Fall Collection: New Prints, Cards & Paper

026_

It’s been a crazy busy fall at Off You Go.  This business is getting busy, and I am so grateful for the support!  Thank you!

In between processing new orders and managing social media, I have, in fact, found my way to creating.  There are several new works up in the shop now that I am super excited about…This bright blue number is one of them.  Please visit the site to check out what’s new.  You’ll notice I have added to the black & white collection as well and have added the first of a series of nudes…

052_

Side note: Those birds are super curious!

Greeting cards are coming soon!

I just received my first print run of my first card design and I have to confess…I’m super excited about it.  Art prints re where the core of my paper business lives and I am so excited to be painting on a smaller scale and bringing my art to a new medium.  I’m currently sourcing high quality envelopes, and as soon as I land on that, I will be launching them on the site & stocking them in local retailers.

Notes on Paper

A few weeks ago I received a criticism of my work.  Which I appreciate because understanding art and creativity involves getting everyone’s opinion and knowing how it affects them.  This particular critic, did not have many nice things to say, but only one of the points stung…he (or she) accused me of using photocopy paper!  ACCCKK!  I will not tolerate it 🙂 Just kidding, but it did give me the idea that I should share a little about the paper choices I make outer here at Off You Go and how they impact the final product.

In defence of copy paper, many of the worlds largest moments have been recorded, printed, created and shared on copy paper.  J.K. Rowling printed her manuscripts on it, leaders of countries use it to draft laws and my kids print their homework on it. Copy paper is, in fact, the stuff of everyday operations around the world, but I do not use it for my art or prints.

IMG_7249

I paint my watercolours on heavy weight, cotton rag, because I love the way the paint folds over itself, the way the absorption rate works with colour overlays and the depth of texture. I also love the way it works with my brushes and that it will hold onto brush strokes. I use a lot of water when I paint the washes and the heavy weight paper is block moulded so it doesn’t warp.

When I paint with India Ink, I use the same heavy paper as with watercolours, but with graphite, charcoal & pencil, I use a smoother art paper with a brighter finish that lends itself to blending and smudging and letting the light through in darker areas. When I make my prints, and now cards, I want them to look as much as possible like the original — scanning and paper choice make all the difference here.

I use a professional scanner to create my digital images, then have them professionally printed on Epson Hot Press Bright Fine Art Paper. This paper is heavyweight, archival, and lightly textured so your print looks as much as possible like the original.  You can actually see and feel the quality of this paper, even from behind a glass frame. Using this paper cuts deep into my business margins, but it is very worth it to be sending out a product that meets the highest standards of quality possible.

Thanks for checking in,

xob

2 Design Finds Found on the Internet This Week

  1. Molly Hatch Designs for Chasing Paper
    Chasing Paper is a New York based company founded by Elizabeth Rees.  The company makes fantastic removable (peel & stick & peel!) wallpapers.  Their business has grown remarkably fast for good reason.  The designs are contemporary, colourful, bold, the product is great quality and easy to use.  Not to mention that it makes changing up your home style remarkably easy.

    Molly Hatch designs for Chasing Paper
    Molly Hatch designs for Chasing Paper
    Bright Star, Molly Hatch design for Chasing Paper
    Bright Star, Molly Hatch design for Chasing Paper

    They have also recruited the fabulous talents of Molly Hatch, artist and ceramist.  Ms. hatch has designed for major brands, exhibited one of a kind art pieces at design shows and museums on a global level, and has cracked the mainstream with lines in major retailers like Anthropologie. Here are a couple of the designs she put together for Chasing Paper.  Click here for her full Chasing Paper product catalogue.

