Artist Spotlight: Meet Slightly Stationery

California-based Slightly Stationery has been creating charming cards and gifts for nearly a decade. Founded in Portland, Oregon by Michael and Alicia Heater, this one-of-a-kind company continues to help people spread love through heartfelt notes and even dedicates a portion of their proceeds to support girls’ education internationally. In this Q&A with, co-founder (and designer of all Slightly Stationery cards!) Alicia discusses her path to becoming a professional artist, her love for stationery and so much more! 

  

What inspired you to become an artist? 

I've never considered myself an artist, but it's been an evolution. As a kid, I wanted to be an architect, and for fun I “played” on AutoCAD. Later on, I'd abandoned the idea of being an architect, but my enthusiasm for AutoCAD lent itself nicely to learning graphic design programs. Through some of my graphic design projects I took on, I ended up dabbling in illustration...and here we are! Maybe one of these days I'll consider myself an artist. 

 

When you have a creative block, what pulls you out of it? 

It's not a sexy answer, but I force it. It's a nice idea to wait for inspiration and an overwhelming desire to create something, but this is also my job, and I need to work and meet deadlines regardless, and oftentimes I'll feel more creative and inspired as I go. Henri Matisse's quote holds true: "Don't wait for inspiration. It comes while one is working." 

 

What is your proudest moment as an artist and business owner? 

Every order feels exciting and validating since someone is buying something that I made. There have been a few times that some large national chains will request or order a product before it's even created and they've seen it all, and the trust they're placing in our artwork and our business is not lost on me. 

 

What is it about stationery that draws you to it? 

I love that at its core, it is personal, thoughtful and heartfelt. That doesn't always have to mean sappy, either! I love hearing that someone found one of our cards in a shop or online and it made them think of someone specific, so it ended up serving as the catalyst for a thoughtful note. 

 

What's your favorite occasion to design a card for? 

In general, birthdays, because there's just so much that you can do with those. It's also fun to design things that speak to a season of life that I'm in or familiar with, though—such as right after I had a baby when I had so many ideas for (really honest) baby cards. 

 

Your designs feature everything from punny to sentimental messages. Do you have any advice for people who get stuck on what to write to their recipients? 

Tell the person what they mean to you, don't write too small if you're anxious about having to fill up a whole card, and if you want to use someone else's words, don't be afraid to lean on a meaningful verse, lyric, or quote—just attribute it! If you don't know what to say, there's nothing wrong with a short and thoughtful message. There's no rule that says that you have to fill a card full of words.

 

Slightly Stationery was founded by Michael and Alicia Heater in Portland, Oregon in 2014 and now operates with a growing team out of Oceanside, California. They hope to inspire people to write uplifting notes and be thoughtful gift-givers. With a spirit of playfulness and thoughtfulness, Michael and Alicia’s fun and delightful greeting cards and gifts are intended to make both the sender and the recipient chuckle and smile. Check out their art on Instagram (@slightlystationery) and on Evite!

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