One of the most enjoyable collaborations of 2018 was with Ksenia Phillips, of Darling Lemon Paperie + Studio. Our ‘relationship’ literally went from connection to conversation to collaboration to commission in lightning speed. It was clear her passion for painting was a perfect match to my passion for pen and paper.
While working on our avocado themed box, ‘For Pit Sake,’ there was an opening for fifth card. When I discovered Darling Lemon Paperie on Instagram (during an excessively long trolling session), I was immediately smitten. Between her posts, art, painting style, talent, studio, kids, and office dog, it was clear I wanted her part of the OPW family as soon as possible. I reached out by DM (Instagram speak for direct message) and she responded enthusiastically with a link to her catalog. There were so many cards to choose from for upcoming box themes…but none that included the coveted avocado. So I called her with a clear goal in mind: insist she was the perfect artist to paint a picture for a card I needed for this OPW box. Without a hard sell, she said yes.
While giving her creative freedom to paint in her own style, I had a vision of avocado on toast with coffee. After all, that’s my breakfast most days. During our conversations and emails about the collaboration, I had the chance to get to know Ksenia a little better. Her passion for painting was crystal clear and the process pictures I received below, from sketch to paint application to final card image, confirmed I had chosen the right artist for the job. “Toast to Your Birthday” was quickly added to the ‘For Pit Sake’ box as the fifth card…and soon known as a fan favorite.
For you paper loving, letter writing, avocado eating readers, there are a few ‘For Pit Sake’ themed greeting card boxes left in stock. Act fast by clicking the link below because when I say a few, that’s all I got.
It wasn’t long after the completion of the avocado card that I reached out to Ksenia again…this time for a personal commission. Both my sisters had dogs and I wanted her to paint them in their individual environments for birthday presents. Again, she said yes and the process couldn’t have been smoother. From simple photographs and a few comments about each dog, Ksenia was able to paint distinct personalities of each pooch on canvas, to the delight of both birthday girls.
As you can see, the Artist Interview collection wouldn’t be complete without Ksenia and her story of Darling Lemon Paperie. Growing up in St. Petersburg, Russia, Ksenia has been painting ‘since forever ago.’
“Ever since I was little I painted and made handmade cards. My parents have convinced me to try out for a prestigious art school in St. Petersburg. Miraculously, I passed all the technical tests and painting tests and was accepted. That is when I decided to dedicate my time to being a painter.”
Ksenia continued painted in her teenage years, when at age 14 she moved to the US with her family. She found painting easier than learning English and making friends. While she studied painting in college, she quickly learned that to expand her skill set, she needed to venture into Graphic Design, where she studied at the Art Institute of Atlanta. One thing led to another and Darling Lemon was born.
For Darling Lemon, inspiration is derived from the outside, architecture, kids books, fashion, and living in Savannah, Georgia. Ksenia also draws ideas from interior design magazines, having a soft spot for her time spent working at a high-end interior design firm for almost 5 years in her past.
Most artists find themselves faced with artistic blocks and each one tackles the work-around differently. Because Ksenia paints in her home studio, a change of environment will often be the answer to re-opening the creative door. When that fails, time spent outdoors with her daughter is the perfect distraction and often refreshes her perspective.
Having a home studio and raising a young family means that life is about balance, understanding priorities, and practicing flexibility as if it’s on the to-do list. Ksenia LOVES painting and is working on making it a full time job by selling custom illustrations and getting her cards in as many US stores as possible. Do you own a boutique gift shop? Because Darling Lemon greeting cards are a must-have. If not and like myself you simply enjoy the lost art of snail mail, don’t hesitate to just click the box below and stock up on her cards for all occasions. And just for our OPW’ers, enjoy 10% OFF your first order by entering WELCOME at checkout.
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