Do you struggle to keep your house plants happy and healthy? Would it be helpful to have a place to jot down their unique water and light needs? Check out our rad new collaboration with illustrator Alex DeSpain. Handy Tips for Happy Plants is a pocket-sized plant journal, its pages feature plant care tips and Alex’s lively illustrations sprinkled throughout, along with blank space for your own notes and doodles. Grab your copy!
Our shop is filled with plants (we even have a Plant Committee!), as is the work space that Alex shares with plant-loving studio mates, just a few blocks from our HQ. So when we decided to team up on a project, plants were a fun and easy common thread. Our Plant Committee contributed tips, which Alex hand lettered in addition to the illustrations. He chose the bright green and pink inks and yellow staples, and we worked together on the name of the book and the layout.
Alex was kind enough to let us pick his brain:
What medium did you use for the illustrations in the plant guide?
For the guide, I used my Wacom tablet with a customized brush. I try to keep what I’m doing digitally to match what I do with traditional brush and ink so the style stays consistent. It’s not uncommon for me to sketch out my roughs in a Scout Book then scan it in and use that scan as a guide for my digital work.
Do you consider yourself a green thumb? How do your own plants fare?
As a kid, I had been involved with camping several times a year. There is a deep-seeded relationship I feel Mother Nature and it can be very relaxing to be surounded by it. At my studio, I have two plants I care for and my studiomates also have some indoor plants. I wouldn’t say I have a green thumb, exactly. It’s more of a light yellowish-blue color. At home, my wife and I have several indoor plants that she tends to. They are good for the good-vibe atmosphere we like to live in.
You’ll be tabling at Linework NW this year – what draws you to the festival?
I was asked to participate in Linework by my friends/studiomates Kate Bingaman-Burt and Jason Sturgill. I’ll be sharing a table with them and I will have some new merchandise to offer, including Handy Tips For Happy Plants, which I am totally stoked on! This is my first year to participate and I’m looking forward to seeing all my illustrator pals and meeting some new people.
What was challenging / fun about collaborating on this Scout Books project?
Working with Scout Books was really just smooth sailing and loads of fun! Chloë and all of the Scout Books staff are great communicators which made for a successful collaboration. Working in single color is a challenge I am familiar with also, so it fit with what I like to do. Probably the most time-consuming aspect for me was the hand lettering. First, I had lettered everything but decided the lettering should have a thinner line weight, so I did another version of the lettering which looks better. It was such an honor to team up with them.
Many thanks and high fives to Alex on this fun collaboration!