Artist Spotlight: Danielle Kroll February 21, 2017

It’s finally time for another Artist Spotlight, and we are so thrilled! We are pleased to introduce Danielle Kroll to our Red Cap Cards family. A Brooklyn-based artist and designer, Danielle brings a feminine chicness with a hint of play to the Red Cap roster. Debuting with eighteen new cards and six new wrapping sheet styles, Danielle and her gorgeous new designs makes us want to grab a cocktail and relax under the nearest cabana with a copy of Franny and Zooey.

We had a chance to chat with Danielle a bit about her creative process, what inspires here, and more. See below for her interview and fantastic photos of her studio and more.

What does a typical day for you look like?
Usually I take advantage of my flexible schedule and get some chores done in the morning. If I have time, I’ll make myself a nice big breakfast. My studio is a 20 minute walk through Greenpoint and I try to get there by 12. Some days I just want to get right to painting but if I have emails or urgent deadlines, that will have to wait until later. If I finish up all my client work then I can work on something for myself. It’s like my treat for having a productive work day.

Did you always want to be an artist? Did you have any other aspirations?
I’ve always known I wanted to do something creative. I thought I wanted to be an interior designer because I loved playing The Sims so much. I started painting in the 5th grade when I won private acrylic lessons with a local artist. I went to art school and then worked as a graphic designer. I got bored though so I started painting again on the side. I started getting client work after posting my paintings on a blog for a little while. Illustration, it turns out, was kind of like my missing link between design and painting.

Tell us about your other work–ceramics, textiles?
Ceramics is a happy place because I don’t take on commissioned work in that medium. Which also means that I don’t get to work with clay that much since it never takes priority. I still feel like I’ve only tapped the surface with that. As for textiles, I’ve been drawn to them for as long as I can remember. Some of my first memories are of patterns in my grandparent’s houses. Sometimes I weave those memories into my work. I started doodling patterns in my sketchbooks one day then started painting more complex textiles once I learned how repeats work. I really can’t control what my mind wants to be working on which is why I move around between mediums. If I have an idea I will obsess over it until I start working on it.

What is your creative process like?
It depends on what I’m working on. I’m always drawing in my sketchbooks and those most likely will turn into a textile. For my personal projects I think I’m most creative when I’m not thinking about it too much. Sometimes I could sit around for hours (or days) just thinking about ideas before actually starting anything. Then when I have something in mind I’ll have it done that same day. When I’m painting, I work with gouache and sometimes add in paper collage. Then I scan my paintings into Photoshop and do some cleaning up. I actually really like the computer part because by then the hardest parts are over and I can just zone out and listen to audiobooks, podcasts or watch cartoons.

Photo courtesy Clement Pascal

What inspires you most?
Traveling and trying new things. I get a ton of ideas when I’m not sitting around trying to think of one. Generally I get inspiration from everyday life and I definitely look at the past stylistically. I love going to thrift shops and antique malls. You’re guaranteed to see something interesting, unique, handmade, quirky, funny, beautiful and affordable if you go to the right spot. Not to mention the funny people watching.


What is your most successful piece in your opinion?
Yikes tough call! I think my most popular piece was the Ladies at the Beach print. Which I love as well. One of my all time favorite paintings I did was of two lost swans swimming in the ocean on an old book page. Very romantic.

What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out?
I think it’s probably, don’t listen to other people’s advice. What’s right for one person is most certainly not going to work for everyone. When you’re excited about a big idea and ask someone’s advice, chances are they’re going to tell you something like, “wow that’s a lot of work. Or woah that’s crazy.” And it’s easy to feel discouraged. I still ask people’s advice, I just try not to factor it into my decision making process.

Photo courtesy Clement Pascal

Favorite mediums to work in?
I feel most confident when painting because I’ve been doing it for so long. I think ceramics is the most rewarding (when everything goes right). Since I don’t have too much time in ceramics I always try something funky when I go in there. Occasionally it works out!

Photo courtesy Clement Pascal

Tell us about Beech Hall.
I started Beech Hall with two of my buddies from Tyler School or Art. We all branched out in slightly different concentrations so we thought it would be a fun project to make a brand together. Our first collection was inspired by Ancient Egypt and had homewares, jewelry, ceramics, paintings and other random goods. Our second collection was inspired by the feeling of a retro island vacation and we called it Cabana. It’s been fun to just experiment and to fully develop a product concept. We see it more as an opportunity to explore artistically rather than a business.


Who are your role models in terms of art or otherwise?
The first artist I really looked up to is Mary Blair. I remember seeing an exhibit of her paintings at the perfect time; right after I quit my job and started a long hike in California. I really connected to her. Seeing the original artwork that stylistically inspired my favorite childhood movies made me giddy.

If you didn’t work as an artist, what would you be doing?
Maybe I’d be an antique buyer. I’m really good at that!

Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
I do have some fun ideas in the works but they’re not ready to be shared yet.

Do you have any advice for up-and-coming artists and illustrators?
Do as much experimenting as you can. Sometimes I’ll start on an idea and I’ll think it’s going to be the best thing in the world. Then a few hours in, I’ll take a step back and it’s hideous. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s easy to get discouraged but we all make ugly stuff every now and then. Just remember to dispose of it.

Obligatory Red Cap question: favorite drink?
My go-to order is a Vodka Soda. I’m Polish so vodka is my family’s liquor of choice. For my fancy cocktail I’d go with a Moscow Mule. I love the fresh gingery taste. So refreshing!

Thank you so much, Danielle! See more of Danielle’s designs for Red Cap cards, here.

All photos courtesy Danielle Kroll unless otherwise noted.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Red Cap Cards! February 14, 2017

We hope you’re getting ready to hunker down with your honey tonight–and by all means, a “honey” may represent your spouse, partner, child, pet, or really just a huge box of Junior Mints. Whatever works. We love you oh-so-much at Red Cap Cards. Have fun, eat some candies, and enjoy the love that is within your grasp. Here’s a few visual treats to get you started…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Light my Fire
Light My Fire by Sarah Burnish
Be Mine
Pink Swans by Barbara Dziadosz
For my Beautiful Wife
For My Beautiful Wife by Carolyn Gavin
My Funny Valentine
My Funny Valentine by Anke Weckmann
Children’s Book Illustration Technique, Part One: It’s In the Eyes | Jon Klassen February 10, 2017

They say the eyes are the window to the soul. We say they are the window to the story. Part of our jobs as art curators is finding personality and perspective in our artists’ characters. A huge chunk of that personality and perspective is found in the character’s gaze. The intricacies with which artists are able to convey emotion and intent through slight subtlety in their character’s features is fascinating!

Part of what makes a successful picture book is a 50/50 partnership between words and illustration. Words tell half of the story, while the illustration tells the other half. Sometimes, these halves conflict in their truths…and that’s when things get really exciting! When you start to focus on these tiny details in a picture book’s illustration, it’s amazing what layers you can find.

It’s no secret that we are huge Jon Klassen fans. Celebrated author, illustrator and Caldecott award winner (not to mention Red Cap Cards artist), Jon is a master at creating tension and story arcs with very subtle details in his art work. Look below for some fascinating examples from several of his books.

This is Not My Hat
by Jon Klassen

This one tells the story of a tiny, mischievous fish who has stolen a hat (quite stupidly) from a much bigger fish. He is sly and aware of his surroundings until he gets a little bit too comfortable. We love the facial expressions on both fish (and a few other characters) as the story emerges, showing complex emotions in a battle of wits.

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

 

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

“He probably won’t know it was me who took it.”

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

I Want My Hat Back
by Jon Klassen

In this story, a much-too-trusting bear goes on the hunt for his missing hat, until he ultimately finds it, much to the dismay of the thief. The range of emotion in this one is perfect! Trust to deception, realization, intent, surprise, and ultimately, satisfaction. The illustration is able to stand completely alone in its story.

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Words by Mac Barnett, illustration by Jon Klassen

This one is magical and has new layers that are discoverable with each reading. Sam and Dave do simply that–they dig a hole. Their trusty dog is there to attempt to steer them in the right direction, but ultimately, they wrap up the day’s work and head home…or do they? The very subtle inconsistencies in the two home settings create a story within a story. The look between the cat and the dog tells us there’s more to this narrative that we are invited to put together on our own after the book is closed.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

We Found a Hat
by Jon Klassen

Jon’s newest addition to the “hat” trilogy tells the story of two turtles in a desert who have found a hat. Who will claim the hat? They both like it, and it looks good on them both. The internal struggle of one of the turtles is hidden from the text, but is given away in the eyes of the character illustration. See the images below:

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen
We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen
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We Found a Hat

How many characters are completely recognizable by their eyes? We wanted to touch on Jon’s characters to get you on the lookout–who are your favorite characters with stories told through their expressions? We will be back with some more illustrative techniques for telling a complete story through illustration. Keep your eyes peeled!

-Andie Powers for Red Cap Cards
@andiegwpowers

Visit Us at NY NOW February 2, 2017

NY NOW 2017

Who is attending the NY NOW Show in New York City next week? We’ll be there!

From February 5th-8th, Red Cap Cards will be represented by Crow & Canary in the general gift section in the company of some fine lines of stationery, gifts, and housewares. Visit us on the first floor of Davits in Booth No. 7614!

Stop by to check out our new collection of valentines, and allow Danielle Kroll to make a proper introduction with her stunning new collection of cards and gift wrap. We can’t wait to see you there.

Introducing Our Debut Collection by Danielle Kroll January 23, 2017

We are delighted to introduce our brand new collection of greeting cards and wrap for the start of a shiny new 2017. Our January collection features original work by our new Red Cap Cards collaborator and artist, Danielle Kroll. Brooklyn-based and bursting with style, Danielle’s bright and light-hearted illustration lends a touch of whimsy and a dash of vintage class to our design repertoire.

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Knives Wrap by Danielle Kroll

A bit about Danielle: she graduated from Tyler School of Art and started her career in Anthropologie’s Art Department. Her work includes illustrations, ceramics, paintings and textiles, while her whimsical style aims to inspire curiosity and to make your day just a little bit brighter! Plus, she is also a founder of Beech Hall, a web shop that offers a vibrant array of homewares, ceramics and jewelry.

Danielle’s collection debuts twenty-two new greeting cards, featuring luxurious foils in pink, emerald, gold and copper, and six new wrapping papers. From a classic blue-and-white toile to the most chic knives you’ve ever seen, there is a perfect paper for any creative or elegant occasion. Check out some highlights (plus, some brilliant in-progress shots from Danielle’s Instagram!) below or click over to our shop to see the entire collection. Also, download our January 2017 catalog here, or view it on ISSUU.

krl1769-tiny-animals
Tiny Animals
krl1774-synchronized
Synchronized
krl1783-mother-rose
Mother Rose
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Champagne
krl1789wrp-cars-box
Cars Wrap
krl1787wrp-cat-ring-box
Cat Ring Wrap
krl1788wrp-compacts-box
Compacts Wrap
krl1792wrp-river-toil-box
River Toile
krl1776-engagement-ring
Engagement Rose
krl1775-queen-of-hearts
Queen of Hearts
krl1767-king-of-hearts
King of Hearts
krl1781-wild-animals
Wild About You
krl1786-classic-dad
Classic Dad
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In-Progress via Danielle’s Instagram
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In-Progress via Danielle’s Instagram
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In-Progress via Danielle’s Instagram
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In-Progress via Danielle’s Instagram

We are so happy to have Danielle as part of our collaborative family. Beautiful work, Danielle. Welcome.

Duck, by Eric Carle, illustration by Jon Klassen Jon Klassen Does Duck Day January 20, 2017

Need some distraction today? We hear you…

Ever heard of National Duck Day? Apparently it was yesterday (January 18th)! Beloved Red Cap artist, Jon Klassen, introduced us via a gorgeous illustration and poem for Eric Carle‘s, What’s Your Favorite Animal?  Take a look at the poem and illustration below, plus a bonus original illustration.

Duck, by Eric Carle, illustration by Jon Klassen

“Most times when you
see a duck in a story,
it’s not very smart.
Usually it is in the
middle of falling
for a trick somebody
is playing on it.
But I like ducks,
I like watching them walk around.” – JK

duckinbed
Duck going to bed by Jon Klassen

To see Jon’s designs for Red Cap Cards, click here. And follow his Twitter feed, here.

Christian Robinson google doodle Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr. January 16, 2017

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Christian Robinson google doodle

This Google doodle by Red Cap artist, Christian Robinson, from several years ago still makes our hearts leap. During these uncertain times, let’s focus on love. Martin Luther King Jr. told us so. Read more about Dr. King’s dreams on his official webpage. And view Christian’s designs for Red Cap, here.

The Celebration of St. Valentine January 13, 2017
valentine4
Cards by Carolyn Gavin, Anke Weckmann, Sarah Burwash, and Barbara Dziadosz

Think that Valentine’s Day was invented by the greeting card companies? Not so, as much as we wish we could take credit for that one. The holiday dates back all the way to a temple priest (Valentine) who was beheaded in 270 AD. Emperor Claudius was peeved with Valentine for performing illegal marriage ceremonies for the army’s soldiers who were forbidden from marriage. New laws enacted by Claudius stated that a Roman soldier should only be in love with the Roman Empire, and was not allowed to wed. After being caught, Valentine was thrown in jail to await his execution where (legend has it) he healed the jailer’s blind daughter. He then gave the girl a card with the written words, “from your Valentine.” February 14th was the date when Valentine received Catholic martyrdom, and the rest is history!

We at Red Cap Cards are invested in celebrating the legend through love and thoughtfulness. Send your heart on a piece of art. Click over to our shop to see all of our Valentine cards—many of them brand new! Follow our Instagram for even more Valentines during the month of love. It’s all you need, you know.

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Two in Love by Carolyn Gavin
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Cards from Carolyn Gavin, Barbara Dziadosz, and Sarah Burwash
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Rev Me Up by Sarah Burwash
Illustoria Magazine and Arlo of Red Cap Cards Best Creative Magazines for Kids: An Intro January 5, 2017

It’s no secret that we are enamored with great illustration and creative work for children. The only thing better than finding those two components in one tiny package is if they are mailed directly to our house on a regular basis! Creative magazines for children are such a fabulous way to consistently inspire kids to use their imaginations and have fun with art and literature. Plus, the added bonus of receiving mail addressed right to them is like a surprise party with every single issue. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites (plus one or two for the grownups in the house as well). Enjoy!

