Baking a new pie
Notice a difference?!
This month has been exceptionally busy for a number of reasons; so why have I found time to bake many more loaves of bread than usual? This is what I love about cooking. Under times of stress, it’s a creative outlet with a purpose i.e. someone can eat it. This is not only therapeutic and relaxing but practical; believe me, I have folders full of watercolour paintings and some rather large canvases that need a home.
Writing and designing this blog is my other outlet. I use the Vigilance theme on WordPress.com which gives the options to change the header (the big picture at the top), the background colour and link colours. There is a frankly worrying amount of gorgeous free stuff available legally online (worrying because I think people don’t expect to pay for creative services anymore but that’s another soapbox). I Googled ‘free headers’ (try it and see) and eventually found this quirky hand-drawn one which has served me well for two years. The ‘My Custard Pie’ text (again using a font downloaded for free) was added using nothing more sophisticated than Microsoft Paint.
In the meantime I’ve had ideas swirling around in my brain. If you are not familiar with Pinterest, it’s an online pin-board where you can organise images and videos. Illustration and hand-drawn lettering has always appealed to me. I adored the Down with skool! books as a child and relished the anarchic script and ink-blotted pictures drawn by Ronald Searle whose work I continued to admire; ironically the school was called St Custards. I started a few boards on Pinterest for inspiration including ‘drawing and writing‘ and ‘impeccable illustrations‘.
It was time to put thoughts into action; so last week I sat with Dunk a designer at ATOM and talked over my ideas. Then I sat down at my desk for the first time in ages with watercolours, pencils and pens. The first designs from Dunk were good but there was something missing; it needed hand-lettering and my pencil pies lacked ‘umph’, so it was literally back to the drawing board – me for the lettering and ATOM for the illustration. I was thrilled with the final logo and header results – it’s hard to explain, but for something as personal as a blog, it feels like me. Maybe it’s my imagination but I think ‘my Custard Pie’ logo even has an unexpected ‘Searlishness’ about it.
I hope you like my new look as much as I do. Do leave a comment (although I won’t be able to reply until next week as I’m off to Kathmandu for the weekend). What’s your favourite stress-busting creative activity?