Illustration is a great way to quickly convey an idea, so I use my friends birthdays and anniversaries to develop a small idea, and hopefully make them smile.
I have always loved illustration, and strange events are a great excuse to draw something oddly specific. For example, ‘Have a great..’ was designed for a colleague who was celebrating both her own birthday and the birth of her second child. Also just drawing something odd, like ‘Hold your breath’ can work equally well.
Translating graphics into a 3D object allows simple pattern and typography to develop its own character from the machining and techniques used to create it. It also makes for an excellent birthday card.