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Words and Images by Kate Arends
We've always been big fans of Kate Arends: founder, designer, and writer for lifestyle blog Wit & Delight. So when it came time to find a partner in design for this year's holiday collaboration cards, we knew exactly where to look — and we couldn't be more excited about how the collection turned out.
Here, Kate takes us behind the cards, sharing her unique perspectives on the holidays, art, and life.
What inspired you to start Wit & Delight? How has it contributed to the evolution of both your life and art?
W&D originally started as a way to collect and organize my inspiration and the beauty I saw all around me. It has always been an outlet for creative expression and a lens to how I view the world. Like everything, it has evolved over the last ten years. W&D has been a time capsule of my young adulthood, and when I've looked back through the "early years," it's interesting to see where my tastes and priorities have changed.
Tell us a bit about the design inspiration behind the cards in the collaboration. What was your process like?
Over the last year, I've been challenging myself to try different methods of creation. I'm a graphic designer by trade, but have taken up painting. Learning how to paint has also opened me up to exploring other avenues. I'm now really fond of cut paper shapes and collage. By switching up mediums, it's changed my perspective on design and opened up a new form of self-expression.
The designs of the holiday card collaborations are inspired by this journey of self-expression and getting out of my comfort zone. My style of design has been fairly rigid and precise. It was fun (and a challenge) to explore looser line placement and organic shapes to convey a theme.
By switching up mediums, it's changed my perspective on design and opened up a new form of self-expression.
What does the holiday season mean to you?
Family. Hands down.
When I was in my 20s, the holidays were often a time of anxiety and restlessness. Over the past few years, I embrace the holidays wholeheartedly. Having kids, creating new traditions, and celebrating the old has reinvigorated my holiday spirit.
One of our favorite activities is stringing up the holiday cards we receive from friends and family.
Are you a pen-to-paper type of person? Do you typically send holiday cards yourself?
Yes! I've always found a hand-written note to be so very special.
I would love to say "Yes, we send them every year!" but the reality is that I almost always think about sending cards the third week of December. There's always New Year's cards, right?
Are there any unique traditions you've created with family or friends that you look forward to?
I always love decorating the Christmas tree with the kids. Having kids has shifted my mindset on perfection. Once I needed to have the perfectly decorated tree, and things just so. I've embraced (a bit reluctantly) the chaos that comes with two kids. I think it's good for me to problem solve a bit.
Recently, I've been participating in a cookbook club, where a group of friends and I gather together and cook from a different cookbook each month. While not specifically a holiday tradition, I'm excited to continue to make time for friends and not stress over perfection.
The designs of the holiday card collaborations are inspired by this journey of self-expression and getting out of my comfort zone.
Which Artifact Uprising products would you consider gifting someone for the holidays?
Baby Board Books.
We made one for both August and Birdie not too long ago and I LOVE this. Both of my kids love to read, and the joy they had when it was their book was priceless. We were able to fill it with pictures of family members that don't live near us, so they could see them every day.
A designer by trade and a self-taught writer, Kate Arends has a healthy appetite for cheese, leaps of faith, and good conversation. She started Wit & Delight when she was $10K in debt and worried about how she’d pay the bills if she lost her job. It was a safety net that turned out to be a vehicle for an entirely new career path. Today, she lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her extroverted husband, Joe, son August, daughter Bennett, and their sweet English labrador Winnie Bear.