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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

All I Want for Christmas is cards!

Bristol based charity gets über cool illustrators to design its Christmas charity cards- festive promotions don't have to be boring and tacky any more!

Written by Valerie Pezeron

AllIWantIllustration by Peskimo

The Christmas festive season is now upon us and many artists are selling festive products. However few are initiated to help the poor, physician the downtrodden and the destitute. All I Want For Christmas Cards 2009 is one such group of creatives whose latest project is in support of the Bristol based charity ‘Young Bristol’. 20 local artists’ and illustrators’ specific works for the project are being used to create a limited edition run of Christmas cards that will be sold as packs containing each of the 20 cards.A competition, information pills with the brief to create a piece of work based on the phrase ‘All I want for Christmas’ took place and after receiving an overwhelming response, information pills the final 20 artworks were chosen, each on their individual merits and included in the final 20 cards. Initially created with the idea of promoting the charity Young Bristol, All I Want For Christmas Cards has also brought together artists and illustrators local to Bristol for this exciting illustrative project. Here is an opportunity to support those who need! We are today interviewing a few of those illustrators who very kindly lent their creativity to a good cause.

4061092197_f3b40cd591_oIllustration by Sam Bevington

Valerie Pezeron: Hello all. I would like to know who came up with the idea for such a wonderful project and could they tell our readers a little bit about themselves?

Creator/Organiser Ben Steers: The idea for a project like this had been rolling around in my head for a while but I just didn’t know how to best implement the concept. After moving to Bristol to kick start my illustration career and spending some time building contacts with local artists and illustrators I realised the huge concentration of talent that Bristol had to offer and after doing some voluntary work for Young Bristol I saw the opportunity to launch the idea and bring established and aspiring artists together and at the same time help benefit a really worthwhile cause. We have been really blown away by the response from everyone involved and have thoroughly enjoyed the whole process and having the pleasure of meeting so many positive and friendly people.

VP: There are many charities out there? Why pick “Young Bristol” charity for this project? What is the aim of the charity?

Ben Steers: I have recently helped Young Bristol put together a quarterly magazine on volunteer work and events in the area. There are so many great charities out there doing outstanding work every day but I think in the case of Young Bristol I felt that I could offer my creative services in some way and they also focus on helping disadvantaged individuals of my sort of age through media and arts courses. They aim to give those who didn’t have the opportunities that a lot of us take for granted, the chance to further themselves in creative fields and I think that is really something.

VP: The competition was very popular. Was there a jury and how did you select the final 20?

B S: It was a really difficult selective process as we didn’t want to turn any of the designs away simply because people had made a real effort and in the end we had over 40 design submissions to choose from. We both sat down and went through all the designs trying to select 20 on their individual merits and on how well they would sit against the other 19 as a collection. We were very aware of how all 20 cards would look if we sat them all next to each other. In the end we were very lucky in the response we got and selected 20 great designs which are varied in both style and content.

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BenNewman1Illustration by Ben Newman

VP: What motivated you to apply for the competition?

Ben Steers: Ben’s enthusiasm made it very difficult to say no and it’s always fun to take part in Bristol projects especially when it’s for a good cause.

VP: Have any of you ever been involved with charities before?

Illustrator Ben Newman and former Amelia’s magazine contributor: I’ve been involved in a few charity projects raising money for hospitals and endangered animals but my involvement always depends on whether my other projects allow me enough time. I’m really pleased that sometimes I can use a skill to help raise money.

VP: It is so easy to fall into cliches when coming up with a concept for Christmas cards? Those cards are truly original and infused with humor. How did you find inspiration for those cards?

BN: My card was inspired by some of the designs on Record company advertising banners from the 1950’s.

VP: I know what I want for Christmas and it is to welcome lovely kittens into my home. What about you, lovely people?

BN: Booze, food, friends and lot’s of sleeping.

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BjornLie

Illustration by Bjorn Lie

Name of Illustrator: Bjorn Lie

VP: What motivated you to apply for the competition?

BL:  The fact that it was for a local charity. I normally do work for clients in other countries, which is nice, but makes me feel a bit detached from where I actually am, Bristol. This was a chance to be a part of something positive, by just doing my own thing.

VP: Have any of you ever been involved with charities before?

BL: Not actively, no. I would like to do more of it in the future though.

VP: It is so easy to fall into cliches when coming up with a concept for Christmas cards? Those cards are truly original and infused with humor. How did you find inspiration for those cards?

BL:  I’ve been doing a lot of wintry scenes recently for a picture book, so I was already in that frame of mind! My card features a guy on a “spark støtting’, which is an old school means of transportation back in Norway where I’m from.

