this is the latest range of cards and prints for 'Image Vault' by artist and designer Ellen Giggenbach. The designs will be available soon and feature six flowers native to New Zealand. you can see these and more of Ellen's awesome works online here.Add a Comment
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Blog: print & pattern (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: CARDS, TOP DRAWER, STATIONERY, Add a tag
today I thought I would just point out a few designers to look out for if you are off to top drawer in London, which opens on sunday. first up is the whimsical work of shhh my darling a design duo based in Rome. they specialise in letterpress, paper goods and stationery and their signature collection features animals in human dress. all their products are hand-designed and printed in Italy.Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Miss Marple's Musings (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: SCBWI, Illustrators, Interview, cards, Illustrator interview, Joyce Wan, picture books, SLEEPYHEADS, WanArt, Add a tag
I don’t think I shall ever hear the word CUPCAKE now without thinking of Joyce Wan (check out her website if this means nothing to you). Somehow, a frosted pink, mouthful of scrummy yum, that makes you wanna yell Mmm, Fun and More! I have been following Joyce for a while on FB because Marcie Colleen, a mutual friend, lambasted me one day in our local Brooklyn bar with, ‘What, you’ve been in New York 4 months and don’t know Joyce Wan?!!” Well, I finally got to meet Joyce at the SCBWI LA conference this summer (where I have actually met the majority of my kidlit friends), and she was one of the reasons for my SCBWI rave post, here!
[JM] Illustrator or author/illustrator?
[JM] What’s your nationality and which and how have certain cultures/regions influenced your work?
[JW] I am Chinese-American, born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, but have been living in New York City for about 17 years now.
[JM] Tell us a little of your beginnings and journey as an artist.
[JW] Art always interested me, even as a child, and has always been a pursuit and a passion of mine. I designed a greeting card when I was 6 years old for a city-wide greeting card design contest. The design won first place and was subsequently sold through a major department store chain. Because of the contest, I even got to meet the governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, and had my picture in the Boston Globe.
As you can imagine, this experience left a major impression on me as a young child and it encouraged me to keep drawing. I grew up on welfare and food stamps in low-income housing in inner-city Boston for a greater part of my youth. Coming from an immigrant family with limited means, art was not necessarily encouraged – not as a means to make a living anyway. I went on to study architecture at Barnard College thinking it was the “practical” thing to do for someone who was interested in the arts. However, after working in the field of architecture for a couple years I realized it was not very fulfilling – in fact, I hated it. With no formal art education other than a college figure drawing class and a huge leap of faith, I started Wanart in 2003 with an initial focus on designing and manufacturing my own greeting card line. When I first started Wanart, I was working at a 9am-6pm job at an architectural firm. I would spend the night/early morning hours on my own business with only a few hours of sleep in between the two “jobs”. I did this for two years before I quit my full time job to pursue my own business full-time. I spent the early years taking lots of continuing education classes, taking odd jobs here and there when I needed money, reading lots of marketing books, trying many different things, making many mistakes, teaching myself design programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, spending lots of money (or, I like to call it, investing in myself), and drawing—lots of drawing, relying on nothing but hope and passion to keep me going most of the time. I continually put myself out there and exhibited my products at trade shows all over the country such as the National Stationery Show and the New York International Gift Show. Between the trial and error (and tears!) were some small successes, by this time I also started to license some of my designs, and then a major break came when I met the art director from my first publisher in 2008 at a gift show. The art director told me they had seen my cards in stores, had been following my work, and even had some of my cards in their office. This led to the publication of my first book Greetings from Kiwi and Pear which was based on one of my best-selling greeting card lines. I’ve had 5 books published now with 6 more under contract in the next few years. I’m working with Cartwheel/Scholastic, PSS!/Penguin, Beach Lane Books/S&S, & FSG/Macmillan. My designs are also found on stationery and gift products sold all over the world. It is a dream come true.
[JM] Do you have a preferred medium to work in?
