Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Little Note on Greeting Cards Part 2--A Short Q&A with artist Andy Pratt

This is not the most efficient way to get cards, but in my quest for unique lines, I have found myself trawling the internet. Several times, I have adjusted the keywords on my search engine so that I could just browse different web sites.

It turns out that one line I wound up buying was carried by a sales rep I had already worked with. I didn't really sit down with her, however, so I consider it my fault. That said, I really like their cards a lot, as do several of my other booksellers (Amie?), being that one of their recurring characters is a sock monkey. Yes, get ready for a sock monkey display to appear in our store soon.

Another line that I discovered via e-labor was Andy Pratt, a New York based line that seems to be pretty much Mr. Pratt and some billing help. Pratt has a very sweet style that features a lot of city scenes, a bit of anthropomorphism (cupcakes wishing you happy birthday and pills offering get well greetings), plus a series of designs called "little struggle."

I figured the line was small enough that I could ask Andy Pratt how he got into it (particularly because I know half a dozen artists in Milwaukee who should have greeting card lines, unless they saw that as a massive sellout) and guess what? He said ok.

Welcome, Andy Pratt!

A: Thanks so much! I would be honored to answer some questions and tell you a little more about myself.

Q: How did you get into the business?

A: Several years ago I started the tradition of designing a holiday card for my freelance clients, friends and family. After a time my mother-in-law suggested I start the company, since I had enough for an initial line. I mixed in a couple thank you and birthday cards and Andy Pratt Design was born.

Q: What’s your inspiration?

A: Although my line is balanced with different styles and subjects, I discovered that I really like drawing dense urban scenes: things that might be backgrounds for someone else but became the main character for me. The Times Square Thank You card and I Miss You card are good examples of this. (Daniel's note: we carry both)

“My Location Series” takes this impulse and executes it in a more simple and sophisticated way through single color letterpress printing. All of the location drawings all have one rule: they are places I have been (including Austin). They tend to focus on the New York area, partially because I have a bit more access to it, and because there is a market for it here. I have several other sketches for location cards I would like to do, like Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Dubrovnik. Hopefully I'll get to those soon, but as I just had a baby in June that may take awhile!

(Daniel's note: we are not carrying these yet. I’ve had trouble moving our New York cards from another vendor. I grew up in New York myself, and almost swooned when I saw the Queens skyline, which was where my family lived. But not yet, alas. The market for most of location cards tends to be the location itself. Attention Milwaukee artists—we could use some Milwaukee drawings.)

Q: I am of the “interesting graphic, simple message school.” We mix in some quotes and witticisms because I know other folks like them (that’s why I have several different booksellers look through the card catalogs before I buy from them). What’s your philosophy on the greeting?

A: In general I like my cards to say a lot with a little. All of them are blank inside except for one: the text inside reads Fang You Very Much). I like to think the illustrations speak for themselves!

Hurray, another interview completed! Next up, Margaret Atwood. Just kidding. But visit our store to see the complete Andy Pratt line. Be prepared that we sort cards by type, not by line.

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