Category Archives: Illustrator

Jungle Fever Zebra Tote Bag > Jungle Fever Zebra > Matatu’s T-Stop

Jungle fever tote bag

Take a walk on your wild side! from t-shirts to bags; mugs to caps! his design is for the zebra lover in you!

Jungle Fever Zebra Tote Bag > Jungle Fever Zebra > Matatu’s T-Stop.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No date for V-day???

Drink your sorrows away with one of my custom designed Stein mugs on Cafe’ press! Available in both English and Italian, “The University of Drunkenness… Bibamus! Moriendum est!”

A whole range of products are also available with this design, in both languages, such as tees, hoodies, sigg water bottles, BBQ aprons, boxers and thongs…. the list goes on… you’ll only find out if you visit my shop on Cafe’ Press!!! The best place to find original, custom designed clothing and gifts for any occasion, any mood, any need!

(graphics and design copyright Francesca Cornell, 2009, all rights reserved)

Mad Matatus Tee Stop!


Your Freedom Ends Where Mine Begins


Your Freedom Ends Where Mine Begins

A politically inspired design! Words I heard from a very wise man indeed… for in a democracy someone always has to give up their rights for the sake of another’s. Original graphics and design by me, Mad Matatu! You can also find this design in 2 tone black and white for an even more bold statement. Available on tote bags, t-shirts, hoodies,mugs,stickers,banners,bumper stickers, Sigg water bottles, childrens clothing, magnets and pins! Check out the super sexy womens hoodie black and white version with the design on the back… sleek eh???ladies_freedom_hoodie

Happy shopping!


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kitty Love Flip Mino (HD) Design!


Customized Flip Mino (HD) by Mad Matatu

The coolest and sleekest way to digitally capture High Definition (HD) videos and easily transfer them to your PC now comes with a Custom Mad Matatu Design! πŸ™‚ The cutest cat couple around will shower you with love and affection every time you use your flip mino! Click on the image to go straight to my online store! Great gift too for a loved one.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Get Your Heart Strings Pulled!

Tirer... s'il vous plait

Tirer... s'il vous plait

“Tirer… S’il vous Plait” says it all and it’s my latest design addition to my cafe press store! A cute and fun design that features a multitude of hearts and strings to stir up the chemistry! Available exclusively to women as sexy thongs, tank or cute tee in white, soft pink, salmon and baby blue. Sizes available in small, medium, large and maternity wear. A perfect gift for your lady love this christmas too!


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Sigg (RT) Water Bottle Design For Sale!

1.0L Swiss made Sigg Water bottle $27.99 only!

1.0L Swiss made Sigg Water bottle $27.99 only!

I LOVE these Swiss engineered water bottles! Safe for the environment, ecological, freeze proof and BPA Free! Throw away those plastic water bottles and save the planet with a reuseable one!

My new bottle design features a retro-modern fantasy fish with Chinese watercolor painting styles and motifs, bright ocean and water inspired colors and a trendy look all around! An original digital design which is signed and dated. You can purchase a 1.0L or 0.6L bottle for under $30! that is a real steal!


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Matatu’s Tee Stop Launched!!!!

Hi all! Am so excited to announce the launch of my new cafe press store! I have been busy designing T-shirts, posters, Sigg water bottles, mugs, framed art and wall clocks with original artwork and photographs from my trips around the world! You’ll find some of my old favorites as well as new humor tees for adults and kids alike! Be sure to have a look and sign up for my newsletter to recieve notices of new products available! Happy shopping to all and thanks again for reading my blog! πŸ™‚

Matatus Tee Stop @ cafe press

Matatus Tee Stop @ cafe press


Marrakesh Express Party Graphics and Food!

grigliataSo… aside from being a web designer/graphic/digital illustrator/painter I’ll have you know that I’m also not too shabby a cook! πŸ˜‰ To me cooking food is just as much an art form as say, painting with oils or sketching in a notepad… it’s about recognizing spices and blending ingredients to create magic, just as one would do while experimenting with colors, forms and various techniques… The last of 4 children, I remember being put in the kitchen as early as two by my wonderful mother who is still the most amazing cook I’ve ever known… ask her friends too… they’d agree! My very first job was stirring batters… and then licking the bowl of course! and eventually it progressed from prep-work to carving veggies for plate decorations.

My fondest memories are in fact of the “Bigi” women in the kitchen hand cranking our trusty pasta machine, all of us standing in a line to catch the sheets of pasta that continued to grow right down to the very last hole! it was team work and we had to work fast to make sure the pasta didn’t dry out too fast barely2depending on what we were making! On those nights you’d walk into our kitchen and find 3 foot long paper thin sheets of pasta hanging from every chair, counter-top and table available! We’d laugh and talk and have food fights in between serious work and around 2am, tired and exhausted she’d still find the energy to make us all french toast with powdered sugar which we’d eat sipping ondelight1 brandy or a glass of wine (no, silly! not when i was TWO! although as with any Italian family my water at dinner time was always tinged with pink since dad would pour a few drops of wine in my water, as is tradition) I owe a lot to my mother for having given me my artistic and culinary abilities… she was and is (70 and still going about it like she was 30!!) a Jane of all trades, and while i will be more humble to say i might be master of just some, she is master of all… especially her unruly children!!!! =) “Ti voglio tanto bene mammetta mia!!!!”<3 =) I still can’t get over the fact that today we spend hundreds of dollars a year for gym memberships when our mothers and grandmothers stayed thin and fit because they did everything by hand!!! They cooked and cleaned without all those expensive gadgets (gosh, i still to this day will use a wine bottle to roll dough or a glass for a cookie cutter… if i need fancy shapes it’s called a knife! why spend so much money for the convenience when creating and cooking can be such a joyful experience!) and still worked all day and tended to their families at night…

