Ever since I designed the Mulegirls-tee I started thinking about creating a whole collection of gorgeous lettering just for equestrians.
It started as a sticker for Instagram.
The spark that kicked off me deciding that this collection really needs to happen (rather than me just dreaming about it) was when I was asked by dressage rider Suzi Best to create a sticker for Instagram that said ‘dressage diva’.
I wanted the lettering design to have flourishes and curls that I so associate with fine leather tooling – the kind of decorative pieces you can find on hand-crafted saddles and bridles. The result was this (and you can use it in your own stories on Instagram by searching for ‘eva hussain art dressage diva’ in the GIF section):
I liked the lettering in the GIF so much that I decided to develop it further and design it much larger. A GIF file is very small and low-quality in order to be useable on the internet and so can’t have a lot of details, such as gradients and shadows (which I love drawing!).
Most of the design work was already done for the GIF, so I didn’t really change that. Rather I focused on turning it into a design that would look good on a t-shirt. Here’s the process the design went through from GIF to larger design:
It was mostly just copying over the design (no sketching required, so it went straight to inking) and then choosing the best colours for the t-shirt.
Researching the rest of the collection.
Once I finished the dressage diva tee, I started planning the rest of the collection.
I ended up spending a really long time researching the right phrases and quotes I wanted to put together to create the collection. The products in this collection are a way for those who love horses and riding to show their love to everyone else as well as to wear while at the barn and riding.
For that very reason I wanted the collection to include t-shirts, hoodies as well as postcards!
That way you wouldn’t have to worry about covering up your favourite t-shirt when it gets cold because you can just wear one of the hoodies, and you can even send your love of horses in the post, one equestrian to one another or post inspiration for your next ride on your wall at home.
I know my walls were plastered with horse-related pictures and drawings when I was growing up and they made the time between trips to the barn bareable. And I know I’m not alone in this!
Rouding up the finalists.
During my research phase I also got distracted by other things, admin among others, more than once and it kind of lagged for a while.
But I grabbed myself by the scruff and rounded up the final quotes and sayings I wanted to include in the collection:
Tees & hoodies:
- Dressage Diva
- X, Halt, Salute
- Crazy horse lady
- I’m only a morning person at horse shows
- I don’t fall off, I dismount with flair
- If you can read this put me back on my horse (it will be upside down on the t-shirt)
- Education is important, but horses are importanter
- Easily distracted by horses
- My horse brings out the best in me
- Worry less, ride more
- I don’t walk I prance
Postcards & prints:
- I’d rather be with my horse
- I don’t need a knight in shining armour, I’m perfectly capable of riding my own horse
- The wind of Heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears
- The only rides you regret are the ones you skip
- You don’t know teamwork until your partner is a 1200 lbs free spirit
- Gone riding, be back later
- Keep calm and hope the judge wasn’t looking
- A canter cures every evil
- Don’t worry, don’t cry, ride a horse and fly
As you can see, it’s a substantial list. I’m currently lettering my way through the 20 designs that are left. There were a few that I originally had included but got cut once I started drawing them (more on those below).
Ones that I’ve already finished.
These have by and large already been approved as finished and I don’t intend to make any changes to them anymore.
That, however, doesn’t mean that changes won’t happen as a result of a) seeing the mockups or b) having to adjust them for production.
Sometimes all it takes is a bit of time between finishing a piece and seeing it again when you realise that something about it just doesn’t add up.
Like, right now seeing them in this blog post I’m thinking that the one on the top left looks like it’s a darker red than it really needs to be, and I might go back and adjust that to a more saturated colour.
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Some that are still in the sketch phase.
These are in various stages of having been sketched out.
No colour selection has yet been done on these, and some are in a more finished state of sketching out the idea, while others are just really early sketches – meaning that they might still change a lot before they’re finished!
The ones that got cut.
- Soft hands, strong legs, steady mind – I started drawing it and got off to a good start but the overall balance is just wrong in the end. If I manage to fix this I might bring it back in.
- I used to have money, not I have a horse – I went with an old timey painted sign look with this and though the individual design pieces look good, the overall design just doesn’t sing for me. And if you’ve been around me for any time at all, you’ll know that if it’s not a HELL YES, then it’s a HELL NO!
Where I am with the collection now.
At the beginning of this quarter (Q2 / 2021) I got organised about finishing this collection and finally sort of got to sweep out the dead leaves.
Now I have a much clearer idea of what the collection is going to include and I have a better basis to finish the collection in terms of what kind of colour, design and product balance it’s going to have.
I’m still thinking that I’d love to have a passionate affiliate specifically for my equestrian collection, so my search for her continues!
I’m really excited about this collection and I’m dreaming of my designs being out there in barns and in saddles making riders everywhere feel like they’ve found the design that exactly expresses how they feel about their horse and about riding horses in general.