I forgot to mention that I had a great visit with Kristin last weekend where we talked a lot about cards. In keeping with my new-found determination to set reasonable goals, I’m going to try to come up with a packet by early April that contains some new samples of my handprinted cards, some laserprinted cards, and a nice little promotional brochure (like, oh, another iPhoto book). Kristin will send the stuff to the card rep she works for, and we’ll see what happens from there. (A shameless plug: along with being incredibly nice, Kristin has fabulous taste – if you’re local and you haven’t checked out her card table at the Ball & Cross yet, you should. She’s got lots of really good letterpress stationary.)
As for the new samples, I have decided that – unless people are willing to pay $3.50-4.00 a card – it’s not worth the time + materials + stress to make more of the fabric cards. They sold discouragingly poorly at the craft fairs and around town; people liked them, but they didn’t want to buy ’em. This may be a product of the location (i.e. people around here don’t have a lot of cash), but it’s been enough to make me look for a simpler, cheaper alternative. I really like look of the patterned background with a figure on top, so it occured to me that I could print my own background with a fabric-y design instead of going through the extensive buying/ washing/ ironing/ interfacing/ cutting/ sewing process that real fabric requires. Voila!
I started some sketches for the new cards last weekend, beginning with the background patterns.
I almost never create purely decorative designs, so this is kind of a challenge for me (these are all starting thumbnails and have a long way to go). I have much more sympathy for fabric designers now – it’s hard to come up with something detailed-but-not-too-detailed, recognizable-but-not-distracting, organic-but-repetitive, etc.
I think that, after settling on 3-4 patterns, I’m going to create the design in Illustrator so I can control my curves. Then I’ll transfer the pattern to my rubber block and cut it, which will automatically add a lot of little imperfections to counteract the too-perfect vector art.
I’ve also got a new print idea that I really want to try out: a few side silhouettes of children that I can print in black or dark brown over a light pattern. I’ve noticed that silhouettes are pretty popular at the moment, perhaps because they mix modern and antique. The flat block of color with detailed edges is also nicely conducive to printing, and I think it will stand out on a wider variety of backgrounds than the birds, which can be a little too complex sometimes.
On an entirely unrelated note, I haven’t been feeling that great this morning and was dreading the next four hours of work. But advil + diet Coke + last night’s night’s leftover pad Thai + “Billie Jean” on the iPod = almost as good as new. Why does 80s music make me so happy? I think I’m going to listen to all our Prince records next.