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?
“The black ink is the blood of my work. It gives my pieces life. They become so alive…you could almost hear a heart beat.” –Marsha Robinson
We are beyond thrilled to finally have Marsha Robinson‘s beautiful and intricate botanical abstracts as a part of our Red Cap collection. Marsha lives and works in Denver, Colorado, where she has created an art portfolio that spans beyond the page into tactile forms, such as wall hangings, textiles, apparel and glassware. Her work is reminiscent of an other-wordly, botanical art-deco era, and it makes us think that Frank Lloyd Wright would most definitely be taken with it.
We thought we would show off a bit more of her work, as well as some wonderful written profiles she has had recently, as a little twist on our usual Artist Spotlight interview. Check out the cover of this month’s Cherry Creek Lifestyle Magazine (below), plus a few quotes from fabulous sources that tell a bit more about Marsha’s art story. Enjoy! We love you, Marsha!
“When Strange Dirt’s Marsha Robinson discovered a box of gouache paints her mom had kept under a bed, the Denver artist had no idea it would be the key to her creative destiny. Robinson was interested in art throughout high school but knew art school was out of the question because it was too expensive. Instead, she opted to dive into administrative work but something kept telling her it wasn’t the road she was meant to take. ‘I was moving away from home with my first love and my mom gifted me the box of paints. I was surprised she had kept it but there was a reason for it and I’m so grateful she did. I had an itch to pick up the paintbrush and see where my hands wanted to take me. So I opened up that box and the rest is history,’ Robinson said. Using gouache, an opaque water color, would lead her up to using ink, her main medium today. Even after dabbling in art shows at local venues and selling pieces, Robinson felt her work still needed a stronger focus. Frustrated with working in the food industry, she took the leap and decided to pursue art full-time.” – 303 Magazine
“The finely inked botanical drawings and textiles of Denver artist Marsha Robinson, aka Strange Dirt, seem suspended in a time warp, inspired by science and symmetry and maybe a touch of William Morris, yet they belong to no real period of art history. Distinctly personal, Robinson’s works are clearly the product of a decorative inner vision, beautiful and elegantly contemporary.” – Susan Froyd, Westword
“The botanical world fascinated me–I think of it as the ultimate example of true, natural beauty.” -Marsha, via Cherry Creek Lifestyle Magazine
“When I moved to Denver I tried to live in collective houses and met a lot of people who were anarchists. I saw a lot of patches on hats, denim jackets and backpacks and they all meant something very important to the people carrying them, and they were so dirty and so loved. I wanted [these] patches to have a life and last longer than a year. I wanted my work on garments but I didn’t want to find a t-shirt I created in a thrift store because of fashion trends changing with seasons. I want for people to hold on to the patches as long as they could.” -Marsha Robinson, via 303 Magazine
“My mission as an artist is simple–to spread beauty.” -Marsha Robinson, via Cherry Creek Lifestyle Magazine
We are so excited to finally celebrate the release of our brand new gift bag collection, plus the release of twenty-five new greeting card designs by artists, Michelle Morin and Marsha Robinson. Also, we are happy to introduce two exclusive gift bag designs by artist and author, Emily Winfield Martin. These are some absolute stunners that we have been dying to show off to you folks!
Our new gift bag collection features illustrations by Kelsey Garrity Riley, Carolyn Gavin, Bodil Jane, Jon Klassen, Danielle Kroll, Anna Emilia Laitinen, Kate Pugsley, Christian Robinson, and newcomers Emily Winfield Martin and Michelle Morin. They are constructed with luxurious heavy-weight paper, and cotton rope. They are available for preorder now and will ship in March!
We are also excited to introduce our new artists to the fold (pun intended!). Welcome, Michelle and Marsha, whose new designs add two unique perspectives to our Red Cap collection! View their entire collections here, and here, and view a small selection below, along with more information about them. We are so proud and excited to have them in our midst, and excited to share their work with a new audience.
Michelle Morin is an artist who lives and works on the Seacoast of New Hampshire. She studied painting and art history at Massachusetts College of Art. Michelle has worked for many years in the horticultural field cultivating a true relationship with plants, wildlife, and their distinctive habitats.
With many years designing and maintaining gardens, Michelle has narrowed her primary focus to nature as a subject to reference. She works to convey the beauty and complexities of nature using texture, pattern, and narrative elements throughout her work, which range from elaborate watercolor and gouache compositions on paper to vast and more layered paintings on canvas. Through her travels she continues to seek out inspiration from the natural world while honing in on the unique details that define each place.
