The warmest welcome to the newest artist in our Red Cap Cards family, Emily Isabella!! We are so excited to be releasing her debut collection at NY NOW this week, at the Crow & Canary Booth #7614. Emily lives in the Hudson Valley, just north of NYC, where her rural surroundings inform much of her work. Her favorite things include perusing flea markets, making friends with wildflowers and traveling to new places both near and far. Her sketchbook is always in tow, just in case she finds a bug that needs its portrait painted or an interior that has a story to share.
Be sure to head over to her artist page to learn more about her and view the entire amazing collection or view our August brochure here. Also, stay tuned in a few weeks for her Artist Spotlight interview, when we get to chat with Emily about her life, process, and inspirations. (I can’t wait to hear the story behind my new favorite card.)
If you’re in New York this week, catch Carrie & Hal hanging out at the show and say hi!! They can’t wait to meet you!
Recently, Forbes magazine published an op-ed by economist, Panos Mourdoukoutas, about why we should do away with public libraries as we know them, and replace them with Amazon Bookstores. You heard me correctly! The article detailed the taxes levied toward keeping public libraries afloat, and the opinion that libraries “don’t have the same value they used to.” All of the services provided by libraries (according to Mourdoukoutas) have been replaced: community and wifi are now provided by Starbucks; video rentals by Netflix and Amazon Prime; and books by Amazon.
Needless to say, the article has since been redacted by Forbes, with apologetic comment: “Forbes advocates spirited dialogue on a range of topics, including those that often take a contrarian view,” a Forbes spokesperson says in a statement. “Libraries play an important role in our society. This article was outside of this contributor’s specific area of expertise, and has since been removed.”
Regardless of the disastrous article and subsequent backpedaling by Forbes, the article did it’s due-diligence in getting people talking about libraries again. What are they, why are they? Are they important. The answer, it seemed, was a very loud YES from across the internet and country.
Here is what a library means to us:
• Fosters a love of reading, education, and art in children and adults.
• Provides access to a world of art and illustration materials that teach as well as entertain
• Gives free access to media materials, internet and computers for all citizens regardless of class and pay grade.
• Offers jam-packed programming schedules with classes such as ESL, citizenship, writing, cooking, and more.
• Offers free tickets to museums, zoos, aquariums and other experiences
• Schedules after-school programs for kids and teens
• Archives genealogy and historical materials.
• Acts as a community safe haven for those in need.
• and so, so much more.
In 2016, one of our own beloved artists, Christian Robinson, partnered with the San Francisco Public library and Chronicle Books for a program called “Summer Stride.” Check out that awesome swag (below)!! The program “encouraged all ages and abilities to have fun reading and learning” during the summer. Here are some amazing images from that program:
This summer, the program is up and running again, this time with work by Shawn Harris. Check out their awesome video, and “stop by a neighborhood library and check out books, comics, eBooks, audiobooks, movies, music and more. Plus, choose from more than 800 programs (all free!) to deepen reading enjoyment, spark STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) passions and learn through active, outside exploration.”
We love you, libraries. Don’t ever change…unless you want to start offering free coffee and drinks too. We’re good with that.
And sidenote: if you need ideas, you can check out my handy-dandy hashtag on Instagram: #overduelibrarybookoftheweek for the best books that I’m going to end up paying $0.25 a day for.
Don’t worry, kids! (And sorry, parents.) There is still a whole month until school starts–if you’re lucky that is. That means that summer reading is in full swing, and if you’re about to head out on your family vaca to the Grand Canyon, make sure you’ve packed some of these to get those minds molding in the back seat. The theme for this edition of Arlo’s Book Club is “What Was Old is New Again”… re-releases of old treasuries, a new spin on an old tale, or a new depiction of a classic story. We’ve chosen some new and old favorites to inspire some page-turning, so check them out below and enjoy! Happy Summer!
Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strips – Book One
by Tove Jansson
Drawn & Quarterly, 2006
If you’ve been a long-time reader of our blog (check out our 2014 Scandinavian Dreams post), or a classic illustration enthusiast, you may know a lot about the late Tove Jansson. Jansson was a Finland native, responsible for creating the wildly popular The Moomins in the early 1940s. The Moomins appeal to young and old alike, with simplistic yet deliberate drawings paired with satirical and witty comedy, these characters and comics continue to stand the test of time. Don’t forget to check out another recently re-released classic by Jansson about a Moomin named Susanna who is bored with her life in The Dangerous Journey (April, 2018).
Over the Ocean
by Taro Gomi
Chronicle Books, 2016
For the younger set, Taro Gomi is a must to pack into any suitcase. The bright and unmistakeable illustration is enough to keep this on the bookshelf for life! Originally published in Japan in 1979, Over the Ocean or Umi no Mukô wa depicts the visions of a young girl standing at the seashore and thinking about the worlds she is connected to via the ocean. A beautiful and timeless treasure that we are so glad Chronicle Books picked up!
