Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Inspiring Interview

{ Tara Bliven of Ephemera Press }

Sometimes you stumble upon a design that just makes you smile and drool at the same time. After I experienced this with Tara's designs I knew we had to feature her work and pick her creative brain. She keeps busy designing custom letterpress stationery that is truly one of a kind! We were fortunate to chat with Tara about her designs, ideas and inspirations.

How did you get started designing and what made you choose this line of work? I never know how to answer this question! I guess I always liked to draw and design things when I was a kid. I remember my favorite high school teacher was exasperated with me one day and she said (in front of the whole class) she didn’t know what I was going to do – that I couldn’t possibly sit at a desk all day. It was funny (and a little embarrassing) at the time, but it all makes sense now. I went on to study design in college, and when we did a unit on letterpress, I was hooked. It took a few years after college, lots of research, and a few of those jobs she warned me about, but I had found a way to have fun.

All of your work is custom. How do you stay creative and come up with unique ideas for each client? I actually take a lot of cues from the client. Everything is custom, but it’s not so hard if you just listen to what they want.

What/who inspires you? I really love Ja Tueber’s work at Ilee Custom Invitations – a fellow Seattle stationery designer. She’s so talented. I look to nature and music a lot as well.

We first found your work on Weddingbee where one of your latest creations for Deborah was featured. The invitations are amazing! Tell us a little bit about them. Deborah / Miss Lovebug is great – so funny and adventurous. She is a writer (which you can tell from her hilarious Weddingbee posts), and was weaving this crazy / awesome combination of typewriters and old fashioned candy throughout her wedding. I would call it ultra-personalization. She wanted it to be quirky, literal, and totally unique, and I think we were able to accomplish that. The invitations and reply cards were done in 3 colors: Blush, Petal Pink and Gray. The candy and typewriter illustrations were all custom created just for her. We also worked with Brigitte Hefferan on the envelope addressing – she is a really talented calligrapher who was able to mimic the flirty fun “Feel Script” typeface used on the invitations.

What has been your favorite project to date and why? This is a hard one. I am continually changing my favorites! At the moment, if I’m picking one of my custom illustration projects that is actually finished, I would have to say Miss Lovebug’s candy invitations.

How should interested readers go about working with you on custom invitations or stationery? They should start by sending in a thorough inquiry from our web site – the form requests all the information I need to get a price quote together for them, including details about what they are looking for, design-wise. From there I respond with lots of options and a few ideas. They should also feel free to call and chat on the phone for more immediate information. Wedding invitation projects are pretty involved, so the slots for those book up quickly, but we are generally always available for custom note card orders, and little things like that.

Finally, what are some of your favorite resources for living stylishly? I should probably preface this with: I’m not sure how stylishly I live! But Design*Sponge is amazing, of course. It seems like everything on my originated there. The girls at Junebug Weddings are really amazing as well.

Thank you Tara for creating inspiring work!
Visit Ephemera Press and Tara's blog for more goodness.