Inspiration Collage: Blood Moon Eclipse

The Blood Moon Eclipse on Monday has us completely inspired, and makes us want to pack up shop and move out to the desert to spy more lunar delights! The Blood Moon Eclipse will be back: next up, on October 8th (this one very highly visible in Southern California!), then April 4th, 2015 and September 28th, 2015. Here's what we would bring on our Eclipse pilgrimage:

Red Cap Cards's Inspiration Collage: Blood Moon Eclipse

1. Might as well make a week of it! Build your own desert Yurt.
2. Perfect "camping" dishware (in style, of course). Love this Robert Blue Dinner Plate, for a chilled meal in the desert.
3. Something to lounge on--a DIY Needlepoint Folk Canyon Pillow kit available on Etsy.
4. Don't want to build your own? Easy--just find one of these rare Stone Yurts! Photo by Mel Burke. 5. Just like in the fifties! Great DIY viewing box photo by Andrew B Myers.
6. How beautiful is this Mexican Weaving? Diamond Pattern on Taupe Field, by Arnulfo Mendoza.

Images as linked above.

Apartment Therapy House Tour: Super Secret Sneak Peek!!

Shhh--it's a super, secret sneak peek!

Yesterday we were happy to have our home photographed for an upcoming House Tour feature on Apartment Therapy! Keep a close watch in early May for our home tour and look at where we do our work, just in time for our release of 36 brand new cards! We'll let you know when to check it out. Until then, a quick glance to wet your whistle:

Our Dining Room -- Red Cap Cards

Upcoming Red Cap Artist, Josie Portillo, and her Magnificent Maps!

We are excited to announce that this May, we will be adding Josie Portillo to our Red Cap Cards family with her new line of illustrated greeting cards! (Remember our post about favorite holiday illustration?) Living and working in Los Angeles, California, Portillo creates intricate illustrations for companies, books, magazines, other media--and soon, for us!! We are enthralled with her maps, which are incredibly detailed with magical elements portrayed from each city. See a few favorites, below:

Venice Map illustrated by Josie Portillo
Venice Map, by Josie Portillo

Paris Map illustrated by Josie Portillo
Paris Map, by Josie Portillo

London Map illustrated by Josie Portillo
London Map, by Josie Portillo

Follow Josie on her blog, Twitter, and Etsy shop.
Plus, stay tuned for her new Red Cap designs, coming this Spring.

Images courtesy Josie Portillo.

Artist Spotlight: Christian Robinson

We are ever-so-excited to be interviewing Red Cap artist, Christian Robinson in the artist spotlight today! He is the illustrator of Harlem's Little Blackbird, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 2013, and most recently won the Ezra Jack Keats Award for his work in Rain!. Christian currently lives in San Francisco where he works mostly in the medium of paper-cuts and animation. His illustrations make us so happy! We're honored to have him in the interview hot seat.

Artist Spotlight on Christian Robinson by Red Cap Cards

We absolutely love your illustrations and papercuts--what is your favorite medium to work with?
Thank you! Paper cut-out might be my favorite. I love the texture and simplicity of collage. Cut-outs force me to design simple and rely more on basic shapes to communicate.

Artist Spotlight on Christian Robinson by Red Cap Cards

Did you always draw and create? Did you always want to be an artist as a child?
ALWAYS! As a child I wanted to be a paleontologist, Jurassic Park convinced a whole generation of kids that you could have a pet dinosaur. Later on I learned how to bring dinosaurs back to life with animation!

What is or has been the biggest inspiration for your work?
Epic question! So many things inspire me. Children's book illustration and graphic art from the 50s-60s, nature, simplicity, cities, children's art, animation, fine art, music, I could keep going.

Click the image below for an old blogpost on things that inspire me:
Artist Spotlight on Christian Robinson by Red Cap Cards

Do you have a personal admiration for Josephine Baker, ie your work in Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker? Are there other historical figures about whom you would love to illustrate a children's book?
Yes, Josephine Baker is one of my Sheros and someone who's story inspires me. When the opportunity to illustrate a picture book about her life crossed my path I was beside myself. I'll share this story that I came across during my own research, It just shows the magnitude of Josephine's heart.

What was your favorite book as a child and why?
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. This is probably too heavy of an answer: I was raised my grandmother and probably felt very empathetic to this baby bird trying to find his real mother.

Artist Spotlight on Christian Robinson by Red Cap Cards

You just won the Ezra Jack Keats Award for Rain!--how did you feel when you found out that you won?
GREAT!!! Like, please-don't-awake-from-this-wonderful-dream-great!

Artist Spotlight on Christian Robinson by Red Cap Cards

What is your studio space like?
Well, until recently my studio was a corner in my bedroom. Josephine was created in this sunny corner. But now I work in a shared artist studio.