A Werewolf Named Oliver James
by Nicholas John Frith
Alison Green Books, 2017
Written and illustrated by our own Red Cap Cards artist, Nicholas John Frith, A Werewolf Named Oliver James is finally available in the USA after it’s original UK publishing in 2017. The protagonist in this twist on a timeless, spooky tale, Oliver James, unexpectedly turns into a werewolf while traveling home from school. A possible metaphor for more relatable social quirk, Oliver’s “werewolfness” is a source of anxiety for him, until he finds his way back to his loving family where he completely and utterly belongs.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
by John Boyne with new illustration by Oliver Jeffers
Knopf Books for Young Readers, reissue 2016
The Holocaust novel, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, was originally published in 2006, and focuses on a 9-year old boy named Bruno who develops a relationship through a barbed wire fence with another young boy, Shmuel, while Shmuel is imprisoned in a concentration camp. Recently, the novel was released with new illustration by world-renowned illustrator and artist, Oliver Jeffers. The heft of the story is balanced by the thoughtfulness of Jeffers’ illustration, and creates a heartbreakingly lovely new work for a younger generation to enjoy and experience.
No, we really can’t get enough of all of the awesome work our artists are doing lately. In-progress videos, photo series and sketchbook shots thrill us, to say the least. What we love most about sharing the process of art-making and illustration is that inspiration can be fluid, and social media allows that to be shareable. Watching something like the beautiful in-progress video of Carolyn Gavin creating our “Happy Wedding Flowers” card (below) or seeing a start-to-finish portrait by Priscilla Weidlein (below) can help us all learn how to be better artists, and offer motivation and community in the process. After the fun we had two weeks ago, we gathered a view more to inspire. Have fun, make art, and keep the love flowing.
Love the caption to this photo by Anna Emilia Laitinen. Inspiration flows everywhere. Even to telemarketers:
”Hello! Do you have a few minutes?”
“Well, actually I am working.”
“Ok. Are you in an office?”
“Oh, not really.”
“Do you work at home?”
“Oh, not really. I am behind my house by a lake sitting on a dock…”
“Oh my, did I just hear a fish jumping in the lake…?!”
“Oh yes, there are plenty of fish in this lake. Just the night before last night I saw an otter swimming by, we were staring to each other’s eyes for a moment.”
“Oh. Is that wind in the reed…?!”
“Yes, wait, I give you some sounds of the waves in the lake…”
“I have seen a beaver, a swan couple that always returns here but cannot have babies, and many other birds too. A fox is living here too and just the last days the dragonflies started to fly and glimmer in the sunshine. A butterfly just sat on my finger.”
“But unfortunately you cannot swim in this lake because it is poisoned by some garbage.”
“Oh, I am sorry. We should take better care of the nature and not consume so much. Actually I was going to sell you something, but I do not want to anymore. After my work shift is finished I was thinking to watch a movie at home but now I think instead I should go for a walk to a forest or by a lake.”
We are in the middle of the dog days of summer, and I don’t know about all the kids out there, but we are in need of a hot weather pick-me-up. Enter: The Show With No Name, aka The Lauren and Arlo Show! Keeping it weird on YouTube, the super talented and hilarious Lauren Duarte has teamed up with kidboss extraordinaire, Arlo Mertz, to make a silly show to inspire fun! And check out that dollhouse by Duarte Dollhouses with Red Cap wallpaper by Danielle Kroll! They’re aiming for 1 million subscribers, so let’s get on this, folks! Make sure you stay tuned to hear Arlo’s amazing (and eerily accurate) horse ‘neighs’ and dollhouse fun. Follow the show on Instagram for news on new episodes and happy photos, and watch the full episode below:
Need some more summer fun? Check out these two other fun things to keep you and the kiddos busy during the hot hot heat:
Have you had a chance to check out Bravery Magazine yet? Started by pals Elyse and Ashley, Bravery focuses on highlighting positive–and brave!–role models for young girls. Gorgeous illustration (yes, that’s Red Cap Cards artist Bodil Jane’s work on the cover!) coupled with powerful stories and ideas empower young children to find the bravery inside themselves. You won’t regret this one, its a must for summer reading!
Need more dollhouse fun? This one is a super-fun book to get those little minds thinking creatively: Treasure Hunt House by Kate Davies and Red Cap’s Becca Stadtlander! Releasing August 2nd, Treasure Hunt House is an interactive children’s book about two children who receive an invitation from their great-aunt Martha to visit her incredible house. From there, they set out on a treasure hunt to solve as they explore the rooms! Readers can lift flaps and solve the riddles on every page as they join them on their treasure hunt, learning about famous historical and cultural objects. We can’t WAIT to get our hands on this one.
Nothing makes us more excited than seeing our artists in action! In-progress shots are such a wonderful way for us to connect with their artistic processes and it allows us to experience the artist’s viewpoint which is usually kept oh-so-secret. Whether you are an artist yourself, an admirer, or a curator, it’s hard to deny the magic of seeing a piece of art come to life before your very eyes. Sometimes, we are lucky enough get secret sneak peeks of pieces that our artists are working on, and other times we catch glimpses out in the wild. Today, we’ve collected a few shots below, via Instagram, that make us excited to see artistic visions coming to life. See below for links to more work by each artist. Enjoy!
