Monday, November 24, 2008

Bow & Arrow

Julie, Brooklyn, NY
Bow & Arrow

The hallmark of a really good letterpress card is its ability to inspire you to use it - rather than simply glance at it affectionately and then store it away to gather dust. This is exactly how Julie's cards made me feel. I couldn't wait to write on them and brighten someone's day with a special note, handwritten on the most amazing cards.

1. How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as a mixture of modern and graphic but with a girly edge.

2. I know that you have a graphic design background. How did you get into letterpress and where did you learn your craft? Can you recommend any books, classes to anyone who's looking to get into it?

I decided that I wanted create a line of letterpress cards and I did lots of research online and ended up taking a class at The Arm in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with Dan. After taking the "Letterpress on the Vandercook Press" I was ready to print the designs that I had been working on. Dan is an amazing resource on everything letterpress related and I highly recommend his class.

3. What was it that made you want to start creating? Did something specific trigger it?

I work at a magazine as a graphic designer during the day and I really wanted to design something for myself that would allow me to be more creative. I have always loved creating patterns so I got the crazy idea that I was going to take a letterpress class and then start selling my cards at craft fairs and on Etsy.

4. Your cards are now available at Anthropologie nationwide (congratulations!) Can you tell us how it all happened and do you have any tips on what others can do to increase their chances to be discovered.

I really wish I had a great answer to this question but I am still trying to figure out how my cards ended up at Anthropologie. I think having your crafts being covered by blogs really helps your chances of ending up in a bigger store.

5. You're just now beginning to offer your products to brick and mortar shops. Any early lessons that you can pass on to our readers looking to do the same?

Every time I've started a new order its been a huge learning experience. One thing that I have learned, it's very important to work ahead of your deadline because everything always seems to take a longer then you expect. Like trying to like fold and box 500 sets of cards!

6. Who is your idol/current craft-crush?

I am forever inspired by the work of Florence Broadhurst and Marimekko. I love looking at designs from the 50's, 60's and 70's.
7. How do you come up with your lovely designs, color palettes and beautiful patterns?

I love playing around with classic dingbats on the computer and creating something new and modern with something that has been around forever.

8. What part of the letterpress process is your favorite? least favorite?

I love designing and coming up with new ideas but sometimes its hard to get motivated to print because after awhile its so physically exhausting.

9.How do you find the energy to make such beautiful things while holding a full time day job ? How do you juggle a full-time job and a growing business? Has the thought of leaving your day job and dedicating all your time to Bow & Arrow crossed your mind?

It's hard to have a full time job and to have a business on the side but I love creating and designing cards so I always find time to do what I love. While I would love to have a stationary business as my full time job, I am happy that I can create cards and not have worry about how I am going to pay my bills.

10. The handmade community is such a close knit group, I notice that most people are either mentors to aspiring crafters/designers or have mentors who have been in the business for a while and are eager to share their experiences with budding crafters/artists. Do you have a mentor? And are you a mentor yourself?

I feel like I am still new to the craft world but I found that if you email people to ask them questions everyone is always so helpful. Dan at the Arm has been amazing at helping me understand more about the letterpress process.

Thanks Julie!!


Melissa de la Fuente said...

Such beautiful cards! I love them and I adore that one of Julie's favorite movies is Hairspray! Me too! :)