Oh, Valentine’s Day. The season of love is finally here. Now that there are hearts everywhere, couples are roaming the streets hand in hand, vendors are selling red roses (at inflated rates, because consumerism), pink and white balloons are strung up both outside and inside every shop, we can almost smell the love in the air.
If all this isn’t enough to make to gag, we don’t know what is. Now, don’t get us wrong. We’re all romantics at heart here. I mean, who doesn’t love the occasional thoughtful gift or well-planned date, but sometimes, all these elements declaring everlasting, infinite love get a bit too much.
Since we’re crusaders of creativity, The Yellow Sparrow has rounded up some of the best artists on the Internet who make Valentine’s Day cards that you can give your partner, without cringing, barfing or getting embarrassed. You’re welcome. Don’t have a partner? You can just buy some for yourself. Yes, they’re THAT good.
Here at the TYS, we are huge fans of puns. Nothing matches hearing a double entrendre early in the morning except cracking one, of course. And if you’re anything like us, you’ll be pleased to know about some makers who use puns in the cards they make for V-Day.
1. AN INKY AFFAIR
Tattoos and Love Letters was started by Ashley Bailey on Etsy about two years ago. She says her shops aims…
…to create products that really encompass the joys and humour of life.
She uses Adobe Illustrator to illustrate her Valentine’s Day cards and her own handwriting to write the messages. She is also very particular about using eco-friendly products to make her cards and tries to use recyclable material, even when it comes to shipping her products.
Image Courtesy – Tattoos & Love Letters
Her goal is to “offer whimsical paper goods that leave a lasting impression on the buyer and recipient.” Well, that’s something her cards effortlessly do!
2. WIT WAY TO GO?
Julie Ann was 24 when she started her Etsy shop in 2008. Now, almost eight years later, she has sold over 57,000 units and has been featured on the Etsy Quit Your Day Job series as an inspiration to all Etsy shop owners. Whimsical, cute and sassy all at the same time, her cards reflect her sense of humour and make you laugh out loud.
Most of her card ideas strike her during random conversations in everyday life, and we love they aren’t overly mushy, but instead very bright and witty.
She says she started Julie Ann Art as a hobby and never thought it would grow to be such a huge brand. Her cards are now sold internationally and can also be ordered online. You can look at the whole range here.
Image Courtesy – Julie Ann Art
3. WELCOME TO THE CARD-Y
Pranita Kocharekar, a graphic designer based in Mumbai, makes whimsical, lighthearted cards for the creative, the unconventional and the ones who can take a good laugh. Unlike other card makers who produce cards that you need to purchase per piece, she has published a little card book called Until Next Time that has palm sized Valentine’s Day cards, but cards for pretty much every occasion you can think of.
Until Next Time has cards for your partner, family and friends and also for strangers who look like they need a hug or the people in your life that you see everyday but never quite value, like your domestic help or the bus driver who takes you to your destination daily.
Image courtesy – Instagram
She has also specialised in typography and illustration so you can be sure her cards are nothing less than brilliant, and with their superb illustrations and no-nonsense yet heartfelt messages, these cards are bound to make the receiver’s day. You should look at her Instagram page and while you’re at it, do check out her website – you won’t be disappointed!
4. ‘LOVE’LY BE THY FOOD
CLARISSA DI NICOLA
It’s a fact: everything becomes so much better when we add food to it. Birthdays, festivals, promotions – the celebrations never seem to be complete unless there’s a plate of food (or two) in them. So how could Valentine’s Day be left behind?
Card maker Clarissa Di Nicola, owner of Substellar Studio on Etsy, does that a bit differently though. She uses illustrations of food with a very quirky caption using puns to create Valentine’s Day cards that are adorable to look at and cheeky enough to make you smile.
Image courtesy- Substellar Studio
Clarissa is a graphic designer working in Sydney, Australia and works on her cards to pursue her hobby at home. She prints and packages all her cards herself, and the inside of the card is left empty so that you can write your own personal message. To see more of her cards, visit her Etsy page.
WE FAND’OM SO GOOD
Who hasn’t been glued to the television watching their favourite shows and movies with eight tubs of popcorn and a gallon of our favourite drink on the most comfortable couch in the house for, you know, a week? Okay, so maybe we’re exaggerating. But the point here is, we all love fictional universes. And if we could, we would make fictional characters our Valentines. Always. But, unfortunately, that isn’t happening. The good news is that there are a crazy amount of geeky Valentine’s Day cards out there to satiate the inner fangirls and fanboys in us, and while they’re at it, our partners as well.
