I get excited at every holiday these days. Months in advance, my wheels are already turning- deciding what color palette, figuring out a simple image that could convey a whole sentiment, trying to boil down the meaning behind each holiday. Lately, it’s been even more exciting when people ask about those designs in advance.
I’m excited to show you this year’s Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards. I’ve been really consumed in Betsy Ann Paper lately- not just because of the pop-up shop, but also because we’re planning new directions and maybe some redefining. And it makes me sit back and really think about what I’m doing. Why is it important to me? What am I trying to accomplish here?
I think I had a lightbulb moment while planning for Mother’s and Father’s Day. A huge part of Betsy Ann Paper has always been an emphasis on rediscovering really personal, really special mail. Cards with handwritten notes and postage stamps. Cheery bright envelopes that surprise you in the mix of bills and advertisements. Notes that are uniquely handmade instead of mass produced. And while painting that little child’s hand grasping at his mom’s, I realized there’s a whole other aspect that I’m trying to bring back. Another level of nostalgia and meaning entirely.
It seems like we’ve moved to a place where the whole point of buying a card is to try to find one that exactly represents what you want to say to the exact person you want to say it. That’s why places like Hallmark have aisles and aisles of cards for just one holiday. They have cards for specific people from specific people saying very specific things. You dig through these stacks and shuffle through these piles until you find the words that you’d like to say to the person you’d like to say them. But, honestly? How realistic is it to expect a giant, international corporation to be able to define your unique, personal relationship in a few machine written lines?
Reducing everything to simplicity- using an economy of lines and speech- makes cards more personal, in a sense. Because I’m not trying to put words in anyones’ mouths. I’m not trying to define your relationship for you in the exact phrases you would use. I’m taking the general and making it personal. That little child’s hand? Maybe it belongs to a little boy reaching for his mom. Or maybe it’s a little girl, holding hands with an aunt who was always like a mom.
I guess my point in all of this rambling is that painting these cards, I figured out a little piece of what I’m doing. So, I’m extra excited to show you them!