I'm sure many of you are familiar with the work of Anna Bond and her company RIFLE Design, as well as her recently launched Rifle Paper Company, which she runs with her husband Nathan. Her whimiscal depictions of nature, business people, and bridal parties alike have taken the blogging world by storm and given a fresh look to event design and personal stationary.Anna was kind enough to share a little about what she does in the world of graphic design, her work as a small business owner, and advice for designers and customers alike. Enjoy!
1. What is a typical day like for you? I'm a night owl and we've been extremely busy lately so for the past few months I've been in the studio from about 11 am until around 2 am every day. I typically start off with a cup of coffee and I'm trying to do at least 15 minutes of yoga or pilates every morning. Once in the studio I usually have a slew of emails to do and then I'll begin working on my list of client or store projects.
2. Where do you find inspiration for your designs? I get asked this a lot and I really try to find inspiration from as many different things as possible by being aware and inspired by everything around me. I love mid century design, vintage children's books, architecture, fashion, textile patterns, folk art.. it's really a hodgepodge of things.
3. What is the life-cycle of a wedding invitation (start, concept, design, etc)? I usually start by asking a lot of questions about the couple and they're wedding (style, tastes, decor, etc.). Once I have a good idea of who they are what the wedding will be like I come up with a few sketches of different concepts. Once the sketch is set I'll begin working on the final design which is typically painted entirely by hand. My clients can review and make changes to the final design before we send everything to get printed.
4. What advice do you have for brides or party hosts when it comes to ordering custom paper goods? I think that it can sound intimidating but it really shouldn't be. A custom piece should be entirely "you" so it's a really special and exciting process. You should never be afraid to ask questions and communicate what you want. The more that is communicated in the beginning the better the whole process will be. It also doesn't have to be extremely expensive either. There are many designers who are willing to work with a variety of budgets.
5. Any advice for artists or graphic designers hoping to get into the biz? I always say, just put yourself out there and go for it. Don't be afraid to take that first step. You can start by offering to do invitations for friends and family and then put your portfolio online for feedback. Try to find someone who has experience doing something similar to what you want to do and ask questions. The advice I've gotten from peers has been so invaluable to me in my own process.
6. What is the worst (or scariest) part of being a small business owner? The scariest thing is that it all rides on me and I've got a lot of responsibility with all of the investment I've put into the business. The government is also pretty scary. The tax liability for a small business is very intimidating and quite overwhelming.
7. What is the best part? The best part is that I'm doing what I love. That makes all of the scary parts worth it.
8. Five things you can't live without. my husband, my computer, my sketchbook, coffee & a good book.
Thank you Anna for sharing with us today! Readers, be sure to visit Anna's portfolio and shop her store and visit her blog. You can even sign up on her email list to get news and discounts straight from the source (visit her store site to sign up).