custom | Elegant Garden ketubah

November 18, 2017

After my latest post featuring a 2-years old commission that included a new take on my much loved Twin Trees, (see: DR. WHO WAS HERE, I thought it's only natural to follow up with this much newer order from April of this year. I happened to semi-document the progress of it - I never do this! - so you also get to see glimpses of how I get on in my studio!

Maya first contacted me looking for a custom design ketubah for her July wedding. Unlike many of my custom work clients, she had a clear idea of what she liked and how she wanted the ketubah design to be. She was familiar with my previous ketubahs and knew she wanted something flowery with trees. She'd seen my Twin Cherry Trees and Moon & Flowers ketubahs and knew she wanted a two-layers design featuring oak trees and flowers elegantly curving around a text layer. She was really clever and sent me her wedding mood-boards so I'll get her wedding flowers right, and off we went! 

To give you an idea of the process and timeline, Maya first contacted me in late March, and after we cleared the details of her vision she paid in early April to book a custom design slot later in the month. I only do a few custom ketubah designs a month (now only two per month) so there's usually a short wait period. It's during this time period in between booking and starting that I have the clients look over their text options. I always prefer to have a text locked-in before I start drawing as the design's first priority is to accommodate the ketubah text. 

The couple chose a Conservative text for their ketubah (learn more about the different text options HERE) and as their officiating rabbi had to approve it and that took a long while I went ahead and used sample text to draw around. This happens sometimes, but we keep the creative vibes flowing. They received the mockup for their finished ketubah at the end of April. I was a day late because I did a no-no and made two versions of the design. I really shouldn't have sent both, it's my job as the designer to edit everything down to the best design, but on this commission I was torn. In all honestly, I usually make 2 or 3 designs or versions at once - a habit that drives my assistant nuts - hang them all up on the wall and only then decide on which to send. My assistant says it's poor time management and unnecessary stress, but I gotta be me and that's just how I roll:)
Since they didn't tell me their color palette up front, when I sent Maya and her fiancĂ© the two ketubah mockups I also included several color mockups to give them an idea of the options. There was a bit of back and forth until they chose their favorite, which clearly was the best one. This too is a normal stage of the selection process. Color choice can really change the look and feel of a ketubah. Do you want airy and soft? Dark and moody? A splash of colors or monochromatic harmony? The impact of the colors is huge! Below are (a few) of the options the couple received. Which would you pick? 
Once they'd approved the design mockup and paid the second half of the custom order, I went ahead and STARTED CUTTING! This is my favorite part, but not one without its hiccups. For example, check me out in the photos below putting the finishing touches to the two papercut layers and then realizing I cut them wrong - and they don't match! Had to draw & cut the second layer again (which took three more days) but no matter. That's what sleep deprivation will get ya. I completely sympathize with The Block contestants, and I'm not even doing any physical labor! (Seriously, have you heard of The Block? It's the best game show on tv!) The clients received their handmade papercut ketubah by June, the entire process taking a little over two months from first contact to delivery. 
The finished result encapsulates everything the couple wanted from their ketubah, a souvenir of their wedding and an artwork to grace their home for the rest of their lives!
For more photos of this ketubah 
For more photos of other custom orders
To Order Your Own 
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