The Card Designer Spotlight is a series featuring independent makers whose greeting cards you can find in Paper Source stores. Meet and be inspired by a new designer every month on our blog!
Nicole Marie, after becoming obsessed with perfecting her craft as an artist rather than an actor, applied her time and talents to illustration and card design with the goal of helping connect people with one another and creating special moments.
How did you begin your card-making career?
Nicole Marie Paperie started back in 2010. At the time I was a working actor looking for creative ways to earn money in between jobs. I had always loved to draw and with a degree in Advertising and Design from FIT, decided to try freelance illustration. I quickly became obsessed and devoted hours to perfecting my craft as an artist (than I did as an actor.)
I applied everything I Iearned about the business of acting to illustration and never looked back. I traded my agent in for an art rep, listened to endless hours of business podcasts while drawing, and got a french bulldog named Rocco. Working with Rocco was the best because he forced me to take breaks and go on walks. It was on these walks where I would visit the stationery shops in my neighborhood and fall in love with designing greeting cards.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from conversations with friends, silly memes on the internet or simply going through a collection of stock images that I’ve acquired through the years. I also keep a sketch journal with ideas that have yet to come to fruition.
But my biggest inspiration would be New York City. Living here, it is easy to look outside of my window and pull inspiration from almost anything. From the iconic taxis to the greek coffee cups to the Statue of Liberty herself, I would definitely say that the city has had a huge influence on my brand.
What does your day look like as a card designer?
As a business owner (and parent) my day is organized into segments. After I drop my son off at school, it’s off to the races! The morning is dedicated to orders – assembling and packing everything in time before the mail truck arrives. After lunch, I settle in to create new work or finish up on a project. Four o’clock kicks off “Family Time” (walk Rocco, pick up son, dinner etc.) And whatever energy I have left goes to emails, social media, and most important “me” time.
What is your preferred medium?
These days my preferred medium is digital but I’m always inspired to try new things.
What does your creative process look like?
I like to start everything by hand, sketching in black and white pencil. From there, I will take my idea and bring it into Illustrator and Photoshop where I can fine-tune the details. Sometimes I like to go back to an old design and give it a make-over by updating the color palette and hand lettering. In the beginning, I used to cut and score all of my cards by home. As my business grew, the process became too time-consuming. These days I work with a local print specialist so I can focus more on designing and less on manufacturing!
What are you most proud of as a creator and card maker?
I’m proud that I get to be a greeting card maker at all! When I first started I didn’t understand the impact a simple greeting card could have until I started interacting with my customers during the Pandemic. I realized the sole intention of a card is to help people connect with one and other. Even in our digital age, you still need a physical card. There’s a card for every and any moment in a person’s life…and I love that I get play a part in creating that special moment.
Find Nicole Marie Paperie’s This Too Shall Pass Card and Green Elephant Baby Card at your local store or online at papersource.com. For more inspiration and behind-the-scenes action, follow @nicolemariepaperie on IG.