Artist Spotlight on Christian Robinson by Red Cap Cards

What other contemporary illustrators do you admire?
Lots! Beatrice Alemagna, Kevin Waldron, Jean Jullien, Jockum Nordstrom.

What is your dream job (besides what you are doing now)?
Honestly just being able to continue doing all the sorts of things I'm doing now is the dream. I want to continue making animations, hopefully some music vids. Also to write and illustrate a picture book of my own one day.

What are your favorite things to do during your free time?
Dance, laugh and movies!

If you could vacation anywhere in the world--where would you go?
India is pretty high on my list, ooh or Istanbul!

What is your favorite piece or work you have ever created?
Thats tough, considering I'm my worst critic and often times find it difficult to be satisfied with my work. although it's that same unease that drives me to want to continue to grow and create. Sorry for the non answer :)

Artist Spotlight on Christian Robinson by Red Cap Cards

And--what is your all-time favorite meal?
Dang these questions are tough! I can always eat Pupusas (El Salvadorian dish) with avocado and rice and beans on the side. Oh and fried plantains are a must!

Thank you, Christian! Check out Christian Robinson on his website, The Art of Fun, or follow him on his blog.

Images courtesy Christian Robinson.

Spring Has Sprung!

Aren't you excited that spring is here?? We sure are! We've rounded up some of our favorite happy, springy gifts to keep on your desk or send to a friend during the spring. Enjoy the sun...and possibly the rain? Happy Spring!

Spring Collage by Red Cap Cards

1. Spring is buggy, and we love it--well, we love these bugs! For a Spring send: Kelsey Garrity-Riley's Bug Box Card for Red Cap Cards.
2. Don't you just love succulents? Yes, they live through the winter and fall, but spring seems like the most perfect time to create a collection of them. We like these because one is smiling back at us! Photo found on the awesome Decor8 blog in a post about the Happy Interior Blog.
3. Hippity Hop Hop! Yes, Easter's coming too. We love this white-ink letterpress card with colorful envelope liner by Sugar Paper.
4. Another Easter favorite--this time by our own Red Cap artist, Francesca Montanari: Bunny Cap!
5. Plus, some more colorful fun--in case you need a writing tool to write those cards! Color-blocked pens from Poketo. They feel so springy--check them out over on their site, here.

Photos as linked above.

Arlo's Book Club!

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go" —Dr. Seuss. BUT, you don't have to take my word for it—Arlo's Book Club is here to advise you! We've gathered some of Arlo's favorite children's books for this post. Which ones do you have in your library?

How many wonderful things can we say about Rain, by Linda Ashman, with illustrations by Red Cap Artist, Christian Robinson? Winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award, Christian Robinson makes us proud with this story: "A happy little boy and a grumpy man experience the same rainy day very differently—until a random encounter influences both of them for the better."

Another favorite: Mr Tiger Goes Wild by Caldecott Honor artist, Peter Brown. A New York Times bestseller, an IndieBound bestseller, and an ALA Notable Book, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild is about a tiger who finds that there is a "time and place for everything...even going wild."

"The blue dog is in. The red dog is out." This one was edited by Dr. Seuss, hence the familiar semantic style. Go, Dog. Go! by P. D. Eastman is a vintage favorite about mobile dogs--obviously! We love the illustration and poetic style.

Last but not least, The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli. Probably the sweetest little book trailer you've ever seen, and an illustrative nod to Bernard Waber, The Watermelon Seed (pictured) is a delight, about an alligator who eats a watermelon seed--and the panic that ensues!

What are your favorites??

Shops We Love: Tiny Feast

Shops We Love: Tiny Feast
Photo via Tiny Feast

Why not take a moment to revel in the details of daily life? A lovely motto from a lovely shop--we love Tiny Feast! Husband-and-wife team, Drex Serduletz and Danika Bock, have curated a space of "tiny feasts"--little daily satisfactions that enhance the beauty and sincerity of life. Based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Tiny Feast carries a variety of internationally sourced products (including Red Cap Cards!)

Shops We Love: Tiny Feast
Photo via Tiny Feast Instagram

Why the name? "It's a metaphor that we use to describe a variety of things that feel celebratory, lavish, almost extravagant – yet are intrinsically simple and useful, and therefore justifiably attainable on a personal, everyday level. The beauty of a hand-written thank you note; the satisfaction of a good pencil; the pleasure of a thoughtful gift, given or received," -Serduletz + Bock.

Shops We Love: Tiny Feast
Shops We Love: Tiny Feast
Photos via Tiny Feast

Plus, another reason to love them--their little pup and shop mascot, Sammy. Part-fox, part-dog (just kidding, he's just a dog), Sammy even has his own Instagram and is quite the adorable entertainer.

