One of the coolest things since starting down this road with Made Frank, has been that I have either met, or deepened relationships with, some of the most fantastic and gifted people. Artists, writers, photographers, and designers, talent swirls around if you go looking for it. And amazingly enough, so many of them are more than willing to help, contribute and teach you as you move along your own creative journey.
In light of that, I’m so very excited to introduce you to this beautiful lady. Meet Allison McEldowney. Several years ago, a young man named Ryan moved into our basement bedroom. Over that year, we fell in love with this new family member of ours, and also got to witness him fall in love as well. Through the ups and downs and twists that most stories take, we got to see and appreciate what drew Ryan to her.
She’s obviously beautiful 😉 But even more so, is her sincere heart for God and those around her. Occasionally you come across people that literally seem to exude joy and care. That’s Allison. She loves her people well. And I feel so fortunate to get to be one of them. Throughout the year, she has encouraged, taught, inspired, and listened to me, as I have taken steps with this space. I’m so grateful for her willingness to do so! Plus she had the most handsome officiant and ringbearers on the planet. I’m only slightly biased.
On top of being one of my favorite people, she also is an incredibly talented, graphic designer. From hand lettering to stunning watercolors, Allison’s style is a mix of whimsy, class and even a bit bohemian at times. She honestly can do it all, and I’m excited to have her share a little about herself.
Plus! I commissioned her to do a project just for you guys. Keep reading for your freebie, it’s awesome!
Allison, tell us a little about yourself…
Allison: Hello! My name is Allison McEldowney. However, not even a year ago it was Allison Freund (pronounced as “friend”….yes, I miss getting asked if I would be everyone’s “freund”). I am 26 years old, currently living in Kansas City. I am originally from De Soto, KS- I spent the first 18 years of my life there (and many summers since 18). My parents still live in De Soto in the same house that my siblings and I grew up in….it is my favorite place in the world.
Their house is tucked away in the woods. It has a long driveway with tall trees and gardens and wildflowers surrounding the house. It has been the most consistent place and inspiration for me since I can remember. It is where I feel at home and known. I can even pray the best when I am there… it’s crazy. I guess that comes with feeling known. I also feel like a little girl there, like I have the same imagination as I did when I was 7 or 8 – chasing butterflies and playing “secret garden” in the woods. It is where my mom taught me how to draw and paint. And it is where both my parents encouraged me to become an artist/illustrator.
I studied illustration and design at Kansas University and got a job as a product designer at a creative product company in Kansas City after graduating. That was almost 4 years ago! I am still working at that same job and have learned so much there. Also in those 4 years I met my favorite person, Ryan, who became my husband last April.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
When I am not working, I love hanging out with Ryan and our sweet dog Biggie. Biggie is a 9 year old Beagle Mix with a lot of personality. We love him so so so much. Also, I am a big runner so any free time I get, I love going on a long run outside (I do not like treadmills, no). Running is therapeutic for me. It’s when I relax, when I hear my thoughts the best, and when I think of a lot of creative ideas.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
As a product designer, I get to work both traditionally (drawing and painting) and digitally on a bunch of different types of products such as planners, gift tags, craft home décor kits, stickers, and much more. There is a certain amount of artistic freedom with this job, but I began craving an additional creative outlet shortly after starting. Around this time, a lot of my friends were getting engaged and asked me to make wedding invitations for them. I loved it. I love getting to hear what inspires each bride- their colors, their flowers, their style- and creating an invitation that combines all of these things. I have been making wedding invitations ever since. In addition to invitations, I also began making custom illustrations, pet portraits, quotes, tea towels, and much more.
I realized I was taking on a lot of these types of projects and wanted to give my little home studio a name. That’s when I landed on “For You Creative.” Since the majority of what I make is “for others” I thought the name fit pretty well. It’s so much fun for me to get to make things that others enjoy. It’s that maker, creator, dreamer spirit in me (and in so many others) that comes straight from the Father’s heart.
What is the most challenging part of what you do?
The most challenging thing about my job(s) is balancing them with the rest of my life. Balancing, blending, braiding. I’m not very good at compartmentalizing things and work/life is especially one of them. So some days I work too much and others I work too little. And I don’t even have children yet!! I let the “creative flow” drive me, so when it is going strong other things in my life take the back seat. It’s a “work” in progress….hehe.
Have you had any epic “screw ups” with a project? What happened and what did you learn?
One of the first wedding invitations I made was for a girl in one of my college classes. I messed it up so bad that she didn’t even use the design that I made for her! I didn’t ask enough questions up front and I didn’t show her enough progress along the way. So of course when I showed her the final design, it looked exactly like what I wanted and not what she wanted at all. I was embarrassed and disappointed in myself, but I learned so much from that mess up happening. Specific things I learned: Ask your client a lot of questions, show them progress every step of the way, and write up a contract at the beginning!
What are some interesting things most people don’t not know about you?
Here’s a few random things: I have scoliosis which makes one of my arms longer than the other. I tried giving up sugar for a month and only made it one day. I’ve never seen an episode of seinfeld. I had a unibrow growing up 🙁 I could eat guacamole for every meal for the rest of my life. I hate bacon, I HATE barnacles…actually I am very scared of them. They are the crusty zits of the ocean.
Ha! Thanks so much Allison! Also, who has ever thought about barnacles…even in passing?!
As promised, here is our exciting gift for you! I use monthly calendars for so many things. Budgeting, meal planning, decorating, school scheduling. You name it. So we came up with a 12 month version designed and created by Allison, especially for Made Frank. All lettering and illustrations are done by hand. We chose to do them in black and white for aesthetic and ease of printing. Just type in your email and we will get it to you right away!
If you are interested in hiring Allison, or in seeing more of her work, here are some places to do that:
Find her on Instagram, @foryoucreative or visit her Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/foryoucreative