So last week I was up for 48 hours straight preparing for a Moroccan themed birthday party for my roommate and myself. Not only did I cook Moroccan inspired (and quite authentic minus a few artistic licenses I permitted myself!) food but I also created some graphics for the invite! Just as i don’t use any pre-madeΒ  clip-art for my website designs I also refuse to use anything from a box or that is pre-made… now you see the connection more clearly…. what was on the menu you ask?pita2

I made homemade Pita bread (yes, really…. flour, yeast… the whole nine yards!), 3 types of homemade Hummus (i bought dried chickpeas aka garbanzo beans which i soeggplantaked for 24 hrs and then boiled for another 2 hours on low heat… more time but less money and better tasting than buying a can of them and just blending them! it allows me to add things during the entire process that gives my dishes a unique flavor… unachievable by using the canned stuff!): one was a roasted eggplant hummus (everyone’s’ favorite because they didn’t know it was eggplant… sneaky me! lol!!!), black olive hummus and (bliss!) Sun dried tomato Hummus. I also made a pearl barely and parsley salad with lots of homemade grilled Mediterranean veggies, couscous with zucchine and pine nuts, ginger chicken nuggets (not Moroccan but a sure favorite!!!) Rose and Orange blossom water flavored Turkish Delight and an almond Baklava… the only thing that came pre-packaged was the phylo dough! πŸ˜‰
It was a ladies only night and we not only feasted and danced to Arab music but we also had a lovely woman come in to do our henna! (her name is Jodi and you can book her for your own parties or for private sessions through her website:

Arty Party Henna Tattoos


Here is one of the graphics I created for the party using Adobe Illustrator, although, due to limitations with I used a simpler version of it:

Welcome to Morocco!

Welcome to Morocco!

her’s the simpler version since the files were compressed so much and I didn’t have much control on its display:

Marrakesh Express Train

Moroccan cityscape

It worked well with our color theme which was jewel toned and my rooomie Amber spray painted palm leaves from the yard to make golden fans! The whole thing was a huge hit!!! =) I have to say that although Kenya isn’t exactly in North Africa we have enough of a muslim presence there for me to have found it easy enough to draw the background cityscape (reminiscent of Mombasa, Kenya’s primary port) seeing as Mosques were scattered across Nairobi very predominantly… I remember in fact being awakened every morning by the Muezzins’ call to prayer… it was a romatic serenade which i loved listening to and would always get me up and ready to go to school since it was a good 45 minutes away from our house. We had a Mosque across the valley from our house and I still hear him to this day when i go back to visit… although they have been replaced by cds… legend has it (but don’t quote me!) that back in the day Muezzins used to have their eyes carved out because they stood at the top of the mosques’ tower and so would have been able to see into the women’s courtyards, violating their privacy and islamic law.

Everything in this world is intrinsic unto itself…. its all about finding our very own connections… and I have found mine… whereby cooking and art become one! If you live in the South Bay Area,Β  San Jose, CA and you would like a caterer for your cocktail or dinner party do email me: or visit my website: and use the contact form! and I can make all the arrangements for you, including help with any decor or table displays! I’ll cook the food right in your kitchen so it’ll be like having a personal chef for a night! i also do birthday and special occasion cakes, using only the finest ingredients from Belgian chocolate to homemade marzipan and European liqueurs (please specify if it is a childrens’ party as my cakes are very European by standards!) Because of my deep understanding of food, my excellent palette and my pure passion for cooking I can amke you anything from truly authentic sushi and sashimi to the best tasting homemade pasta dishes from nothern Italy that you’ve ever had! πŸ˜‰ below is a small sample of dishes I have made recently for dinner parties! as we say in Italy… Buon Appetito da Francesca!!!!


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My Second Teddy Bear Design approved for Voting!!!

A second design of mine was approved for voting =) This has been really fun and a great way of experimenting with different concepts within limitations (the contest requires we use no more than 3 colors and use their bear template for the design). So my second bear was inspired by my favorite painting of all time: THE KISS, by Gustav Klimt.Β  If you like him or Pangea and think them vote worthy please do vote and share these links with your friends, family and coworkers =)


Inspiration: Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss"


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Logo Design for Antiques Shop!

