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Freebie // May 2016 - "To Be, Rather than to Seem" Calligraphy Quote Wallpaper


A lot of my self-focused pieces are inspired by things I'm loving at the moment. So when it came to creating this new wallpaper, I decided to use a saying used in a book I'm just a little bit enamoured with currently; The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern.

Freebie // May 2016 - "To Be, Rather than to Seem" Pink Watercolour Calligraphy Quote Wallpaper by illustrator and designer Karen Murray of A Rose Cast
Freebie // May 2016 - "To Be, Rather than to Seem" Blue Watercolour Calligraphy Quote Wallpaper by illustrator and designer Karen Murray of A Rose Cast

In the book, it’s the English version of the family motto of one of the main characters, Celia Bowen (in the original latin it is "Esse quam videri"). But away from literature, it is actually a well-know saying. So I felt that even those who haven’t read the book would still enjoy the sentiment.

I’ve been wanting to create a few new pieces of calligraphy lettering for a while, so when I was hard-pressed to come up with a new freebie, I decided that this was a good way to start. I thought something bound within a circle would work well for a digital wallpaper, so started sketching ideas on how to fit all the words within that shape.

Freebie // May 2016 - "To Be, Rather than to Seem" Watercolour Calligraphy Quote Wallpaper by illustrator and designer Karen Murray of A Rose Cast

After a number of attempts, I had something that worked well, and was able to get started on the painting. The piece was created with watercolour paint and then brought into Photoshop for some quick tidy-ups, to separate the letters from the paper, and to place them onto backgrounds of my branding colours.

  • Download the Desktop / Laptop Version Pink or Blue
  • Download the Mobile / Cell Phone Version Pink or Blue
Freebie // May 2016 - "To Be, Rather than to Seem" Blue Watercolour Calligraphy Quote Wallpaper by illustrator and designer Karen Murray of A Rose Cast
Freebie // May 2016 - "To Be, Rather than to Seem" Blue Watercolour Calligraphy Quote Wallpaper by illustrator and designer Karen Murray of A Rose Cast

What do you think of the photos? I’m slowly getting a bit better with product photography and styling. It’s going to take a while before they are a little closer to being just what I want, but everything is a process. I just have to keep practicing!

So there we go. Go dress up your tech with some pretty calligraphy!



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Karen Murray of A Rose Cast

Hello, I'm Karen

I'm an illustrator & designer from the UK, producing my own products as well as custom illustration for clients, both big and small.

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