Blog > Stationery makers: Lali Cards!
We know lots of postcrosses are big fans of Lali's riddle cards — we are too! The charming colourful illustrations, the puzzle to solve and scratch on the back... what's not to love?
So we're stoked that Lali herself agreed to reply to a few questions about her art, tell us all about her famous postcards, and even decided to offer some postcards to a few lucky postcrossers! YAY! Read on to learn the story behind these lovely postcards... and to win some! :)
- When did you first start designing your style of riddle cards? Which one was your first one, and what is the story behind it?
After I graduated from “Les Beaux Arts” in Annecy in 1999, I worked for a while for Pylones, a famous brand of decoration and gadgets items. There, I designed touristic t-shirts with animals on them. At the time, I was already thinking about drawing child’s games, but it’s not easy to do that on a t-shirt and furthermore, the editor was not really interested in the idea.
In 2001, I found a job as a cashier in a famous stationary in Annecy. A bit dreamy, I was scanning child’s books but also illustrator’s postcards that were more and more playful. One day, my colleague, who was also responsible of the postcard section, encouraged me to try my luck at showing my sketches to an editor’s representative who would soon be visiting the store. So, I took the bull by the horns and I drew a few riddle games, amongst them were hearts, cats and clovers.
Afterwards, I went and defended my idea, my own concept to the editor in chief. He was seduced at once by my riddle postcards, it was a totally new idea at the moment. He gave me one month to send him about fifteen new drawings. Shaking my hand at the end of the interview, he said: “I think we’re going to work together.”
I was 26, I was a cashier, and I was about to be edited for my artistic skills. Tears of joy!
In November 2002, as I was sitting at my cash-desk, I started scanning the barcode of MY VERY OWN postcards. When I scanned the one with the clovers on it, with a sentence saying ‘TRY YOUR LUCK’ I must admit I beamed.
- What inspires you?
First of all, I like paper, the soft touch of it, and the smell. I like going to stationery shops, where I can smell the ink and the school scent. I also like old books smell… I had always dreamt of becoming a librarian.
I also like postcards, the small size, and the purpose. It is like a little travelling bird, carrying good news.
For my riddle postcards collection, I get my inspiration absolutely everywhere, depending on my desires and on what’s happening in my life.
I rarely work because of a special demand from my editor. Even if I keep the idea of a collection in mind, I am a bit of a chameleon; I love playing with different themes, colours and even sometimes playing with different graphic styles.
I always try to be curious, to follow the new trends. Animals, my favourite theme, are also fashion victims! (indeed, cows in the 2000s were soon to be replaced by bugs, owls and swallows). Therefore I have to adapt to the tendency. Bugs, monsters and food are still my favourite since they can be easily adjustable, and I can really let my imagination work.
- What techniques/means you use to draw your postcards? For instance, do you draw by hand first, or perhaps using the computer only?
Thanks to the progress of technologies, my technics have improved tremendously. Since the beginnings I’ve drawn by hand, I scan and then I re-draw the contours in Photoshop, then I colour the entire piece. But today with the introduction of the graphics tablet, the contours are way neater. It is such a gain in time, a great tool to use.
- Do you know how many you've done so far? Do you have a favourite one?
I think I have drawn about 200 postcards, lots of which are not printed anymore... Right now, there are about 80 different types on the market.
My favourite postcards are not the most successful ones. Some are timeless, but others are more fashionable, and thus last less.
It is more pleasant to draw the ones that tell a story, with a setting which incudes many scenes. For instance “le potager” (the vegetable patch), “le grand huit” (the roller coaster) or the last one “le colibri” (the hummingbird) are some of them.
I’d say that two cards are like turning points in the collection:
- The monsters: at that time, most of the background I was drawing were white. I mistakenly clicked and coloured the background in black. The result was great and so obvious. Today, this card is one of the best one of the collection that is composed of many black background cards.
- The library: it is part of my second new collection, signed ‘Lali & MG’. For its really long and tedious realisation, I asked the fans of my Facebook page to give me names of famous couples. That was so much fun!
- Are you a letter/postcard writer yourself?
I’m not going to lie, I use to write many more letters and cards before the invention of mails and text messages, which are my worst enemies…
But for a little while now, I’ve been using Postcrossing and I’ve just received my three first postcards. And it’s so nice and pleasing!
Thank you Lali, what a great interview! :) You can check Lali's designs on her website, www.lali.fr, and you can also interact with her and follow the evolution of her collection on her Facebook page, facebook.com/lali.officiel.
And now for the best part: Lali kindly offered 3 packs of her wonderful postcards and other goodies to give away to 3 lucky postcrossers! For a chance to win a pack, check out her postcard designs, and leave a comment on this blog post, telling us which one was your favourite. We'll randomly pick 3 winners this time next Wednesday and announce them on this post. Good luck! :)
A parting message from Lali:
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the warm comments you posted on the blog. I am more than ever motivated to find new riddle postcards and bring a little joy and fantasy in your letterboxes :-) Good news: Gradually, all the riddles will be translated into English at the back of the postcards. If you want to try your luck again, join me on my Facebook page, I often organize contests. Happy summer and happy postcrossing!"