I think that every holiday has a sort of special kitsch factor. A wonderful tacky magic that resides in the seasonal candies or the familiar colour combos or the paper decorations that we buy at the dollar store. And this is especially true of Valentine's day. When I think of the February holiday, I don't think of dates I had, or dates I didn't have, or romantic candelit dinners; I think of paper heart garlands, and cinnamon hearts and handmade cards, and the colours pink and red, and streamers and balloons! I truly love all the trappings of Valentine's Day, and that's why this year I decided to head to the antique market in search of some sweet vintage Vday goodies.
Chris and I went to the Freelton antique mall near Hamilton, Ontario one rainy and dull Sunday in January. Roaming around the warehouse was a great way to spend an afternoon, and our search resulted in an armload of vintage valentines. I brought the cards home to use as inspiration for my own handmade greeting cards.
I really liked a little bird illustration that I found on a vintage birthday card. I used the graphic as inspiration for my own Valentine greetings, and I was really pleased with the result. I think it's so important to seek out sources of inspiration. Even though we have the ability to search any image on google, that sort of staggering variety can be the opposite of inspiring. If you want to draw floral motifs but you're having trouble finding images or getting inspired, look to vintage art and design. You can take a book out of the library if you don't have access to an antiques market.
Old cards like these are a wealth of inspiration when it comes to fonts, floral motifs and other details. If you're into lettering and design like me, next time you find yourself at an antique store, check for ephemera like cards and pamphlets. It's funny how styles and trends really do come back around with time. All the fonts from the 50's look so retro cool, I actually thought some of the designs could have been produced today, as throwback bespoke greeting cards, of course!
If you'd like to watch my video tutorial (and see a little bit from my trip to the antique mall) check out the YouTube video: