As my son turns 5 this week, I turn to the subject of dinosaurs. This summer I have had a real education in the beasts and it turns out there are quite a few new ones compared to when I was a kid– Einiosaurus, Elasmosaurus, and Giganotosaurus to name a few. After many books, cartoons and conversations about dinosaurs I've spent a little time drawing them as well. Here are a few of my new dino-designs:
When I do sketches for an art director, I have to draw them neatly so someone else will understand what my final intentions are. For my cards however, I am the art director and the drawings themselves tend to be pretty scribbly. I find this very freeing and it is always my starting point for new artwork. They are purely the idea and only to help me start thinking in pictures. As you can see from my examples, my thinking is pretty fuzzy at first, and then gets clarified as the artwork progresses.
Here are a couple of pages from my sketchbook that show my ideas for this years Valentines cards.
After I've made some little drawings I like to make a few written notes about color ideas or drawn details. There are always a few ideas I don't use, but sometimes I do later.
I have a large collection of handmade postcards, birthday cards and holiday cards that friends have given me over the years. I love getting any sort of card really, but these are extra special to me as they are original artwork. Today I'm going to share the only handmade party invitation I've received: a charming yellow blob creature invites you to the "Festa Gialla", the Yellow Party which happened years ago in my neighbor's apartment in Italy. I love this-- and it was a fun party too!
While looking through some old correspondences I came across a wonderful letter from a Japanese friend who spoke very little English at the time. I love the little drawings she made to go with her words. It's such a sweet note and I was so happy to receive it.
Yesterday I walked through the National Stationary Show at the Javits Center in NYC. It was really inspiring to see all the great shops and some old friends. As I spoke to exhibitors the feeling seemed to be that it was a little slow traffic-wise, but overall they were making sales and very satisfied. The show is a shadow of it's former self, now sharing the main floor with Surtex when 6 years ago it took up 2 floors entirely on it's own. However exhibitors felt that they were doing better this year than in the past two, so perhaps the smaller show size is working for them.
Here is a photo from the "Paper Runway" exhibit in which artists made various gowns entirely out of paper. Pretty cool!
Mother's Day is here and cards are a classic way to tell mom how you feel. Here are a few cards by some craftsmen I admire:
First, a really cute letterpress card by Pup and Pony Press of Long Beach, CA. I just love letterpress and this illustration is a perfect combination of sweetness and sincerity done in a charming retro style.
Next is this Mother's Day gift tag from Hello Clementine of London. This is a digital file you can print out yourself onto cardstock. Love the utilitarian sentimentality.
This pop up Pink Rose card, by Cookie Bits is really great! Paper engineering is so cool!
I also really love this Mommy and Baby Love Birds card by Simply Cute by Karen of Marlborough, Massachusetts. Simply charming!
I have always been someone who loves to draw. I started making cards for my loved ones at a young age and have continued to do so over the years. This is still one of my favorite things in life as it involves both drawing and the people I care for most. Recently I started wondering why this is so fascinating to me and why sending cards in the mail seems to persist in the digital age. A blog seems like a perfect place to explore the craft of creating snail mail in all its varied forms. From simple postcards to elaborate wedding invitations, handwritten correspondence remains a source of connection, creativity, and inspiration.
To start off the blog I have here one of my first cards-- an Easter card from 1981! (I loved horses and tried to draw them whenever possible.)
Did you make cards as a child? Why do you send them today? I'd love to hear your stories.