Today I'm super pleased to introduce the lovely Anna Bond of Florida-based stationery company Rifle Paper Co. to Creative Loves... Anna is an illustrator and graphic designer who together with her husband Nathan owns and runs Rifle Paper Co. They create whimsical stationery products which they sell through their online store as well as through various retail shops around the world. I adore her work as I'm sure all of you do to so it is great to have her here today...
Can you tell me about your studio? Our studio is located in Winter Park, Florida. We have a small storefront and then it's mainly one big open studio with a large work table in the centre and desks on each side of the room. I really love big open environments where everyone can interact with each other and I feel like it creates a really strong community between everyone who works with us. The studio is designed to be clean and open. I chose white walls and simple furniture to allow it to be a blank canvas. My office is the only room that's separated (mainly because I often need quiet to be creative). I've got two big desks, one for painting and one for my computer. I have inspiration clippings on my wall, new designs taped up for reference, framed art, a couch and a big bookshelf with magazines and books. My office feels cozy but it always tends to get messy while I work.
Have you always been creatively driven? For as long as I remember I've always been into drawing, painting and being creative. I took graphic design, painting, and architecture classes in school trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Eventually I decided to major in graphic design when I went to college and loved it. I got a job as an art director right out of school which is what brought me to Florida. A year or so later I left to focus on freelancing and illustration work and that evolved into the stationery business of Rifle Paper Co. I don't know if there was a specific moment but rather a gradual process of learning what I loved, finding my own voice, and experimenting. I feel incredibly grateful to get to do what I love on a daily basis.
What inspires you, where do you go for ideas? I love fashion, textiles, vintage books, architecture, and so on. I try to find inspiration everywhere I look. Traveling is another great source of inspiration for me. I love going to New York, Seattle, and my family's cabin in upstate New York. One of my favourite places in the whole world is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. I've been there so many times and always see something new and leave feeling inspired.
What is a typical work day for you? I always start with coffee and because I work late I've been getting into the office around noon. I start with emails and then dive into whatever projects I have going on. I'm usually glued to my desk for most of the day unless I have a meeting or a press check. At around 6pm when things quiet down and the orders have shipped out Nathan and I have a meeting. We talk about what the other is doing, catch up, answer questions, and make plans. I then go back to work until around around 2am. I'm working on cutting down my hours but it's still a little crazy around here because we're a young company.
Please tell us about your currently Creative Loves...
What projects are you working on at the moment? Right now I'm working on a new stationery collection that will launch at the 2011 National Stationery Show in New York in May. I'm also working on our new wedding collection and some collaborations with other companies. I just finished a stationery project with Chronicle Books that I'm really excited about.
How do you approach each project? I usually brainstorm and sketch for a while before working on my first round of comps which I do in pencil. I revise me sketches before beginning to paint. I typically work with gouache on watercoluor paper and then scan in the image into the computer to edit.
What has been the most interesting or exciting project you've worked on and why? Hm, probably the first stationery collection that I made to launch Rifle Paper Co. It was a lot of work but so exciting to get to plan all of that out and create exactly what I wanted. It was the first major project that I did completely for myself without a boss or client and that was an amazing feeling.
In terms of your work what couldn't you live without? My paints and my sketchbook.
What do you love most about what you do? I love that I simply get to do what I love. I know I'm incredibly lucky to be able to say that. I'm also so grateful that I get to do this with my husband who I completely trust and really couldn't do it without him.
What do you want to do in the future? I want to continue doing what I'm doing now but hope it will grow and expand. I want to create quality products that I love, collaborate with other people, and just have fun doing doing this. Eventually I'll have slow down the pace but for now I'm young and enjoy seeing new ideas come to life.
Where are you happiest? I think I'm the happiest at home spending time with Nathan or friends. At the end of the day that's the most important thing to me.