Paper Ivy Brooch Poll

I want to make more of these illustrated wooden brooches, but couldn’t decide on which designs should be made first, so I made a little poll on facebook.  Can you help?  Click HERE to let me know what designs you think would look best?

I would really appreciate it!

What inspires Paper Ivy?

Wonderful customers:  Ok, so we probably established this in my last post: “Why is Paper Ivy Passionate About Stationery Design?”   Getting some support from customers and admirers lets me know that someone out there likes what I do.  These are the people I get up in the morning to make things for.

Other designers and their work: I am a huge fan of other designers, illustrators, makers and artists.  I really enjoy seeing what they’re up to, what colour combos they’re using, what kinds of design, illustration, photography, painting, or whatever else they’re using.   I really don’t think creative people should be islands.  I really think they benefit from seeing the work of others.  This is not to copy anyone; this is what inspires me to lift my game!  Or maybe they’ll introduce me to a way of portraying something that blows my mind, helps me to see differently and therefore helps my development as a creative person.

The creative community at large: Whether a person just appreciates creativity and is involved at that level in attending exhibitions, markets, lurking on creative blogs, or they are still in beginning stages, or they are professional; no matter what the discipline or medium being used, or even the particular style, I’ve found a great deal of support from other creative people.

My children and the things that interest them:  I love how they respond to things and that their experience of everything is different.  I also love to look at vintage children’s books.  I am also very inspired when my children aren’t around, because I’ll know I’ll be able to get things done!

Travel: Putting myself into a different culture or place where even the everyday is different is hugely inspiring. It shakes up my normal thinking.

Train in Japan

Nature: One of my favourite things to do, ever, is to lie down under a tree and look up through the leaves and watch small glimpses of sky and clouds as they pass overhead, then I intermittently close my eyes and listen to the sounds around me.  I think the creative brain needs to rest in order to be inspired again and the resting can be just as important as the stimulus.

How about you?  What inspires you?

Why is Paper Ivy Passionate About Stationery Design?

It should be obvious to anyone reading that I am passionate about stationery design.  I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it, but there’s probably more to it than that.  Firstly, it’s not actually just stationery that I’m passionate about.  I love all kinds of design, illustration and art.  I don’t just like to make it myself, I love the work of others, and I love to collect it, to look at it and wonder at it.  So what is it about stationery in particular?  There are a couple of things:

I love that it is tactile and sometimes textural. I love that I can hold a card and wonder about the person who made it.  It is something very real.  This is one of the reasons that at time of writing, 100% of Paper Ivy card and paper stock is textural.

I also love that it is art that people share with each other and a connection can be made with it.  This connection is enhanced by the textural aspect.  A person can be made more alert to what they are holding if it has a texture or emboss.

However, one of the great things about stationery is that it I consider it the great leveller.  I don’t require that this visual (and sometimes sensory) treasure be expensive in order to value it.  I love that for a small price, I (or someone else) can take home a small, precious piece of art.  It is precious, because being on this side of the business I can tell you that what goes into the effort is not trivial.  I think most artists, designers and illustrators deliberate long and hard over their creations.  We agonise  and obsess over colour combinations, typography, shapes, composition, character representation, sometimes narrative, look and feel.  In the end, you still don’t need much money or wall space to buy a little card with a cute design, illustration or painting on it and I love that I can send someone a little piece of something I have created.

Prize Photos & What I’ve Learned From Giving Things Away.

I received an email from the lucky winner of the Paper Ivy September 2013 Giveaway, Rebecca, to say that she was so excited to have won and she gave me her address so I could send her prize to her.  Rebecca got back to me a bit later to tell me she had received her Paper Ivy package. She was so thrilled and it made me beyond happy to be the one who could put so much joy into someone’s day.  I hear her Paper Ivy lovelies arrived safely and remained safe despite some little ones “helping” to unwrap her prize. So nice that everyone got some enjoyment out of it.

This is what she received:

Prize all packaged up.

Here is what she would’ve seen when she opened the box:

Packages tied up with string!

And this is what was in all those little packages:



By now, you’re wondering what it is that I learned from this… Well, I definitely love giving things to people.  I really love making people happy and just knowing that I’ve lifted someone’s mood, lifts my mood too.  We can all get immersed in our own daily grind and if I have the occasion to stop and do something to make someone smile I’m doing it!

The other thing, and this has been confirmed with the contact I’ve had with other clients and customers, but this reinforces it too, is that people like the things that I create.   I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but a lot of people really like Paper Ivy design and products.  While I’m not surprised, it really makes me keep going.  It can be hard for a creative person to keep putting themselves out there if they are shy by nature, but it seems like almost every time I do, I get rewarded.  Next time I’m holding myself back because it’s hard for me to put myself out there, I’m going to remember this and push forward.

So if you are reading this, thank you Rebecca, and thank you to everyone who encourages me.

— P.S. For those who aren’t familiar with Paper Ivy giveaways, if you would like a chance to win a package like this, filled with Paper Ivy products, all you have to do is subscribe to the Paper Ivy Newsletter.

Paper Ivy Goes to Blog School

On Friday night I was very excited to receive my login details for Decor8‘s online blogging course Blogging Your Way.  The Paper Ivy blog is very new, so I decided it was a good idea to get some tips from the experts… that and the lovely Anastasia from Anastasia – Drawing and Dreaming told me how great it was when she did it, so I became really excited about it!

Class officially starts on Monday.  I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of other bloggers, learning more and being able to craft a better blog.

Wish me luck!