Illustoria Magazine and Arlo of Red Cap Cards
Illustoria Magazine

Illustoria
A favorite of ours, Illustoria is a quarterly, printed magazine for kids that celebrates “visual storytelling, makers and DIY culture through stories, art, comics, interviews, crafts and activities.” This one is geared toward kids of ages 6-12, but don’t let that hold you back. Even grownups can find tons of colorful inspiration in these pages. An added bonus–check out the “kid art” section of their website to view art by tons of tiny Picassos.

Anorak Magazine Issue 39

Anorak. Eat your veggies! Or at least read them. This quarterly mag for kids is printed with real vegetable inks on all recycled pages for kids ages 6-12. It’s a treasure trove of all things happy and colorful. Also lovable is that each issue is themed with an interesting topic, like Under the Sea, Party, or Daredevils. We’re a bit biased about their Museums issue (above) as it features a beautiful illustration by Red Cap Cards artist, Barbara Dziadosz, on the cover.

Dot Magazine Volume 2

Dot. We like to think of this as Anorak‘s little sister. It’s everything that Anorak offers for older kids, but bite-sized for pre-schoolers. Dot, is ad-free and geared toward children 5 and under. “Just like its older brother Anorak, DOT encompasses all aspects of a child’s life, from jumping in puddles to learning through play. It encourages kids to be resourceful and find solutions using all the tools they naturally have at their disposition: imagination, creativity and fun.”

Bright Lite Magazine: Magazines for Kids, chosen by Red Cap Cards

Bright Lite
Bright Lite is a new one on the scene, and was initially launched via Kickstarter. “For girls / by girls” is this quarterly magazine’s motto, that strives to empower girls through photo, story, and art submissions from girls all over the world. We love their emphasis on “focusing on that incredible time of just being a kid; that blissful part of youth before dating, parties, and ‘coolness’ seem to distract us from simply being in wonder of the world.” Thumbs way up for that!

Honorable Mention: Not for kids, but for the kid-at-heart.

Flow Magazine Creative KitFlow
Flow
is a great Dutch magazine that explores creativity and mindfulness in daily life. “Flow is all about positive psychology, mindfulness, creativity and the beauty of imperfection. We love illustrations and in each issue there is a gift made of our much-loved paper. We print the magazine itself on different types of paper.” One of the many reasons we adore Flow is because they love wonderful illustrators as much as we do, like Yelena Bryksenkova who is a regular in print. Check out this awesome feature of Yelena’s day-in-illustrations. Love it!

Uppercase Magazine

Uppercase Magazine
Another one for creative kids at heart–Uppercase Magazine. An independently printed magazine out of Canada, Uppercase is a smorgasbord of creative inspiration. Each issue is themed, such as the Stationery issue (above) and features work and art by some of the most talented in the business. Check it out–the print job is a work of art in and of itself!

What are your favorite creative magazines?

Happy New Year from Red Cap Cards 2016 Year in Review with Red Cap Cards December 30, 2016

Happy New Year from Red Cap Cards

Happy New Year, all you folks and friends! We are very excited about 2017, and hope you are too. Many fantastic projects are on their way for Red Cap Cards, plus a few collaborations that will knock your socks off. Be on the lookout for new lines by Danielle KrollPriscilla Weidlein and Bodil Jane, plus a luxury line (details to come) with Marsha of Strange Dirt, and more.

In the meantime, enjoy a trip down memory lane into some of our most beloved posts. Enjoy, and drink a glass of bubbly for us! Happy 2017!!

CHILDREN’S BOOK POSTS:
Arlo’s Book Club: Winter Edition
Five Books for Kids on Kindness
The Art of Truth: Why We Create for Kids
Arlo’s Book Club: Make It Work Edition
Arlo’s Book Club: Magical Wonderment Edition
Diversity in Children’s Books
Arlo’s Book Club: Spring Fun Edition

RED CAP ARTIST POSTS:
Fall Fest: Red Cap Artists’ Spooky Sketches
Artist News Roundup: Lizzy Stewart, Jon Klaassen, and Dinara Mirtalipova
New Artist: Danielle Kroll
Artist News Roundup: Christian Robinson, Nicholas John Frith Lesley Barnes, Lizzy Stewart, and Josie Portillo
Artist News Roundup: Anke Weckmann, Becca Stadtlander, and Meg Hunt

RED CAP SPECIAL RELEASE POST:
Gift Wrap, Notebooks, and Wrapping Paper Release!

GIFT GUIDES:
Wrap it Up with Red Cap Cards
Books and Friends for Easter

INTERVIEWS:
Oh So Beautiful Paper Interview
The Magic Behind the Press Interview
Artist Spotlight: Carolyn Gavin
Artist Spotlight: Kate Pugsley
Artist Spotlight: Barbara Dziadosz
Artist Spotlight: James Gulliver Hancock

INSPIRATIONAL FUN:
Life: Fathers Day Trumpet by Lizzy Stewart
Spread Some Cheer with Red Cap Cards
Shake: For the Fathers
The Art of Love
The Importance of a Sketchbook
Creative Inspiration: Modes of Medium
Master’s Showcase: Barbara Cooney 

 

 

Happy Holidays from Red Cap Cards December 23, 2016

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Merriest of merries. Happiest of happies. We hope this Yuletide season finds you warm, cozy, and surrounded by friends and loved ones.

Love, Red Cap Cards

Arlo’s Book Club: The Winter Edition December 14, 2016

Arlo's Book Club: Winter Edition

Winter is here, and we hope you are super cozy–curled up in your bed with cute jammies and maybe a friend or two. It’s also time for another Arlo’s Book Club, and this time, we’re focusing on some new (and old!) wintery favorites to keep you and your tiny readers warm over the coming season.

Arlo's Book Club: Winter Edition

Arlo's Book Club: Winter Edition

The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear with illustrations by Chris Turnam
Charles wants to find a wish tree, and is off on a journey to find one, with his sidekick, Boggan. This one is perfect for the holiday season, and will inspire the search for magic in kids and adults, alike. We’ve featured Kyo Maclear before, and are delighted with her new release. Crisp, modern illustration by Chris Turnham makes the story sparkle.
Arlo's Book Club: Winter Edition

Mr. Dog’s Christmas at The Hollow Tree Inn by Albert Bigelow Paine with illustrations by Adam McCauley
We adore this one! Originally written by Albert Bigelow Paine in 1898, Mr. Dog has become a traditional figure in many households around the holidays. Artist Adam McCauley rescued the out-of-print text and brought it back to life in glorious color. Is a warming a spot on the chair in your hearth? If not, grab one!

“Meet the mischievous but kind-hearted Mr. Dog: a worldly raconteur who delights in telling tales of Santa Claus’s visits to Mr. Man’s house. His friends at the Hollow Tree Inn—Mr. Crow, Mr. ‘Coon, and Mr. Possum—have never heard of Santa Claus. They’re mesmerized by Mr. Dog’s descriptions of the jolly old man and, naturally, they’d like to entice Santa to the Hollow Tree. So Mr. Dog decides to play along. His generosity, creativity and careful planning result in a joyous celebration for all, capturing the essence of Christmas as a time for love and giving.”