Emily Isabella for Red Cap Cards In-Progress from Red Cap Cards on Vimeo.And a special treat! Upcoming debut Red Cap artist, Emily Isabella, and an in-progress video, capturing the process of creating a piece just for us! Her collection releases this August!!
Flags are waving, pools are splashing…Happy 4th of July! Make sure to take some time during your holiday between hot dogs & fireworks to make an order here and earn 25% off with code “CELEBRATE” at checkout. The offer expires at midnight on the 5th, so get cracking! Have a wonderful time, and #keeptheloveflowing. Festive “Party Hats” by Krista Perry for Red Cap Cards.
Coming up this summer, have we got a treat for you! We are delighted to give you a quick sneak peek of a new artist that will be debuting this August. Illustrator and pattern designer, Emily Isabella lives and works near New York City, and has had amazing collaborations with companies like Kate Spade, Anthropologie, Hygge & West, and more–but the best is yet to come! We are so excited for her fanciful and color-filled collection’s release. Check out those gifs! Look for Emily’s new collection coming soon! Check her out on Instagram here.
My goodness, Krista Perry is a true gem. This interview had us in stitches!! What a creative and artistic soul. Krista Perry is the newest member of our Red Cap family, and we couldn’t be more ecstatic! From her vibrant, retro-inspired color palette to her imaginative wellspring of ideas, Krista adds a new perspective to our artist collective that we absolutely adore. We had the happy opportunity to throw a release party in her honor recently at The Social Type, and get to know her in person in sunny Los Angeles. So much fun. Check out her website here, and view her new designs for Red Cap here. Welcome, Krista! We love you!
Tell us about your life in Boston!
I lived in Boston during college and eventually graduated from MassArt in 2015. I moved back home for two years and focused on replacing nearly all assignment work on my website with illustrations that better fit the types of clients I wanted to attract. Eventually, my boyfriend and I moved back to the city. We’re starting this year off in a new apartment which is exciting because I’ve never had so much space to make art. We’re eager to take better advantage of being so close to the city and I’m hoping to really get out and experience more of the creative spaces that Boston has to offer.
Do you have any aspirations to live somewhere else?
I’m not really sure where I’ll end up at this point! Prior to visiting Los Angeles this June, I thought for sure I’ll end up there. But right now I’m kind of just figuring out my next step. I loved the creative atmosphere that LA offered but I’m not so sure how I felt about all the traffic, haha! LA was great but I totally LOVED the desert. When we were visiting, we spent a decent chunk of time in Yucca Valley and even made the long trip out to Salvation Mountain! It’d been a dream of mine since forever to visit! But anyways, I think my #1 priority before I move somewhere drastically different is to pay off all of my student debt.
What does a typical day look like for you?
For the time being I am a coffee slinging barista. All through the process of creating my debut collection with Red Cap Cards, I worked opening shifts nearly every morning. I’d set a “warning” alarm at 3:30, and usually allow myself a luxurious additional 30 minutes to sleep until I really had to get up at 4. Getting up super early was tough to get used to but it afforded me the freedom of the rest of the day to work on illustration projects after my shift. When I get out of work, I usually eat lunch and relax a bit to recover from the morning, haha. When I start working on illustration stuff it’s usually pretty easy for me to get lost in it. I like to pick out a favorite record or find something to listen to like a documentary or podcast to get started.
Did you always want to be an artist? Did you have any other aspirations?
When I was six, I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. Yup, I wanted to teach dolphins how to do flips in the air. I also wanted to do something with horses at one point or another. I was probably the token horse girl in your 3rd grade class…
What is your work process like?
I like to start with lists!! I have about 7 active idea lists on my phone right now!! Sometimes I’m just minding my own business and a super funny idea will pop into my head. I write it all down because I never know what’ll be my next funny illustration. Another great idea generator is keeping a sketchbook! I can’t encourage young artists enough to keep a sketchbook! You can make anything you want in those suckers! I usually have at least two going at the same time. I have one to do whatever I want in i.e. sketches & random typography practice, and one that I like to treat more importantly where I try to make completed pieces of work on each spread. If I’m working on a project that I was hired to do, I start by researching and drawing super rough sketches, then I draw more detailed versions of whichever sketches are chosen. Once narrowed down, I create color studies for the best ideas. Since getting an iPad Pro, this process has been much easier to do. After approval, I get to work on the final piece! My very favorite part of the process is working on the small details of the painting. I like to see how realistically I can render things. It has always been a super fun challenge for me.
Speaking of sketchbooks, here’s one now!
What inspires you most? In work? In life?
Sunshine, a good color palette, laughing….