Shops We Love: Tiny Feast
Photo via Sammy's Instagram

See more of Drex + Danika on their website, Tiny Feast, or in this great interview we found with Muddy Waters Magazine (plus some gorgeous photos too!)

Tiny Feast
217 McDermot Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3B 0S2 Canada
Instagram + Pinterest + Facebook


Scandinavian Dreams: Part 2, Iceland + Norway

Did you catch Scandinavian Dreams: Part 1, about Sweden, Denmark and Finland? It's time for round two! Scandinavian illustration would not be complete (obviously) without Iceland and Norway--two of my most beautiful countries in the world! Although they both hide away up North, they boast some of the most talented artists. We've profiled a few inspiring artists below. Enjoy!

Favorite Scandinavian illustrators, part 2: Norway and Iceland

1. One of the most successful contemporary illustrators in Iceland today, Áslaug Jónsdóttir is the winner of The Bookseller’s Prize in 2005, The Icelandic Illustration Award, The Reykjavik Educational Council Children’s Book Prize for her book Good Evening/Gott Kvöld. Aside from being a writer, illustrator and designer, she also makes gorgeous book art.

2. Another Icelandic up-and-coming illustrator is Erla Maria Arnadotti. We love the traditional detailing of her graphite drawings. Of Iceland, Erla says, "Growing up in an isolated country like Iceland forces people also to think about society, life and humanity vs. nature in a specific way. We have to learn how to embrace the beauty in something that usually would be considered ugly." (Creative Crossing)

3. Svein Nyhus! What a fun artist--this Norwegian illustrator illustrates his own books as well as his wife, poet Gro Dahle's work. He is most famous for his illustrations in the children's book, Why Kings and Queens Don't Wear Crowns, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, and his hilarious illustrated rendition of the recent Ylvis viral hit, What Does the Fox Say? Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!

4. Last but not least, composer and illustrator, Thorbjørn Egner is our only "vintage favorite" this time around. Norwegian-born in 1912, Egner is best known for his plays and musicals for children. He found success in illustration, however, with his own stories that he later adapted into plays. (Landsbókasafn Íslands, above).

All right, guys, which countries should we do next??

Images as linked above.

Scandinavian Dreams: Part 1, Sweden, Denmark + Finland

Scandinavia--such a whimsical and magical place: where forests, ice and ocean collide. The magnificence of this portion of the globe breeds art and illustration that is lively and inspiring. We couldn't give up the chance to focus on a few favorites from past to present! Such a daunting task as this will obviously take more than one entry--up next, Iceland and Norway!

1. You may recognize some of these little characters, especially if you lived or traveled extensively in Europe when you were small! Tre Sandberg is a family-owned children's book and branding company dating back to the 1950s, that was initially begun by a married couple of illustrators: Inger and Lasse Sandberg. "Little Ghost Laban" is a popular character you might remember, and Little Anna and the Tall Uncle, pictured here.

2. Another one from your childhood! One of the most influential illustrators of today's fairy tales and animated films--Gustaf Tenggren. Aside from being in the inner circle to Disney's first illustration work in regards to animation--Tenggren also illustrated almost all of those Little Golden Books you love so dearly, such as Bedtime Stories, The Poky Little Puppy and Snow White (shown here).

3. This brilliant artist passed away just last week at age 90, but his work will live on, fabulously. Danish illustrator, Erik Blegvad, is the illustrator to Bed-knob and Broomstick, Hans Christian Andersen's Stories and Fairy Tales, and some of the illustrations in the original, The Borrowers (shown here). Love the "sketchy" textural aspect to his work!

4. A 20th century artist, and another legend. Kay Nielsen's work was the inspiration for the original Disney's Sleeping Beauty. If you re-watch it today, you will notice the linear aspect that none of the other early animated features conveyed. Nielsen had a knack for fairy tales, and you can find his work in the original Little Mermaid and other fairy tales.

5. We love the deliberate silliness in Tov Jansson's work. Another, slightly lesser-known artist from your childhood, Tove Jansson, was a Finland-native responsible for the wildly popular The Moomins. Jansson also dabbled in comic strips and wrote all of her Moomins books, as well as illustrated them. Shown here: Finn Family Moomintroll.

6. And how could we mention Finland without including one of our own, dear Anna Emilia Laitinen. Born in Leppävirta, a small town in Finland, she is a rising star as not only a Scandinavian illustrator, but a designer and artist as well. Check out her brand new book, Casa Di Fiaba, here.

Who are your favorite Scandinavian illustrators?

Photos as linked above

Happy Valentine's Day from Red Cap Cards!

Happy Valentine's Day from our family to yours! This little cupid is has captured our hearts for sure.


Carrie Hal and Arlo

View our Valentine selection here.