Arlo's Book Club: Winter Edition

Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant with illustrations by Christian Robinson
We’ve been waiting for this one for a while, and couldn’t wait to dive (a little penguin pun) in as soon as we got our hands on a copy. Illustrated by Red Cap Cards artist, Christian Robinson, and written by Cynthia Rylant, Little Penguins is a warm telling of a family of penguins’ getting ready to go out and play on a wintery day. This one will make you want to live in primary color. Check out Christian’s card designs for Red Cap here.

Arlo's Book Club: Winter Edition

Love Matters Most by Mij Kelly with illustrations by Gerry Turley
This vibrant, poetic picture book tells the story of a polar bear searching for something that matters most of all in the cold, wide arctic. Cool colors with vibrant pops of color, plus a perfect rhyming scheme make this one a winner. It’s a joy to read out loud. Love, love, love.

Arlo's Book Club: Winter Edition

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss
We haven’t forgotten the lovable Dr. Seuss classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The TV special is loved in its own right, but we tend to prefer the tactile experience of a book, don’t you? “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

Arlo's Book Club: Winter Edition

The Mitten by Jan Brett
This one is a classic that you should pick up immediately if you haven’t had the fun of discovering it already. In this story by Jan Brett, a group of woodland animals find Nicki’s tiny white mitten in the snow, and try to crawl inside it, one by one. I suppose the story begs the question of why you would knit white snow mittens for a child, but that point aside, this one is whimsical and imaginative and bright. Kids love it!

Cozy up!

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Artist Roundup Gift Guide from Red Cap Cards Wrap It Up with Red Cap Gift Guide December 9, 2016

Last week, we were so busy having fun wrapping the gifts, that we forgot to give you our suggestions for what those gifts might be! Our Red Cap Cards artists are always hard at work, creating beautiful art, books, and goodies, and we wanted to share a few fun treats! From bottles of wine to books for the kids, everyone on your gift list is covered this year. See below for a small selection of fantastic holiday gift possibilities:
Artist Roundup Gift Guide from Red Cap Cards1. For your crazy-fun sister, who is always the life of the party: Jet Set Jungle Syrah, with label art work by Red Cap artist, Meg Hunt. We’re not sure how this one tastes, but if it’s anything as bold and lovely as Meg’s artwork, it’s sure to satisfy. Click over to Barrel + Ink to grab a bottle or two.

2. For your favorite niece or nephew who loves a good laugh: Hello, Mr. Dodo! by Red Cap artist, Nicholas John Frith. This is Nicholas John’s second picture book, and would make a perfect gift for young readers. Rather than a rambunctious hummingbird, this one is about a girl and her new doughnut-loving pal, a dodo. Published in hardcover by Arthur A. Levine books.

3. For any friend who always has great ideas they need to jot down: pick a notebook, any notebook. As if we could forget our favorite gift of this year. From Moth Magic to Forest Blue, the original Red Cap Cards notebooks are 5×7 inches, with 56 unruled pages, and boast an offset printed, heavyweight linen texture cover with foil details. Click over to our shop to see them all.

4. For your best friend’s daughter, who loves art work and sketching: a Castle Pencil Case for all of her charcoal pencils by Red Cap artist, Lesley Barnes.

5. For your girlfriend who loves to have a glass of wine and get in some calm coloring time: a 2017 Wall Calendar by Red Cap artist, Anke Weckmann. She can leave it black and white or color it in!

6. For the grandkids, who adore a whimsical story about friendship and triumph: a signed copy of Jill & Dragon by Lesley Barnes, available from her Etsy shop. This is a great nightly read, and has a surprising and sweet ending!

7. Don’t forget to grab something for yourself while you’re shopping around Lesley‘s shop. This bone china Knight Parade mug will hold cup after cup…after cup of very dark, caffeinated coffee for when  your spouse’s family is in town.

Happy gifting!

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Spread Some Cheer with Red Cap Cards December 1, 2016

It’s time to spread some cheer! We are so excited to share this gift wrap tutorial video with you today, plus, see below for a few tips and tricks for creating a flawlessly wrapped package for the holidays. And, hey! Our gift wrap isn’t just for every day gifting. Jazz up your packages for the holidays or a special New Year hostess gift. Thank goodness for 2017! Also, don’t forget to download your free instructions to create your own Origami Tree ornaments (as seen in the video), here.

A few tips and tricks:

  • When wrapping a box, use double-sided tape, placed flush to the edge of the paper for a clean finish, when you fold over and secure.
  • When wrapping a box, pull the double-sided taped edge of the paper all the way to the corner edge of the box, and secure, for a seamless look
  • For packages with a “sash” such as the Holly Jolly, secure the edge of the paper (as seen in the box wrapped in white paper in video) directly in the center. Then, it can be hidden with the decorative paper. This is called a “center seam.”
  • Grosgrain ribbon is the prettiest (pink), but silk is the easiest to tie (teal).
  • Get creative! Grab a few candy canes and tie them on or wrap your gift in a tea towel. Make it special for your friends and loved ones. Enjoy!

And…if you’re going to be in our area this weekend, don’t forget to stop by West Elm and visit us at our Pop-Up shop. We will have special deals and funsies for all of the folks on your list. It’s rare that we do this, so come say hi and pick up some goodies for the holidays! All of our products will be discounted and a portion of the profit will be donated to a local school here in Los Angeles. Three cheers to West Elm for all of their continued support! Stop by on Saturday the 3rd from 1-4pm in Santa Monica.

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A Note of Thanks from Red Cap Cards A Note of Thanks November 23, 2016

A Note of Thanks from Red Cap Cards

It’s hard to believe it’s been eleven years since we started Red Cap Cards. It seems like only yesterday we were hand painting cards with our friends and family in our West Hollywood bungalow apartment. Today, we count over twenty-five artists as collaborators and friends on our mission to spread joy, love, and art through our products. 

This Thanksgiving, we at Red Cap Cards want to say thank you. Thank you to our talented artists for bringing such life into our designs and for creating works for so many people to enjoy. Thank you to each of you for your individual perspective and cohesive vision. 

Thank you to our wonderful team! Red Cap Cards is a beautiful family of artists, visionaries and storytellers all coming together to celebrate connection. Thank you to all of our team members here and around the world for being such an invaluable part of our family. We are so thankful for all of you.

And thank you to YOU, our customers, our fans and our community for making the past eleven years possible. Thank you for your support and love and excitement when we roll out a new product or introduce a new artist. We would not be here without you. 

Happy Thanksgiving, and here’s to another eleven years.

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I’ll Color Your World if You Color Mine November 17, 2016
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Color Me Enchanted by Masha D’Yans and Gala Lazuli

Have you been swept up into the adult coloring book craze? We have! And we are so happy to show off some of our favorites from Red Cap artists, friends, and a few treasured vintage finds. Making artwork is important to our creative well-being, and finding a way for everyone to participate (regardless of their artistic talent) is the key to stress relief and fun! So grab your colored pencils–this is detail work, folks–and check these out.

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Color Me Enchanted by Masha D’Yans and Gala Lazuli

First up is our friend Masha D’Yans who worked on this brand new coloring book with her mother, Galina! It features intricate fairy tales from all over the world, and will keep you entertained with its lavish scenery and gorgeous characters.

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Vegetables Colouring Book by James Gulliver Hancock

James Gulliver Hancock! His illustration is made for intricate coloring time, and he has two on the market now that we love. Vegetables Give You Super Powers offers playful veggie coloring fun. If you’re up for something a bit more complicated, check out Gulliver’s New Travels which is a deep dive into some magical city-scapes and other-worldly coloring journeys.