[JW] People know me for my digital work but I have been working more with pencil (my first love) lately and have a book coming out next year that I’m excited about called Sleepyheads with Beach Lane Books, which is drawn entirely in pencil and then colored digitally.
[JM] What does your workspace look like? (Photo if you like??)
[JW] I have a studio space right outside of New York City in Union City, New Jersey in an old industrial building that was a silk mill in the early 1900’s. These photos show my studio at its neatest, but it does get quite messy especially when I’m on deadline!
When I’m working late (which I tend to like to do these days because I find I do my best creative work between the hours of 12am and 3am) I will work at home right on my dining table.
[JM] Can you share a piece or two with us, maybe of a WIP, and the process of creating them?
[JW] I’ve included some images from a book coming out Fall 2014 from Beach Lane Books that I illustrated and was written by Sandra Howatt called Sleepyheads.
I always like to draw thumbnails first. This helps me plan the general layout of each page and text placement without having to worry too much about the details at this point. I also jot down any other ideas or questions I may have for each page.
Since this book did not contain any recurring characters, I went straight to the drawings. If there were characters, I would do character studies which involves drawing the character with different expressions and poses before advancing to the drawings. I wanted this book to have a soft, cuddly classic feeling so I drew this book entirely with a good old-fashioned pencil on fine art cotton fiber paper. Because of all the rendering I must have gone through over 25 pencils for this book and even a few sharpeners. It felt really nice to get back to basics and almost meditative in some ways.
After all the drawings were done, I scanned each one, inserted the text in Photoshop, compiled the files into a PDF, and emailed them to my editor for comments. My editor, Andrea Welch, and I had a phone meeting and we went through each page together and she shared her comments and requests for changes on layout, composition, character expressions, etc. I went back to the drawing board, had to redraw some of the pages and additional drawings had to be created, such as the title page and the cover. Afterward, I sent a new PDF with all the pages. Once the last round of drawings were approved, I went to color.
The book was colored in Photoshop mostly using the “multiply” blending mode so that I didn’t lose any of the pencil texture. Anyone who’s familiar with my work know that I use a lot of bright, cheerful flat colors so coloring night scenes, which I had not done much of before, was a fun, new challenge. I wanted to create a dreamy, peaceful, soothing atmosphere – a lullaby in visual form.
The colored drawings were then emailed to my editor in a PDF for comments again. After some more back-and-forth, the book was complete! The final drawings files were then uploaded to their server without the copy. The art department usually places the text.
I recently received the proofs for the book to review. Besides some minor adjustments I need to make, I am happy with how they look and I’m excited to share this book with the world!
[JM] Are the two art forms of card design and illustrating and writing books for children related and, if so, how?
[JW] Yes, at least in the types of books that I have been working on which are books for the very young – those that are not even quite reading yet. I spent many years working on greeting card designs (my collection now contains around 200 designs). Greeting cards are about communicating emotions and universal sentiments like love and joy which in a lot of ways are what picture books are about too. Going from greeting cards to picture books seemed like a natural progression. Eric Carle once said that when he’s working on a book every spread has to be able to stand on its own like a poster. I feel like it’s the same way with greeting cards and is something that I carry over into my books.
[JM] How do you approach the marketing/business side of the picture book world?
[JW] I’m a bit pro-active when it comes to marketing. having my gift business all these years really prepared me for the marketing/business side of the book world. I was already used to ‘selling’ and promoting my rat before picture books were even in the pciture. I look at creating picture books as an extension of my design business and the picture books as another line of my products. I think creative people often feel overwhelmed and paralyzed by marketing and business. THINK BIG, ACT SMALL, but ACT nonetheless- ONE STEP AT A TIME towards your goals. This helps to keep dreamers and idealists rooted, and leads one towards successful fruition of ideas and dreams.
[JM] What authors and/or illustrators influenced you growing up?
[JW] There are so many but here are several of my favorites: Richard Scarry, Eric Carle, Tomie dePaola, Lois Ehlert, Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, and James Marshall.