It’s tough to narrow down what inspires me the most… if you visit my Pinterest you will see a disgustingly large amount of organized imagery that I love to stare at. I like to collect old magazines and I also keep a Fun Shit box where I throw all of my favorite little things into. Feeling the urge to create something is very empowering. When I feel inspired it’s almost as if I can’t control myself. I feel like I’m being tightly embraced by it in the loveliest way. Inspiration is like a breath of fresh air, it fills me with life. When I see someone doing what they love, or explaining why they enjoy it so much, it often rubs off on me and I think “wow I need to work on something pronto!!!”
What is your favorite piece if work you’ve created?
It’s not necessarily my favorite thing I’ve ever made, but I discovered who I was when I painted Ocular Garden during my second semester of senior year at MassArt. I was a little stuck. I had spent the entire previous semester researching and painting for my thesis project on the Manson Family. I knew I wanted to break out of that shell a little bit but also knew that I was still clearly very inspired by motifs of the 60s. I felt a lot pressure to focus on strictly editorial work, but since I was still a little confused about how I wanted to be making art, I was lost. I would completely over-think the editorial assignment and waste so much time getting frustrated. I decided maybe I wanted to create something fun for my new website that would garner possible licensing work. I liked the idea of making pretty designs that didn’t have to be full of hidden messages like an editorial assignment might include. I bought a huge piece of black paper (which was very different for me) and just started painting. Months prior, I bought a tub of gold gouache and decided I finally wanted to try using it. This piece was cool because it had little to no planning whatsoever. I just remember thinking “wow this is really exciting,” and the rest is history. I think when I brought it to critique, I knew it was the beginning of something pretty cool.
What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out?
I think the biggest piece of advice I received in school is that you really are in control of your own destiny. Once you’re out of school, you have nobody but yourself to rely on to keep you going. When you’re in school, you’re sort of corralled with other illustrators and artists who have the same or similar goals as you. You’re also getting constant assignments to work on and gallery shows that you must be in. It was really strange after graduating because I took a couple months off from art and then thought “oh shit, I need to get going!” For me, there was this constant need to stay relevant and active. I truly love making funny, weird, and different art. It makes me happy to be actively creating.
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming artists and illustrators?
Kick your own ass into gear, and literally never stop. If you truly want this, it’ll force its way into your life one way or another. Keep your eyes on the prize!! It’s really, really easy to compare yourself to others. In a world where social media is so important, it’s good to remember that what people post is just a super small chunk of what’s going on in their lives. My biggest word of advice is to remain focussed on yourself and your own story. Theres nothing worse than getting tangled up in other people’s success. Another biggie piece of advice is staying as true to yourself as humanly possible. BE YOURSELF & HAVE FUN! Having your own unique voice is key. It’s really exciting once you start to figure out what works for you in terms of process, work ethic, and style.
Favorite mediums to work in?
When I’m working on a full illustration, I usually prefer to paint with Holbein Acryla Gouache. They have THE BEST COLORS!!!! They’re so yummy and beautiful!! Sometimes, I like to practice with traditional gouaches (the kind that reactivates when water is added). They each provide their own special qualities that I get way too excited about. I’ll never forget the first time I was introduced to gouache. It was in a Media Techniques class at Massart, taught by one of my former mentors and good friend, Mister Reusch. That class was really cool because it required young illustrators to experiment with different mediums. I knew from the moment I painted with it for the first time, that it was my medium of choice.
If I feel like drawing, I also looove: Gelly Roll gel pens, POSCA paint markers, Tombow dual tip markers, Permapaque markers, Prismacolor markers, my metal mechanical pencils, and many more!
Who are your role models in terms of art or otherwise?
I think really anyone who takes their dreams seriously and makes them a reality. It’s awfully morbid but I always think about dying someday so I need to make it work (and start focusing on my own happiness for once). I feel very grateful for the cool stuff I’ve been able to work on so far.
If you didn’t work as an artist, what would you be doing?
Oh man! I bet you didn’t see this coming! I would love to work as a forensic scientist or something relating to coroner’s work. I am completely obsessed with horrible diseases and true crime. I love watching documentaries and researching famous crimes and serial killers. Honestly, the more gruesome the detail, the better. I wanna hear the good stuff. I actually recently started listening to two podcasts in particular; Sword & Scale – a more serious, down-to-business kind of show, and Last Podcast on the Left – which is equally as detailed as it is hilarious. I often have to pause so I can get all of my laughing out. I’m at the point now where I listen to it so frequently that when I walk to work in the morning and hear something, I assume I’m going to get murdered. It’s usually just a rat.
Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
Nothing big right now… but, I’d like to expand on my definition of illustration. Up until now I’ve really only worked on 2D pieces. In the future, I’d like to explore with other mediums such as fiber arts and sculpture. I’d also love to go beyond what little comprehension I currently have for basic animation. Whenever I’m working on something, I sometimes imagine how I would animate it if I knew how to. I was really into super funny shows like Ren & Stimpy, All-That, SpongeBob, and other classic Nickelodeon gems as a kid so I’d love to work on funny videos or skits of some sort. I do have a little experience creating gifs in Photoshop which has been incredibly fun! Now that we are back from our vacation to California, I’m excited to start making new work for my website & promotional materials to send out to possible future clients. I’m also working on a new special sketchbook!! It’s different from any other because this time I’m giving myself a prompt. I want the pages to go in rainbow order, start to finish! I recently started making compilation videos of my completed sketchbooks too. Other than that, I’m excited to settle into our new space more.
