I first met Kristy at a conference called Engage, and yes, if you have noticed, this is the place where I have met so many fabulous people in the wedding industry. I remember when I first saw Kristy, I was sitting behind her during some speeches and she was doodling. But this woman's 'doodling' was pure art and I noticed that she was really drawing every speaker that took the stage. As it turns out, all of these little drawings were for a specific purpose during the conference and that Kristy was the genius behind Momental Designs and her blog Rice Ink.
Kristy turned her incredibly talent into custom, hand made wedding art and invitation design and has since launched a lifestyle line of pillows and iPhone cases! She has been a brilliant business woman and also collaborator with other designers to create unique and timeless pieces for brides and beyond. Whether you are getting married - or just adore her style, there's a place for you to have a piece of Kristy's wonderful designs!
Q. What was your inspiration for starting Momental Designs?
A. I’ve always been a level-headed gal so the decision to follow an art education program in college was an easy one, even though I was instinctively more artist than teacher. Doing the safe thing, at that stage in my life was paramount so off I went towards a life in teaching, or so I thought. Very soon after graduation, struggling to land a teaching job and not being too upset about that fact, the realization came. Teaching wasn’t for me and I swiftly started looking deeper into my lunch break sketches for career inspiration!
Married only a few months and fresh off late night DIY projects for my own wedding in June of 2000, I wondered, “could I make a living doing this for others?”. Quickly I noticed stationers online were limited to staunch catalog types or uber expensive design houses where nothing too artful or handcrafted met in the middle. I saw my opportunity and never looked back.
Q. How did you begin as an artist?
A. All artists have that profound moment from early childhood where they just knew what they were meant to be. Mine was drawing cartoons at age 7 by flashlight on cold bathroom tile, way past bedtime. When my mother found me, flashlight and watercolor pencils in hand with a mischievous 2 am grin on my face, she knew too. So it is hard to say where my art stops and my life begins because I don’t know one without the other.
Q. We are all about collaboration and working with a team. How does your staff allow you to best serve your clients?
A. Building a team was quite the purposeful decision and had to be made years ago to ensure Momental could grow. Embracing the idea that I, as the owner could not to do it all was key. The need to cultivate and inspire a team came as a surprise and is a skill that takes practice! There are 9 human beings, living, working, breathing in this studio everyday. That is a lot of passion, voice and verve all in one place. To channel our varying talents and energy takes strong process, first and foremost. We developed systems and spreadsheets that keep us constantly in sync with each other. A favorite to be honest is Wunderlist for keeping our tasks and schedules easily accessible whether we are in studio or mobile. Part of the magic in developing and sustaining a strong team is having the right person in the right job. Matching talent to task is key and ultimately is what allows me to flourish with my growing painting and licensing projects.
Q. Where do you gather inspiration for your custom designs?
A. It can be difficult to stop the inspiration. I find my mind spinning with ideas in most places, but especially when I travel or rummage through a vintage shop. Lately I've been incredibly moved by old book covers from the Victorian Era. The embossed artwork and gold edged pages are captivating. Travel keeps my creative juices flowing too. Recently I toured the Physick Mansion in Cape May, New Jersey and fell in love with the textured/pattern treatment of the walls. You will likely see remnants of both in upcoming collections launching later this year/early 2013.
Q. What is the coolest invitation / piece of art you have designed for a wedding?
A. Most recently this project for Melanie and Rob was a big hit! Each invitation was designed around a vintage Nancy Drew book. 3 different book covers were featured throughout inspired by the Bride's love of Suzani fabric, all done in a watercolor technique. The main invitation featured our original artwork inspired by Chagall paintings:
Q. What do you love about designing for a wedding day?
A. The wedding day is about so much more than a day. It is about all the time in anticipation of that day. Those hours and weeks and months filled with planning the intricate details of an emotional celebration where two people decide to join their lives, is what I appreciate most. Helping a couple discover and learn more about themselves through stationery design is empowering for all involved and I'm grateful to be part of that process. Telling our couple's beautifully intricate, complicated and profound stories with paint and paper has become the joy of my days.
Q. You have expanded beyond paper products. Tell us about your new lines!
A. Licensing my artwork is a natural extension of what I do everyday in the studio. Being able to share my artwork with a larger audience is a dream come true. I began my licensing career with the well know paper brand Envelopments®, with a pattern named Trellis. Trellis was built entirely from my watercolor painted elements. We have a new pattern in the works set to launch in January 2013. Papyrus, the much respected name in artful stationery and gift wrap commissioned a custom painting for a card release later this year. We're also enjoying our most recent collaboration with Wildflower Linens and soon to follow is an exciting project with a well know gown designer! Creating artwork for another brand teaches you to be a better version of yourself as an artist. It forces you to see your art outside of yourself and your ego. Licensing requires incredible patience and a thick skin, but can be incredibly rewarding.
Q. What are some trends happening in the paper industry right now?
A. Unique materials are huge. A simple brushstroke of watercolor won't wow our couples any longer. They want meaningful techniques, innovative materials and emotional statements involved in every aspect of their stationery ensemble. A few examples: We recently designed invitations mailed in cigar boxes with glass specimen jars inside, filled with the couples favorite things, from beads to bug wings. We're currently water coloring sheets in deep, murky shades to be letterpress printed with the couple's white save the date text.
Q. Describe the perfect 'Momental Design' client.
A. Decisive and confident, someone who is curious about fine art but doesn't necessarily need to be educated in art, grooms who love details and lots of choices. Brides who enjoy the minutia of wedding planning and love mulling over every last detail or couples who don't like to sweat the small stuff and want an artist to vision for them all make the very best Momental client.
Q. What is the best part about your job?
A. I love what I do because each day is different. In my world, boredom and monotony don't exist.
Q. How do you hope to inspire others?
A. My words and actions are just as important as my art and hopefully equally as inspiring. I want to inspire a bride and groom by wowing them with an unexpected moment of art or impromptu phone call during their process. I want to inspire a fellow creative with an impactful blog post. I want to energize my employees by my own example of devouring life and work with enthusiasm.
You can also check out Kristy on Twitter.