Christina Song is the designer behind the oh-so-gorgeous Forage Paper Co. stationery line. Full of inspiration from nature, Forage cards oft feature florals and plant life, and sometimes, Christina’s pets. In addition to designing Forage, the uber talented Christina is an artist with a seriously impressive portfolio of collaged paper cut illustrations.
You received your Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration, and you are making a career our of illustration with your unique paper-cut designs. Please tell me more about your creative process as you collage elements together into one illustration.
I enjoy the process of collaging; it allows me to manipulate paper through precise cutting and purposeful layouts of each piece. I also love that I don’t always know what the final product will look like. It pushes my creativity and resourcefulness. I am always foraging for papers of all colors, textures and patterns to incorporate into my work; this process plays a big part in the ultimate outcome of my illustrations.
In addition to your work as an illustrator, you’ve created your own line of stationery, Forage Paper Co. What made you decide to delve into stationery design?
It has been a long-time dream of mine to create my own stationery line. Growing up, I was always creating my own greeting cards to give to my family and friends. It made me happy to see my cards bringing putting smiles on their faces. Eventually, with enough encouragement from my surrounding community, I decided to offer this same joy to everyone through Forage Paper Co.
Many of your designs incorporate floral motifs – where do you draw your inspiration for your greeting card designs from?
My inspiration comes from simple, everyday joys. I find them everywhere: from my walks around my neighborhood to my favorite brunch spot. As a paper illustrator by trade, I’m always searching for unique scraps of paper to create original designs. Similarly, I’m always soaking in inspiration from my surroundings. I’m a big believer that the best things in life are free, and so it is with the way I forage for my ideas and inspiration in my daily life.
Your designs for Forage begin as a sketch and are then painted in your studio. What do you enjoy about the creative process and painting?
I love painting and that’s usually the easier and most enjoyable part for me. Sketching out a card design takes longer, but it’s a crucial step I take because there are so many ways a card design can turn out. I explore the possibilities by sketching and play with every step of the process from concept, composition, wording, design, to colors.
Your paper-cut illustrations have a different aesthetic than your greeting cards, which I imagine gives you an opportunity to explore various art forms. Are there any other art forms that you’d like to try or incorporate into your work?
Yes, my paper-cut illustrations are all collage work while Forage Paper Co. is mostly all painting. I love practicing different modes of art; it allows me to stretch my creative muscles. In the end, I draw inspiration from both means of expression.
Any dream projects that you have in mind?
I’d love to do more collaborations and find more ways to be a part of my community. I’d also love to expand our line of products to notepads, gift wrap, and other paper goods to add to our line of greeting cards and prints.
Please finish this sentence. Snail mail is…..
a thoughtful and long-lasting gift, especially now in such a digital age.
a lasting impression that stands out against the oversaturated backdrop of digital media and electronic communication.
What is the most memorable piece of mail you’ve received?
I feel like every piece of mail I received was such a thoughtful and sweet gesture. However, what stands out most to me is when my then-boyfriend, now-husband and I were pen pals for over a year while we were in a long distance relationship. We exchanged at least 1-2 pieces of mail a week, and now they’re one of my favorite treasures.
I love that a white rabbit is featured in some of your designs – can I assume that this is Ranger?
Yes! I love featuring Ranger whenever I have the chance. He is turning 6 years old and makes a great studio bunny. I’ve featured him in cards, prints, and in a recent children’s book. I also featured my other studio mate, Ici, our German Shepherd here as well.