Posted on Thursday, 27th September 2012 by j.j. elliot

For all the old school gamers out there, here’s a custom invite design for a birthday party at Pinballz, a retro video game arcade in Austin. I initially had Colin dressed up as Mario from Donkey Kong. The final design simply has Colin playing the arcade game instead.


Initial invite design


Final design

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Posted on Friday, 14th September 2012 by j.j. elliot

Here’s a custom invite for a fishing-themed birthday invite. Happy Birthday, Drew!

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Posted on Tuesday, 17th July 2012 by j.j. elliot

Here’s an updated version of the pool party invite. Just tweaked the color scheme a bit and then changed the twins’ outfits. Also added new swim icons to the invite.

New version


Previous version


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Posted on Thursday, 12th July 2012 by j.j. elliot

The theme for this year’s Rise School of Austin graduation was based on the book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. The front side of the invitation is inspired by the cover of the book. The back side of the invite is a mash up of several different elements from the book (elephant with the pole & banner, hot air balloon, background & clouds.) Congrats to the Class of 2012!


2012 Rise School graduation invite (front)


2012 Rise School graduation invite (back)

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Posted on Tuesday, 6th March 2012 by j.j. elliot

Recent custom order: a combination-themed dinosaur and princess birthday invite. It was a little brain exploding trying to figure out how to bring the two themes together, but it was still fun to work on!

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Posted on Wednesday, 8th February 2012 by j.j. elliot

Tux Paint is a free kids’ computer drawing program. Now children can kick it semi-old school and draw and paint their doodles on a desktop computer (do kids even use desktop computers any more in this age of iPads and iPhones?) The interface is simple and easy to use, plus you can save and print your artwork. Tux Paint is geared towards kids ages 3-12. It’s available for Mac, PC & Linux computers.

Note: Tux Paint has a rubber stamp tool, which allows you to stamp pre-designed icons onto your artwork. Kids will have a blast playing with this fun feature. Extra rubber stamp icons are available as a separate free download on the Tux Paint website.

Here’s a link to the Tux Paint program:


Grouchy bear in Tux Paint


Grouchy bear with ducky stamps



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Posted on Tuesday, 24th January 2012 by j.j. elliot

I came across a unique children’s book at the library the other day: “I Want My Hat Back” written and illustrated by Jon Klassen. What caught my eye was the simple but cool illustration style and the clean layout of the book. I really enjoyed Klassen’s animal illustrations (the main character is a bear plus we get to meet a fox, frog, turtle, snake, opossum, deer, squirrel, and a semi-devious rabbit.) With great illustrations and irreverent humor, “I Want My Hat Back” definitely stands out from the sea of mediocre childrens’ books. Klassen has also illustrated another picture book, “Cats’ Night Out” which I’m looking forward to checking out.


bear & opossum



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Posted on Tuesday, 30th August 2011 by j.j. elliot

Here’s the latest birthday party invite design: a comic book superhero-themed invite. With a nod to Superman, the general look and color scheme is similar with a few tweaks (used a darker shade of blue, added a mask and added some extra costume detail by the shoulders).

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Posted on Thursday, 25th August 2011 by j.j. elliot

ARRRR!!!! Don’t be a lily-livered scalawag. Have a look-see at this newfangled birthday invite!

(Don’t worry, the rest of this post will not be written in pirate. You’re welcome.)

Still working on a corresponding pirate-themed thank you card. As far as the next birthday card design goes, it will definitely be a super-hero themed one. Hoping to have both of these designs done soon.

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Posted on Monday, 22nd August 2011 by j.j. elliot

Earlier this month, The Sportsman’s Club held their annual Kickoff Dinner benefiting the Rise School of Austin. One of the biggest supporters of the Rise School is Coach Mack Brown, head football coach of The University of Texas.

Typically every year the evening is centered around Coach Brown and his coaching staff’s preview of the upcoming UT football season. Big thanks to Coach Brown, Coach Major Applewhite, Coach Bryan Harsin and Coach Manny Diaz for generously donating their time and supporting the Rise School!

j.j. elliot helped design the Kickoff Dinner program. To keep things simple and more cost-effective, the program was printed on a standard 8.5” x 11” piece of 100 lb. card stock, then folded in half.

For the front of the program, I used this cute photo of a few Rise School kids playing football and made a football card for each of them.

Original photo:

Program front:

For the inside page, the main visual is a coach’s clipboard and whistle. The original color of the whistle string was red. Not just any red, but “University of Oklahoma red.” Well, there was absolutely no way I could leave the string THAT color, so I changed it to a more UT-friendly orange in Photoshop. Whew!

Inside pages:


Here’s some additional info about The Sportsman’s Club and the Rise School of Austin:

The Sportsman’s Club is a premier men’s volunteer network dedicated to providing financial and moral support for the Rise School of Austin by enlisting a membership of committed leaders, conducting events, and educating the community.

The Rise School of Austin is a non-profit early childhood and preschool program providing the highest quality education and services to children and families in Austin. Rise Austin provides a complete, customized learning experience for each child, building a firm foundation for each student to reach his or her fullest potential.


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