Adobe Illustrator

Client Projects

What to get the man who has everything

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Social media infographic flyer

What to get the man who has everything

My husband’s birthday was a week ago, and he famously buys himself presents he wants RIGHT before his birthday. He also makes it a habit to spoil me so badly on my birthday that I can’t possibly return the favour (eg. taking me to Boston this year for my birthday). Since I didn’t have the resources to make any of our travelling dreams come true this month, I figured I’d put whatever skill sets I had to work and draw his childhood dream come true; I made Rory a Ghostbuster 🙂

We all have that one movie that completely encapsulates our childhood, and that movie was Ghostbusters for Rory. So what could be cooler than seeing yourself become your childhood idols? (Hopefully) nothing!

Using my tablet and Adobe Illustrator, I sketched out Rory using “marker-like” brush strokes and filled it in using a watercolour technique. I’ve used this technique before and mention it during an older post you can find here.

While Rory may not always be the most expressive man, I definitely got a big ol’ smile and chuckle when he opened it. Happy birthday my love!

Anyone looking for a custom portrait, you know who to come to! Christmas season is almost upon us (sorry for even bringing it up!) but it’s a fun, unique gift idea. Send me a message here on my website or email me at if interested.

Thanks for reading!

~ Manda Mac


Client Projects

Digital Drawing: Cartoon Creations

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Digital Artwork Flat Cartoon Design

Digital Drawing:
Cartoon Creations

It’s ‘Toon Time! Who doesn’t want a cartoon version of themselves? These digital drawings are projects I really enjoy doing. I’ve always loved to draw; and learning how to apply that skill set to the digital world has been challenging and fun. A few months ago, some dear friends of mine made a request to get a digital family portrait created.

I used Adobe Illustrator to create this project, and used reference photos (shown above) to make sure my vector drawings resembled each person (and puppy!). The inspiration for this type of portrait was a flat, vector style which is a style I LOVE.

These type of digital drawings are fun to create, and fun for my clients to receive. I love the reactions I get when showing them their “cartoon selves”. They also make for great personalized gifts.

To see other styles of digital drawings I’ve done, check out an older blog post of mine from last year here.

If you’d love to have a digital drawing created, ya’ll know who to come to!

Love and lollipops,

~Manda Mac

Client Projects, Inspiration

Making Admail Fun

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Making Admail Fun

About two months ago I was asked to create some admail postcards for Abbax. Abbax is one of the most progressive providers in North America for Cloud services, serving clients across the globe. While I was happy to take on the project, admail (also affectionately referred to as “junk mail”) can be challenging to create for several reasons.

  1. It’s referred to as JUNK mail…so the typical consumer response to receiving this type of mail is to immediately throw it in the trash. You need to try and design something that will catch their eye long enough to NOT throw away.
  2. You want your card size to be small for lower printing costs and convenient mailing purposes. But a small card size can create challenges for designing the layout when wanting to add a lot of information and graphics to a small amount of space.
  3. Defining your message can be difficult. Due to the above two reasons, you need to identify  a short and to-the-point marketing message for your business and/or services. If you don’t have a lot of space for designing your layout, and you don’t have a lot of time for your consumer to consider your piece then you need to identify your core message and marketing goal, and create a minimal amount of text to communicate that message. Humans are very visual (and sometimes lazy!) creatures, we would much rather look at a picture than read a paragraph.

So to get started I did some research to understand the type of company Abbax is, their brand identity and the type of designs they currently use for their marketing pieces. Their website was modern, colourful and fun which appropriately reflects the company and what they do.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.19.38 PM

I wanted to make sure the mailer designs matched the “look” of their company and so I used some of the bold colours that I found on their website and used similar icons to help communicate the services being provided. The purpose of these mailers was to market 3 different Abbax service bundles. Three slightly different designs were created to highlight each of the service bundles: “Fax and E-mailing services”, “Unlimited Calling” and “Storage and Backup”. I wanted the designs to look consistent across all 3 cards so I used the same colour scheme in different ways, only changing the location of the colours and the icon designs for each card. Each mailer had the same design on the back of the card which listed all of the services provided.

While these projects can sometimes be on the boring side and tiresome to create…this project was a lot of fun to design and both the client and I were super happy with the result. Using fun icons and bold colours can really help make a design eye-catching, but I personally feel it also makes designing more enjoyable. Junk mail doesn’t have to be so boring!

If you or your business are in need for marketing mail pieces, e-mail me at

Thanks for reading!
~ Manda Mac

Client Projects, Inspiration

Digital Love for Digital Portraits


Digital Love
for Digital Portraits

As a graphic designer, I knew I should be putting my skills to work when creating gifts for my 4 beautiful bridesmaids…but what to do? I thought it would be fun to create caricatures of them, I mean, who doesn’t want a cartoon version of themselves?! I then stumbled upon an old tutorial on Design Instruct that taught me some really cool techniques for creating digital portraits, it made the portraits take on more of a tactile feel like it was painted with watercolour and marker. I used Adobe Illustrator and my tablet and pen, and started sketching. While they were time consuming projects (I may be a slight perfectionist) the end results were even better than I had hoped. It was really fun trying to “capture” my lovely ladies, making sure I got that sparkle in their eye or that certain curl of their lip. I’ve already received a few requests to make more of these portraits so I thought I’d post and let all ya’ll know that this will be a service I can offer my clients. Let’s get digital!

For any fellow designers or artists that are interested in learning how to create these digital portraits, take a look at Miguel Cardona’s tutorial on Design Instruct: Make Watercolor and Marker Style Portraits with Illustrator

Connect with me through my website, my facebook page or email me at to inquire about getting a portrait done!