Ho Ho Ho! It’s time for another Arlo’s Book Club: The Holiday Edition! And don’t forget that you can always look back to some of Arlo’s holiday picks from 2015, 2016 and 2017, for some awesome holiday cozy-up-with-a-book ideas. This year, we are feeling jolly and have some fantastic holiday picture books that we can’t wait to share with you. Grab a blanket and a friend and let’s snuggle up!
The Gingerbread Man
by Bonnie and Bill Rutherford
Whitman Publishing Company, 1963
This classic cookie tale by powerhouse illustration couple, Bonnie and Bill Rutherford, teaches an important lesson: never trust a fox. Delicious freedom is everything to the gingerbread man…until he meets a violent end! If that’s supposed to teach us something, we’re decidedly ignoring it! So, pull out those cookie cutters and get your baking on after reading this one, and pay extra special attention to those intricate, colorful, vintage illustrations. Those endpapers! Plus, it has been rereleased by Golden Book, a classic for a new generation.
Josie and The Snow
By Helen E. Buckley, Illustrations by Evaline Ness
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., Inc, 1966
The color palette of this book takes the cake! Stylized tones of pink, orange, aqua, lavender and grey make the aesthetic of Josie and the Snow super-special and a standout pick. We follow Josie as looks for an outdoor playmate (all of the animals are a no-go) and then as she explores the wintry outdoors, feeding birds, sliding down hills and making snowmen. A mid-century delight!
The Nightmare Before Christmas
By Tim Burton
Disney Press, 2013
Most probably know the story of Tim Burton’s, The Nightmare Before Christmas, but some smaller kids may be able to handle the picture book version a bit earlier than the film. Jack the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town sets out to “steal” Christmas (he means well), with disastrous results–don’t worry, Santa “Claws” come to the rescue. A creepy, silly, and brilliant story. Readers will recognize the whispy illustration style of Tim Burton.
Red and Lulu
By Matt Tavares
Two tiny winter cardinals are separated when their tree is chopped down to be the official Christmas Tree in Times Square. The birds are separated and it takes a Christmas miracle to reunite them again. Gorgeous, peaceful illustration that offsets the tension of the story. A celebration of New York City, love, and the spirit of the season.
Another Night Before Christmas
By Carol Ann Duffy, Illustration by Marc Boutavant
A new version for the ages! Former poet laureate to Britain, Carol Ann Duffy, writes a follow-up to “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Moore (1822) with fun and vibrant illustration by Marc Boutavant of Mouk fame! This time, the story is told from the perspective of a little girl, and can be found in a version illustrated by Rob Ryan.
It’s our favorite time of year again! Candles are glowing, ornaments are being hung, and hot cocoa is on the menu once again (extra marshmallows, please!). The holidays are the best time to find the some of the coziest illustration and art work, created by our Red Cap artists, or any number of the other amazingly talented artists out there.
We had so much fun going through the latest work in honor of the holidays, and even picked out a few pieces from years past for our collection of holly jolly illustration on the blog today. Take a look below and enjoy! Also, keep your eyes peeled, we are sure there will be more holiday inspiration to be admired in the coming weeks! Fa-la-la-la-la!
Let’s sing a song of cheer again–holidays are here again! Can you tell that we adore the holidays over here at Red Cap Cards?? We’ve been checking out what some of our talented artists have been up to on Instagram, and you won’t want to miss what they are cooking up in the gift department–something perfect for so many friends on your list! See below for the goods, and let us know if you need our address…no, really…TELL US.
This month we have been sharing a look into our 2019 line up! Thers’s nothing we enjoy more than giving you a beautifully-wrapped Red Cap box of wonderful, filled with a new artist’s vision, energy and talent. Today we are excited to introduce to you another cosmic illustrator/designer coming to RCC this January.
Daren Magee joins the Red Cap family from Ojai, California, and is a master of blending the natural with the super natural. We love what Daren says about his art: “The aim of my work is to speak to the space between imagination and reality, my hope is to leave you to float off in that liminal space into someplace entirely new.” His art work is light yet mysterious and captures a supernatural, California vibe, unique just to him. We can’t wait to show you more, but for now, see below and enjoy. More coming soon!!
A modern day troubadour : Johnathan Rice is not only a talented singer and songwriter, he’s also an actor, artist and amazing poet. His haikus (found on his Instagram, Twitter and in his new book, Farewell My Dudes: 69 Dystopian Haikus) are witty, poignant and socially relevant.
We are so excited to be working on a collection of cards featuring his work. Coming so soon! To keep you eager, see a few pieces below and make sure to follow up on his site. Enjoy!
We are absolutely delighted to introduce a new, upcoming Red Cap artist to you. A bit different from our usual artists, Jacqueline Suskin is an artist of words. A poet. A feeler. A healer. A woman connected with herself. And through her words, she offers us the inspiration to take a moment of pause. Her point of view is rich and fluid, and we can’t wait to share more with you.
An author of three books, The Collected (2010), Go Ahead & Like It (2014) and The Edge of The Continent Volume One (2018), Jacqueline has also been featured in some of the greats, such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, Man Repeller and more. Her accolades are so impressive, including an honor by Michelle Obama at the White House for her work as a Turnaround Artist! She is known for her therapeutic poetry compositions on her manual typewriter (see below) which she composes on the spot for patrons. “A guest sits down with Jacqueline and names a subject that they would like their poem to be about, and in less than two minutes she types up a unique verse and reads it aloud” (jacquelinesuskin.com).
