Bee Stanton Creative – a rebrand

This rebrand was probably one of the most drawn out, impossible, irritating jobs I’ve ever done. Try branding yourself, you’ll quickly discover that you are your most annoying client. I’ve been working on it for two years and finally decided this winter that enough was enough and it was time to just get it done. I asked you guys a while back if I should stick with the original “beejaedee” name or change to my real name, and needless to say, Bee Stanton Creative came to be.bsclogo-oceanoverlay

brandingNow if you know my old logo, you won’t think much has changed other than the name. And at first glance, it really hasn’t changed. The style, the colours, the imagery, they’re all the same. Kinda. (And maybe that’s a good rebrand? I dunno) But for months I struggled with this, I kept trying to come up with something completely different. I wanted something new and fresh and fun. However, every time I sat down to sketch, the same old style and doodles kept appearing under my pencil. I fought it over and over until something hit me. This is me.

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Why was I trying so hard to emulate some random new style that isn’t me? I think I was trying to challenge myself to grow or some crap, and don’t get me wrong, that’s super important in design, but when it comes to your own branding, swaying from your style is probably a bad idea. The goal is for your audience to see your creative personality in your branding. So I stopped fighting. I let the sketches flow, and the classic sketchy serif lettering and gulls shone through. Just a little more sophisticated, perhaps.

bsclogo-oceanoverlay-iconSo in case you’re new, here’s the low-down. Bee Stanton Creative is all about illustrative design, hand lettering, and coastal small town culture. My work is heavily influenced by my Atlantic Canadian home and it’s not hard to tell. Put me in a seaside shack with an A.M. radio, a kettle of coffee and a sketchbook and I’m in my glory. I wanted to embody all those things in my branding.  The rough serif lettering is my go-to; hand drawn to represent my love for custom type and all things nostalgic. The stone grey and sea green colours represent, of course, the sea. Not just any sea you might find worldwide, but the stormy waters of eastern Canada that I love so dearly.

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And finally, the gulls. The call of a gull is one of the most comforting sounds in the world to me. Seagulls are resourceful, adaptable and resilient, qualities I admire and that we take great pride in on the east coast. They also represent lightheartedness and clarity, qualities that I personally hold dear. My former logo featured only one gull. But while working on this rebrand, I found myself always sketching two. The more I thought about it, the more I loved the symbolism. Two represent partnership, fellowship, and reliance. I am a dependent person, always have been, always will be. As much as I admire independence, that’s not me. Coming to terms with my dependent nature both professionally and personally brought clarity and peace. Two gulls are better than one anyway. Very entertaining.

So there you have it. Bee Stanton Creative, in a nut—ahem—seashell. Hope you like what you see.

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I Finally Completed a Studio Vlog

Alert the media, call your mom, tell your friends, I’ve filmed, edited, and uploaded a full studio vlog. In case you hadn’t already guessed, this is a big deal for me.

For months–no–years now I’ve been admiring other artists’ videos, showcasing their work, a day in their life, studio vlogs, etc. I had been following a few beauty vloggers for several years but once I discovered there were artists on youtube as well? I was hooked. Since then I’ve been steadily scouring the internet for videos of the like, “A Day in the Life…” “The life of an Artist” “What I do all day”, and so on.

I’ve found several that I thoroughly enjoy, of all different varieties. Some of my favourites are Frannerd, Katnipp, and a newly discovered beauty, Jonna Jinton (some of the most stunning vlogs I’ve ever seen). There are so many others as well, my inspiration comes from many different styles of vlogging.

That being said, I’ve been wanting to create my own videos for years now as well. Meaning, I’ve compiled a good amount of footage that has never seen the light of day. Every few months I get it in my mind that I’m going to do it, I’m finally going to finish a vlog. And I never did. Until now.

The vlogs I watch are typically anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 or 40 minutes long. I tend to enjoy them the most around 20 minutes, but I didn’t want to go that long for my first try. That seemed to be my issue with all my previous attempts; during editing I’d lose motivation because all the footage and figuring out timing was overwhelming. This time, however, I decided to keep it a “weekend in the life” style of vlog. I sat down and edited it in one evening, a feat for me. I wanted to give it the “personal touch” that so many vloggers have captured their audiences with. By this I mean that they’ve kept the filming and interaction with their audience at a very familiar and intimate level, and not so much a professional production that some content creators have reached. Nothing wrong with that of course, that style of work is incredible. But being a newbie I’m obviously not going to reach that anytime soon, and I personally enjoy the original “amateur style”. It definitely has a certain je ne sais quoi.