Open my own roller rink, split a pizza with John Stamos, and QUIT MY SHITTY DAY JOB !!!
Obligatory Red Cap question: Favorite drink?
A nice cold strawberry milk from Wrights Dairy Farm in Smithfield, RI!!! You can visit the sweet the cows and stock up on yummy pastries there!! Strawberry milk is a special treat that I let myself have once in a blue moon.
Photos courtesy of Anthony Fusco.
We wanted to say a big thank you to all of our friends and loved ones who made their way out to The Social Type for our Summer Soirée featuring the new Summer 2018 collection with a debut by Krista Perry! It was such a magical night, filled with hot dogs, cocktails, and fabulous company. We were so honored to share it with every single person who came out to support us! A big thank you to everyone at The Social Type, Krista Perry, and the transcendent Erin of Vardo Tarot.
The party’s over, but the fun has just begun. Be on the lookout for our latest catalog in your mailbox this week, or, check out the online version here. The future is bright!
One last reminder to tie a string around that index finger! This Saturday, from 5-9pm, join us for a special Summer Soirée at The Social Type in celebration of our new summer collection, and a debut collection by Krista Perry!
Show up for a cocktail, a hot dog, and a mingle with some of your favorite Red Cap Cards artists. Plus, have fun getting a complimentary tarot card reading while you shop the latest collection and The Social Type’s stellar goods. We can’t wait to see you! Click here to RSVP so we know to expect you (gotta have enough diggity dogs!)
Did you get a chance to check out our new Summer 2018 catalog?? It is packed full of jaw-dropping new work by all of our favorite Red Cap artists, plus an entirely new collection by debut artist, Krista Perry. New die-cut cards that make our hearts skip a beat, plus a new holiday collection to get you into a snowy, cozy state-of-mind. We can’t get enough of all of these designs, and we know you’ll be just as excited. Take a look at a handful of pieces we pulled below, and make sure to take a gander at our catalog to get your orders in before they all run out! Keep the love flowing, my friends!
Check out the full catalog here!
Red Cap Cards is proud present, “The Stepmother.” It is the first in our Keep the Love Flowing (#keeptheloveflowing) film series, starring Arlo Mertz and Lauren Duarte. Directed by Carrie Gifford, the film was shot and edited by Earl and Echo, with original music by Jayden Lee. Costumes by Shop Gordon, with hair and makeup by Dorados by Tony.
Collaboration is the heart of what we do at Red Cap and we believe that love and gratitude is the pulse that connects us all. Thank you to our amazing collaborators, dear friends, and artists who continually inspire us and are always game to play. Most importantly, we raise our glass to you, our family, friends, fellow makers and fans! Keep the Love Flowing..
Perhaps you’ve been noticing that we’ve been repeating a certain phrase a lot lately. Keep the love flowing: a simple sentiment that we have found ourselves living by for a while, in our day-to-day projects and overall life and work outlook. Its origins are special, however, and not just a simple hashtag we stumbled upon. I got a chance to talk with Carrie a bit about why she keeps the love flowing, and what it means to Red Cap Cards:
During his journey with cancer, Carrie’s late father, Doug Gifford, made it his mission to connect family and friends through a series of blog posts that lifted up his ultimate epiphany about life: keep the love flowing. This was the mantra he would say at the end of all of his writings. It was his thought to leave us with, the gift he was giving us, his wish for a better tomorrow and his way to remind us that we are all connected.
“My father taught me a lot about good old fashioned love,” Carrie told me. “He gave love, he shared love, he accepted love, he was love, and in the last year of his life, he continually reminded us to celebrate love.”
That’s it, and truly all that is important in every aspect of everything. It is the answer to every question, and that’s how Doug asked us to continue. And so we have! You’ll find it peppered here and there on this blog, and on our Instagram. You’ll find it in our upcoming catalog and in the overarching theme of all that is Red Cap Cards. We desire to keep the love flowing through our work, through our artists’ work, and in our relationships with the talented, amazing people that we come into contact with every day. With every card we make, with every card we give, with every card we receive, we hope to keep the love flowing.
We can’t wait to see you there! Definitely pencil the date into your calendar to come hang with us at The Social Type, to celebrate the release of our new collection by Krista Perry! 6-9pm on June 9th, be there, or be missed. Have a sip and a chat, and meet some of the coolest artists behind Red Cap Cards. We can’t wait! Put your party shoes on…
Pretty much the coolest new thing around for brick-and-mortar or online shops who don’t work with sales reps is Indigo Fair: helping retail stores find products their customers are guaranteed to love. If you’re a non-represented wholesaler, shop or retail store, skip over to their website and check them out, it’s worth your time, and ooh la la you won’t be disappointed. They are a brilliant company–allowing retailers to try out products in their shops with no risk. Plus, we were able to find some of the coolest small-business makers and artisans that we might never have learned about before.
