovering her artwork on Etsy and posting about my early donkey obsession a while back.

Katherine rescues “misfit” animals and lives a charmingly simple and creative life near Portland, Oregon. She’s got a magical story to tell and her KickStarter project to fund the printing of her third book comes from a deep love and desire to share her personal experience. Please take a few minutes to read her dear and humorous writing— (FAQs too.) Her animals have people names, dreamy things happen and pie is celebrated! And to seal the deal, one of the backer gifts is a copy of the book— what could be better? Don’t delay, support the arts today and let’s help her give it wings!

BRAY BRAY, Katherine! You inspire.

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Art ©Katherine Dunn.

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For tha love of ya! Click to download ye donkeys and shamrocks. NickyOvitt2014_MarchCalendar

Have you ever wanted to say this to your Valentine? Are you the type that takes your love interest hostage? Well whomever or whatever is your sweetheart, plant a big sloppy one on them today. NickyOvitt_BeMine

One of my favorite love songs of all time: Silly Girl by the Descendents

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Since the beginning of the year many people I know, including myself, have had that low-grade whah whah feeling. The holiday and New Year’s hope have lost their shine and now it’s like the day after your wedding. Whah Whah. The party’s over, what now? Add to that a drastic drought here in California and everyone just wants a CHANGE. Stop this doomsday weather!

Our little town enjoys a fairly high standard of living but lately I’ve been seeing more homeless people and also those whom I call travelers. When I was a kid my mom was known to invite a traveler to the house for a bath and hot meal before they headed out on their way again. I have never forgotten a man in Dallas who warmly serenaded us with his guitar one evening after dinner. I was only about 5 and didn’t understand the grown-up talk but it was clear this meant a lot to him. Basic human kindness.

The other day my husband and I were driving somewhere when we saw a tall, bearded man with kind eyes and a leather patchwork jacket on a street corner. He held a sign that said simply: “Poverty.” His expression was almost happy, but he did not seem high and was far from downtrodden. It was just a statement. As often happens, we held out a couple bucks. He took it and thanked us graciously. Then as we pulled the car forward he turned the sign and showed it to us. It read: “Grateful for Everything.” Tears welled up inside me.

Yesterday the weather finally brought rain… a cold, constant flow of much needed miserable weather. Yay, the chain had been broken! It was the perfect day to stay in the warm house with our potato chips and watch the football game. Driving back from the grocery store my husband and I again saw the traveler. He was standing at a different corner and his face, jacket and sign were soaked. Wind and rain swirled around him but again he was smiling. Again we gave him a couple dollars and wished him luck. As we drove away he turned the sign which now read: “Grateful for Rain.”

This stranger has touched me and I am grateful.

Time to show the love. Another downloadable desktop calendar. Do something sweet for your sweet this month, and how about do something kind for someone you don’t know too? xxx

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Gosh golly what happened to the month? I’ve been plugging away at future plans and products. Many client projects will be out on the market this year so I’m excited to see final results! …And I’m still basking in the memory of precious time with my mom and family in New Mexico over Christmas. Here’s a little visual wrap-up.

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1. Indian fabric. Pillowcase at my 94 year old grandma’s house in Santa Fe.
2. Sunrise at Albuquerque airport… nothing like the skies of New Mexico.
3. Plans for this personal lettering project. Loving Instagram.
4. Mom’s pet roadrunner in her front yard! Really, there are two and they live in the cypress trees.
5. Poster for the movie Choreography, a documentary short my friend Robin saw at Sundance.

A downloadable donkey desktop calendar to celebrate the new year. May our 2014 goals be met or at least learned from, may we have time for self and family, and may we carry forth in daily gratitude and peace.

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