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As said before, the vlog features a weekend in my life, I’ve basically captured the goings on around my home where I work everyday, with a few quick appearances by my lovely Matt and dear pup, Georgia. I wanted to include not just strictly my work, but a bit of my home life as well, as it is a huge part of everyday since my workspace is in our house. Besides, just watching me draw or type emails all day would get incredibly boring real good n’ quick.

So here’s hoping you enjoy this new endeavour. I’d love a like and a comment on Youtube, and if you’re feeling real sweet, subscribe! Thanks so much to any of you who take the time to watch this first studio vlog.

Beejaedee Studio Vlog 001 – A Weekend in the Life of an Artist

much love xo

What is an artist?

I’ve been mulling this question over in my mind for quite some time now. It seems like a simple question, but it all depends on who you ask. To be frank, the question often irritates the hell out of me. Partly because when someone asks me what I do for a living, my answer is sometimes “I’m an artist” and for some reason I feel guilty saying that.
You see, I’d rather tell them that I’m an illustrator or a designer. Graphic Design is, after all, my studied trade. Illustration has always been a part of my life so I obviously latched onto it as tightly as possible after I decided that I like to avoid computers when it comes to my design work. (Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike digital design, I just leave it to the last possible second with every project I do).  So I’m quite comfortable with identifying as either of those things. But sometimes when asked, “What do you do?” I just blurt it out. “Artist.” And then I feel stupid.

Now, most of my friends and family would likely call me an artist. (Trust me, my mother is reading this right now saying to me silently, Bee! Of course you’re an artist!  Thanks Mum, but if I wanted to be a unicorn you’d tell me I could be that too, love you) I just asked Matt the other evening if he would say I was an artist. He did, more or less. We had a short discussion on the definition of the word and eventually we both agreed it depends on who you talk to.

A musician is often, almost universally, called an artist. Go look at the categories on your iPod, the first one listed is of course: Artists. Dancers call themselves artists. Performing artists, I believe is the term. And there you go, when you put an adjective in front of it, a huge demographic can call themselves an artist. So I could easily claim I’m a graphic artist, and feel completely fine about it. Why is it that once I take the word “graphic” away, I’m not so quick to use the second word?

It’s odd, because, for the most part, I don’t like to toot my own horn (I’m sure some would beg to differ), and I guess that means I find the word “artist” almost snooty. Mind you, I have no issues with labelling others with the term, with the utmost respect and admiration. But in my own sense of the word, I tend to think of artists as visual creators devoted to specific things. Painting, sculpting, performing, etc.

“Fine art.”

I do none of those things (well, not frequently). It’s as if I have this pre-conceived notion in my head that an artist is only one of those professions. The type of art you would see at the Louvre or MoMA. Fine art. Now, as I said before, my friends and family would call me an artist. And my mum, bless her heart, will adamantly argue that I deserve to be ranked among all the fine artists. But if you took my art and put it up in the Louvre, it just wouldn’t fit. And maybe that way of thinking is my problem.

During this debate with myself I’ve done what any person in this day and age would do and I googled the definition.

art·ist
ˈärdəst/
noun
  1. a person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby.
    • a person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker.
    • a person skilled at a particular task or occupation.

So there’s that. The actual definitions of the term. Thanks, Ol’ Man Webster, when you put it that way, I feel a little better about it.

A person who practices any of the various creative arts. This brings the question, what do you consider a creative art? Or we could bring it to the next definition: a person skilled at a particular task or occupation. This would refer to the use the of the term “They’re an artist” if the subject is extremely good at whatever it is they do. “He’s not just a surgeon, he’s an artist!” in relation to a very gifted surgeon.

So now that we’ve explored that idea, I guess you could say that yes, one can consider themselves an artist in the illustration and graphic design field. But I still have that nagging insecurity. For example, a great little gallery in my city featured my work for a text themed show. It was all good fun and I so enjoy openings and mingling among creatives, however, I remember a particular instance that still bothers me to this day. I was talking to one of the regular artists whose work is often featured in the gallery and when they asked me “So are you the artist?” gesturing to my pieces, I almost couldn’t answer him! All he was doing was asking if the work he was looking at was mine, but his wording made it difficult for me to answer what should have been an easy question. This man is incredibly talented with a paint brush. A bonafide fine artist. For him to basically label me the same as him, well I almost felt like he was testing me. And I know he wasn’t, but everything about it was a little unnerving.

Should I have boldly said “Yes, I am the artist!” or was I right to feel a little silly? I know we should proudly and unapologetically present our work, especially when it means a lot to us personally.  It’s just that word. Why do I let that stupid word get to me?

Norman Rockwell once said, “Some people have been kind enough to call me a fine artist. I’ve always called myself an illustrator. I’m not sure what the difference is.”

I feel you, Norm. I feel you.