We had the opportunity to make some great videos to announce our collaboration–here’s one we had lots of fun making with Jaquilyn Shumate at GRLS Studio. Check out our tribute to walkin’ in LA: Red Cap Cards and Indigo Fair. Plus, scroll below to check out a few favorite products we spied on their Instagram. Thank you, Indigo Fair!!
PSA to all of those folks who love their mamas: Mother’s Day is in just over two weeks. Come May 13th, it’s time to pamper and praise the woman who gave you life, or at least made you who you are today. We have a few ideas for Mother’s Day gifts that will show her how you feel about her–but don’t forget, the gift she wants the most is a lovely, handwritten card that tells her how you feel. Pssst…little kids should most definitely scratch a perfect drawing inside that card as well. It will be treasured forever. But if that isn’t your thing, check out these amazing gifts that we fully support:
For the plant lady extraordinaire’s new/old jean jacket: a cute enamel pin collection from Hemleva.
For the mom who would rather take a nice long bath with a book than get housework done, our favorite Palo Santo candle by Mizu Brand.
And finally, for the mother who is sophisticatedly stylish with a devilish sense of humor: a Gucci handbag. (Hint?)
Happy Mother’s Day to all!
“I am easily influenced by the seasons; they truly dictate how I spend my free time. Come spring I am taken over with gardening plans. My desk becomes a heap of seed catalogs and garden schematics. In the summer all I can think about is hiking, kayaking, camping, and swimming with my dog. Then fall happens and I become a nut. It’s my favorite season (color, temperature, and food-wise), but since it seems to happen so fast I feel a need to rush. I slow down and cook, sew and think over cold crops while watching old movies. When winter hits, all I think about are snow activities, hot beverages, good books, and the ritual of unwrapping all of my vintage ornaments.” –Michelle Morin
We’ve been loving having the amazingly talented Michelle Morin as one of our newest collaborating artists, and are happy to add her to our Artist Spotlight series. Her beautiful, scenic watercolors of natural environments and ethereal landscapes absolutely take our breath away. Michelle’s background designing and maintaining gardens continue to inspire her work: “My paintings are an attempt at finding a balance within the complexities and subtleties of nature using texture, pattern, and narrative elements throughout.” -MM
On top of beautiful works of fine art, Michelle is also a creative innovator in illustration and surface design. Just check out her brand Spring line of children’s wear that just debuted at H&M! How much do you wish these were in grown-up sizes??
Check out the awesome commercial (with some talented kiddos to boot) and photos below, plus some shots of Michelle’s independent art work and her Red Cap Cards designs. We love you, Michelle! You are amazing. View more on Michelle’s website or her artist page here.
“I was able to apply my greenhouse knowledge to a tight, two-acre garden that became my sanctuary for two years. I came to realize that this garden, while full of hundreds of plant species, was also home to countless animals, including owls, hawks, hummingbirds, box turtles and numerous insects. Witnessing their daily routine gave me the inspiration to make paintings that referenced the colors, patterns, habits and curiosities in this world. I took it all in during the day and painted it by night.” –MM
“I come from a family of makers. Like a lot of artists, it was the environment I grew up in that inspired me to be creative. On weekends everyone in my family was joyfully busy with their own projects. My parents and brother each had different ways of expressing this creativity, and it generated a nice balance in the house. My dad could be found tinkering with anything from a new shed to a backyard ice skating rink, my mom and grandmother would be busy with one of their numerous projects, from building spool dolls, to sewing quilts, to canning pickles. All the while my brother studiously practiced his piano in the background. I fit into this picture anywhere and was happy to hop from one activity to the next. Over time, with the help of great teachers and talented friends, I learned how to focus this creative instinct into a more artistic career.” -MM
We are so excited to be starting a brand new series on our blog and Instagram that features mixed media work in collaboration with Red Cap Cards by a wide array of talented artists, filmmakers, and photographers. Red Cap lives to celebrate the incredible work of groundbreaking artists and visionaries, and we have some amazing work in store for you (stay tuned!). This week, we welcome the work of artist and photographer Gabriela Iancu, who has captured Red Cap Cards in a beautiful, new, moody light.
Gabriela Iancu is a multidisciplinary artist who splits her time between the US and Europe, and whose work “focuses on the intersection of technology, art innovation, and storytelling.” We fell in love with Gabriela’s perspective on Instagram (@gabrielaiancu), where her visceral and bold photographs and cinemagraphs caught our attention–get ready to gawk!–with work incorporating Chloe fragrances, Nestle and more. Check out her website and Instagram to be truly inspired, and keep your ear to the ground for more work by many gifted artists, photographers and filmmakers. We had so much fun viewing Red Cap Cards through her lens, and wanted to share a bit with you today. Follow along with us this week as we introduce her perspective on our Instagram, and see below for a tidbit of what there is in store. Thank you, Gabriela!
All photos courtesy Gabriela Iancu.