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Vegetables Colouring Book by James Gulliver Hancock
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Vegetables Colouring Book by James Gulliver Hancock
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Gulliver’s New Travels by James Gulliver Hancock
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Gulliver’s New Travels by James Gulliver Hancock
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Gulliver’s New Travels by James Gulliver Hancock
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A Short Colouring Book of Nearly Everything by Anke Weckmann

Nearly everything. Just about. Anke was made for coloring book design, and we are oh-so glad that she published this gem. A Short Colouring Book of Nearly Everything is whimsical, sweet, and vibrant with happy characters. Grab it on her Etsy shop.

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A Short Colouring Book of Nearly Everything by Anke Weckmann
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A Short Colouring Book of Nearly Everything by Anke Weckmann
A Love Letter to Canada by Carolyn Gavin
A Love Letter to Canada by Carolyn Gavin

To Canada with Love, from Carolyn Gavin. This ecojot coloring book honors our buddies to the North and teaches us a thing or two. Created exclusively for Roots. Follow Carolyn for how to purchase this one, or view her cards for Red Cap, here.

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A Love Letter to Canada by Carolyn Gavin
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David Bowie Starman Colouring Book. Photo by Hollie in Wanderlust

David Bowie, nothing is the same without you. You were the glue that was holding everything together. At least, however, we can color your Ziggy Stardust phase. We love this one which is available here.

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David Bowie Starman Colouring Book
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David Bowie Starman Colouring Book

 

 

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David Bowie Starman Colouring Book
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Outside the Lines, curated by Souris Hong-Poretta

This one just tickles us. Curated by Souris Hong-Poretta, this one is full of many artists works for giant imaginations. “For anyone who loves creativity and contemporary art, or who simply loves the joy of coloring, comes Outside the Lines, a striking collection of illustrations from more than 100 creative masterminds, including animators, cartoonists, fine artists, graphic artists, illustrators, musicians, outsider artists, photographers, street artists, and video game artists.”

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Outside the Lines

Plus, a peek at our vintage coloring book collection which is tops! What should we do with these? Have any ideas?
allthunderthunder3 thunder2supermansuperman2mothergoosemothergoose2hollyhobbyhollyhobby2Happy coloring (or colouring if you’re fancy), everyone!

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5 Books For Kids On Kindness November 11, 2016

We know it has been a difficult week for some of us. In times like this, we look around and wonder how we got here. However, here at Red Cap, we choose to meditate on the love, kindness, and beauty that we know resides in our great nation. In times like this, let’s look to our littlest truth-tellers and find a way to guide them to the values that we hold dear. We picked a few books out that showcase what it means to live in kindness and in service to others. Enjoy.

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The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade
by Justin Roberts, with pictures by Red Cap artist, Christian Robinson

A beautiful, poetic story about a very small girl in the smallest grade. This one has a wonderful message, about standing up for what’s right–Love!–even when you feel very small. “Sally notices everything—from the twenty-seven keys on the janitor’s ring to the bullying happening on the playground. One day, Sally has had enough and decides to make herself heard. And when she takes a chance and stands up to the bullies, she finds that one small girl can make a big difference.”

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A Sick Day for Amos McGee
Written by Philip C. Stead with pictures by Erin E. Stead

“And in the end, the love you take Is equal to the love you make.” This Caldecott medal-winning picture book tells the story of Amos, a zookeeper, who gives extra-special attention to all of his animals each and every day. When he becomes sick, the animals return the favor by visiting him at home. It is a lovely example in the lesson of love and care for your fellow friends.

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The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein

It’s rare that someone hasn’t read The Giving Tree, but some still miss the underlying message. In the story, a tree loves a boy so much that she gives him everything of herself until she is a lowly stump. We learn from the tree that giving and generosity equals happiness, regardless of outcome. Kindness is, in and of itself, happiness.

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Jane, the Fox & Me
by Fanny Britt, with illustration by Isabelle Arsenault

Translated from French, Jane, the Fox & Me is a poignant and beautiful graphic novel. This should be required reading for middle school-aged girls, and teaches a valuable lesson about understanding differences, having compassion, and fostering friendship.

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Horrible Bear
by Ame Dyckman with pictures by Zachariah O’Hora

Who is really the horrible one in the situation–the girl or the bear? And who will say sorry first? This is a great story (with awesome illustration by Zachariah O’Hora) about seeing your opponent’s side with compassion and coming together on common ground. A lovely lesson for every age group.

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Much love and kindness to all…

-Andie Powers for Red Cap Cards
@andiegwpowers

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Oh Christmas Tree Anke Weckmann’s Gold Foil Cards on Papercrave November 3, 2016

Tree CatsHere come the holidays! We were so happy to see that our gold foil holiday cards by Anke Weckmann were featured on one of our favorite blogs this week. Thanks so much to Papercrave for a special post on these lovelies, which we adore in all of their glittery goodness.

Click over to Papercrave to read the entire post, and make sure to browse while you’re there–their taste is impeccable! Oh Christmas Tree

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GHOST | An illustrátus Project October 31, 2016

We couldn’t wait to get our hands on a copy of Ghost, and the day has finally arrived. Written by Blaise Hemingway and Jesse Reffsin, and illustrated by Red Cap artist, Chris Sasaki, and Jeff Turle, Ghost originated as a Kickstarter project and has blossomed to life (and we use the term loosely) just in time for Halloween. The description of the book below paints a picture of a beautiful job well-done:

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Ghost | An illustrátus original book

Some of our most vivid childhood memories are of being huddled around a campfire, the hair on the back of our necks standing upright as we listened to tales of terror…or of staying up late, hiding beneath the covers with a flashlight in hand, reading a ghost story we swiped from our older brother. We all loved these stories that both ignited the imagination and stirred up feelings of dread that kept us up until morning’s light broke.

However, we’ve been frustrated in our search to find collections of ghost stories that strike the classic tone of the books from our youth. Stories that are as surprising as they are terrifying. Stories that stick with us. Stories that we can tell the next time we find ourselves around a campfire.

GHOST is a collection of 13 original poems and tales written by Blaise Hemingway and Jesse Reffsin and illustrated by Chris Sasaki and Jeff Turley. The book is hard bound, full color book- filled with more than 100 pages of bone chilling stories and illustrations. With GHOST, we wanted to create new ghost tales for a new generation both written and illustrated in a classic, timeless style.

Last night, the publisher of Ghost, Illustrátus, hosted a book release and charity auction at the usually closed-to-the-public, Historical Castle Green Hotel, with original works by a huge list of talented artists. (Check them all out in the list below). All of the proceeds will go to 826LA…and who knows, maybe there are a few Halloween treats left over to nab? Check out some of the featured works below, courtesy Illustrátus’s Instagram, plus a video from the makers of Ghost.

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How amazing is this ticket design??
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Red Cap Cards and Ghost artist, Chris Sasaki

Ghost_video from Jeff Turley on Vimeo.

