I AM A - British Stationery and Gifts Company

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Greeting Cards Now In Urban Outfitters

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Yay! A selection of our "Don't Be Blue, Scratch and Smile" are now available in Urban Outfitters, both online and in stores. 

Here's a glimpse of the selection of greeting cards, find them by click through the link in photos:

Pictionary With Google

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Who loves to doodle? We do. Normally we may draw and doodle on paper, but more often in Photoshop or Illustrator. We stumbled upon this website, set up by google called Quick, Draw! , and if you are a lover of doodling and pictionary. This "game" website is not to be missed.

You will be given 20 seconds to draw a person / object, for example, from our examples below, you could be asked to draw Mona Lisa, French Fries to a Smiley Face, but it could also be as random as the Great Wall of China, a mermaid, or even a houseplant, a wide variety. According to Google's machine learning (or Google coins it Neural Network), based on what you have drawn, it will try to find a match to check what's been illustrated is correct.

The interesting thing is that after 6 games, you could click and find out examples that were drawn by others. With regards, to French Fries, surprised that fries doodled with "M" (Mcdonalds) on the packaging is quite a popular choice. 

There are a total of 50 million drawings that have been inventorised by Google, from over 15 million people that has submitted their illustrations through playing the game. This makes it the world's largest doodling data set.

It's interesting to find out participants have been asked to draw a range of stationery too from Pencils, Markers, Erasers, to Paper Clips. 

Here's a snippet of how people have illustrated a pencil, a paper clip and an eraser in 20 seconds. Have a go at https://quickdraw.withgoogle.com !

(It's fun and addictive).

Meet : Mapology Guides

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You may have seen a post on our Instagram last month regarding our love of Mapology Guides. They are very useful, thought provoking colourful illustrated maps that one would work through the steps on the maps, and it would guide you through some of life's issues with the goal to live a more fulfilled life.

These cool, graphically illustrated maps include some essential life skills to business skills where we may all sometimes need a little help on - a perfect guide through some of life's journeys. The themes of the mapology guides include "What's Bugging You?" (something we have used and it's ace),  "Let's Negotiate", "Make It Happen", "Make Better Decisions", etc, all useful dilemmas we'd face from time to time, regardless of professions and stage in life. A good aid to work and process through dilemmas in an organised practical step-by-step manner.  

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We were first introduced these amazing life maps whilst we were at Papersmiths, and the mapology guides were kindly recommended to us. Since then, we fell in love with the products and ethos behind Mapology Guides.

We follow Mapology Guides on Instagram, and found out, beyond creating brilliant useful life maps, they have embarked on a super fun project called "#100DaysPantonePostcards". Each post on the 100-Day project is photographed with an illustrated cityscape on a Pantone Colour Card, paired with an Artline pen. 

As we are a fan of Mapology Guides, lovers of colour, traveling and Pantone, we had to approach Tina Bernstein, for a quick interview to learn more about such an amazing project and some tips on making goals happen. 

I AM A : WHAT GAVE YOU THE INSPIRATION ON THE IDEA OF #100DAYSPANTONEPOSTCARDS WITH THE THEME OF CITYSCAPES?

Tina : I first participated in the #100daysproject back in 2016. I was naive and thought I can do this no probs. The theme I used then was #100differentstylesbycolourliving - the sketchbook I used was a fairly large square one and each day I chose a different artist and made an art piece in their style, whether painting, collage or mixed media. I also wrote a short sentence on each artist hoping I would inspire and maybe even introduce new artists to my followers.

Oh boy, it nearly killed me. Instead of the anticipated 30 minutes every day, some took HOURS!

I took a break in 2017. This year I wised up. The 100 pantone postcards are roughly a size A6 so very manageable. The colours would be my background and it all seemed fairly straight forward. It never is - but it was much more controllable than my project in 2016 because I was able to paint a few postcards at one time, freeing me up to not have to do it every single day.

Cityscapes are a big passion of mine. Yet, once again, one would think that’s great - BUT doing 100 cityscapes was rather challenging and I couldn’t wait to paint something else.

I AM A : OUT OF ALL THE CITY SKYLINES YOU HAVE ILLUSTRATED, WHICH SKYLINE HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE?

Tina : Wow, difficult question. There are many I loved and some I’m not so happy with. There isn’t really a favourite one. 

(We loved every single one of the cityscapes that were illustrated  "#100DaysPantonePostcards".)

I AM A : OF ALL THE PANTONE COLOURS, WHICH ONE IS YOUR GO TO? IT'S HARD TO PICK ONE, YOU MAY PICK 3.

Tina : Again, as a colour aficionado, that’s a hard one. OK, three it is.