[JM] What advice would you give new illustrators trying to break into this challenging business?
[JW] Have the courage to keep putting yourself out there, surround yourself with people who believe in you (stay away from toxic ones!), be honest with yourself, focus on what you do best, play up and promote what you do best, create from your heart and soul (not what the next person is doing), never stop learning, and keep drawing/painting/writing! Also, I keep hearing this more and more from people in the industry and at conferences and it’s something I also wholeheartedly believe—you have to work really, really hard, probably the hardest you’ve ever had to work. Go the extra mile in everything you do and everything you put out there.
Five Fun Ones to Finish?
[JM] What word best sums you up?
[JM] If you could live anywhere for a season, where would you go?
[JW] Hawaii during the frigid months here in NYC would be dreamy. It’s such a magical, mystical, and joyous place: warm ocean, perfect sunlight, gentle sea breezes, lush green vegetation, sacred nature sites, the freshest fruits of the sea you’ll ever eat, awe-inspiring landscapes, full rainbows, fragrant flowers, friendly people, and SPAM, eggs, and rice (need I say more?).
This is a full rainbow I saw while on a last-minute Hawaiian getaway a year and a half ago. I had to stitch a bunch of photos together using a photo app because the rainbow was so immense I couldn’t fit the whole thing in one photo. As I gazed in awe at the rainbow that I spotted in the middle of a field while driving around the Hawaiian countryside (after making my friend pull over on the side of the road so that I could take pictures!), I was reminded how important it is to take a break from work and do something spontaneous and out-of-the-ordinary sometimes to reconnect with our childlike sense of wonder, discovery, and delight. [JM] Thanks for the reminder and visual!
[JM] What’s your go-to snack or drink to keep the creative juices flowing?
[JW] Skittles, specifically the one in the purple packaging which are the Wild Berry flavors, or, the Fruit Salad Haribo Gummi candies and a nice strong cup of coffee.
[JM] Cats or dogs?
[JW] Either – they just have to be chubby! [JM] Garfield meets Deputy Dawg?
[JM] If you could spend a day with one children’s book illustrator, with whom would that be?
[JW] That would be Eric Carle, but if they don’t have to be living I would also love to have been able to spend the day with Richard
[JM] Where can we find/follow you and your work, Joyce?
Visit me online at www.wanart.com.
Connect with me on: Twitter: @wanartFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/wanartstudio Instagram: @wanartstudio
Joyce, I love how you have known only shared yourself and your work, but I also really feel like you have graciously taught us much in this interview and shared your expertise with us. I think Marcie and I need to take a trip to visit you in your super studio space! To your success, especially with the adorable SLEEPYHEADS.
Blog: print & pattern (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: PARIS, CARDS, WALL ART, KIDS DESIGN, Add a tag
its always lovely to discover new stylishly curated online shops and I recently stumbled across one called 'carousel carousel'. this small but pretty store stocks this fabulous party tableware from my little day, as well as paper goods, toys, and vintage pieces. From this online store I was led onto a trail of other fabulous french stores and artists which I have posted here today.Display Comments Add a Comment
these gorgeously simple and colourful cards from Ma and Grandy seemed like a great way to return to print & pattern after the summer break. Designed by Natala Stuetz in Brisbane, Australia. The company is named after Natala's grandparents and here is what she says about them "Grandy was the most chivalrous of men, and Ma was every bit a lady. They fell in love and were known by friends andDisplay Comments Add a Comment
I've come a bit nearer home for the next card post with a selection of lovely greetings cards snapped that were all snapped in Marks & Spencer last week.... Read the rest of this postAdd a Comment
Blog: I Piccolini (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: cute, gaia bordicchia, stationary, cards, character design, children, Illustration, animals, Add a tag
When the new stationery layouts landed in my mailbox a few weeks ago, I knew the "Thank You" card was trouble. I can't say why, but while the rest of them had little sparks of inspiration all over the edges, this card was a big, blank space. I left it for last and moved on with the rest of my work…
If you follow me on Twitter, you know I have a son, Elia or E. as most of my online friends know him. He will be 8 in July. He's curious, imaginative and won't take an easy answer. His questions demand spectacular revelations or something vague and mysterious enough to leave him thinking for a while.