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Lorelay Bove
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Louis Thomas
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Mike Gabriel
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Chris Sasaki
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Albert Lozano
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Joey Chou
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Chris Sasaki
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Daniela Strijleva
Glenn Dergarten
Glenn Hernandez
James Woods
James Woods

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Fall Fest: Red Cap Artists’ Spooky Sketches October 27, 2016

What a delightful time of year! Autumn days bring cozy-cuddling, candy corn, and warm cider…sweaters, foliage, and pumpkin spice. Last year we had fun with our Life in Fall by Sarah Burwash and Life in Halloween Kids by Kelsey Garrity-Riley post, and this year, we wanted to focus on the spectacular and spooky art work that our Red Cap artists have produced on their own. We took a crisp stroll through their blogs, tumblrs, and Instagrams to find these beautiful illustrations that will you have you ready to go trick or treating (especially that fantastic animated gif by Yelena Bryksenkova!) Happy Halloween, everyone!

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October by Kelsey Garrity-Riley
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Halloween Portrait by Yelena Bryksenkova
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Barbara Dsiadosz
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Becca Stadtlander
The Dark by Lemony Snicket with pictures by Jon Klassen
The Dark by Lemony Snicket with pictures by Jon Klassen
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Edward Gorey Mail by Yelena Bryksenkova
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Lizzy Stewart
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Pasta Dancer by Kelsey Garrity-Riley
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Costumes. Kate Pugsley

 

Poster for Ghost. Chris Sasaki
Poster for Ghost. Chris Sasaki
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Ghost. Chris Sasaki
Lesley Barnes
Lesley Barnes
From Leo: A Ghost Story with pictures by Christian Robinson
From Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett with pictures by Christian Robinson

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Modern Thrive + Red Cap Cards Stationery Workshop October 20, 2016

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We are excited to be collaborating with Modern Thrive | Maker Mentors in an awesome new online workshop for stationery designers! From December 7th – 9th, learn the tricks, tools, and good old fashioned know-how to start your own stationery wholesaling business and take it to the next level in shops and with retailers.
Joining us in this online workshop collaboration are amazing fellow stationers, Fox and Fallow, and Mac & Murphy. We will be instructing through live video, so you will be able to see our bright, shining faces in real time. Get those notebooks ready, you’re going to need to take notes! Plus…click over to the Maker Mentors site to get a free sneak peek at what we will be chatting about with an interview with us about the start of our business.
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The workshop itself costs $97, but never fear–we’ll let you in on our discount code to shave $30 off the asking price if you enter the code “Redcapvip” at checkout. Sign up here on their website. We hope to see you in cyberspace!

 

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“We Found a Hat” Has Arrived! October 13, 2016

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The day that we all have been waiting for has come! Red Cap Cards artist and Caldecott Award winner, Jon Klassen, has published the third and final installment of the “hat” series, which includes I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat and now, We Found a Hat! This one (from Candlewick Press) features two desert turtles, who find a hat “together,” decide to leave it where they find it, and the unspoken struggle and sly humor that follow. It is the perfect end-cap to the picture book suite we love.

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On Tuesday night, we were happy to attend the book launch party at Skylight Books in Los Feliz, and hang out with our pal, Jon! He gave a talk all about how the conception of his picture book characters begin, and showcased some mock-ups that didn’t quite work for the book. Best of all, he signed a bale of books for Kidboss and her buddies–each one adorned with an animal illustration (art directed by Arlo herself, of course).

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Plus, some killer hat tattoos…

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Check out the book trailer above, plus a fun video of Jon teaching us how to draw a turtle! If you have your copy and are still in need for some Klassen-style hats, click over to our shop and check out Jon’s greeting card designs for Red Cap. Congratulations, Jon! We love We Found a Hat and you!

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Artist News Roundup: Lizzy Stewart, Jon Klassen & Dinara Mirtalipova October 6, 2016

We’re looking to see what a few of our artists have gotten up to this week and are happy to present it to you in our Artist News Roundup! Not only are they creating gorgeous work for us, but our illustrators are also some of the hardest working artists in contemporary children’s book publishing today.

Jon Klassen has a big week coming up–his new picture book (part three of his “hat” trilogy), We Found a Hat, will be released on October 11th, and he’s about to go on book tour. We so enjoyed his new edited interview with the Wall Street Journal that was published yesterday. Posted below are a few snippets from the interview, but make sure to click over to WSJ to read the entire interview about Jon’s inspirations, favorite childhood books, collections and more. Plus, view his cards for Red Cap, here.

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What was your favorite book as a kid?

“Sam and the Firefly” by P.D. Eastman was my favorite. The owl notices that the firefly has this light trail that happens behind him when he flies around and the owl shows him how to spell words in the sky with his light. The firefly immediately sees mischief in this. I love the mood in it. The artwork is so minimal and whispery. It’s a big lesson to know that when you’re a kid, you flesh things out.

You’ve said that Umetaro Azechi’s woodblock print, “ Mountaineer ,” had a profound impact on you because it got you thinking about drawing characters using simple shapes. What other artists have influenced your work?

Arnold Lobel, who did the “Frog and Toad” books, was a big deal. With film, the illustrations have to look like a snapshot of a larger world. […Click over to the Wall Street Journal to see more…]

 

Lizzy Stewart is also wading through the beautiful world of children’s books, and has taken up residency in a local Bath bookshop, Mr. B’s Emporium, where she’s upstairs, drawing away and waiting to meet you! As illustrator in residency, Lizzy is showcasing her new book, There’s a Tiger in the Garden, and sketching away at a few new stories. She’ll be hanging around the shop until tomorrow, so make sure to stop by if you’re in Bath (jealous). Take a glimpse at a few of her storyboards below, and a magnificent photo of the window display she created for Mr. B’s Emporium and view her cards for Red Cap, here.
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And off the topic of children’s literature, it is now officially Inktober! We’ve been watching our Instagram feed to see if any Red Cap artists are participating, and were excited to see that our own Dinara Mirtalipova is posting a new ink drawing every day in October (view last year’s post about Inktober and Anke!). And how much do you want to steal that rug? Gorgeous, Dinara! Follow Dinara on Instagram to view the rest of her ink drawings for October and view her cards for Red Cap, here.

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Happy Inktober, everyone!

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New Artist Introduction: Danielle Kroll September 29, 2016

We are so happy to announce our newest Red Cap design collaboration, with artist, Danielle Kroll!

After meeting Danielle in New York City, we were charmed by her romantic, feminine personality and absolutely adored her work. It reminds us of something that would be hanging in Elizabeth Taylor’s bedroom circa 1958. The perfect release for winter, her whimsical style conveys a playful narrative…it makes us crave hot weather, red lipstick and a 5 o’clock cocktail! Not only a painter, Danielle is a creative force, also working in illustration, ceramics and textiles.

Click over to her website or instagram to view more, and scroll through a few of our favorites that we snagged below. We can’t wait to grab her new greeting card designs off the press. Stay tuned for more news, and expect to see these beauties in January…if you can wait that long.

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Photos courtesy Danielle Kroll.

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Red Cap Cards Notebook Challenge + Giveaway September 23, 2016

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What do you do with a notebook?

