This weeks featured artist is We've Got Paper, Julie's shop makes me want to get out an old fashioned pen and paper and write a letter to someone special. Not only are is her letter sets beautiful and her photographs stunning, but she is such a sweet and bubbly personality too.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello, bonjour! My name is Julie Trévily-Pigeon and I’m a 29 year old mom, stationery designer and sushi addict. I live in Québec, Canada and I speak French. I have a 4 year old son named Louis-Justin who says the most adorable things. He’s witty and creative, like his mom!
I had my first penpal when I was 7 years old. My friend moved away and we started writing to each other. We thought that our letters were fabulous, but looking back I can say that they were rather short and boring!
A few years later, I started writing letters more seriously to people around the world that I met through various penpal clubs. I was also introduced to friendship books, slams and decos. I was into swapping for years, but in the end I decided to focus solely on letter writing.
I love my "real life" friends, the ones I can meet face to face on a regular basis, but penpals have a special place in my heart. It’s magical to find a handwritten letter in your mailbox, to read about someone’s dreams, hopes, goals, fears and rituals…
I currently have about 15 penpals and I’m pretty close to most of them. Some of them I’ve been writing to for less than a year, one of them I’ve known for over 17 years! And I even met 3 of them! (One who lives in Canada, one in Belgium and one in Brazil.)
About two years ago, I decided to combine my love of penpalling with my love of paper and I started designing letter sets. I’m always happy when people buy stationery from me because it means that the art of letter writing is not dead! A lot of people prefer email because it’s faster, but there are still a lot of us who write letters the old-fashioned way.
Other than crafting what else do you do?
I write letters, eat sushi, spend time with my son (we’re going to start homeschooling soon), watch movies and series, listen to music and sing along (mostly off key), go on picnics with friends, take photos, invent new words, think about stationery, talk about stationery, dream about stationery, spend time with my boyfriend (not necessarily in that order).
Have you always been an artist?
I’ve always been interested in art. I see beauty everywhere : nature, words, music, movies, artists inspire me.
When I was younger, I used to write short stories (in French) and I played the trumpet in high school. I’ve always admired artists who could draw or paint but I unfortunately have no talent whatsoever in that area. So for my stationery, I mostly use photos that I take and artwork that I especially like. I love to support artists and am happy to feature their illustrations on my letter sets.
Tell us a bit about your creative process.
I mostly work in front of my computer in my bedroom while listening to music. (You can see what I listen to on Last.fm
I design most of my letter sets in Photoshop, but I like textures too so I sometimes start with real paper and finish with Photoshop, which is what I did with my Pinup Notecards.
Where did you learn your craft? Are you self taught?
I am! At first, my son’s dad (who I’m still excellent friends with even though we've been separated for over 2 and a half years) showed me the basics of Photoshop. I had no background in design, no knowledge about it, but when I have something in mind, don’t try to stop me! I wanted to make letter sets so I found how. My designs are simple, but I’m proud of the fact that I learned everything by myself.
Which of your creations is your favourite?
I love Swirly Ivy because it was one of the first letter sets that I designed. I didn’t have a lot of experience with Photoshop then, so it took me hours to get it to look exactly like what I had in mind. It also is a best seller in my shop, so it seems that I’m not the only one who likes it!
I also love my Cherry Grocery List… And my Panda Girl letter set / notepad and pen set. I can’t pick just one thing!
What is your number one tip for handmade sellers?
Perseverance! If you’re passionate about what you do, you can go far! Don’t give up if something doesn’t work immediately! Just keep trying and experimenting until you get results. My business wasn’t very successful for the first year and a half, but has been growing steadily for the last 6 months. You have to be in the right mindset and believe in yourself. Visualize that you’re getting a sale and everytime you do get one, get up and do a happy dance! Scream, sing, jump up and down! Celebrate every little victory!
Where can we find you online?
My Etsy shop : wevegotpaper.etsy.com
My blog : wevegotpaper.blogspot.com
My profile on InterPals
(InterPals is a wonderful website if you’re interested in finding new penpals!)
Thanks everyone! Now go write a letter – it will be fun and you’ll be sure to brighten someone’s day!
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