You don't have to be a parent to work as a picture book illustrator. I've always lived the two things separately. For a long time, the illustrating process was just my own big ego trip. It was me, my 6 year old-self and sometimes, a more feminine version of Gaia appearing in my drawings. Then as E. grew older, I started to listen more. Not only he has a lot of questions, but has opinions, plans and most of all, stories!
Two weeks ago, I was finishing a big illustration and part of it was the image of a cycle. I won't go into details, but I had this flat circle and I was trying to avoid using arrows, while giving the idea of movement. Another blank space, no spark at all…
E. asked what it was and I told him the blue circle was water with different life stages of a sea creature. He looked at the screen for a while then pointing his finger and moving it around, said: "Like water in the bath tub". Boom! It was under my nose. A whirlpool!
As I solved this puzzle, I also had an idea for the Thank You card. The old robot needed new batteries and a new spark. A small explorer arrived to help. I had more fun designing this, than any other card in the group. I wasn't reaching out to the princess I've never been as a child, but to a little boy with golden wings.
There are so many things I don't do anymore, now that I am a parent. In the past I used to travel a lot and everything was a little bit easier and more adventurous. I could take risks. These thoughts only lasts a little minute though. Most of the time I'm too busy finding a good answer to the many questions I receive:
- Is a "brown dwarf" a sad star? The guy on tv says it's a star without light, a failed star...
- Is Mercury cold or entirely covered with olives? Not trees, just olives.
- If Mothra lands on our house, will my Flytrap plant be enough to fight it off?
- I think Dante the Elephant has a small phone book, do you know why?
- Do you keep cosmic piranhas in your socks drawer?
- Do you know the cartoonist who draws this comic? Really? Let's send him a note saying "Dude, you're awesome!"
- Would you rather have a daimon or a backpack with tentacles? Answer carefully, both are very cool, but you can have only one!
I don't think you must be a parent to illustrate or write picture books, but if you have one of these creativity bombs walking around your house, listen. Give answers, ask question, but mostly listen. They have opinions, unexpected solutions, silly plans and most of all, they love a good story as much as you do. Display Comments Add a Comment
all these lovely works are by kate yorke for her new business called emily pickle. kate designs cards, tea towels and prints for her label which is named after her daughter. recently her tea towel above was named in a top 10 selection by the guardian newspaper and her design below has been shortlisted in a brabantia design competition. see more online at emily pickle.Add a Comment
i have been into marks & spencer this weekend looking at greetings cards and found some lovely new arrivals... Read the rest of this postAdd a Comment
besides surtex the month of may also sees london hosting progressive greetings live, the international card show which has been brought forward this year to take place before surtex. i was sent a flyer for 'PG live' by shirley copperwhite a dublin based designer who will be showing her work for the first time on stand 146.Add a Comment
fawnsberg is an illustrated stationery range created by sisters rachel and patricia mumau. the collection of cards, papers, and stamps was born out of love for handwritten letters and besides fawnsberg the sisters also work with their mother kim at the primele creative studio. if their beautiful cards have captured your heart you can find them for sale at fawnsberg or on etsy.Add a Comment
Blog: print & pattern (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: CARDS, ILLUSTRATION, WALL ART, Add a tag
petra wolff has a fun selection of new A6 cards for sale in her shop for 2013 featuring cute cats, pretty birds and tribal geometrics. petra is a finnish designer who is based in dresden germany who works on freelance designs for textiles, graphics, and illustration projects. more details and designs can be found online here.Display Comments Add a Comment
pleased to meet is another label i found through hus & hem, who are currently stocking their beautiful cards. based in berlin, germany pleased to meet is the work of daniela konn and marcel hornung who met whilst working in new york. check them out online for a cute collection of notebooks, wrapping paper and cards.Add a Comment
