Meet the Artist (Monday, 4.30.12)

april 30, 2012

Meet the Artist

We’re excited to announce that we’re starting a new monthly series on the blog as a chance for you to get to know some of our artists a little better. We are so lucky to work with such talented and creative minds, and we think it’s time for you to meet them! We’re kicking things off with designer Michelle Berki. Michelle is a super-talented designer who is responsible for all the artwork you see on our blog every week. We hope you enjoy her Q&A!

Michelle Berki

When did you first realize you are an artist?

I’ve wanted to be an artist as far back as I can remember, and I’m pretty sure I thought of myself as one for a long time. However, I think I first started to believe that I could make a living creating and designing after my first few graphic design classes in college. I had found something that was challenging and rewarding at the same time, and I knew that this is what I wanted to do in life.

What is your position at American Greetings and what is your background as an artist?

I am a designer for the digital greetings department at American Greetings where I help create content for americangreetings.com. I also have a lot of fun putting together all of the images for this blog – Inspired!

heck out this Mother's Day ecard created by Michelle!

Could you tell us some more about your work?

You can actually take a look at my portfolio at http://www.michelleberki.com, and see some of it for yourself. I believe that design can bring people and ideas together, help us focus on what’s really important, and create positive change.

What is it that inspires you when creating a particular design or graphic piece?

The problem or project itself usually drives my inspiration. Designers are out to solve problems, so once it is defined I try to sketch out some initial ideas, do a little research (if necessary), and see what’s already out there.

What’s your favorite piece you ever created and why?

My pride and joy is the “Discuss Great Literature” project that I started in my Studio II class in college. My objective was to create a set of contemporary classics that would ideally be sold in bookstores and marketed toward book discussion groups. I believe that reading is important and the ideas found in books like Catch-22, A Clockwork Orange, Catcher in the Rye, and The Metamorphosis should be heard and talked about. It was such an amazing challenge to create images for the covers that became visual metaphors for the themes present in each book, but it was also extremely satisfying when the finished product came together. I hope to continue this project and develop more components such as an app or website to help it become a reality.

Discuss Great Literature by Michelle Berki

What famous artists or graphic designers have influenced you?

I think that everything I’ve ever seen and every experience I’ve had has influenced me as a designer, but there are definitely people that I look up to in the art and design world. I am really interested in book jacket design, so naturally Chip Kidd and Peter Mendelsund come to mind as two of my design heroes.

What inspires you to create your designs and how do you stay motivated?

I think it’s important to be aware of trends and successful design that’s out there because this can be a great source of inspiration. It’s also really important to take walks and give yourself time away from the task at hand because even though it’s clichéd, I usually get my best ideas in the shower or right before bed! I think another big motivating factor is the opportunity to improve and solve a design problem in a new way that maybe no one has thought of before.

Tybee Island Seacoast Ecology Posters by Michelle Berki

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I would love to be working on book covers and interiors for a well-known publisher such as Random House, Penguin, or Chronicle Books. However, I think I would be happy at any studio that creates great, purpose-driven design and isn’t afraid of big ideas.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

I think I would tell them that it’s not always easy for creatives in the beginning. There’s not just one path that leads to your dream job, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right away. It is important to be persistent. Don’t give up. Apply for everything and take advantage of every opportunity because all of these life experiences will only make you better.

What do you do for fun?

Other than eating and sleeping, I think I have the most fun when I’m creating and/or hanging out with good friends.

Young at Heart (Friday, 4.27.12)

april 27, 2012

Young at Heart…

Childhood lasts all through life.

Personalizing Mother’s Day! (Wednesday, 4.25.12)

april 25, 2012

Personalizing Mother’s Day!

Personalizing Mother's Day

As Mother’s Day gets closer, we’re here to help you choose the perfect card -( it’s kind of what we love to do). Moms everywhere love opening the mailbox to find a sweet Mother’s Day card because it lets them know how much they’re loved, appreciated and thought of. If you think you don’t have time to get to the store to look for a Mother’s Day card it’s not a problem. American Greetings brings the card aisle to you directly from your computer. You can find store-quality paper cards online, and the best part is, you can customize the message and even add a photo if you’d like. It’s these small touches that moms will notice and love - so start browsing today!

In the mood board: Mommy Whale Mother’s Day Greeting Card from American Greetings

Happy Birthday William Shakespeare! (Monday, 4.23.12)

april 23, 2012

Happy Birthday William Shakespeare!

Happy Birthday, Shakespeare!