I AM A : APART FROM #100DAYSPANTONEPOSTCARDS YOU ARE ALSO THE FOUNDER OF MAPOLOGY GUIDES. AS CREATIVES, SOMETIMES WE ARE WORRIED OF NOT ABLE TO ACHIEVE THE GOALS WE HAVE SET OURSELVES. FROM DESIGNING THE GUIDES WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 ADVICES TO MAKE GOALS HAPPEN?

Tina : I apply this to everything I do. From a small project, to the #100daysproject to something like creating and launching Mapology Guides.

Step 1: Do you love what you want to create (whatever that may be). Without being 100% passionate about it, it might not happen. You’ll run out of juice.

Step 2: Break it down in manageable steps. That’s super important! Don’t look at the mountain ahead, look at the next step forward. Then build on that. Baby steps does it every single time.

Step 3. Get organised. It’s great to have the passion. It’s great to break it down into baby steps - now you need to get focused and prepare. Work hard. Once you think something is ready to launch, launch it. You’ll learn everything else from the feedback you will get.

I AM A : WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?

Tina : The unexamined life is not worth living

I AM A : WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE: RAINBOW / UNICORN / ICE-CREAM? 

Tina : Rainbows - every time.

Thank you to Tina again for all your time for the interview, and sharing with us your insights on your 100-day project, and on Mapology Guides.  Thank you for the pictures too. We love them!

Follow and check out Mapology Guides and their #100DayPantonePostcards on social media : 

All images and text courtesy of Tina from Mapology Guides. 

Paper City Architecture

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Paperholm, a growing paper city project made by Edinburgh based artist Charles Young. This paper project started as a daily project in 2014 with new additions every day, with near 1,000 paper structures created. 

Paper has been used to create stunning architectures covering all sorts of themes from Olympic building, ferris wheel, cabin etc. that are brought to life with additional building details from pop up details, to moving cars to add movement to this lovely paper city and to create animation of moving buildings. 

Magical, genius, fascinating and super cute. 

Eraser Study

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Erasers, a stationery accessory that we can't live without especially for pencil lovers. These photos to showcase the eraser from visual artist in Portugal, José Lourenço, depicts the eraser with a lovely balance from colour,  form, shapes, cuteness to functions. Super adorbs!

DIY Paper Fan

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Feelin' hot hot hot!  We are all super hot stuff at this time of the year as Britain reaches the highest temperature of the year. Record breaking heat and the mercury is set to rise tomorrow again too. Heat wave ahoy! No matter how hot we are in this sweltering heat, there are moments we want to still be in our coolest. To cool down from this heat, let's make some paper fans to chill out or use them to fan your biggest fans.

This easy to do tutorial is also perfect to be done together with children during the summer holidays.

Here's how to make them:

MATERIALS (For each fan)

  • A4 Paper
  • Printer to print the fans templates on
  • Fan pattern templates are downloadable by clicking the following links : Sunny Chips, Watermelon, Forest Palm
  • A4 backing card to stick the fan template on (for a more powerful fan you will want to glue the fan template onto a piece of backing card). We have spare cards lying around in the studio which we recycled from other paper projects. To purchase we suggest these A4 Canford white cards from Paperchase. Alternatively, our preferred option is to recycle wherever possible, any empty cereal / any clean cardboard packaging will be great.
  • Wooden popsicle / lolly sticks. This could be easily purchased from craft shops / also cooking shops. We got ours from here, with the extras will be perfect to make ice lollipops too!  

TOOLS

  • scissors
  • glue

METHOD

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  1. Download and print the template. We have 3 template to choose from Watermelon (inspired by our watermelon card), Forest Palm or Sunny Chips
  2. Paste the A4 template onto your backing card. 
  3. Once the glue is dried, cut around the patterned shapes. 2 patterned shapes would be resulted.
  4. Apply glue all around the non patterned side of the paper. 
  5. Mark around 3cm from the top of the popsicle stick and apply glue to both sides of the stick. 
  6. Place popsicle stick near the centre edge of one side of the patterned paper. (glue side facing up) Sandwich both sheets of paper together with the popsicle stick and press around the seams to make sure everything is glued together. 
  7. Leave the fan to dry. 

Once everything is dried, start fanning! This summer, this could be your one cool fan to make!

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Paper Lover's Favourite Pantone Palettes

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As paper and stationery lovers, these pantone palettes will be something we can't live without. From washi paper, glitter, sprinkles, holographic, confetti. Simply fun! Thank you Maria Marie for these wonderful pantone shots that are perfect compliments to any paper projects. Just like add-ons we need for any ice cream sundae. Sweet. 

Nelson Mandela As An Artist

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Today marks the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela! To mark this occasion, WeTransfer has curated an exclusive online exhibition together with the House of Mandela to showcase many of the unseen illustrations that were drawn by Nelson Mandela. 

The artwork is thought provoking, especially to see the creative side from a politician. Our favourites are the charcoal illustrations from the Nguni Bull that represents strength, to the dove, that represents freedom. As Mandela once said "It always seems impossible until it's done."