Marsha Robinson is an artist and designer based out of Denver, CO. Self taught and disciplined, Marsha’s work is highly distinctive with a unique flare of grace and symmetry. She creates a world full of elegant botanical imagery embraced by strikingly bold designs that reflect the nostalgia of the Art Deco Era. She creates compositions that combine both the masculine and feminine elements of design which allows her work to have fluidity while still maintaining order and structure. Her hand drawn ink & pen illustrations extend beyond the paper and find their way on various mediums in the multifaceted world of design. Marsha is constantly evolving as an artist and with every piece of work comes new transformation.
I asked Carrie what she would like for Valentine’s Day, and with her answer, I was privy to a stream of consciousness that detailed the most perfect date (or day, even) that anyone could ever dream of. We thought we might juxtapose each of our parfait Saint Valentin for your reading and viewing pleasure! What might you request on your perfect date? Here’s Carrie:
A handwritten note…
Followed by some to-die-for Strawberry Shortcake Chocolate from Compartés Chocolatier. Mind the couch!
Hal remembers two gifts he forgot were in his pocket all along. A beautiful rose gold and ruby pendant from Spinelli Kilcollin and a full bouquet of stunning roses from Yasmine Floral Design. How could he forget?
We awake in the morning to hot coffee and a splendid sunrise in Joshua Tree
My goodness, I can’t beat that. Though slightly less fantastic, my date is very much tailored to my homebody-ness. Here goes…my perfect Valentine’s Day:
The date starts out with hand-drawn scavenger hunt inside one of my favorite Red Cap Cards, to find the perfect gift: a vintage copy of Sugar, by Nancy Sinatra, a beautiful Black Diamond Pera Ring from Of a Kind, and a four-box of Sofia Coppola’s pink champagne. (That whole case is for me, by the way).
Dinner is at In-N-Out Burger (they moved to Seattle specifically for me), which has magically become gluten AND dairy free overnight, so I order one of everything.
While we are eating at the outdoor tables, Paul Rudd walks by and comments to my husband about how witty and attractive I am. Move it along, Paul, I’m spoken for! Go be ADORABLE somewhere else.
Then, we are back at home to watch one of my favorite movies in bed, snuggled with truffled popcorn and a housekeeper scheduled to come and vacuum up the crumbs in the morning.
Now it’s your turn–what does your ideal Valentine’s Day look like?
Hey there, cupcake! Valentine’s Day is just another excuse for us to keep the love flowing, so we thought we’d bring you ten of our favorite fun factoids about l’amour to get you ramped up and ready for February 14th. Read on to learn more about love than the fact that it really is all you need. How many of these do you know?
- Animals that mate for life:
- barn owls
- bald eagles
- golden eagles
- Gibbon apes
- brolga cranes
- French angel fish
- sandhill cranes
- red-tailed hawks
- prairie voles
- black vultures
2. The enduring symbol of love, Cupid (or Eros) is said to have come from Chaos (“The Yawning Void”) and represents the primitive forces of love and desire.
3. Scientists suggest that most people will fall in love approximately seven times before marriage.
4. “Light My Fire” by the Doors was the number 1 Billboard single in 1967 for three weeks, when it was succeeded by “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles.
5. Genie’s Rule Number 2 from Disney’s Aladdin is that he can’t make anybody fall in love with anybody else–you little punim there!
6. Roses are a traditional symbol of different types of love, depending on their color:
- Red roses: passion and true love
- Light pink: desire, passion and energy
- Dark pink: gratitude
- Yellow roses: friendship or jealousy
- White roses: virtue or devotion
- Lavender or thornless rose: love at first sight
7. Engagement rings are often worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because the ancient Greeks maintained that that finger contains the vena amoris, or the “vein of love,” that runs straight to the heart. The first recorded wedding rings appear in ancient Egypt, with the circle representing eternity as well as powerful sun and moon deities.
8. Allegedly, Robert Smith of The Cure was inspired to write “The Love Cats” after reading the novel, The Vivisector by Patrick White, which details the demise of a love triangle, infidelity, and a sack of stray cats.
9. Cleopatra once swallowed a pearl that was submerged in a cocktail to settle a bet with her lover, Marc Anthony, about her power and wealth.
10. Mothers always have their children in the back of their minds – now it seems that this is quite literally true. Fetal DNA can enter a mother’s brain and remain there for decades, according to autopsies of female brains. (Newscientist.com)
Sources: Factretriever.com, Wikipedia.com, and Petful.com