Q&A with Jeannette Ordas of The Beautiful Project

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Q: What is the one stationery item you couldn’t live without?

A: A birthday card! Luckily, I always have a good supply on hand. It’s always fun trying to find the perfect birthday card for that special person.

Q: Who are some of your favourite Canadian designers/artists? 

A: I really love Montrealer Jessica Eaton‘s photography prints that look like paintings. I saw an exhibition of her work in Cleveland this past spring at the Transformer Station gallery and her work was so colourful and bold. Also, Jason McLean‘s quirky comic book artwork is the perfect measure of fun and a lil’ creepy – plus he’s from my hometown of London, Ontario. I also really love the Vancouver photographs of Fred Herzog, who really captured a Vancouver that doesn’t exist so much anymore except in the smallest glimpses.

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Q: What do you do when you hit a creative roadblock?

A: Traveling is always a good way to get inspired, but I can’t just hop on a plane anytime I’m feeling stumped. Luckily, Vancouver is a pretty amazing place to clear your head, so I can just hop on my bike and meander around my favourite neighbourhoods to get a new perspective. A nice long bubble bath usually helps to get new ideas churning. And if that doesn’t work, setting aside a block of time during the day to focus, work hard and shake out those new ideas.

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Q: Name five spots you love to go in your city.

  1. A good lazy wander through historic Strathcona, my favourite Vancouver residential neighbourhood, to take photographs and dream of old houses.
  2. My favourite local neighbourhood joint Via Tevere Pizzeria for a lemony arugula salad, a salami pizza and a glass of their house red.
  3. The 10th Avenue bike path between Woodland Drive and Prince Edward Street is really wonderful any time of year, but I love it especially in autumn when the tree lined street is filled with colourful leaves.
  4. Trout Lake in the summer for a picnic with friends!
  5. The patio at Tangent Cafe for a pint or two of a tasty ice cold craft-brewed IPA.

Q: Fill in the blank: Snail mail is…..

A: A thoughtful way to let someone know that you’re thinking of them. Getting a handwritten note, card or letter in the mail is much more meaningful than a text or an email.

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Q: What does your creative space look like? 

A: My creative space is a home office that does double duty with the web design business that I run with my husband. It’s also a nice bright white space with lots of windows, high vaulted ceilings and a ton of books and magazines that help when I need a bit of inspiration. The best part is the window right by my iMac – I’m always spotting colourful birds all year long flying and resting on the branches of the trees that are right outside. I’ve even spotted raccoons and cats climbing to the treetops and I’m on the 3rd floor! It’s like working inside a treehouse.

The Beautiful Project offers up whimsical, original illustrated greeting cards and paper goods. The designs are colourful and fun, often with a cutting wit. New cards and creations debut every few months, many featuring cute animals wearing sly grins and spouting oddball sentiments. Jeannette Ordas, who wears all the hats in this endeavour, has a fondness for the clever and the goofy in equal measure.