Sunday, July 27, 2008

Inspiration | A brief history!

So I have a had a few people email me and ask about the images down the right hand side of this blog. So I thought I would start off this week with a bit of background history.  My grandparents lived and worked in India for a very long time - starting around 1925. They were textile exporters - exporting textiles to the UK and raw fibres(like hemp) to the textile mills in Scotland. My mother grew up in India. I grew up, with my sisters, and mother in my grandparents house in Scotland - a house that was 250 years old and stuffed to the gills with really odd collections of stuff that my grandfather brought back from India and South Asia. Everything from books and pictures to silver ware and ornaments. Our family photographs are a bazaar collection of elephant riding, pith helmet wearing images that have influenced my art and design work for as long as I can remember.



The top sepia photograph is a picture of my grandparents and friends swimming in the Indian Ocean. The locals made them wear the pointed grass hats so that they wouldn't be knocked down by the huge waves - we used to think these were the funniest pictures when we were young but I am sure it was the locals who were getting the last laugh!
A lot of what my grandfather collected was paper ephemera from India and Asia like a couple of my favourite labels(above). Stamps, postcards, labels, printing blocks, wood type, magazines, books and prints - it's all very influential to my design these days.


Nowadays I combine my own collections of vintage ephemera with the stacks of paper relics, wood type and printing blocks, that my grandparents collected in India(above) and spin it into the imagery that we use at Cartolina Cards(below). 



Wish Big is one of our best selling cards at Cartolina. Elephants play a leading role in our imagery and they are always a favourite with the buyers.

9 comments:

Linda said...

Wonderful family photo's. I enjoyed hearing about your family as well. I can see the influence in your beautiful and bold cards.
Thanks Fiona

Mary said...

Those are the cooolest family pictures I have ever seen!!

Cathe said...

Cool family photos, Fiona. I love looking at vintage sepia-tone or black & white photos. I can only image how much fun your grandparents' house must have been!

Julie said...

What great vintage photos! How wonderful that you have such fond memories of your grandparents!

poppy said...

This is such a great history to have! Love how it shows in your designs.

Cartolina said...

Thanks for the comments! It was an odd childhood really - my grandparents were still alive and we all lived in the same big house. My grandfather taught us kids nursery rhymes in Hindu(which believe it or not I can still recite!) And many of well used terms around the house were Indian terms....like we referred to laundry as "dobi". I am thrilled to still have all the treasures from India and its fun to get the photographs out and have a look at them again like I did for this post today.

lisa {milkshake} said...

What a great story! What I wouldn't give to see the collections of your grandfather…

rifferaff said...

fascinating family history. and so great to see you incorporating that into your work. i love to hear the story behind the product.

Anonymous said...

Trendy familyCheapest Diablo 3 gold photographs, Fiona. I enjoy investigating old-fashioned sepia-tone or perhaps black & whitened photographs. I can simply image how much enjoyment your own grandparents' residenceCheap wow gold should have already been!

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