Q&A with Valerie of Designs by Val

Q:You knew you had a love for arts and crafts early on – did you formally study design? If so, where? If you are self taught, please share a bit about how you developed your artistic skills.

A: I studied business in university, but have thought that maybe I should have gone to art/design school instead. I’ve taken a few design courses here and there, and also learned through practice and by googling : ) Having my own business now, I’m glad I did finish up the degree, but one day (I know, one day!) I would still love to travel somewhere and take a summer art course there.

Q: When did you know you had a love for stationery?

A: Ever since I can remember! I think my love for arts and crafts naturally led to my love for paper goods. I love going into stationery shops and looking at the walls of cards and wrapping papers.

Q: Please tell us about a memorable piece of snail mail you have received.

A: My family is really good with sending cards for special occasions like birthdays and Christmas, so I really cherish those. I also love postcards from family/friends from their travels. While not actually snail mail, since he gives these directly to me, my husband makes me handmade cards, which I love. Sometimes before a special occasion we’re both in different rooms making each other cards and he pops into the room to borrow some supplies, which makes me laugh : )

Q: We love that vibrant colours and food are often part of your designs – where do you draw inspiration from when creating your cards?

A: I do love desserts (especially dark chocolate), so inspiration for my cards have definitely come from food! I love the colours of sweet treats in a bakery and even the fruits and veggies at the grocery store. Going for walks, visiting local shops, going to the library, reading blogs, looking at travel photos, and listening to music, have all been inspirational. Sometimes an afternoon at a coffee shop gets the creative juices going too.

Q: Any dream projects or collaborations you’d like to work on?

A: I’d love to license my artwork for products beyond greeting cards, or maybe even illustrate a book. It would also be great to collaborate with some of the amazing artists in my local community.

Designs by Val is a happy little stationery and design company based in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. Our cards are modern, with a bit of whimsy, and plenty of joy. Each design often starts as a simple sketch or cluster of words, and after much thought to the design process, a new card is added to the collection. Early on in life, owner & designer Valerie Lau soon discovered something she had as much love for as chocolate: arts & crafts. This soon developed into a passion for creating paper goods. When not designing, she can be found at a local eatery, walking around the park, trying to get past page 50 of a novel, or just living what she loves.