Born in 1564, the Bard of Avon, as he was known, was one of the greatest playwrights and poets of all time. Now, before you say, “Yawn…” keep in mind that there’s a lot more to Shakespeare than what you learned in High School Lit class. For example, many of today’s common phrases actually originated with his plays—talk about transcending trendiness!—and some scholars even attribute the origin of the “Knock, Knock” joke to a scene from Macbeth.

Way back then, going to the theatre to see one of his masterpieces was anything but boring. They weren’t the quiet, polite affairs they are now, but were filled with revelry, food, beverage and a whole lot of socializing. Hmmm…to us, that sounds like a great big party! If you know someone who’s celebrating a birthday or other special occasion today, why not do it up Shakespeare-style?  It’s easy to stage a theatre-themed event that will have your guests saying “Bravo!” by showing some favorite movies, playingcharades and serving gourmet popcorn treats. Don’t forget to send the special person an ecard, too—that’s even better than a sonnet! (Sorry, Will.)

And what about Shakespeare’s timeless question, “To be or not to be?” Well, we say, “be happy.” After all, that’s what celebrating special occasions is all about!

Friendship Friday! (Friday, 4.20.12)

april 20, 2012

Friendship Friday!

Life is partly what we make it, and partly what is made by the friends we choose

Keep Mom on your Mind (Wednesday 4.18.12)

april 18, 2012

Keep Mom on your Mind…

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is less than a month away and it’s never too early to start thinking about what you want to do for all the moms in your life on their special day. As you brainstorm, one of the easiest things to check off your list early is a card for Mom. There are plenty of options when it comes to Mother’s Day cards - you can go funny, heartfelt, general or silly, depending on what you think she’ll love this year. Choosing a Mother’s Day card with the option to personalize or add a photo is great idea because we know moms everywhere love getting a one-of-a-kind message. So start browsing the card aisle – in person, or online today to find the perfect fit for your mom this year.

In the mood board: Artistic Flower for Mom greeting card from American Greetings

Happy Spring Birthday! (4.16.12)

april 16, 2012

Happy Spring Birthday!

Spring Birthday Party Inspiration

Are you celebrating a birthday this spring? Do you know someone who is? There are lots of ways to make the day extra festive, and one of the best, of course, is with a party. Whether you prefer a large, loud event or a small, sedate affair, you can make it special when you add a touch of springtime to it.

To get started, you’ll need birthday invitations, and birthday ecards are a great way to get in touch with everyone quickly. When it comes to the menu, keep the food light and fun to stay in the spirit of the season. Serve cupcakes instead of cake, and decorate the room with flowers for a seasonal flair.

A garden party is a wonderful way to celebrate. This is perfect for an afternoon event, and you can serve tea and pastries—scones are always a favorite. You and your guests can enjoy decorating flowerpots, arranging flowers or making sachets filled with your favorite springtime scents. Everyone can take home their creations, giving them a lovely memento of this seasonal soiree!

If you’re not in the mood for a party, you can still make the day special by spending it outside and enjoying the beauty of nature. Why not pack a picnic and go for a hike? Bring your camera along to capture the freshness of spring in pictures—then be sure to share them with your friends in photo cards.

Regardless of what you do to celebrate, remember that this is the season of all things fresh and new. Whether it’s your birthday or someone else’s, forget about getting older and focus on feeling as young as springtime itself!

In the mood board: Pink Flowered Bicycle Invitation from American Greetings, and Blood Orange and Cherry Cream Scones by Eat, Make, Read

Celebrate Everyone! (Friday, 4.13.12)

april 13, 2012

Celebrate Everyone!

 Relationships are the fabric of our lives

April Birthday Bash! (Thursday, 4.12.12)

april 12, 2012

April Birthday Bash!

We’d like to take a minute to wish a Happy Birthday to all the April birthdays out there! No matter how you’re celebrating, we hope it’s a blast! Have a lot of April birthdays on your calendar? Remember them all with a few clicks of your mouse and send them each a birthday ecard. Birthday ecards are super easy to send or post to facebook, and it’s a great way to let friends and family know you remembered their special day.

In the mood board: Musical Surprise ecard from American Greetings

Spring Salads We Love! (Tuesday, 4.10.12)

april 10, 2012

Spring Salads We Love!

So Easter has come and gone, and maybe you’re getting a little tired of all the sweets (hard to believe, I know, but everyone has their limit). We thought we’d share some Spring-inspired salads today from some of our favorite bloggers! These dishes all utilize fresh ingredients that remind us of this wonderful season. Enjoy, and let us know how everything turns out!

Seared Asparagus Salad - from Forgiving Martha

Beets, Avocado & Citrus Salad – from Camille Styles

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