Annette Walowicz’s Ham & Butter is the illustration and graphics business behind the visual branding of Ferndale’s DIY Street Fair. Her work may even be tucked in your own kitchen cupboard – her cute cups from the fest are truly collectible! Handmade Detroit’s even got a history with her work – Annette designed a show poster for us a few years back.
With excitement growing for one of our regions favorite end-of-summer events this weekend, I wanted to learn more about branding a party and other things Annette’s being doing. Enjoy!
1. When did you first develop an interest in cartooning and illustrations?
Like most kids, I was drawn to Disney cartoons, and would spend hours trying to draw Ariel and Belle. Something about the music, the look of Disney just got me hooked. I read a book on how to be an animator and one of the tips was to practice drawing EVERYTHING, so I went to work.
2. How important is it for up and coming illustrators to be tech-savvy? Are the days of free hand long gone?
I am pleasantly surprised that people still choose the illustrated look, a free hand can really show your personality. I still draw everything and then clean it up on the computer so the “hand-drawn look” still shows. As for graphic design you can’t operate without a computer, and I’m learning code and am interested in apps – something to pull me out of just being a print designer.
3. Your overall capture and branding of the DIY STREET FAIR is marvelous! How has the project evolved as a designer over the years?
Thank you! I think Ferndale has a real downtown feel right in your backyard; it’s your “downtown hometown,” as I like to call it. The Fair gets more popular every year, and I want to keep the block-party feel by including lots of neighborhood illustrations, a cute map, and fun, lively colors.
4. What’s next for Ham & Butter?
I’m moving into personalized gifts, just recently illustrated a poem and had it screened onto a pillow for a customer, and I’ve customized magnets, “first date” illustrations and invitations.
I’m also excited about comics. One is called Drink Tickets, a comic about my adventures as a musician, you can read it on drinktickets.wordpress.com. The big one is a graphic novel from a story I’ve written, about two women who switch roles in society and the identity crisis that ensues.
Be sure to visit Handmade Detroit at DIY Street Fair any or all three days/nights, starting this Friday at 6pm, located on the East side of Woodward and 9 Mile.