  • draw pictures of items you buy throughout your day
  • or things you see
  • make lists of sentences your baby says
  • your toddler says
  • your teenager says (!)
  • track the miles you travel in one week
  • draw portraits of your friends
  • or collect fallen autumn leaves
  • write memories of that day to look back on in 5 years
  • list goals you have for the future–with check-boxes next to them
  • jot down those inventions that you always think of while driving, or showering, or mowing the lawn
  • let your child color in the pages
  • paint something new every day
  • fill each page with positive affirmations
  • or love letters
  • or poetry
  • or grocery lists
  • tape a Polaroid® from each day on the pages
  • sketch the birds you see on an autumn hike
  • create a garden using colored pencils
  • list the books you want to read before the New Year
  • list the books you’ve read in your entire life (this one’s a toughie!)
  • illustrate a new pattern and have it made into a fabric

Here’s what some of our artists do with their notebooks:

Courtesy Carolyn Gavin's Instagram @carolynj
Courtesy Carolyn Gavin’s Instagram @carolynj
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Courtesy Dinara Mirtalipova’s Instagram @mirdinara

What do you do with yours? We want to see it!! Post your idea–on your sketchbook, notebook or pad of paper–of what YOU would do with a brand new, Red Cap Cards notebook on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #redcapNBchallenge. Make sure to hashtag and tag us (@redcapcards) so we see it! Next week, we will reveal our winner for a new Red Cap Cards illustrated notebook. Happy creating!

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The Art of Truth: Why We Create For Children September 16, 2016

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why we create for children, due to this week’s celebration of what would have been Roald Dahl‘s 100th birthday. So many adults and children (including myself!) flooded the internet and Instagram with praise and admiration for Dahl, a man who (according to The New Yorker) was not so much of a good person as a great writer and creator of stories. Roald Dahl’s books touched me personally after having spent most of my middle grade childhood in England. When I eventually returned to America, there was always a slight culture gap that these books helped me to bridge. He is still a hero and someone who inspired me to be a writer for kids. Seeing the immense love for Roald Dahl reminded me of a quote by contemporary children’s author, Mac Barnett, another favorite:

“Too often we tell kids pleasant stories devoid of truth, and stories without truth are not good stories. Our audience deserves more from us. Mac Barnett”

Why do we write or illustrate for kids? And why is it so important? In my opinion, the best books for children are tellers of truth. Kids crave truth, and all forms of it. The creation of a great children’s book combines story with illustration to convey an idea that touches and inspires a child. When that happens, anything is possible. I personally believe that the most important reading you will do in your entire life is when you are young. It helps to form our perceptions and opinions when our minds are malleable and sponge-like. That is the time that we must read what is true and good and miraculous. I’ve collected a few wonderful examples of the art of truth below to illustrate (pun!) what I mean:

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Courtesy @andiegwpowers Instagram

“In this modern world where activity is stressed almost to the point of mania, quietness as a childhood need is too often overlooked. Yet a child’s need for quietness is the same today as it has always been—it may even be greater—for quietness is an essential part of all awareness. In quiet times and sleepy times a child can dwell in thoughts of his own, and in songs and stories of his own.” Margaret Wise Brown

The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown with new, lovely illustration by Red Cap artist, Christian Robinson. We took a look at this one in Arlo’s Book Club. It’s a remarkable illustrative achievement that couples the innocence of childhood with the harsh lessons of the world. Margaret Wise Brown’s lyrical writing is juxtaposed with the playful, artistic work of Christian Robinson. This is the perfect story to appeal to the emotional maturity of children and to convey the beauty and sadness of the world around us.

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Courtesy @andiegwpowers Instagram

Seasons by Blexbolex. This design-heavy book is almanac-esque and may seem like an odd choice for this post, but once you start flipping through the pages, you will see what I mean. Blexbolex uses graphic imagery to convey a tongue-in-cheek definition to wordseach correlating to a season. The illustration defines underlying details that mostly children will relate to, using their ability to see such fine details that adults usually gloss overeven words that are seemingly unrelated. For example, in the fall section of the book, Blexbolex’s word is “STUBBORN” and he defines it with an illustration of one lonely, foliage-filled, orange tree in a row of ones that have already lost their leaves.

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Courtesy @andiegwpowers Instagram

Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt, with illustration by Isabelle Arsenault. Another one that I recently checked out at the library is the magnificent graphic novel written by Fanny Britt, with illustration by Isabelle Arsenault. Originally written in French, this is the most raw and truthful rendition of what it feels like to be a middle-school aged girl that I have ever seen. Combining vibrant, life-like illustration (most of which is imagined by the young girl in the story) with a story-line that relates love, puberty, body issues, self-esteem, and hope for the future, this is definitely one that needs to be on everyone’s shelves. Bonus: It may also inspire younger kids to pick up classic literature that they haven’t read before!

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A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni. Finding oneself is no small feat. In fact, most adults I know are still trying to do it. Leo Lionni (a selection from our Master’s Showcase) created a story that is deceptively simplistic. It speaks philosophical truth on so many different levels, specifically about personal identity. I feel like we need to revisit this book through each milestone we come across, most specifically our college years. I like to take away the simplest lesson: when you feel as if you have no place, rely on those you love to see you through.

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Courtesy @andiegwpowers Instagram

“I don’t want to write for adults. I want to write for readers who can perform miracles. Only children perform miracles when they read.” Astrid Lindgren

Pax by Sara Pennypacker with illustration by Red Cap artist, Jon Klassen. One of the reasons that I spent some of my childhood in England was because my dad was a Special Ops helicopter pilot, flying in the Middle East just after the first Gulf War. People have asked me about how I felt as a kid, with my dad in harm’s way so far away. In reality, I don’t remember much of it. I remember that kids had different accents then I did. I remember that my friends from America and I wrote letters (this was long before email!) and I remember that we had to give my dog, Scout, away. War is heavy and hard and long–but the things that children remember about it are very different from what grown-ups remember. And those things are no less heavy. This beautiful story was just nominated for the National Book Award and is wonderfully complimented by the soft, heartfelt illustration of Jon Klassen. The story is about a boy and his fox, who are separated due to the subtle hint of a war. Our perspective of war is seen through the eyes of the child in one of the most realistic ways I have ever seen. It’s just lovely.

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Courtesy @andiegwpowers Instagram

“Growing up I actually, I didn’t have that close of a relationship with books. I actually struggled to read. And, so I was definitely drawn to books with pictures. I just loved that so much could be communicated with just an image.” Christian Robinson

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex with illustration by Christian Robinson. I’ll finish off with something light-hearted but equally wonderful. This one tells the story of a brand new school and his reservations about what the school year will hold and whether he will be liked by the kids who come through him every day. This one is heartwarming and is perfectly applicable to what lots of kids are going through right now. School is a scary place, man. It’s full of people who are different from us, just like the rest of the world. They have different expectations, goals, likes, and dislikes (and political opinions!) and we must learn to come to terms with that, find peace with it, and thrive.

View more awesome children’s books on my Instagram (@andiegwpowers) and on Arlo’s Book Club.

-Andie Powers for Red Cap Cards

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Artist News Roundup: Post-Labor Day September 9, 2016

This week has been so full of fantastic happenings with our artists that it is almost difficult to round it all up into one post. Red Cap got a bit of love this week as well, with Barbara Dziadosz‘s “Cowboy” card featured on Papercrave, in their 7 Totally Bodacious Birthday Cards post. Click over to Papercrave to check it out!

That was the perfect start to our week, and it just kept getting better. PBS News Hour creates snippet interviews with some of the most intriguing voices in media today. And guess who we found in their most recent interview…our own Christian Robinson! Watch the video below for some absolutely inspirational words from Christian about his process, and ability to use pictures speak to children. We adore what he says about the collaboration of the picture book: “The story is actually something that happens when the author and the illustrator come together. It’s what happens on the page.”