faye gollaglee is a freelance greeting card designer based in in gateshead, tyne & wear from her studio in her spare room. faye is currently looking for commissions or opportunities to licence her designs. she would also be interested in workng 'in house' if there were any vacancies in the north east. to see more from faye or to get in touch with her go online here.Display Comments Add a Comment
pootle is a small card publisher based in the scottish borders who supply their fresh designs created using cotton fabrics and collages to shops up and down the UK, as well as in australia, hong kong and france. pootle, who are named after owner shelley klein's ginger cat, have recently brought out a new collection of 30 greeting card designs called 'vintage wonderland'. online you can viewAdd a Comment
a few weeks ago ecojot launched their new season designs at the new york gift fair. ecojot is of course the company of well known canadian designer carolyn gavin. it produces eco friendly stationery, paper goods, and gifts. i am lucky enough today to be able to showcase images of many of carolyn's fabulous new designs. the first selection features greetings and notecards. you can find ecojot inDisplay Comments Add a Comment
next up from ecojot comes a selection of blank notecards, thank you cards, and cards for men, children, and babies. the spring 2013 designs were launched at the end of january at the new york international gift fair by caroyln gavin, the principal designer at ecojot.Display Comments Add a Comment
red cap cards is a los angeles based greetings cards company run by carrie gifford. red cap work with a selection of different designers and illustrators including meg hunt, christian robinson, anna emilia laitinen, and lizzie stewart. see more online here at red cap.Display Comments Add a Comment
i recently came across the fantastic work of heather flynn through art house licensing where she is currently their featured designer. heather's work covers a huge diversity a styles and subjects from cute kids cards, contemporary christmas designs through to sophisticated mid-century modern inspired designs and illustrations. orignally from scotland heather graduated in textile design and wentDisplay Comments Add a Comment
Blog: paperwork (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: stamps, bunnies, rabbits, etsy, cards, black and white, printing, print shop, paper products, Add a tag
This note card is a linoleum print with collage flowers. Since I actually left town this week - hurray! - I stopped at a craft store and bought some screen printing supplies: drawing fluid and screen filler. I've been playing with paper stencils, and I'm ready to make something more permanent. Very exciting! Display Comments Add a Comment
british tv presenter kirstie allsopp has teamed up with publisher cardmix to create a range of tweleve card designs. kirstie is renowned for her programmes on property, interiors, and crafts. the designs were created by scanning lots of kirstie's own collection of home textiles and dresses. the designs were then hand cut using scissors and pinking shears for a vintage crafty look. here are someAdd a Comment
designer tamsin seed of studio seed recently exhibited at top drawer where she launched quite a few new greetings card ranges. one of which is the sweet 'carnival kids' range which is a fun range aimed at cildren and young at heart. tamsin also launched a range called 'spring blush' aimed at a sophisticated, feminine market and features watercolour-style florals and lots of hand renderedDisplay Comments Add a Comment
Blog: print & pattern (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: CARDS, ILLUSTRATION, Add a tag
illustrator marcus walters recently launched a signature range of greeting cards through UK card company urban graphic. each card features his distinctive hand cut typography, pattern design and printed style. you can see the full collection online at new future graphic. its not from the urban graphic collection but i also loved this poster created by marcus for theDisplay Comments Add a Comment
solitaire have some sweet new designs for spring summer 2013, including this fun foxes and toadstools eco wrapping paper (above and below). they've also introduced a range of age birthday cards for young children, and a new addition to their greetings range of a stylish woodpecker birthday card. available here.Display Comments Add a Comment
these are some brand new works from designer caroline pratt who launched them as a range of cards and screenprints yesterday at the british craft trade fair in harrogate. the show will run until tuesday 9th if you are in the area. you can also see more from caroline at her lovely website here.Display Comments Add a Comment
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