Taylor Hamilton’s cards feature icons from our favorite shows and tunes and incorporates all of the sass that we actually want to send to far away friends.
interview by Kaylen Ralph
North Carolina-based artist Taylor Hamilton makes the kind of holiday cards that you actually want to receive and give. With her TayHam collection, you can choose from a collection of cards that are as punny as your favorite tweets in lieu of a sappy, generic card from the drug store. This week we talked with the artist who’s behind the witty and trendy cards that feature pop culture icons ranging from Anna Wintour to Snoop Dogg.
The Riveter: Stationary is a timeless social practice, but your cards are distinctly of the present day. Do you think you’re appealing to the customer who is sick of the “same old same old” cards, or do you think you’re introducing card giving to a whole new type of customer? Both?
Taylor Hamilton: I’d like to think both. We are providing an opportunity for all types of people to buy cards that are different from what’s currently being offered. Our cards have beauty and brains, the whole package!
TR: What is your background in? How did you turn what is clearly a talent (illustration) into a business? When did you decide that greeting cards were the outlet necessary for your work?
TH: I was a waitress, and then had a brief stint in the film world buying explosives. Turning my love for drawing into a business was completely accidental. After my film job I was planning on opening a little gift shop and including some collage style cards I had been making for loved ones in the offering. Things sort of just fell into place differently and I rolled with it.
TR: What’s your favorite card from your own collection?
TH: The lemon card. It was my first one. I love lemons.
TR: How do you get your inspiration?
TH: My inspiration comes from daily life. I love to observe and eavesdrop. People are funny! Also, I spend way too much time on the internet.
TR: You’ve dabbled in using politicians as your tongue-in-cheek “subjects” before (Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, specifically); do you anticipate the recent election influencing your work at all?
TH: Not at all. Bill Clinton was an adult encouragement card that came way before the election and not necessarily meant to be political. Hillary was a custom card we did for Urban Outfitters. I try to stay away from politics. Our cards are thoughtful and layered but never serious. There’s plenty of time to be serious in life.
TR: Do you think that the recent re-focusing on “reaching out” to one another in the interest of fostering bi-partisan communication will affect the subject matter of “greeting cards” both for you the industry at large and your business, specifically?
TH: I think that sending a card for no reason at all is a great way to bring people together! Spreading positivity is really important right now. Our cards are happy and meant to make everybody feel good so I’m not sure our subject matter will shift much.
TR: What’s currently on your bedside table?
TH: Bedtime essential oil, tissues, water, tea, chapstick and lotion. I have a yucky cold right now.
TR: What’s always in your purse/bag/backpack?
TH: A little notebook and a pen.
Kaylen Ralph is The Riveter’s cofounder, editorial development director and brand director. She works as a personal stylist for Anthropologie. Follow her on Instagram @kaylenralph for books, fashion and a lot of content blending those two subjects. You can also find her on Twitter at @kaylenralph.