In the mood to be swept away on a cherry blossom breeze? Spring is here, and we are playing with a dream-like series on our Instagram by the fabulous Carrie Gifford (@carriegiffordphotos), featuring @duartedollhouses that we hope will ignite your imagination! It’s been a long winter for everyone, it seems, and we are ready for the blooms to burst out of the ground and for warm-weather inspiration to come again. Scroll down to view a few pictorials of our Spring Dream series (view more at @redcapcards), and some beautiful art pieces–poetry and photos–that are getting us excited for the coming months. Welcome, Spring!
Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
shivering and huddled close
the forever rushing daffodils
wished they had waited
-Julie Fogliano, When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for all Seasons
i don’t know much about flowers
i don’t know their names
or how they like to grow
in sun or shade
in morning or night
i don’t know where they began
or how they traveled
by boat or by bird
and whether or not the rain makes them shiver or bloom
but i know how they lean
and bend toward the light
wide open as if singing
their voices (silent but everywhere)
fill up the daytime
a song much more than purple
and beyond every red
a song that makes me stop and listen
and not care at all
that i don’t know much
-Julie Fogliano, When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons
I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later—because I did not belong there, did not come from there—but when you are twenty-two or twenty-three, you figure that later you will have a high emotional balance, and be able to pay whatever it costs. I still believed in possibilities then, still had the sense, so peculiar to New York, that something extraordinary would happen any minute, any day, any month.
-Joan Didion, Slouching Toward Bethlehem
I think the spring of 1968 is a good
time to look into our blood and
see where our hearts are flowing
as these flowers and vegetables
will look into their hearts every day
and see the sun reflecting like a
great mirror their desire to live
and be beautiful.
-Richard Brautigan, Please Plant This Book
“…The walls, also, seem to be warming themselves.
The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals;
They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat,
And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes
Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me.
The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea,
And comes from a country far away as health.”
-Excerpt from “Tulips” by Sylvia Plath
Woo hoo! Have we got some fun news for you! Get ready to mark your calendars–coming on June 9th, we are having the party of the century at our pals’ amazing shop, The Social Type, in honor of our new collection by Krista Perry, PLUS a new playful collection of die-cuts by Danielle Kroll, Kate Pugsley, Carolyn Gavin, and Bodil Jane.
So many treats in store for that night, and we absolutely can’t wait. Put it in those date books and make sure you pencil in some time to come and see us. It’s going to be a hot night in the city! Scroll below to check out some in-process printing shots of the upcoming styles, plus a shimmery video to get you excited. And oh my, check out that juicy wrap! We’re so excited–let’s go!!
You know that feeling…when you walk into a beautiful, well-lit, fantastically-curated shop. Your eyes swim. Everything, everywhere–you’ve just got to have it all! You’re going to spend a month’s budget in this one shop, and you couldn’t care less. You want to spend hours there, just drinking it all in. We LOVE that feeling, and we have to say that it happens a lot, especially when we get a glimpse of how some of our stockists display our designs. We probably could have posted photos for hours as well, but here are a few snippets from Instagram that caught our eye and tickled our fancy. Click the photo captions to read more about the shops and definitely check out their Instagram accounts as well! Thank you to all for showcasing our products in such thoughtful and unique ways!
How adorable is this sweet animation for Hello, Mr. Dodo by our own Nicholas John Frith?? We were delighted to find out that Nicholas has a brand new website for his art work, picture books and more (jacket covers!!), which features this animation, plus more coming soon for Hector and Hummingbird and A Werewolf Named Oliver James. Make sure to head over to his new website, nicholasjohnfrith.com!
Nicholas’s designs are some of our favorite to photograph because the colors pop gloriously, and each tell a story with just a glance. Here are a few from our archives that we were happy to revisit:
Psssst…we have one more thing. We spent all day at press today and couldn’t resist showing you a few of our action shots. Check out this sneak peak of some upcoming die-cuts and other new releases! Woo! We can’t wait to show you more…
It’s been a minute since we talked up a few of our favorite shops, so this week we are focusing on four Shops We Love two from the East Coast and two from the West. Scroll down to learn more about some of the most innovative, creative, and stylish brick-and-mortars around–and they just so happen to carry Red Cap Cards!
Shorthand is a Los Angeles-based, gem of a stationery store. Owned and operated by the founders and amazingly talented designers at Iron Curtain Press, the shop’s mission is “to feature simple and beautiful desk and office supplies; from inexpensive to luxury, from the serious craftsperson to the youngest artist.” (Sidenote: here’s a fun story about them from their Seattle days, by our own Andie Powers in Uppercase Magazine!) Bonus: you’re in luck if you aren’t local–they have an online shop. Enjoy!
This family is one of the hippest on the block! Another Los Angeles-based treasure, The Reckless Unicorn is a magical place for the coolest kids and the coolest parents. Annie Segal and Derek Reckley opened the space because they “saw a big need for a one stop shop for all the families in and around the area. Together, they wanted to sprinkle a little unicorn love through out their community.” From clothes to toys to awesome books–this place is fabulously enchanting. We are IN!
