Like David Bowie once said “I am drawn between the light and dark”.
This winter I didn’t want to have to choose between these conflicting sides of my personality so went ahead and created collections to suit both.
So here’s a little look inside my brain and where the ideas behind this seasons’ designs sprung from.
Welcome to the dark side
Even as a tiny ghoul I loved anything dark and different, so when I saw Nightmare Before Christmas I was instantly hooked. Since that first viewing it’s become tradition to watch Jack Skellington and friends on the run up to Halloween, Christmas (and sometimes in-between).
For me it was Jack’s curiosity that totally drew me in and is something I wanted to capture in my card set. That’s when the hand with snowflake came into mind. I call it the What’s This? card based on one of my favourite scenes from the film.
From that spun off the mistletoe card, because who doesn’t want to live like Jack and Sally?
Instead of drawing Jack I wanted to create my own skeleton Santa. A character who thinks that the dark is also filled with joy.
Last up in the black versions of last years designs is my stag with lights. This came from my other favourite winter past time: hanging out in cozy pubs; especially the kind with old taxidermy animals and open fires, which I hope I reflected in this doodle.
Embracing the darkness
When I started Emma Inks Studio I wanted to bridge a gap between goth and mainstream. I never feel like I fit into either world and thought others might be able to relate. This year, however, I decided to be bold and fully embrace my dark side with black cards.
The first designs were more reindeers. Drawing animals has always been a favourite of mine and they flowed from simple sketch to card really easily.
My fascination with deer was another childhood influence. My favourite treat was always a visit to Cupar Deer Park where you can get up-close and personal with these beautiful beasts.
Unlike last years decorative drawing, this year I wanted to capture life and movement. So flying deer was born. I like to think they are escaping from Santa’s sled to go and live their best life in the wild.
My other reindeer is less of a rebel and is totally in the Christmas spirit. This card acts as a bit of a crossover between both new collections incorporating the floral elements from my botanical range.
The reindeers were an easy design choice and gave me the confidence to go wild.
The runaway turkey is one I’m not sure people with vibe with but makes me laugh. I’ve been vegetarian for almost half my life and plant based for a couple of years. Every year people ask with genuine concern “But what about Christmas, what do you eat?”. Not this little dude that’s for sure.
Another riskier design is Deck The Hells. A pun mastered up Charlie Distracted after a few pints one Saturday. As a Christian celebration I know that this could come across as offensive, but the intention was a fun way to embrace each other this festive seasons despite our differences.
Last up is the simplest of the lot, my skull and cross candy was a way of including classic Emma Inks Studio style with a little festive flare.
Where the wild things are
Though my dark and light cards seem opposing they are both routed in taking a twist on the traditional and things that inspire me.
These cards are steeped in my love for nature. Walking through the woods every day means I am never short of influences.
I know that brands should have a niche but I just can’t help myself. I feel compelled to draw what I’m feeling in that moment.
Hello Darkness my old friend
I have always been drawn to the dark side of life, but it’s fun to embrace whatever is sparking joy in me at the time. Who knows, maybe next year I’ll have more of a Krampus vibe.
The one thing I always want to celebrate is individually which is why this range is not specifically just for those who celebrate Christmas but for anyone who might want to spread a little yuletide joy.
So, there’s a little insight to the inner workings of my mind. Not as nostalgic a post as my dinosaur Behind The Designs post but I hope it helps you understand a little more about me and my work.