I feel like we've just settled in from our last move, but it's already time to pack up again! However, I'm thrilled to say that this should be the last move for quite awhile....my husband and I bought our first house! It's an incredibly exciting (though chaotic!) time and we are very happy to say goodbye to apartment life and finally have a space to really make our own. Of course I used the opportunity to create this illustration for a moving announcement, to share our new address with family & friends.
One of the first projects I got offered as I returned from my maternity leave last summer was to illustrate & design the cover for a fun middle-grade novel for one of my favorite publishing clients, Sourcebooks. They also asked me to create the black & white interior illustrations, which made for a great project to get back in the saddle with! It's my first fully illustrated novel, and the first in a 3-book series.
The story follows the highly imaginative (and hilarious!) Ruby Starr as she navigates all the important 4th grade issues—new friends, fitting in, and of course lots of drama! Her wild imagination helps her escape...but also sometimes gets her into trouble! The manuscript called for some really fun imagery that's a little out of my usual repertoire—unicorns, ogres, princesses and pickles! It was fun to push myself into some new subject matter, and I loved having the opportunity to really get into the character's head and envision all the fantasy imagery.
This is the first in the series of Ruby Starr's adventures is set to pub this summer and available for pre-order now!
I've been busy with some exciting new book projects over the last few months, so it's been awhile since I've had time to work on a personal piece. But, inspired by my extra special little valentine this year, I pulled out my gouache and had some fun with this image. Hope everyone had a love-filled day!
Rounding out 2016 with a fun editorial job for Metro Detroit Weddings magazine. The article is about the timeline for all the various celebrations leading up to the big day, and called for 4 fun spot illustrations—the engagement party, the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, and a calendar for planning dates.
I was thrilled to work with the great folks at Harvard Magazine again on a colorful typographic illustration for the current Nov/Dec issue. The article explores the connections between health and happiness, and the online edition can be found here.
This summer was such a whirlwind, it's hard to fathom that Fall is already here—and that I've been in the process of writing this post for weeks! The past few months have been filled with some pretty big & exciting life changes for me, and spare time has been non-existent. In July, after almost 13 years in New York City, I returned to my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA with my family. Anyone in who has lived in NYC knows there is truly no other place like it. It had become home to me; I celebrated life's biggest milestones and made many of my dearest, truest friends there. I love the city with all my heart, and it was very hard to leave. But the time had come to move on to a new chapter, one where I can afford a home to raise my children and have family support close by. So, my husband and I packed up our apartment, our dog, and our (then) 4 month-old son, and headed to the 'Burgh.
Pittsburgh has undergone tons of change and revitalization in the nearly 20 years since I had been gone. It feels like a very different city than when I grew up. There's more emphasis on it's cultural scene, and a vibrant creative energy and entrepreneurial spirit have transformed many of its wonderful neighborhoods. And, there's a whole foodie culture here that I can't wait to check out! Yet, it still has the same friendly, down-to-earth vibe that I knew growing up and that I missed a lot during all the years I lived in New York. We've settled into a neighborhood on the north shore of the city and have been having a great time getting reacquainted with this town. It feels great to be back home!
Moving itself was at least 10 times more stressful with an infant, and something I would never, ever recommend. But, in hindsight it's all been worth it, as we're much happier in our new big, bright, (and much more affordable!) apartment after a year in the cramped, dark basement apartment that we left in Brooklyn. It's amazing what fresh air, natural light, and a little open space will do to improve one's outlook—even our pup has a pep back in his step!
Of course, the biggest change has been adjusting to life with a baby! Each day brings a new slew of amazing, difficult, precious, frustrating, and wonderful moments—sometimes all simultaneously. I'm learning how to take it all one day at a time; trying to embrace the great days and remind myself that the bad ones won't last forever. And while I continue to navigate the wonderful craziness of motherhood, I'm also figuring out how to be a work-at-home mom. I returned from my maternity leave a few months ago and began to take projects just as the dust from our move was beginning to settle. So many women have to choose between career and staying home to raise their babies, so I feel lucky that I can have best of both worlds by continuing to do work that I love while I still being with my son every single day. But that comes with it's own set of very difficult challenges, and it's been harder than I thought. Each day is a balancing act and the unpredictability of a baby's schedule combined with the unpredictability of freelancing usually leaves me feeling like a hamster running endlessly in a wheel, never catching up in work or in life. I'm still very much figuring out my bandwidth and how to balance things while staying at least a little sane—I try to take pride in the little successes each day, no matter how small. (Like celebrating getting laundry done, cooking dinner, or responding to even one email in my overflowing inbox!)
These changes have all been huge and crazy and fast—but, they have all been wonderful and brought an incredible amount of happiness and joy into my life. Slowly but surely I'm adjusting to this new life and starting to get back on my career horse. I've recently wrapped up some new exciting projects - some advertising work, a few magazine pieces, and even my first fully illustrated middle grade novel! I can't wait to share things as they're published in the upcoming weeks and months. I also plan to add some new custom invitation and stationery work to my site soon. So, thanks for following along, and reading this very long update! :) Please stay tuned!
I've been MIA a bit lately—but for good reason...My husband and I welcomed a sweet baby boy into our lives in March! He is perfect and we are just smitten with him!
It's been quite a journey, from the pregnancy to these past few months of major sleep deprivation. But we couldn't be happier!