Christian Robinson says he had a hard time reading as a child, and so he didn’t have a great relationship with books. But he could always find solace in drawing. Today, he has turned his childhood hobby into a career as an illustrator, using images to speak and “reflect the diverse world that we live in.” Christian Robinson offers his Brief But Spectacular take on illustration as communication.

In other picture book news, we are delighted to share that Red Cap artist, Nicholas John Frith, has won the Klaus Flugge Prize for his first book, Hector and Hummingbird. The Klaus Flugge Prize is awarded to the most exciting and promising newcomer to children’s picture book illustration. Congratulations, Nicholas! View his interview and some some Hector inside photos in his Artist Spotlight.
Klaus Flugge Prize
Did you adore Jill & Dragon as much as Arlo did? Red Cap artist, Lesley Barnes has a second installment of Jill’s adventures on its way to bookstores in early 2017. In this picture book, Jill sets off on a new adventure and tries to help a new friend. She meets a very sad lion—a King of the Jungle robbed of his crown! Forced to drive a toy car around in endless circles, poor Lion is so unhappy that his tears have started to blur the words of the story. Jill gallantly intervenes only to land herself in the middle of a particularly dangerous page. But with Dog at her side, nothing is too difficult for Jill to conquer. Another charming story from rising illustration talent Lesley Barnes, Jill & Lion shows it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Jill & Lion
 

Another of our artist’s projects that we are following closely is Lizzy Stewart‘s Illustrations for Short Stories she enjoys. Lizzy’s work is fantastic, effortless-seeming, and detailed, and we are excited to see more. The below illustrations represent a story by Jamaica Kincaid–“Figures in the Distance,” and “Fugue” by Thomas Morris. You can view all of her (constantly updating) short story illustrations on her blog.

Jamaica Kincaid Lizzy Stewart
fugue-lizzy stewart
 

If you’re following Josie Portillo on Instagram, you may have caught this little glimpse of a work-in-progress for Red Cap’s holiday collection. We love seeing works in progress like this and learning about our artists’ creative processes. It’s also awesome to compare the beginning with the final result–what changed? And what creative decisions do the artists make to better the finished product? You can view the completed card here: Village Skating.

josie portillo for red cap cards
 

And a tiny toot of our own horn: next week we will be exhibiting with Studio Curiosity at Top Drawer London! Stop by and sell all of our new goodies!

top drawer red cap cards
See you there…and have a great weekend! Save

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Little Lit Fest Blog Avery & Augustine The Week Of in Instagram August 31, 2016

Woo hoo! It’s a great week on Instagram. We love following along with all of our artists, because it makes it easy to take sneak peeks at what they are working on along the way. We get to honor their individual processes and get a little glimpse in the process. And not just artists–we also love to see what bloggers and more are up to. This week…we’ve been in on the action as well!

This past weekend, we were excited to support Avery & Augustine’s Little LitFest (#littlelitfest), which fosters community through the love of children’s literature. The attendees to the event packed sunny yellow suitcases with items from Lately Lily, Isabel Roxas, Scout Books, Sakura and Zig Zag City Guides, as well as our cards by author/illustrator, Jon Klassen, and illustrator, Christian Robinson.

Little Lit Fest Blog Avery & Augustine
Photo by Avery & Augustine
Photo by @bonjour_mes_amies
Photo by @bonjour_mes_amies

And, spotted on Jon Klassen’s Instagram, we want ALL of these! We Found a Hat is due out on October 11th, and we will be first in line. His hand must be tired after all of that signing…

"Signed a LOT of We Found A Hat's today.." -@burstofbeaden | Jon Klassen
“Signed a LOT of We Found A Hat’s today..” –@burstofbeaden | Jon Klassen

Plus, some inspiration from Anke Weckmann, who released another Sketchbook video on her Youtube channel. Makes us want to get to work!:

Carolyn Gavin’s sketchbook is a piece of art in and of itself. She took over Lilla Rogers’s Instagram this week, which got us even more excited for her brand new wrap design for Red Cap.

From @carolynj on Instagram
From @carolynj on Instagram

Carolyn Gavin took over Lilla Rogers's Instagram

carolyn3
@lillarogers “Artist Carolyn Gavin recently took over my IG feed! We were inspired by her day in Belize!”

Last but certainly not least, we are getting in the mood for the upcoming holidays. We know it’s only September, but we just can’t resist! Keep following our feed for more photos of our new holiday collection. Or check out the entire lot, here.

@redcapcards: "One of my new favorite holiday cards by @josie_portillo. I'm ready to check into this cabin and watch the snow fall."
@redcapcards: “One of my new favorite holiday cards by @josie_portillo. I’m ready to check into this cabin and watch the snow fall.”

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The Enormous Tiny Art Show is Back August 25, 2016

Do you look forward to the Enormous Tiny Art Show each year like we do? We are always proud to see our Red Cap artists in the show, and this year is no different–we are delighted that Red Cap artists, Becca Stadtlander, Dinara Mirtalipova, and Yelena Bryksenkova will be showcasing new works. The show is held year-round at Nahcotta, a gallery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and will open this year on Friday, September 2nd from 5-8pm. It features hundreds of works of “tiny” art–10″ x 10″ and smaller by some of the most talented artists working today.

Can’t get out to Portsmouth? Never fear. They actually showcase their entire Enormous Tiny Art Collection online, and you can purchase original works right there on their site. Click here to see more. We grabbed a few favorite photos below, but be sure to view the entire, amazing collection.

entas
Photo courtesy The Enormous Tiny Art Show
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Photo courtesy The Enormous Tiny Art Show

entasbecca becca1 becca2 becca3

Works above by Becca Stadtlander

mirdinara mirdinara2 mirdinara3

Works above by Dinara Mirtalipova

yelena1 yelena2 yelena3

Works above by Yelena Bryksenkova.

All art works above are courtesy and property of the artists.

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Gift Wrap, Notebooks, & New Cards Release! August 19, 2016

We have been waiting for this moment for what feels like ages, and are so excited to share what we’ve been working on. You may have seen a few sneak peeks on our Instagram and Facebook, but now we are excited to invite you to view our entire new collection here on the website or in our new Summer 2016 Catalog on Issuu.

The new, vibrant collection includes twenty-two wrapping papers, sixteen gold-foil stamped, blank-sheet notebooks, and twenty-three greeting cards designed by our talented, collaborative artists. These papers, notebooks, and cards were all cohesively created to compliment one another, and are perfect for gifting, creative projects, and more. We’ve pulled a few favorite images to show you below.

Also, don’t forget to swing by the Crow & Canary Booth if you happen to be in New York for the big NY Now Show this weekend. All of our new products will be showcased at Booth No. 7614.

We hope you enjoy this late Summer gift from us to you!

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Elegant Sage NotebookMoth Magic NotebookForest Blue NotebookKoi Fish NotebookFruits Notebook

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Fruits Wrap

20160726_RCC1415-Edit Swimmers Wrap

20160726_RCC1472 Confetti Wrap

20160726_RCC1506April Bouquet Wrap

20160726_RCC1518Violet Birdy Wrap

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Pink Flamingos

TigerParrotsCitrus Peach

Critters

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