Here’s a new draft of a logo I’m working on for an Oz store… the name was already chosen by the client and I was asked to make something elegant and classy but striking rather than plain…

The process: hand drawn sketch on paper, converted to vector with the pen tool in illustrator and then with my drawing tablet i refined it by adding more curves,Β  swirls and oomph! =)

Greers Grantiques Logo design, Copyright Francesca Cornell 2009

Greers Grantiques Logo design, Copyright Francesca Cornell 2009

Inspiration for this logo came from various patterns on items found within the clients shop, antique fabric prints, Roman columns and Victorian gilded frames. I will post any updates or changes but I wanted to get this up as it’s quite different from my usual, more cartoonish requests and I was just super pleased with it!

1 Comment

Posted by on March 31, 2009 in Art, Design, Illustrator, Vector Graphics


Tags: , , , , ,

Check Out The Insiprations Page…

For links to cool websites using the latest graphic techniques and CSS! If you know of any really great websites that you think should be brought to the limelight feel free to make suggestions! (Please note that not all suggestions will appear, but I will take into consideration techniques, style, colors etc) Yes, you may also suggest your own site if you like! =)


Tags: , , , , , , ,

A Glimpse into Adobe Illustrator line art…

the finale....

the finale....

All concepts start in our minds… we get this idea in our head and we see it as bright as day! “GOSH!”-we think- “where’s my pencil?????” and off we go into a mad frenzy of finding even just a scrap of paper, tissue or even a crumpled up receipt- if drawing pad is not at hand- to give that idea a life… and so the mind, in all its brilliance, connects to our hands, to our fingers, to our pencil, to our paper… connection…. the eye now sees something new and responds in kind. The idea now takes on a different life and shape and goes through a metamorphosis as we begin to visualize our “idea” and deviate (sometimes) from what was originally in our head!

This is my favorite stage in creating a new design! Many a times though i have tossed a paper scrap with a vengeance because somehow the connection got “lost” once the hand and pen decided to step in… often enough though, it’ll come back to haunt me and I’ll keep at it until finally I “see” what my mind was trying to visualize all along!

Here’s an example of that thought process coming to life… the idea was initially of a bionic type woman with screws and metal plates and shiny long hair listening to one of those modern gadgets we’re all attached at the hip to… but I wanted her to still look vintage… kind of like an older generation being pulled into a new one and finding a perfect balance.

lines and curves meet....

lines and curves meet....

So it started, as i said, in my mind and this is what my hand and my eyes translated onto my notebook while i sat outside next to a crackling fire one night…

My hand continued to draw swirls and curves and the dim light was perfect to create shadows… slowly she started to become a “she” and started to have long hair… long curly hair… eyes? no… she doesn’t need eyes…. all her energy is engulfed and concentrated on just one of her senses “sound”… the hair flows almost like waves which to me have always been the sweetest music

(one of my favorite movies of all time is “The Big Blue” as it has an AMAZING soundtrack that makes you feel as though the ocean is all around you!)… her mouth is slightly open from the sheer pleasure of listening to the sounds blasting in her ears from those tiny little pods…

Once I’m happy with my sketch and feeling elated, i can’t wait to turn it into one of those vector graphics we all love… expand… expand… EXPAND… and never any loss of clarity or sharpness… I do love technology sometimes even though nothing for me replaces the smell of turpentine, the texture of a brush and the softness with which oil paints blend together… painting with oils has always been a favorite of mine… too bad it’s one of those super expensive “hobbies” lol! πŸ˜‰

And so there she is… my final muse… in all her glory… such a long and wonderful journy it was to make her! The sky’s the limit!!!! =)

All images and text herein, copyright Francesca Cornell, 2008-2009

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 31, 2009 in Art, Design, Illustrator, Vector Graphics


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Retro Games Logo Finished!

I have been working on a logo for a new client of mine that sells retro/vintage games and we are both so happy with the final design! The client showed it to a group of online merchants to ask their opinions and the response was simply fantastic!

simple print version

simple print version

Here’s an example:

“Whoa – you sell video games? And here all this time I thought you sold shaving cream. Does that answer your question? Thumbs up.”

LOVE it!!!! If you’d like to see the whole design click the link below…. bonus points if you can come up with a name for the robot/mascot I created for him! πŸ˜‰

close-up of robot and cd artwork

close-up of robot and cd artwork

Software used: Adobe Illustrator CS2

Magisterrex Retro Video Games Logo Design by Francesca Cornell,

It was great working with Dan and he pretty much gave me carte blanche… Video games… any games in general in fact are FUN.. and so a FUN, colorful design that reminds us all of our own inner child was the way to go! Another comment we got in fact said just that:

“What a fun logo. Makes me feel like a kid just looking at it. You’re right, she’s very talented.”

I wanted to use the new trend of retro/vintage artwork made to order for the new web 2.0 glossy look. The logo is going to make a great center piece for the header that I am now designing for his web store. If you’d like to have a look at his shop it’s here:

We’re redoing the whole store so it’ll be a HUGE change by the time we’re finished! I can’t wait…. this is what I was born to do… DESIGN! =)



Posted by on January 29, 2009 in Art, CSS, Design, Illustrator, Vector Graphics


Tags: , , , , , , , ,