Do you ever idly browse the internet looking for stationery? I know I do... a lot! On one of these research sessions, I ended up in MissiveMaven's lovely Etsy shop, filled with vintage-inspired paper goods... I was instantly hooked!
Ilona (aka Missivemaven) has been running her shop since January 2011. She uses very old photos or designs that are in the public domain, giving them new life in the form of postcards, notecards and stickers. We were curious about the process and inspiration behind her stationery, and decided to interview her for the blog!
- How did you get started doing stationery design?
I have been addicted to stationery since I was a small child. Letter-writing has always been a part of my life, pretty much since I learned how to hold a pencil, and friends and family were great about encouraging that pursuit by giving me gifts of stationery. (Also, my mother forced me to write thank-you notes - an excellent habit to foster!) So, being a stationery addict, I'm always on the lookout for fun items. After I started my letter-writing blog, MissiveMaven.com, in 2008, my list of pen pals and postcard correspondents went through the roof... so I had an excuse (sort of?) to collect even more stationery to further my postal pursuits. I often searched for letter-writing and mail-related postcards on Etsy. I had an idea of what I wanted in my head, and was disappointed when I couldn't find it... and then I thought, why not design it myself?
- Where do you find your inspiration?
I am very inspired by all the mail I receive, and all my wonderful pen pals. I'm also really into "modernized" vintage graphics, so the vintage graphics themselves are a source of inspiration, too.
- What is your favourite item in your shop (and why)?
Oh dear. I find that question so hard to answer, because how can I pick just one? If I must pick, I am very fond of the Classic American Postman design, which I offer in postcards, notecards, and sticker seals. With his arms brimming full of packages and letters, he looks so cheery, and his posture of holding out a letter to you seems so full of hope. (Can you tell what a postal mail addict I am?)
- If you could define your style in 3 words, what would they be?
Classic, epistolary, nostalgic.
- Are you a letter/postcard writer yourself?
Voraciously so. It is my greatest, favorite hobby. I've been Postcrossing for more than 7 years, I'm a proud member of the Letter Writers Alliance and I write hundreds of letters and postcards each year to friends, family, and pen pals.
- Can you show us a picture of your studio or workspace?
Thank you Ilona!