my day job

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

doorplate and doorknob thumbnails - May 08

Thought I'd show you a bit more of what I actually do - my freelance design work. That which pays our bills ... my day job.

This is a project from last year - almost exactly a year ago and samples of the finished pieces have just recently been showing up at all the spring gift shows ready for market. Yesterday while perusing a trade magazine that I have a subscription to I came across a little blurb and photo of the product that for well over a month I sunk my heart (and some blood, sweat & tears) into. For this particular company I'm working directly with in house designers. I become kind of like a sub-contractor. Either they have too much on their own plates at the time and need to farm some of the work out or they feel they need the skill set of another designer to realize their specific vision on a particular project. That's the thing about designers - our main job is to come up with the great ideas - then we figure out a way to have that great idea come to life and we're not at all personally attached to doing the realizing ourselves. The most important part is that "the vision" comes to life... some how. So we hire (if we have the means) whoever we might need to help realize that vision. Photographers, illustrators and other designers ... we become the art director or creative director of a project. Or in this case, as is most of my day job work, I am being art directed. And I enjoy it. Just me, some tracing paper, my fav red mechanical pencil and a lovely pile of parameters to work within. So much easier and much less taxing then having to be brilliant all on my own.

Each design, of these 5 musical doorknob and doorplates, was based in a historic style (Baroque, Greco Roman, Art Nouveau, Gothic and Neo Classical). Adding another interesting layer to what I do - lots + lots of research so I'm sure to get the history just right. In the end my client, the designer, was tres pleased with my drawings and apparently the collection is being very well received in the Giftware Lands. Each doorknob style is meant to represent a unique emotion or feeling and when you turn the doorknob music plays to help evoke that feeling.

The reason I'm most often totally secretive about what I do is because it can take up to a full year before the projects I'm working on are actually produced and ready for market and of course every company wants to keep their latest greatest product release top, top secret... so of course, I am totally sworn to secrecy.

Rain, milder temperatures (thank goodness), Tramp bubbles and our yard and garden is filled, this early morning, with the sounds of madly singing birds.

the actual product


  1. I'm speechless. Truly. Your work is amazing.

  2. Very cool - I'd never really thought about the story behind a doorknob before! So interesting to see behind the scenes, and congratulations.

  3. Wow! Such amazing detail. You work wonders with that mechanical pencil!

  4. This work is beautiful- I've just recently visited the Art Institute of Chicago and there was an exihibit of Frank L. Koralewsky showing his ornate door locks made of iron, bronze & other various metals. This is not unlike his work!! Beautiful!!

  5. Holy Schnikes, that's simply amazing. I think the CE deserves a hearty round of applause. You are very good at what you do, a hidden treasure.
    And quite the secret keeper to boot.

    Morning Mad Birds

  6. Wow!! They're fabulous! It must be so much fun to see your work come to life. I especially like the one on the top left, the pewtery arched one!

  7. Good morning, sweet Susan!! You are incredible and SO SO SO inspiring. I feel blessed to have you as my blog friend. Wishing you a beautiful day! **hugs**

    Much love to you and the furry gang! xo

    PS I put up an update on my life and my plans.

  8. Hey ! thanks & merci ! it is my job and it's been my job for ages so it does all seem kinda old hat to moi. I do appreciate all your kind comments though - makes me smile.

    And Big Shamu regarding the flight time between the midwest US of A and Nova Scotia I'm waitin' on the application form to be an attendee at Les Blog Summit 2010 - I can and will bring baked cinnamon sugar donuts. Wink.

  9. These are lovely and such an interesting idea. Who knew?
    How fun to be working on "secret" projects. I am sure you will never be out of work! You are so talented:)

  10. Susan, I do love the tiny life collage. It's a perfect representation of "home" for me.

  11. I LOVE the doorknobs, just not sure how I'd feel about the musical aspect, might get tiresome quickly.

  12. Hi,
    AMAZING drawings! It must be satisfying to see the end result after all your work.

  13. Susan, you never cease to amaze me! You have such incredible talent. Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us. Being a curious gal by nature, I have often wondered what you were REALLY up to when we weren't looking! LOL! Customer Numero Uno is one lucky fella....or should that be conglomerate?!

    I love those door knobs!


  14. the doorknobs are exquisite! they take my breath away!


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