Life has a way of bringing past passions back to the forefront. Just when I thought my journey had taken a different direction, a recent conversation reminded me of where it all began. After speaking with someone in the stationery field, cherished memories, and deep affection I’ve always held for print and stationery came flooding back.
The Allure of Print
Every touch and every scent associated with stationery evokes a profound emotion within me. The rough texture of a high-end cotton-based folder, embossed with intricate designs and adorned with gold foil elements, transports me to a world of elegance and sophistication. The aroma that wafts from the pages of a brand-new journal, thick and toothy, is reminiscent of new beginnings, of stories yet to be written.
Years ago, an entire room in my home was a sanctuary dedicated to my 40-year collection of journals, Japanese stationery, and note cards. Each item, meticulously curated, held a story, a memory. While the vastness of that collection has now been distilled into a couple of bins, the essence remains undiluted. The mere thought of opening them, of revisiting each cherished item, fills me with a childlike glee.
Crafting Journals: A Personal Touch
Over the years, my hands have danced over paper and thread, crafting small batches of journals for dear friends. In my youth, I sewed them together, each stitch infused with love and care. As my pocketbook evolved, so did my methods, transitioning to a spiral binder in recent times. Yet, the essence of passion and personal touch remained unchanged. Today, the idea that I might soon be crafting these items on a grander scale, realizing a dream I once thought had faded into the annals of time, fills me with a hope that’s both humbling and exhilarating.
A Dream Revived
Stationery, for me, transcends the physical realm. It’s a tapestry of memories, stories, and dreams. Each item, whether a simple notecard or an ornate journal, is a testament to human creativity and expression. This one conversation has rekindled a flame, a dream that I once believed had dimmed. The very thought of immersing myself professionally in the world of stationery, of breathing life into creations I’ve adored for so long, feels surreal.
Diving Deeper: An Excerpt from My Upcoming Book on Print
As I reflect on my journey, I’m reminded of the countless hours spent penning down my thoughts, experiences, and insights into the world of print. This passion culminated in a book, a labor of love that delves deep into the essence of print. I’m thrilled to share a glimpse of this work with you:
In a world where screens increasingly dominate our lives, the tangible essence and art of the printed page remain enduring. The tactile satisfaction of paper beneath one’s fingertips, the romance of inked words, and the manifestation of human expression all capture a timeless allure.
As a child, my parents worked at a magazine clearinghouse. They would bring home all kinds of magazines, and I would spend hours touching and feeling them. I loved how different each magazine was, some had thin, semi-glossy pages and others had thick, matte pages. It was clear to me, even at that young age, that some of these magazines were meant to be thrown away after a single use, while others were meant to be cherished for much longer.
I didn’t care about the content of the magazines. I was fascinated by the physicality of them. I loved the smell of fresh ink and the feel of paper in my hands. Besides, most of them were about living rich and playing golf, and I was a seven-year-old girl living in a very small town in Florida, surrounded by dirt roads, cabbage fields, and woods. Lots and lots of woods.
I also fondly recall the excitement of receiving the scholastic book fair catalog around that same time in my life. I was enamored with the paper itself. Those thin, slightly glossy sheets which felt wonderful to the touch and rustled with a unique sound. For me, It wasn’t about what was printed; it was the medium itself. Each page is a colorful delight, mesmerizing to my eye. And as a teenager, the thrill continued. Magazines like Metal Edge and RIP Magazine were eagerly awaited. The nostalgia of the scholastic catalogs was there in the one-page posters of my favorite bands, printed on similar paper.
I believe that my early exposure to magazines sparked my lifelong fascination with print. This book is a culmination of that fascination. In it, I explore the rich tapestry of the print world, from ancient techniques of traditional papermaking to modern advances in digital printing. I also examine the resurgence of artisanal crafts such as letterpress and bookbinding, as well as the innovative ways in which print is being used in contemporary art and design.
I also believe that if my parents hadn’t settled for that very first and temporary job after moving here to Florida, I may not be here before you with a 25-year career in print publishing and graphic design. My success in the print industry is not due to chance, but rather to a lifelong dedication to the craft.
The world of print and stationery is not just about ink and paper; it’s a realm of dreams, memories, and emotions. As I stand poised at the threshold of a new adventure, I’m filled with gratitude for the past and a heart brimming with excitement for the future. Here’s to the enduring magic of print, to stories yet to be told, and to dreams waiting to be realized.