Behind the scenes interviews always get me a bit giddy. I love learning about how other artists live and create, especially those who work in the wedding industry. There is just something so special about being a part of a couple’s big day. Photographer Jen Wojcik brings us the next interview in her Artist at Work Series with Lovely Paper Things. See even more in the gallery and another interview here.
From Jen Wojcik… We are all creatives in the wedding industry. We are artists. I want to dive into what inspires us, what drives us and what motivates us. How did we get started, what keeps us going? These are all important to examine because it gets to the heart of why we all do what we do.
I recently sat down with Caroline at Lovely Paper Things as part of my Artists at Work Series. There is such an abundance of creative talent that goes into a wedding day and it’s so amazing to get to know other vendors in the industry and to discover what fuels them.
JW: What do you do?
Lovely Paper Things: I’m the designer and creator of Lovely Paper Things, a boutique hooray and yay studio! I create custom branded paper goodies for weddings, events and parties. From invitations and other lovely mail-able goodies, to day-of pieces such as menus, hand-lettered place cards, guest gifts, stationery and journals… I adore creating it all. Really, the sky’s the limit! If it’s creative and inspires you and it helps celebrate your love story or party or event, I’m in! Do you want an enormous fold out poster invite…oh oh pick me! Looking to send a custom party pack to your amazing guests…when can I start?
I have the absolute delight of celebrating love stories, one custom branded design experience at a time… it doesn’t get better than that! More in depth: I’m a graphic designer, painter, illustrator, typographer… and let’s be real, I adore doing anything creative and working with amazing, inspiring people makes my soul happy.
JW: What inspires you? Or who?
Lovely Paper Things: Traveling is hands down the most inspiring thing to me. Just getting out of my typical environment and every day routine, noticing the little things, exploring new cultures, experiencing the differences between my home and where I’m adventuring to… LOVE IT! Also, the amazing people around me, from my incredible husband and family, to strangers on the street, constantly inspire me. I adore chatting up interesting characters, people watching and creating stories about passers by. I love the arrival gates at airports, there is so much happiness everywhere. It gives me goose bumps thinking about all of those people being reunited with loved ones – how could that not be inspiring?! And a fantastic run always leaves me feeling refreshed and a walk on the beach never fails to inspire me, dorky I know, but it’s so incredibly true.
JW: Who is your favorite artist?
Lovely Paper Things: Oh my goodness, this one is a toughie! As a graphic design and painting major in college and an art history minor, I constantly find myself flipping through old books filled with amazing artists and designers and searching the interwebs for inspiring current creatives! Right now I would have to say that I’m most inspired by Richard Scarry, Wes Anderson, Helen Frankenthaler, Paul Gaugin and Matt Chase… plus one million more insanely talented artists.
JW: Can you go into your process a little? How do you like to work with a client?
Lovely Paper Things: With Lovely Paper Things, it’s not just about the beautiful paper goodies! It’s about concepting, creating and celebrating each couple’s unique love story through a cohesive, custom branded design experience. I absolutely adore my clients and getting to know them and learning their love stories is SO much fun and so important to the design process. My clients are all over the world, so whether it’s through in person get-togethers, Skype dates or phone calls, it’s always a blast and a total giggle fest!
Next, I collect all sorts of inspiration from nature, blogs, magazines, etc. and build mood boards, which help couples choose a stylistic direction, visual aesthetic and overall vibe. From here, I generally get out of the studio to allow fresh inspiration from the outdoors to come my way. I use my favorite pencils to create sketches inspired by the selected mood board. Wedding suites are so much fun to create because each one is so totally different than the last. I adore using unique materials like fabric, metal, wood, leather and anything else you can imagine! And I’m constantly experimenting with new techniques, printing processes, mark making tools, paints/inks and more to help create perfectly unique goodies.
Almost all of my projects incorporate a combination of hand painted, hand-lettered or illustrated techniques which are then scanned in to my computer. Then depending on the project I add digital typography or other vector aspects to button up the final designs. Each project is printed using a variety of awesome printing techniques and I often add back in hand painted details. For some extra special projects, each piece is hand painted or hand lettered, which is just another reason I love custom design’s flexibility and ability to give a client exactly what they want.
JW: What are some of your favorite tools that you use?
Lovely Paper Things: An array of magical paintbrushes, gauche and watercolor, pencils and pens.
JW: What is favorite type of Italian food?
Lovely Paper Things: GNOCCHI with fresh pesto and spinach!
JW: What is your favorite way to unwind?
Lovely Paper Things: I adore doing anything outside! From running to paddle boarding, get me outdoors and I’m instantly refreshed and rejuvenated! Also, dancing around the kitchen to old time music (Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington…) while baking sweet treats always soothes my soul! Yay!
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JW: Where is your favorite place to travel to and why?
Lovely Paper Things: Botswana, Africa, hands down. It’s pure, unfiltered, beauty. The people, the animals, the environments are all absolutely incredible. There’s not a place on Earth as incredibly inspiring, unspoiled and completely wild with beauty. Also there is something pretty amazing about the feeling of going back to my family’s home in Leawood, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. The Midwest is so full of the warmth and kindness that I crave, that it always leaves me feeling refreshed when I come back to California. Plus nothing, and I mean nothing, beats my mom’s cooking! Now, excuse me while I go make her double chocolate oatmeal cookies and pour an enormous glass of milk.
JW: Sweet or Salty?
Lovely Paper Things: Have you met me? Sugar baby here for sure. See above answer for evidence. ;)
JW: Mountains or beach?
Lovely Paper Things: Beach, the ocean is a magical and inspiring.
JW: What is your favorite photo in your possession?
Lovely Paper Things: It’s a photo of my grandpa wearing his big old cowboy hat (which hangs in my studio) and riding my little cousin’s tiny tricycle. It reminds me to always have a sense of humor, work incredibly hard, be kind and love with my whole heart.
JW: If you could revisit one moment in your life over and over again what would it be?
Lovely Paper Things: The moment right after I first kissed my hubby (then about to be boyfriend). We were 18, sitting in a car, in an empty parking lot and he had just epically rescued me (long story involving an epic senior year game of glorified tag with water guns). We were saying good nights and were both SUPER awkwardly stalling and giggling. I was SO nervous yet so excited I thought I would burst if I didn’t kiss him… so I just did it. Seeing the delighted surprise in his baby blues and that mischievous grin spread across his cute face… it was the best feeling I had ever felt. That look on his face, is one of my most favorite memories…. then butterflies in my tummy fluttered away and I just giggled nonstop for like 5 minutes… it was awesome and perfect and so nerdy and still feels like yesterday, nearly 10 years later. Also, if you ask him, he will always say he kissed me first – typical man.
Photography: Jen Wojcik Photography | Artist: Lovely Paper Things