Sunday, December 7, 2008
INSPIRATION: i heart stationery
By the time I graduated from art school I was completely fed up with artists. Don't get me wrong, I loved art school. I graduated from Alfred University's School of Art & Design and it was fantastic; I learned and grew enormously there. It was artists that I grew weary of. So many artists take themselves and their ART so seriously and do everything they can to make it seem BIG and IMPORTANT and INTELLIGENT. So much of the art world is not about creativity and creation, but instead about promotion, spin and stroking egos. By the end of senior year I felt as if I was drowning in B.S. The problem with how the art world works is that it is so intent on proving its relevance and importance that it completely alienates most of society. People are made to believe that they aren't smart enough to understand or properly appreciate "real" art. It was this realizaton that ultimately led me to become an art teacher, where I did my small part to show kids and adults that they could in fact enjoy and understand the world of art.
This core philosophy also led me to launch Tulaloo. I prefer art that is accessible and approachable over the highbrow conceptual stuff. Stationery is a perfect vehicle for my kind of art. A notecard isn't intimidating in the same way that a painting or sculpture often is. And better yet, stationery requires people to be physically engaged with it. You express your thoughts on it, open and close the envelopes and send it to your loved ones. What the giants like Hallmark and American Greetings don't understand (or ignore) is that when a person sends a note they have the opportunity to pass along a little treasure. Good stationery is like mailing a tiny piece of art, not a mass produced greeting card. It is a very intimate process when you consider it. I think this is why I especially love custom designing wedding invitations. I get to help couples create something that truly represents their personalities and what they hope their marriage will become. It feels good to create something so personal and to know that what I have made is both beautiful and practical for the couple and their friends and family. I love stationery.
In retrospect, I probably ought to have majored in graphic design rather than photography. Besides the fact that my attitude would have fit in better in the design studios, my photography medium is now nearly obsolete. When was the last time you saw anyone using film, let alone a large format camera (you know those crazy looking contraptions with the bellows and black fabric covering the photographer? That is what I used). But, that is another post for another day...