Happen to be in or near Charlottesville, Virginia? Well you’re in luck. Stationer and gift shop, Rock Paper Scissors, should most definitely be on your star map. This community staple (pun intended) has been bringing the joy of fine paper and desk accessories since 2002. Plus, those window installations–to die for! Those are just folded envelopes! Stop by for the chicest in office accoutrement and more.
A boutique named after two dogs is obviously going to be amazing. Gus, the Brussels Griffon and Ruby the lab/hound mix are the namesakes for these two shops–Gus & Ruby Letterpress–located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine. The owners, Samantha and Whitney, met while working for a small advertising firm, and decided to follow their dreams right into a letterpress studio. We love these kinds of stories! Portsmouth is a diamond in its own right. You’ll find their New Hampshire shop nestled between designer clothing boutiques, cozy coffee shops, and inspired art galleries.
Arlo has missed you! We’re back with a brand new edition of Arlo’s Book Club, and we can’t wait to connect with your tiny readers as they learn about and examine their surroundings through the written and visual word. In light of the recent political and social climate, we wanted to spread some love to the people around us. Times are tumultuous–peace and mindfulness has been at the forefront of our thoughts, and feeding those we love is important. Who are we and what is our purpose? How can we spread love to all that we come into contact with on a daily basis? Mindfulness starts with a seed. A favor. A compliment. A picture book. We picked several of our favorites to promote mindfulness in our tiny successors. Sponges. Bright lights. Enjoy:
“I breathe slowly in,
I breathe slowly out. My breath
is a river of peace.
I am here in the world.
Each moment I can breathe and be.”
Nothing connects us more strongly than the bond we have with nature. Our earth is our home, and through it, we may see others’ experiences and joys. Breathe and Be is a collection of poems by Kate Coombs with illustration by our own Anna Emilia Laitinen, that lends an ear to the quiet nature that goes on around our bustling lives and conflicts. A beautiful reminder of where we fit on the planet.
Singing Away the Dark
by Caroline Woodward, with pictures by Julie Morstad
Simply Read Books, 2017
Not just a simple picture book about a frightened girl walking home from her school bus–Singing Away the Dark unwittingly captures an undercurrent in today’s society about fear, consequence, and light at the end of the tunnel. This is a gorgeous work of art that offers quiet solace to a long walk toward more joyful times.
They All Saw a Cat
by Brendan Wenzel
Chronicle Books, 2017
What do others see? What do they feel? Who would I be if I walked a mile in someone else’s shoes? They All Saw a Cat offers picturesque perspectives of what a wide variety of characters view when they see a cat. This is a beautiful book that offers the first existential explanation of “the other’s gaze.” Let us all seek to understand what others see and what they feel.
You Belong Here
by William M. H. Clark, Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
Compendium Inc., 2016
“And you belong where you love to be,
and after each day is through,
you will always belong right next to me
and I’ll belong to you.”
We have a soft spot in our heart for this one, as our own Red Cap artist, Jill Labieniec, served as art director along with Heidi Dyer. This beautiful narrative shows us the different home environments of mammals and birds and fish and humans. The different places that we “fit” on earth and amongst each other. A beautiful reminder that we are but a piece of a magnificent, ever-moving puzzle.
Horton Hears a Who
by Dr. Seuss
Random House., 1954
Quite possibly the poster boy for mindfulness, kindness, and respect, Horton Hears a Who follows an elephant who stumbles upon an entire town that lives on a simple speck of dust. The story follows the existential realizations of the elephant and of the town, as they learn about what makes a person a person, and what equality truly means. A brilliant, encompassing picture book for every reader, young and old.
First thing’s first: we received a special treat this week, with an amazing birthday party surprise involving some of our favorite wrapping paper designs. Photographer and language & literacy champion and blogger, Michelle of Avery & Augustine, threw a fantastic birthday party with a few of our wrapping sheets as the guests of honor. She made us a few faux invitations with a blog-able address and phone number (ten points each if you can guess the books where they both originated) for her bookish birthday party and book drive. Check out that duplexed invite with Christian Robinson’s “Candles” wrap on the back! Wooo! Plus, a copy of Kelly Dipucchio and Christian Robinson’s latest installment of the Gaston series, Antoinette. We are so inspired by this creative suite! Check out more of Avery & Augustine’s bright ideas and photos over on her blog or Instagram. Thank you, Michelle!
Happy post-Valentine’s Day! Are you suffering from a love hangover? Well, grab a Bloody Mary and cozy up to freshen up your creativity with some of the color inspiration we are obsessing over lately. Color palette inspiration at it’s best: from the rich browns, to the deep purples, the dusty browns and sultry shadows, we are putting together a lovely collection of work to get our juices flowing. What color palettes are motivating you this winter? Take a look below at some of ours and enjoy!
Happy post-Valentine’s Day! Are you suffering from a love hangover? Well, grab a Bloody Mary and check out these color palettes that we’ve been obsessing over. The sultry shadows, the deep purples and the sweet chartreuse. Ooh, lala we are loving it. What colors are getting you inspired as of late?