My first "project" once I got back into the studio, was of course a hand-lettered birth announcement! Photography by the talented Abby Cope.
I'm enjoying a fun summer of baby snuggles and lots of exciting firsts as we watch him grow. I've also recently gotten back into my studio with some fun illustration & lettering projects—and looking forward to picking up speed with lots more fun work on the horizon. Stay tuned for updates!
I recently worked with talented AD, Laura Lyn DiSiena, at Simon & Schuster on this fun illustrated middle-grade cover. The story is about how one tween girl's little white lies to keep up with her BFFs can spin out of control...and cause a lot of drama! I loved getting into the fun characters, hand-lettering, and fun little icons pulled from details in the story. Pubs this fall, but available to order now!!
I had the really fun opportunity to work with Andrew's McMeel again, on their 2017 "Women's Wit" calendar. It's a really fun mini-desk calendar with quirky quotes from inspiring women for everyday of the year. Like the 2016 calendar I illustrated, this project included cover art with hand-lettering and 6 spot illustrations and background for the interior. So great to work with Jenny and the Andrew's McMeel team again!
I was thrilled to recently have the chance to create some cover lettering for an upcoming picture book from Random House. The book is based on the true story of Alice Paul, who led the women's voting movement in the 1910s. AD Katrina Damkoehler (also a very dear former colleague from my days at Penguin!) always has fantastic design ideas and steered me in a clear stylistic direction that worked well with the time period as well as the lovely art by illustrator, Nancy Zhang. She also asked me to hand-letter headlines for faux "newspapers" on the endpapers.
This title will pub in the Fall (just in time for the election!), but is available for pre-order now. Love how this came out and all works together as a package. Thanks Katrina!
Hi and welcome to my new internet home!
You might know me by my maiden name, Jeanine Henderson. But 2015 was a big year of transition for me—for one, being a newlywed with a new last name! I initially wanted to continue to use my maiden name professionally, but have found that to be unwieldy and a bit confusing for both me and my clients. So, with this fresh and exciting new year off to a great start, I’ve decided to officially move forward using my new married name, Murch. It also felt like a good time to revamp my website, so please have a look around! My portfolio has been updated with all my latest work (more to come in the weeks ahead!), along with my current blog and a fully integrated shop. Enjoy browsing around, and thanks for stopping by!
Cheers to new beginnings! Hope your 2016 is off to a fabulous start!
With my own little bundle of joy due to arrive in just 2 months (eek!) I was super excited about entering some designs in Minted's birth announcement challenge.
"Balloon Arrival" features an original illustration, and "Gold Welcome" showcases gold-foiled hand-lettering to introduce the little one in style.
I was thrilled to wrap up 2015 with a really fun assignment for the awesome folks at W42ST. I loved collaborating with them last summer on a cover for their publication, which features all kinds of great things to see & do in Hell’s Kitchen, so was super excited when they called about another project. They wanted to feature a gate folded map in the back of the magazine, pinpointing landmarks as well as some the best shops and restaurants in the area. It was super fun to dive into the research and take a little walk down memory lane of some of my favorite haunts in my old stomping ground. They hope to use this map in each issue moving forward, and possibly add featured sponsors to the map each month.
I lived in Hell's Kitchen for 3 years, so the neighborhood and this magazine have a special place in my heart, which made the job extra fun! The January issue is out now—available in coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and other places throughout Hell's Kitchen—and the online edition can be seen here.
Happiest of Holidays!! What a year it's been! This is my holiday card this year, along with some fun illustrated gift tags I sent to some extra-special clients that I've had the wonderful pleasure to work with in 2015.
Wishing much love and joy to all this holiday season!
I've long wanted to participate in Minted's design challenges, as I absolutely love their beautiful collection of invitations, cards, and stationery. So I've finally submitted, and voting is open for the Wedding Suite Challenge! Here's my design, very much inspired by the save-the-dates I created for my own wedding! Winners are picked to be sold on Minted.com, so please stop by and give a vote for me! Thanks!
I always love working with my old friends and colleagues at Penguin Books, so when AD Irene Vandervoort asked me to take on this fun middle-grade cover I jumped at the opportunity! This is a funny and sweet middle-grade read about a southern girl, with a passion for cooking, who feels like a "leftover" from her divorced parents' marriage but eventually comes to realize her very important place in her new blended family.
After exploring lots of concepts—including graphic, type-driven, and photographic approaches, we decided to play off the "leftovers" title and I created this fun typographic illustration. The book pubs next spring, but is available for pre-order now.
I was super excited when Fordham University asked me to create an illustrated headline for their Summer 2016 program. The tagline is "Think Summer, Think Fordham" and will be used on all the marketing materials for next year's session. They were really fun to work with, giving me a lot of creative freedom with how to interpret the slogan and represent both city and academics in a fun way. Here are a few of my sketches along with the final piece.
Thanks to AD, Maggie Coyne, for the fun collaboration!
Another fun food-related project came my way recently; I was commissioned to hand-letter a bar menu on a large mirror of Cafe Tellulah, a French-style bistro on Manhattan's Upper West Side. This one was a fun challenge! It was a very large mirror (5' x 12'!) and the execution had to be completed in one day, during off-hours. But very cool to have the opportunity to create something on-location like this. It's always so hard to get good mirror photos because of reflections, and even more so here because of the size, but here's the sketch/mock up I created along with a few shots—and a video clip of me in action!