Pumpkins anyone? If you’re itching to do a fun seasonal craft with your kids–or completely by yourself sipping a pumpkin spice latté, because that just darn-well makes you feel awesome–then this one is for you! Make one or a million of these all-fold, tiny little pumpkins to string up as decoration or as gift tags, or to give to friends at school, and more! Want to make them just like ours? We used Red Cap gift wrap by Kelsey Garrity-Riley, Krista Perry, and Dinara Mirtalipova.
You’ll need some washi tape and a square piece of paper. Follow the picture instructions below, and happy folding!
What’s going on, Instagram?? It’s been a while since we’ve caught up with a few of our favorite artists over there. If you’re not currently following these Red Cap collaborators, make sure to get on that by following the links below. We are lucky enough to get some super sneak peeks of anything from art work to studio spaces, every day radness, plus new projects–we’re hooked. It’s fun to feel like we get an insider look before anyone else! Click on the links below to be taken to their Instagram feeds, and amazing work, everyone!!
804 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Even more exciting news! A Big Important Art Book: Now With Women!, curated by Danielle Krysa, aka The Jealous Curator also includes work by Seonna Hong. “Stories and work by 45 contemporary artists, 30 historical artists, 15 projects for the artists of the future…” Catch Seonna and Danielle in an art talk at Hashimoto Contemporary on Saturday, October 20. Oh how we wish we could be there!! You are amazing, Seonna! We can’t wait to see more of your show.
See more of Seonna’s beautiful work, here.
We are enamored with anything that Red Cap Cards artist, Jon Klassen, touches–including his magnificent picture books. Our story with Jon begins with those amazing party animals and continues to grow. Recently, Jon bestowed some of his process in a post on the Picturebook Makers blog (you could get lost here for days), about the burgeoning of his famous characters and how they came to be. Here’s a sneak peek:
“Around this same time I was asked to make some greeting cards for a company called Red Cap Cards, and I sent them some sketches of chairs and inanimate objects and they wrote back asking if I might try my hand at something a little more engaging, like some characters. I argued that I didn’t really do that, but they were (and are) friends and they were comfortable enough to come back and ask again. What I eventually sent them was a series of animals wearing birthday hats and holding balloons, but their faces and poses made them look, to me, like they had no idea what a birthday was and didn’t really care. I was excited by this approach. It made me laugh, and it got me off the hook. I wasn’t creating a character when I drew them; I was borrowing them for a minute to put them on this card, like a photographer who gets someone to pose for them and this is the best they could get.”
For the full perspective and even more behind-the-scenes details, illustrations, and spreads, head over to the Picturebook Makers blog to read the entire post. And don’t forget to check out all of Jon’s work for Red Cap Card here.
Thanks for all of the incredible insight and inspiration, Jon!
Photos courtesy Emily Isabella
It’s back-to-school time! Are you ready? We’re here for you with fifteen beautiful styles of notebooks in our collection by Red Cap artists, Becca Stadtlander, Yelena Bryksenkova, Kelsey Garrity-Riley, Anna Emilia Laitinen, Dinara Mirtalipova, Carolyn Gavin and Kate Pugsley. They’re all ready to be scribbled on and doodled in and written on and signed.
Want to make the most of your notebook? Cut down on pages used with good old shorthand. Do you remember doing this in school? I’ve completely deleted all of these lessons from my memory, so we’re in this together! Here’s a great common word guide to get us started:
Want some more back-to-school fun? Here’s a list of stuff to get you excited:
• Got nervous first-timers? Check out this heart-felt book, School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex with illustrations by our own Red Cap artist, Christian Robinson. Read more about it here, on Arlo’s Book Club, along with a bunch of other wonderful back-to-school books.
• Shorthand will never die. Here’s a great article from The Atlantic about the lost technology of shorthand: “How to Write 225 Words Per Minute With a Pen.“
• And while we’re at it, don’t forget about THIS amazing Shorthand, right here in Los Angeles.
Happy back-to-school, everyone!!
We’ve always loved the elegant touch of a lined envelope, and now we have found a way for you to create your very own if you’d like to experiment with papers and cards and a teeny, tiny bit of crafting along the way.
Step One: With your freshly printed and cut-out template (I used a cardstock version so it would be more visible), trace around the edges of the template onto your sheet of gift wrap with a pencil. Don’t forget to line the desired pattern up just right!
Step Two: Cut out the traced liner, along the interior of the pencil line.
Step Three: On the back-side of the liner, carefully line only the top edge of the liner with double-sided tape. Take care to get that tape all the way across the top, and flush with the edge of the paper. Snip off any excess tape.
Step Four: Gently guide the liner into the envelope and adhere the taped edge just below the gluey envelope edge.
Step Five: Fold the envelope flap down, allowing the paper to move organically into place, to create a nice, clean fold line and voila–it’s complete! Write a loving message and send that card out into the world!! #keeptheloveflowing
It’s impossible to keep up with the amazing things that our artists are working on. They turn such amazing work around so quickly, that it’s a wonderful struggle to keep up and follow along on Instagram!
Below is a fraction of the fabulous creativity that they have been sharing, to say the least. To see even more, click over to each artist’s page and connect via their websites for some fabulous and inspiring finds. Thank you all for being such amazing inspirations! Keep it up!
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!!