When Lisa Congdon agreed to do a line of cards with us for 2013 we were beyond thrilled. We love Lisa’s colorful illustrations, hand lettering, and imaginative renderings of nature and animals. We think her cards are perfect for any occasion but we’re especially excited to launch the line just in time for Valentine’s Day. Check out these images of her studio (Taken by Victoria Smith of SF Girl by Bay). No wonder her designs are so bright and cheerful, her space is an inspiration in itself!
We asked Lisa a few questions about her process and what she has in store for 2013:
What is your process like? Does it change with every project?
It does depend. Sometimes I draw things straight from my brain, especially if I am making a simple drawing without much nuance. The cards I did for Hello!Lucky were all things I drew that just came from my imagination. When I paint or draw something more realistic or complex, I find images (photographs) to use as reference, so I can get the proportions and lighting right. Typically, especially in my commissioned illustration work, I make sketches first. And then I move to making the final artwork.
I always start by drawing things by hand. Always. None of my work starts as digital work, even if it ends up as digital work. In the case of the card line for Hello Lucky, I drew the designs in pen on paper, then scanned them and turned them into vector so they could be reproduced as plates for letterpress printing.
What was your inspiration for this line?
I remember I got really simple, straightforward art direction for this line: create designs in your own style around the theme of love. So I brainstormed different sayings that would lend themselves easily to colorful illustration: things like You are My Sunshine, You are my Queen, You Light up My Life. It was really as simple as that! I really enjoyed it!
Do you have a favorite in the collection or do you love them all equally?
I think You Light Up My Life is my favorite! But I like them all.
We loved your 365 days of hand lettering project you did for 2012. Is there a favorite quote/motto you have from that project?
One of my favorites is: “Leap and the net will appear,” which John Burroughs is quoted as saying. It’s the motto for many things in my life.
What are you currently working on or what’s your latest release? Is there a 365 day project for 2013?
I just launched a weekly project for 2013 with Maria Popova of Brain Pickings called The Reconstructionists. It’s a a yearlong celebration of remarkable women who have changed the way we see the world. Every Monday in 2013, we’ll publish an illustrated portrait (by me) of one trailblazing woman (artist, scientist, writer), along with a hand-lettered quote that captures her spirit and a short micro-essay (by Maria) about her life and legacy. I’m pretty excited about it!
Thank you Lisa for being such an inspiration and so much fun to work with! Visit Lisa’s website for more lovely illustrations and follow along with her blog here. Shop Lisa’s new collection for H!L here!
Product Photos by Edyta Szyszlo Photography
Portrait of Lisa by Leslie Sophia Lindell Photography