Artist Spotlight: Amy Heitman

Artist Spotlight: Amy Heitman

AMY HEITMAN is an artist, illustrator, wife, and mom of three, living and working in the countryside just outside Grand Rapids, Michigan. We featured four of her beautiful greeting cards in the December 2018 Snailbox, and wanted to know more about the gal behind these charming designs. Below Amy fills us in on how she balances motherhood and artist-hood, works through challenges, and finds inspiration in the simple things.

Stamp Academy: Birds in Winter

Stamp Academy: Birds in Winter

The U.S. Postal Service celebrates four of winter’s winged beauties with the Birds in Winter Forever stamps. Art director Antonio Alcalá worked together with illustrator Nadia Taylor to create simplified but accurate renderings of these familiar friends. The limited color palette, stark white background, and clean shapes give the art a bold, fresh look.

Nadia Taylor’s work is bold, colorful, inspired by nature, and informed by her love of screen printing - from her use of limited color palettes to her incorporation of textures and dark outlines. Check out more of her work on Instagram @nadiataylordesign.

Artist Spotlight: Idlewild Co.

Artist Spotlight: Idlewild Co.

IDLEWILD CO., founded in 2010 by artist & designer Katie Gastley, started as a tiny pop-up at the Renegade Craft Festival in Brooklyn, NY. A few shoppers noticed her whimsically hand-painted Brooklyn neighborhood prints and asked if Katie would create their wedding stationery. She soon developed a line of greeting cards and notebooks, and has since expanded into calendars, keychains, phone cases, wrapping paper, and more. Katie’s process always begins with a hand-painted, nature-inspired artwork, which is the core of the Idlewild aesthetic, and pure joy to our souls.

We caught up with Katie about her creative process and how it’s possible to achieve success even if you wake up late and enjoy a slower pace of life.

The Lost Art of Hotel Luggage Labels

The Lost Art of Hotel Luggage Labels

We included some reproduction vintage luggage labels in this month’s travel-themed Snailbox, and I was inspired to dig deeper into the story behind these neat little pieces of lost art.

Luggage labels are fascinating bits of hotel history from the golden age of travel, roughly the 1900's to 1960's. During this time these labels were used by hotels as advertising and eagerly applied to steamer trunks, suitcases and all sorts of luggage by hotel bellhops. 

Today, these same labels are highly desirable and sought after by collectors all over the world. Many of the designs were produced by some of the best poster designers from the golden age of travel like Roger Broders, Jan Lavies and Mario Borgoni.

And now I’m officially going down a rabbit hole because they are all so gorgeous and I can’t stop looking! Lord help me from spending all the money collecting originals.

Stamp Academy: Celebrating the Posters of the WPA

Stamp Academy: Celebrating the Posters of the WPA

In March 2017, the U.S. Postal Service dedicated 10 visually striking WPA posters as a booklet of 20 Forever stamps. The designs featured are some of the most iconic representations of the posters created to support the civic-minded ideals of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

It is fitting that the WPA posters have been memorialized on postage stamps because President Roosevelt not only understood the importance of visual design and how it can communicate powerful messages, but he also had a lifelong fascination with stamps as artwork!

Artist Spotlight: Cavallini&Co

Artist Spotlight: Cavallini&Co

In 1968, a nine year old boy responded to an offer on a cereal box, and received an envelope containing luggage labels from around the world.  Forty six years later, he still has that envelope and its contents.  No one could have predicted, least of all that little boy, his interest in ephemera would one day mushroom into a business with clients around the globe.

The young lad, Brad Parberry, grew up, and like his peers, pursued the traditional route to success, earning a degree in accounting, and an MBA in International Business, eventually working in finance for a major pharmaceutical company. But he wasn’t happy. Something was missing.

He applied for a fellowship to study in Italy for a year, and serendipity stepped in. While roaming the market stalls one day he happened upon some beautiful calendars with botanical prints. He returned again and again, captivated. “I think I could sell these in the states” he told a friend, and the germ of an idea was born. 

Artist Spotlight: Worthwhile Paper

Artist Spotlight: Worthwhile Paper

Life can sometimes feel like you are wading through a swamp of negativity - battling criticism and self-doubt at work, fielding spiteful comments on social media, facing increasingly disastrous world news. This is why it is so important to surround yourself with positive mantras - to create balance and cultivate inner peace and happiness.

Kristen Drozdowski of Worthwhile Paper is here to help. We chatted with Kristen about her mission to bring positivity and beauty into the world. Her artwork is not only gorgeous, but genuinely inspiring. Read on to learn more about how she’s turned her passion for spreading happiness into a brilliant independent business.

Artist Spotlight: Aviate Press

Artist Spotlight: Aviate Press

Ava Puckett is the illustrator behind AVIATE PRESS, a stationery and lifestyle brand out of Nashville, TN, with a humanitarian mission to make you LOL. Ava finds her inspiration in girl power, pop culture, and everyday magic. Some of her favorite things include petting other people's dogs, playing soccer, and hanging out in coffee shops.

Below she talks with us about breaking into the indie-design industry, the inspiration behind her pun-filled illustrations, and how she copes with stress and anxiety to stay productive and happy.

Artist Spotlight: Badger & Burke

Artist Spotlight: Badger & Burke

BADGER & BURKE is the weird, colourful lovechild of Vancouver-based illustrators Holton Brock and Jamie Armstrong. Having just launched in 2017, these artists are hard at work creating a line of eclectic greeting cards and art prints (with more paper goodies coming) inspired by retro design, puppies, good food and bad puns.

For a brand this fun, we had a feeling the guys behind it probably don't take themselves too seriously. Read on to learn more about Holton and Jamie, the birth of Badger & Burke, and how Mel C's gold tooth is involved.