introducing: giddy paperie

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today i wanted to introduce you to giddy paperie, an etsy shop full of watercolor- and hand-illustrated note cards, calendars and prints. i'm going through a major watercolor phase right now -- i love the look of watercolor art and i think it is a gorgeous addition to just about anything, so i was delighted to discover giddy paperie's work.

i wanted to learn more about designer leslie chalfont's process in creating each illustration, so i asked a few questions -- see below for a peek inside leslie's artistic world, plus photos of the spring line from giddy paperie! (this chick card is my FAVORITE -- it has real feathers!)

the stationery place: why did you decide to start a stationery shop?

leslie chalfont: Being a lover of beautiful paper, bookbinding, calligraphy, and painting, I see stationery and paper goods as the perfect platform for combining all of my favorites altogether. Plus, it's like getting art in your mailbox!

I have long been a painter; from years of painting I discovered you couldn’t beat working one-on-one with a client to create the perfect piece of art to use for an announcement, invitation or even a gift. It's kind of like going into an art gallery but with paper. Every painting takes on a life of its own.

Setting up my own stationery and gift shop seemed like a good way to share our favorite things. Eventually Giddy came to life after years and years of my daughter and I dreaming up a way to combine our favorites and work together doing what we love!

TSP: how long have you been working with watercolors?

LC: I have painted with watercolor my entire life in both paintings and illustration work. I have also trained with some master artists and have fine-tuned the medium over the years. Watercolor painting is all about layers of translucent painting starting with the lightest colors and working to the darkest.

TSP: What advice do you have for someone just starting out in watercolor art?

LC: Three keys are important: good paper, good brushes and clean water.....often times, people over paint and end up with either a muddy mess or the values are too pale and the brilliance of the watercolor gets lost. I love the medium as it can be used very loose with a lot of expression or it can be very detailed and almost photo-realistic depending on how it’s applied. It's an easy paint to use and take with you anywhere.

TSP: Where do you find inspiration for your illustrations?

LC: Wherever I go or whatever I read, I study the design, color and shapes of things and the finishing touches. Whether it's architecture, interior design and decor, nature or fashion, I try to figure out why it "works." I take a journal with me and fill it up with ideas and sketch out everything from the feature motif to what the packaging could look like and then I tweak it with different color variations and watch how the feeling of the design changes.

I usually work in a high, vivid color key and paint what I love in life: nature, food and people. I also love fonts and calligraphy and like to combine the artwork to unify the piece. It's like little pieces of artwork used with specific purposes, such as writing a letter.

[all photos courtesy giddy paperie]

TSP: What is your favorite thing about snail mail?
Well, first of all it's definitely making a comeback. People feel special when they get a personalized card or a "real" invitation. Email and the internet are great for a lot of things and they're here to stay, but generally people don't print out an email and save it like a treasure tucked away in a drawer...that's why personalized notes will never go out of style and are even more special than ever before. What is old is new again and even better! Besides, it sure is way more fun than junk mail.

Thank you for sharing, Leslie! Check out the Giddy Paperie shop and follow them on Facebook.
*this is a sponsored post, but i really do think giddy paperie has amazing paper goods! i'd never accept sponsorship from a company that isn't a fit for the stationery place. want to work with me? click here for more info on my advertising policy. 

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