Yesterday I was checking out the new design for CSS-Tricks. My favorite part of the redesign is the unique page headers illustrated by different artists. I was looking at the header of the gallery page when I noticed that if you hover over the image long enough, the name of the illustrator appears with a link to their website. The gallery image links to the portfolio site of Erica Sirotich.
I absolutely love the cute illustrations of Erica Sirotich. The organic thick lines coupled with subtle water colors just make me melt. The project that made me most happy though was her Heraldry portfolio pieces. She took preexisting coat of arms and remade them in her style and added a little humor (like a seahorse companion). They were gorgeous pieces of art and I wanted to do something similar.
I knew I wanted to do some sort of modern day coat of arms, but I didn't want to copy Erica exactly. So instead I thought of my Grandpa.
I remember when he would scour the internet looking for anyone who had information on his family tree. He was fascinated by his ancestors and how he got to the place he is today. Once he found out about a new grandparent or uncle he would map them out in his family tree program and send the graph to his kids.
The best part was that he not only learned about his great-great-great-great grandparents, but he also got to meet a lot of new friends who did the same. He even created a game where he would exchange magnets with his friends that symbolized the state they lived in. So he would send an Alabama magnet to the friend and they would send him a magnet of, let's say, New York. I remember he reached at least 25 states that way!
My grandpa was so enthralled by his family history, which coat of arms are suppose to represent. So with him in mind, I thought I would research my family crest and modernize that. I could make a cool design and learn a little family history. Got to love killing two birds with one stone. Anyway, I googled 'Moulden coat of arms' and saw what I got.
I got two shields: an ornate red and yellow shield with weaving on it and a simple red and yellow striped shield with a black corner full of flowers. I was sad that both of the shields were red (it reminded me too much of the House of Gryffindor) but I guess its better than boring blue. I also liked the consistency of colors between the two shields because few things were consistent between them besides that.
I decided to work off the first shield I found but use the white flowers of the second shield. I then removed the helmet and emphasized the Norman lion more. By the time I finished mocking the shield up, I thought it was a little drab so I added the border around the shield too. I was doubting the design when I was inking it but when I finally added color (I learned that scanned strokes set to Multiply are phenomenal) the image just popped, especially when you use a blue background behind a very warm image.
It was cool to read about the Moulden name. Reading the article about the family crest, it seems that the Mouldens were originally from Normandy (the upper left corner of France) and came to England to conquer them. Once the Normans won, the Mouldens stayed and built a home in Devonshire. They were known to serve the king well, being the reason why under the crest says 'Faithful to the king.'