|At Pink Olive we work very hard to find the best independent designers, the handmade, one of a kind, the clever, the innovative and the classic. This month, we are featuring Chicago card company Paper Parasol Press!!
The idea for Paper Parasol Press was born in 2004 in the back and forth attempts a young long distance couple was making at keeping in touch. Realizing that she loved creating the cards as much as sending and receiving them, Cindy took a job at a greeting card company. She soon realized, however, that she was not going to be as creative as she would have liked in that position and began making even more cards on her own time. Surrounding herself with greeting cards was where Cindy found herself happiest. Finding herself developing more creatively outside of work than in it, she decided to quit her day job and start her own line of cards full time.
It’s hard but fulfilling work that grew out of a love of tangible communication. Each card is created separately; they’re printed and folded individually. That personal touch adds value that electronic media can never really provide. Cindy finds inspiration for her cards everywhere, from the buildings in Chicago (Paper Parasol’s hometown) to the people she encounters on her travels throughout the country.
Cindy and Olga, a 12″ x 18″ Chandler & Price New Series Press named after an animal at Cindy’s childhood zoo, encourage everyone to write your heart out!
I grew up in a south suburb of Chicago.
Q: What made you want to begin designing cards? Is it what you thought it would be?
It all started when I moved back to Chicago from attending college in Florida. At the time, my boyfriend was finishing college, so for two years we did the long distance thing and I started making little greeting cards to send him. Around the same time I started working full time in the greeting card industry. Having high expectations for the job, I was very disappointed not being able to be as creative as I would have liked. Working on illustrations and cards outside of my day job became my creative outlet. It allowed me to be a little more free and I developed my style more than I did at the job. A few years later I started to get more serious about my own cards and starting my own business seemed like the next step. It is hard work and sometimes there are bad days in the studio or on the drawing board, but it’s very fulfilling. As an artist, I want to put things out into the world that make people happy and there is no better way than with social expressions – quick, affordable, tangible, and thoughtful!
Traveling, the Midwest, and American and European folk art. Being a first generation American, my house growing up was always full of decorative art from Poland. Even the city is a main source of inspiration. It always amazes me that just by looking up at the buildings one can find so much design. Inspiration an also be found in the people, pace, and even the public transportation. For example, my “Thank You for Keeping me on Track” card in inspired by an urban transit system – the trolley. My design, “In for the Long Haul,” showcases a vintage camper is sort of a dream of mine. I’d love to own a vintage trailer when I am older and just drive around the country. It feels so Americana to me and I like to associate relationships with being on an adventure with another person.
Q: What is your favorite place to go to in NYC? or of your hometown!
There is this little hole in the wall bar in Greenwich Village I like to visit when I am in NYC. It’s super tiny, but they have a wonderful beer selection. Even though I am not a local New Yorker, it makes me feel like I know this secret little place in such a huge city. In Chicago, a bike ride down Ravenswood Avenue on a summer evening is my favorite. I am also a huge sucker for rooftops in both NYC and Chicago. I listed three things – I can’t help it when there are too many good things.
Q: What is your favorite gift you have ever received?
Oh my, this is a hard one! For my 27th birthday my boyfriend and I took a trip to Iceland. The day of my birthday was the best gift. It was so surreal and perfect and cut off from reality. Out of all my birthdays, I will never forget that one in particular. For something tangible, he once surprised me by bringing home two orange molded plastic Eames chairs. Gifts on random days are always wonderful – especially if in orange!
Q: Do you have anything in the works that you would like to share with our fans?
I have been working on a poster project of the states inspired by vintage maps and the collector plates I see at flea markets. Thus far, I only have four states finished – Illinois, California, Florida, and Texas. The response has been really wonderful and I have met a lot of great customers through the project. A state usually consists of the state outline with little icons within it. I’ve also been trying to come up with a little motto for each state. California boasts, “the sun and fun state,” while Illinois reads, “meet me in the middle.” All the posters are hand pulled on a my vintage Vandercook #3 proofing press. I am hoping to complete a New York, Michigan, and South Carolina one in the next few months.
october’s featured artist!
October 5, 2011 by