  2. Alma Gémea Homeware. I first stumbled on Alma Gémea’s ultra modern home wares at the Vancouver Museum of Anthropology store.  I was extra pleased to find them in Portugal as well.  Portugal is known for its colourful ceramics and cork is one of the countries major exports.  Alma Gémea’s marriage of the countries tradition and industry is seamless and beautiful.  In addition to looking super cool, they are well thought out and functional, the cork bottoms are easily removed for washing and the crockery is dishwasher safe. get them soon at   Cork & Co.
    a75f6f_a9a029fa5d0347a698495cb10e509c2a.png_srb_p_600_380_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srb a75f6f_73b7db2bab7b476ca0b51b6ac55fc48b.jpg_srb_p_805_805_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srb a75f6f_15d72d2401ae4560b4f821e290bb0450.png_srb_p_600_472_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srb
    And of course, on www.offyougopaper.com we are highlighting this favorite print. Check it out in detail here:  Basket Weave, Blue #1

037_

Art is Everywhere – Portugal

Walking the streets in Porto,  Portugal on a beautiful June morning it seems as though every surface has served, at some point in history, as a canvas for painters, ceramic artists and story tellers. Vibrance and colour are simply everywhere.  This is in large part due to the ages old practice of using hand painted, ceramic tiles as exterior covering for their buildings.

Tile adorn the store fronts and facades in Old Porto, Portugal
Tiles adorn the store fronts and facades in Porto, Portugal

The Portuguese initially adopted ceramic tiles for the exterior of their buildings because they offer inexpensive and effective insulation.  The colour is really the icing on top of functionality.  Many of the tiles are hand painted in unique floral or geometric patterns, and are almost always in bright hues.

IMG_6339

IMG_6228

IMG_6140

Despite an astronomical economic crisis that has left many buildings abandoned and dilapidated, with broken windows and collapsed ceilings, these colourful tiles reflect  the optimistic nature of the Portuguese people.  Part of my trip was spent participating in a Habitat for Humanity build in Braga, located about 40 minutes drive north of Porto.

Braga is a beautiful village, with remarkable residents, who, like the rest of the country, are working hard to restore their livelihood.  My days there were spent on the worksite and the evenings visiting traditional restaurants and listening to live music while sipping port at one of the many sidewalk cafes.

IMG_6279

This tiled mural, that reflects the towns folklore and history, hangs on the exterior of church in Barcelo.

IMG_6342

Modern sceptre in the harbour in Viana do Castelo. Portugal

IMG_6335

Sometimes it’s just the little things, like these window boxes, overflowing with flowers and stung with paper decorations celebrating a recent religious procession.

IMG_6331

And even where there are no tiles, there is art.  I spotted this striking stencilled art on a side street in Viana do Castelo. I’m looking forward to dedicating some serious studio time to creating some Portuguese inspired prints in the meanwhile, if you’d like to bring a little bright into your everyday, check out this colourful collection.

Obrigada Portugal!

Off You Go Curated Collections

One of the goals of Off You Go Paper Co. is to make home design easy.  We are treating curated collections of Off You Go artworks that combine to make visually stunning wall galleries.

We’ve just started adding our Curated Collections and thought we’d take the time to share a few product shots as they go up.

The Blue collection is the first to hit the virtual shelves.  I love this collection for it’s masculine, bold and unique finishes.  Best of all, when you buy a curated collection from Off You Go Paper Co. you save %15 off the purchase price at checkout.  Just use code Collections to earn you savings.  Click here to purchase the Blue Collection now.

Blue Collection

Of course, it is summer, so to celebrate, we have also introduced the Summer Collection.  Fresh off the press with that ever popular make you smile style, bright surf colours with just the right amount of quirk.  Click here to pick up your Hello Summer Collection and save %15 when you use code Collections at checkout.

The Summer Time Collection
The Summer Time Collection

Room with a view?

Vancouver is surrounded by the sea, you’d think that every house would have an ocean view.  Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking.

In any event, this house has a front row seat.  We are getting ever closer to having the shop up and running, target date is the last day of February.

Please  leave a comment or follow us to get the latest news from Off You Go!

Inverted blue house
Inverted blue house  10″x10″ Watercolor