More National Stationery Week (#natstatweek) joy from me today. I thought I’d share my love of postcards.
This passion for postcards has been going on for some time. I bought my first set (Vincent Van Gough’s Sunflowers, Picasso’s Fruit Dish, Bottle and Violin, Henry Rousseau’s Surprised and Monet’s Water-lily pond if you’re interested) when I went to the National Gallery with my dad when I was about nine.
I’ve been collecting postcards in earnest ever since I was a teenager when I used to gather loads from the Tate (it was just the one in London then) and the National galleries when doing my art project research. I obsessively collected and displayed black and white portrait postcards of pop stars, movie icons and various writers, artist and bohemians through history in my bedroom at home. Then I used postcards, gig flyers and magazine pages to decorate every student flat I lived in (and some that I didn’t). Even when Dr B and I had our first tiny studio flat, we went up-market and put them in those ubiquitous Ikea wooden frames.
Because I’m such a massive fan of these wonderful mini art objects I now make a lot myself. The one above and the four pictured below are ones I’ve created to promote our small publishing company Dunlin Press. A free handwritten postcard gets sent out with every book order. This was inspired by the amount of lovely handwritten postcards we’ve found over the years hidden in the pages of hundreds (and I really do mean hundreds) of second-hand books we’ve bought. Some are really charming and tell stories in themselves.
I’m also very, very fond of sending out postcard with my print and stationery orders to say thank you and I’m a bit partial to sending little motivational messages such as the ones from the Calm Gallery below to friends.
I now sell illustrated postcards. In the spirit of those portraits that adorned my adolescent bedroom I’ve done them in the style of hand-drawn bird portraits. You can buy a set of nine here. I’m astonished that the obsessions of my younger years come to inspire me even now, there are times I feel closer to my early teenage self than to the woman in my twenties or thirties.
As you know I’ve been blogging a lot about stationery this week for National Stationery Week. It’s really got me thinking about my own work over the years. Shown above are my illustrated greetings cards, handprinted notelets and tags, plus a 40-page notebook.
My ranges so far have consisted of detailed illustrative motifs and individually handprinted pieces. Whatever style I plump for at a particular time it’s important to me that my stationery offers something that you can only get from me.
So the handmade, handcrafted, hand-drawn element is essential to every collection I create. All the time I’ve been creating stationery I’ve put a little bit of myself in every collection. I really want each piece to be made with love.
You can take a look at my most up to date stationery collections on my Not On The High Street, Folksy or Etsy shops.
In honour of National Stationery Week I thought I’d giveaway some items from my favourite stationery collections (plus some little extras) via Twitter and Facebook.
I’ve gathered a set of my garden bird postcards wrapped in twine, a cute little Thank you notelet, and my last remaining set of screenprinted blue tit writing sheets and black and white bird greetings featuring a scops owl and redshank. In all the collection is worth more than £25 and I’m packing it all up in a handmade box for an extra special gift.
For your chance to win, go to my twitter page @ellajohnstonart and tweet me with the hash tag #loveellasstationery and what you love about stationery. If you’re not on twitter you can visit my Facebook page and post onto the wall what you love about stationery with the hashtag above.
I love stationery. Of course I do, I create my own stationery collections – so I thought I’d share my favourite pieces with you.
The book with the Eames quote was given to me by my sister, it’s a dinky little size so it I take it out and about with me for sketching and jotting down any ideas.
The pens are Uni-ball fine line – these guys are essential for my art practice. The various-sized nibs are great for detail and provide excellent ink coverage, and, because they are pigment based, the colour is beautifully black. Gift tags and washi tape are an addiction of mine and key materials for packaging my stationery orders.
Both the scissors and the rather snazzy Tom Dixon ruler were both bought for me by my Dr B – I have used them both but I don’t like to because they’re too nice.
I love my big notebook too, it’s lovely and thick – ideal for my lists of projects and ideas. I adore the marbled edges on the pages.
I’m addicted to pens and pencils too, particularly metallic pens – these Posca and Uni-ball ones give great coverage. The gorgeous red pen was a gift from my colleagues at Homemaker and Make it Today when I left, so it’s a well treasured item. The postcard (I send out many postcards) comes from The Calm Gallery, you can get them here.