I wrote a ton of holiday cards this year! Started early too, thank gawd. There were several different personalized cards, all involving felines in one way or the other, and half a dozen new pens to render half a dozen new lettering styles. Rifle Paper Co. is one of my favorite illustrated stationer and as a little splurge I had personalized cards made, complete with painted likenesses of Dan, the kitties, and me. As you can see up there Bingley has been rendered into a teeny but ferocious were-creature, which on a lot of days is exactly what he is.
For another set of cards, I decided to draw some pet portraits myself using a pointed nib and India ink. Included are Veebs, the fat orange cat himself of course, Bingley the banshee, a Berner, a Cavalier King Charles, and a pug. I chose people who had interesting markings, and gave them something festive to wear. After drawing I scanned them in, added some watercolor textures on their ears and bowties in Photoshop, and used the files to make the Colorblock Card from Pinhole Press. I also made return address labels: one set with my illustrations and another with a festive holiday photo of Veebs wearing a scarf, taken two years ago.
As for the addressing itself I used all pens. No nibs, no dipping ink, just pens. For the red envelopes that came with the Rifle card, I lettered with a Uniball Signo broad pen in white. I painted in the strokes with the pen itself which ended up smearing and looking quite messy, so I won’t do that again. Later I filled in the strokes with a white Galaxy Marker which produces paint-like ink that looks translucent on dark paper. Much better. For white envelopes I used a bunch of different pens: Uniball gel pens in black, strokes filled in with gel pens in gold or silver. Micron pen in black, filled with Le Pen in gray or Uniball gel ink in gold.
A ton of work but so much fun to have my desk completely covered with my favorite things – pets, pens, and paper! On the business side it also gave me a chance to figure out the changes I want to make in my calligraphy services offering. There will be smallish overhaul coming next year, one designed to keep me sane! Anyway, I hope my family, friends, and clients enjoyed receiving these cards!
FA LA LA LA LA LA, LA LA LA LAAAAA! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!