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Rich T

Name of Illustrator: Rich T

VP: What motivated you to apply for the competition?

Rich T: I thought it was a great idea for a project, a good brief and most importantly fun. If you want people to do stuff for free you have to make it fun, you can’t rely on good will. Kids today….

VP: Have any of you ever been involved with charities before?

Rich T: I have donated artwork for charity auctions in the past.

VP: It is so easy to fall into cliches when coming up with a concept for Christmas cards? Those cards are truly original and infused with humor. How did you find inspiration for those cards?

Rich T: I didn’t want to draw anything to do with Christmas so for me the opposite of Christmas is probably Pepsi, always forgotten in the festive period along with Jesus, job done.

VP: I know what I want for Christmas and it is to welcome lovely kittens into my home. What about you, lovely people?

Rich T: All I want for Christmas is loads of expensive gifts, preferably ones I can sell on E bay, and a dog but I don’t want it forever, just Christmas.

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Name of Illustrator: Chris Dickason

CD: More than anything else the brief sounded like a fun way to spend some time away from commercial work and a chance to get a little Christmas over nostalgic whilst I looked for inspiration. There’s a fantastic wealth of talent in Bristol and consistently the artists and designs here produce work that’s as innovative as it is clever, funny and engaging. I’m really interested in being involved with projects that help promote the city as a creative hub. And obviously it’s great to be involved with a local charity as well.

VP: Have any of you ever been involved with charities before?

CD: I’ve worked commercially for charities and raised a bit of money from sponsorship for just about plodding myself around some marathons but I’d been looking for a project that consolidated my own discourse and a worthy cause. The ‘All I Want for Christmas’ project ticked a lot of boxes in my head when I received the email. It’s very much a win-win situation for the artists. Projects like this offer creative freedom are chance to see work viewed along side your contemporaries as well as providing a healthy dose of the ‘feel good factor’ as you get to support a charity to boot.

VP: It is so easy to fall into cliches when coming up with a concept for Christmas cards? Those cards are truly original and infused with humor. How did you find inspiration for those cards?

CD: Christmas is a great time of year because it provides some very personal memories but these experiences are similar to that shared by most other people. I was motivated to create an image that was based on occurrences that are typical of my Christmas experiences (over indulgence, goodnatured gluttony, sharing & caring) and hoped that these ideas would resonate with the audience.

VP: I know what I want for Christmas and it is to welcome lovely kittens into my home. What about you, lovely people?

CD: The main thing I want for Christmas is in fact free and that is a nice chunk of uninterrupted sleep. If I had my may I’d turn into a big grizzly bear and snooze all winter long and wake back up when the temperature is back in double figures. Alas I’m yet to master this skill.

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So now you know what these chaps all want for Christmas. How about you? You might just want to escape the usual uninspiring, tacky and overdone festive art on display this season and treat yourself to fun, cheeky and sustainable charity cards. The Christmas card packs are a limited edition of 500, each containing 20 cards individually designed by 20 of Bristol’s finest illustrators, litho printed on 100% recycled card, 20 envelopes and an A2 poster. They cam be purchased on www.alliwantforchristmascards.com. Price per pack: £15 + £2.99 p&p

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2 Responses to “All I Want for Christmas is cards!”

  1. David says:

    Every year we’ve gone through the painful task of designing a cool card for Xmas, with more or less success. This year, having just gone through an equally painful process with one of our clients, we decided to use our heads (and hearts) and do something a little more useful. We thought of buying charity cards and sending them, but still, all things considering, we wanted to give the biggest bang for our buck to someone who could really use the money. We designed a simple email “card” telling our friends and clients we’re giving the money we would have spent (plus a little extra) to a kids charity in India. http://www.futurehope.net
    With luck, it will encourage some of the recipients to spread a little Xmas joy a little further this year.
    In fact, my kids don’t know it yet, but their Xmas present this year will be the satisfaction of knowing that I haven’t spent the money on another “Xmas book” destined to remain unread on the shelf, or yet another Playstation game that I don’t even know they’ll like.
    Happy Christmas (don’t you hate “Happy Holidays”?) to you and all your downtrodden interns.
    David

  2. Amelia says:

    Hello David, Thanks for the comment. I agree with you, and after reading your post, it’s decided! I shall NOT give a Xmas book or Playstation to anybody. Didn’t you know they’re not sustainable anymore? In fact, your India kids charity will be added to the list of charities I contribute to, thank you VERY VERY much for that lovely post!

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