One of the best things about running your own small business is meeting other small business owners: they go through the same struggles and triumphs, so it always makes for great bonding. Today on the blog, we chat with Lotus Stewart of Girl Friday Paper Arts. We met Lotus on a Creatives Facebook Group, and fell in love with her prints: they’re too gorgeous!
Wonderland Organics: Hi Lotus! Tell us a bit about your background.
Lotus Stewart: I graduated from Art Center College of Design about 15 years ago, and spent the first 10 years of my career designing movie posters. That was so much fun. I met the most amazing people and learned a lot during that time. I found myself wishing I could do more of my own thing, to spend more time finding my voice as a designer instead of creating someone else’s vision, and so I decided to start Girl Friday Paper Arts.
Wonderland Organics: Movie posters? That’s amazing! So how did Girl Friday Paper Arts come about?
Lotus Stewart: I love typography and I love great literature, so I knew I wanted to combine beautiful, minimal type design with inspiring quotes and fun words. I just started creating prints, and putting them out there. Quality is a really important factor for me, and I personally print each order myself (on an archival giclée printer) to make sure every print is perfect. Girl Friday has evolved a lot in the past few years, and I’m sure as I go along, things will continue to grow and change in fun and unexpected ways. I chose the name Girl Friday because I love the idea of doing a little bit of everything… being open to change and looking for opportunities to expand and explore new areas.
Wonderland Organics: We love this! Your prints are beautiful. What do you have planned for Girl Friday Paper Arts in 2015?
Lotus Stewart: Some very exciting things! I’m expanding my product line to include tote bags, stationery items this summer, and calendars at the end of the year. I’m also planning to do some in person events in November and December, so if you live in the Los Angeles area be sure to sign up for my newsletter to find out when and where you can see my work in person!
Wonderland Organics: We’re excited to see your prints on tote bags! They’re our weakness when it comes to bags. What is your favorite personal print?
Lotus Stewart: I love the ‘Keep It Simple’ print. I find that minimal design is deceptively difficult. It seems like it would be easier, but it’s not. In a super minimal composition you notice the letter-spacing more, you pay more attention to the letter forms, and little details that might otherwise blend in with a busier design suddenly become glaringly obvious. I love that challenge, though… and the message of keep it simple embodies everything I’m all about. My aesthetic is very minimal and I’m a big fan of white space. It’s calming.
Wonderland Organics: Sometimes simplicity is the best! Our favorite print is your sparkles one. What’s the best part about running Girl Friday Paper Arts?
Lotus Stewart: The creative freedom, for sure! I’ll be inspired by a color palette, and gorgeous typeface, or a cool quote, and the sky’s the limit. Sometimes I get carried away, and find myself doing the same quote or word several different ways. I love the show ‘Mad Men’ and in one episode someone said, “There’s always a better idea.” It’s so true, and it pushes me to keep thinking and exploring, even after a design is finished.
Wonderland Organics: We’re always striving for perfection in our products, aren’t we? 🙂 What’s your favorite font?
Lotus Stewart: Bodoni. I had an amazing typography teacher at Art Center, Leah Hoffmitz. She had us hand draw bodoni letterforms using plaka paint and Rotring drafting pen. It was totally old school, and kind of monotonous, but it really taught me to appreciate the beautiful simplicity of the letterforms, to look at each character as a piece of art, to get a feel for each curve, and a sense of how the straight lines balance out the forms in a perfectly elegant way. I don’t think I could ever love another typeface more, and it’s all because of that assignment.
Wonderland Organics: That sounds wonderful. Did you practice calligraphy?
Lotus Stewart: No. I’ve tried, but it’s just not my thing. I am very, very grateful to all the amazing type designers who create gorgeous typefaces that look like they are hand lettered. I use them as a starting point, and then go in and make alterations depending on my design.
Wonderland Organics: It always boggles our mind to see beautiful calligraphy- especially since ours is terrible. What inspires you?
Lotus Stewart: I’m inspired my great literature and nature… especially the beach. My kids inspire me daily, too. They are just all about fun, which is really what life should be all about. It’s easy to forget, and they are a wonderful daily reminder.
Wonderland Organics: This is so sweet! Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs?
Lotus Stewart: I guess the best advice is to look at the big picture. It’s really easy to fall into a cycle of doing a lot of little daily tasks that don’t add up to much… email, spending unfocused time on social media, paperwork stuff, etc. That stuff could totally fill up your entire day. Everyday. While all of that is important, and it definitely needs to get done, it can usually wait. I block out about a few hours each day where I just create. I close my email, leave my phone in the other room, and just focus on designing. I feel way more productive, and even if a few emails get have to wait for tomorrow, I feel like I’ve accomplished something valuable at the end of the day.
Wonderland Organics: These are great tips, Lotus! And last but not least, what’s your favorite part of the Wonderland Organics site/blog?
Lotus Stewart: Everything! I love that you use fair trade and organic ingredients. I love that you use glass bottles instead of plastic. I think I especially love that your name is Alice, and you named your company Wonderland Organics.
Thank you so much for talking to us Lotus! She’s offering Wonderland Organics readers 20% off any print with coupon code “WONDERLAND20”. Be sure to find her via Girl Friday Paper Arts on:
What are your favorite prints from Girl Friday Paper Arts? Let us know in the comments below!