Today we’re going behind the stationery with Ashkahn, the owner and designer of his namesake brand. His witty, irreverent humor is reflected in his designs, which always have a bright and fun touch to them. With a variety of projects under his belt, Ashkahn shares how he prioritize and writes creatively meaningful greeting cards. –Megan Soh
From Ashkahn: Ashkahn started all by complete accident! It was a friend’s birthday, and I was too lazy to run to the local Rite Aid and buy him a birthday card so I made my own. Shortly after the birthday, my friend told me that people were asking him where the card I gave him was from. I started selling it. It was fun, drinking money. The ideas for more cards came pouring out and I presented a 12-card collection to Reform School, a store in Los Angeles, and they placed a huge first order. It sold out really fast and the rest is history as they say.
My studio is located in the arts district of downtown Los Angeles. We do all of our fulfilling and design there.
I start the day off with coffee made from my Bialetti and two hard boiled eggs. After that I walk around in my favorite robe for an hour or so, and usually get in the studio around 10am and work until around 6pm.
I don’t like to force ideas. The best ones come to me organically and out of nowhere. I see them as little gifts that you need to catch and write down before it disappears. From there, I write it down and simplify it even further to get to the meat of the idea and communicate what I want to say.
It’s a lot of writing and all of my designs are hand drawn. I then digitally manipulate it in Illustrator and get it ready for print. I start sampling color and scale, then letterpress print everything.
I spend most of my time on the greeting cards. I try to make the writing better and better with each passing card. It’s really important to me to find new and interesting ways to communicate common messages like, “I love you” and “Happy Birthday” in a new way. Love, liquor, and great food keep me inspired.
Photos courtesy of Ashkahn.
Want to be featured? Reach out to Megan at megan[at]ohsobeautifulpaper.com for details.