FK chats to Sandra from Sydney based paper label, Blueberry Paper
Introduce your label, Blueberry Paper.
Blueberry Paper is gorgeous greeting cards, wrapping paper and little gift cards featuring colourful and whimsical illustrations by me. My cards and wrap are designed, printed and hand finished in Australia on one hundred percent post-consumer waste recycled paper using vegetable based inks.
What is your background and how did you get into stationery?
When I finished high school I went straight into a Fine Arts degree. Studying art at uni never really suited me though – I wanted to get my hands dirty and make art but it was all theory and art history. After uni I studied Graphic Design and then started working as a freelance Graphic Designer and illustrator. After a while I wanted to spend more time illustrating and after a few stops and starts Blueberry Paper was launched early this year. I noticed a very limited range of greeting cards and stationery that appealed to me that were also Australian made. I was seeing a lot of great design in this area coming out of the U.K but not a lot from my own country. I decided to focus on creating a range of recycled paper greeting cards and wrap that I would be happy to give as gifts myself.
All the beautiful illustrations are your own. How do you balance the creative with the business and marketing side?
I have to admit I do have help with the business side of things. My fiancee is integral to the marketing and “business” side of things like keeping track of invoices and making sure orders are sent out on time. He lets me concentrate more on the creative side of the business, I don’t know if I could do it all by myself!
What’s been your favourite part of having your label so far?
I love the freedom of being in control of all aspects of the label, there’s real satisfaction in watching the business grow because of decisions I have made. If I feel like experimenting with a certain colour scheme or trying out a new design I can, whenever I feel like it. I love that.
Can you describe your creative process?
I will start sketching out ideas in pencil, all that’s in my head at this stage is something like “I want to do a monkey card”. From there I will go online and through my collection of books on everything from fashion and textile design to children’s storybooks and magazines looking for a spark of some element I might use on a card. Sometimes I’ll look for colour combinations or pattern inspiration. Usually then I’ll gather everything in my notebook and leave it there for a few days, just to let the ideas settle and then I’ll take a look again in a few days with fresh eyes. When I feel like I have something to work with I start painting drawing and lino cutting to arrange the elements which I then scan and work on in Photoshop. Then I play with the elements until it feels “done”. The designs always ends up completely different to how I originally thought they would!
What are your plans for the next six months for Blueberry Paper?
Next up is launching Blueberry Paper’s Christmas card box set, then I’ll be introducing a range of stickers and ribbons to the family. Maybe a few market days here and there and after that I’ll be looking at attending my first trade show early next year!