Think Sherlock, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Breaking Bad or actually, virtually anything, and the Internet has you covered. We’ve listed a few artists who have given their creative (and nerdy) take on Valentine’s Day – and how we love them for it!
5. DEARLY BELOVED
The owner of Darkroom and Dearly, Brittany Goodson, started the greeting card shop on Etsy in 2012 and says she offers…
…sweet, silly and slightly geeky designs which appeal to all those sci-fi aficionados out there.
If you look at Goodson’s Etsy shop collection, you’ll know precisely what she means. Her Valentine’s Day cards are beautiful, minimalistic and incredibly cute. She not only covers several fandoms out there through her illustrations on pretty card stock, but also supplies cards that are both meaningful and winsome for other occasions as well.
Image Courtesy – Darkroom And Dearly
The world may have moved on to e-cards and instant messaging, but for Goodson, there is something very novel and appealing about writing and sending cards. If they are cards like the ones she makes, we can imagine why.
6. GEEKY KIND OF LOVE
Tara’s Etsy shop Crafting Tiger describes her as “Owner, Maker, Designer, Curator, Cardsmith”. Based in the United States, she calls herself a total nerd and loves making cards that are awesome, fun and geeky.
What’s special about her cards is that they aren’t printed, but cut out. The negative part is used which is then added to the card base. The little letter bits are glued to make the marvellous cards she ships.
Image Courtesy – Crafting Tiger
She says she wants to see people love and laugh and her cards do exactly that. To look at all the amazing, geeky cards she makes, check out her Etsy page.
7. LIGHTS, CAMERA, PAPERCUT
We’ve all heard about paper cutting (if you haven’t, you should definitely read this) and it’s safe to say it’s pretty awe-inspiring as an art. But Emma of EHDesign takes it to a whole new level. She is based in the United Kingdom and says she found her passion for paper cutting when she helped the British Red Cross raise money for the tsunami that devastated Japan in March 2011.
She has studied photography, textile and fine arts as well, but found paper cutting to be the most exciting. Each card she makes is inserted with a coloured paper of your choice, giving it a personal touch. The cards can also be customised with two sets of initials and a special, personalised message for the receiver.
Image Courtesy – EHDesignStore
These are so beautiful, we can only imagine how gorgeous they’d look when they’re framed and hung on a wall! Look at her Etsy page and you’ll know what we mean.
8. WOOD YOU PLEASE ACCEPT THIS CARD?
Paper cards too mainstream for you? How about taking a step behind and making use of the very substance that is used to make paper? Yes, we’re talking about cards made from trees–or more precisely, wood.
Cardtorial was started by Yvonne Leung in 2011 after she realized what an amazing canvas wood made for art. Leung was initially managing her woody career along with her day job, but quit the latter a couple of years later to focus solely on her love of carving and cutting wood. She doesn’t regret it one bit, and has now tasted immense success in this field and boasts of selling her products not just in the USA, but in countries all over the world.
On why she chose wood as her base, she says,
It’s natural, elegant in its simplicity, and it lasts and lasts, like all great memories should.
All her wooden cards are delicately carved with a laser cutter, giving them a very rustic, nostalgic look that’s as sophisticated as it is charming. Her cards are unbelievably creative, greatly pleasing to the eye and perfectly blend the old world charm of wood with the modern stories of love and passion.
Image courtesy – Cardtorial
The best part is that Cardtorial doesn’t just stop at Valentine’s Day cards, they also make cards for birthdays and miscellaneous occasions. They even have a section for dogs! Although, if we are being honest, we think we’d just keep all the cards for ourselves instead of gifting them away; they’re so pretty.
The reality is, for years, we’ve seen only mushy, corny Valentine Day cards in gift stores and card shops but these extremely talented artists are taking down that idea and are slowly replacing them with fresh, light cards that inch towards cheeky and nerdy when not making outright innuendos with suggestive captions and graphic illustrations, all the while maintaining their artistic edge. Their stories and ideas are indicators that creativity cannot be limited and can manifest itself in several ways, even when it comes to the most cliched event of all–Valentine’s Day.