I recently sat down with Caroline at Lovely Paper Things as part of my Artists at Work Series. She is one of my nearest and dearest friends and I was so honored to spend some time with her. There is such an abundance of creative talent that goes into a wedding day and it's so amazing to get to the heart of why people in this industry do what they do.
What do you do?
I’m the designer & creator of Lovely Paper Things, a boutique hooray & yay studio! I create custom branded paper goodies for weddings, events & parties! From invitations & other lovely mail-able goodies, to day-of pieces such as menus, hand-lettered place cards, guest gifts, stationery & journals… I adore creating it all. Really, the sky’s the limit! If it’s creative & inspires you & 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… & let’s be real, I adore doing anything creative & working with amazing, inspiring people makes my soul happy!
What inspires you? Or who?
Traveling is hands down the most inspiring thing to me. Just getting out of my typical environment & every day routine, noticing the little things, exploring new cultures, experiencing the differences in my home & where I’m adventuring to… LOVE IT! Also, the amazing people around me, from my incredible husband & family, to strangers on the street, constantly inspire me. I adore chatting up interesting characters, people watching & creating stories about passers by. I love the arrival gates at airports – 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?! A fantastic run always leaves me feeling refreshed & a walk on the beach never fails to inspire me, dorky I know, but it’s so incredibly true.
Who is your favorite artist?
Oh my goodness, this one is a toughie! As a graphic design & painting major in college & an art history minor, I constantly find myself flipping through old books filled with amazing artists & designers & searching the interwebs for inspiring artists. Right now I would have to say that I’m most inspired by Richard Scary, Wes Anderson, Helen Frankenthaler, Paul Gaugin & Matt Chase… plus one million more insanely talented artists!
Can you go into your process a little? How do you like to work with a client?
With Lovely Paper Things, it’s not just about the beautiful paper goodies! It’s about concepting, creating & celebrating each couple’s unique love story through a cohesive, custom branded design experience. I absolutely adore my clients & getting to know them & learning their love stories is SO much fun & 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 & a total giggle fest!
Next, I collect all sorts of inspiration from nature, blogs, magazines, etc. & build mood boards, which help couples choose a stylistic direction & visual aesthetic 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 & anything else you can imagine! And I’m constantly experimenting with new techniques, printing processes, mark making tools, paints/inks & more to help create the perfect, final & 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 & 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 & ability to give a client exactly what they want!
What are some of your favorite tools that you use?
An array of magical paintbrushes, gauche + watercolor, pencils & pens.
What is favorite type of Italian food?
GNOCCHI with fresh pesto & spinach!!!!
What is your favorite way to unwind?
I adore doing anything outside! From running to paddle boarding, get me outside & I’m instantly refreshed & rejuvenated! Also yoga is so good for my soul! Oh yes that & a fun cocktail & tasty treats....
Where is your favorite place to travel to & why?
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 & 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 & 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 & pour an enormous glass of milk.
Sweet or Salty?
Have you met me? Sugar baby here for sure. See above answer for evidence. ;)
Mountains or beach?
Beach, the ocean is a magical & inspiring.
What is your favorite photo in your possession?
It’s a photo of my grandpa wearing his big old cowboy hat (which hangs in my studio) & riding my little cousin’s tiny tricycle. It reminds me to always have a sense of humor, work incredible hard, be kind & love with my whole heart.
If you could revisit one moment in your life over & over again what would it be?
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 & 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 & were both SUPER awkwardly stalling & 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 & 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 & I just giggled nonstop for like 5 minutes… it was awesome & perfect & so nerdy & still feels like yesterday, nearly 10 years later. Also, if you ask him, he will always say he kissed me first – typical man. ;)
Thank you Caroline for taking the time to share your your space and your talents with me.