We have a great group of artists with whom we've partnered to create the Themes you find in Photogram. One of our most popular artists is This Paper Ship, the Greensboro (NC) based husband and wife duo of Joel and Ashley Shelby. They are the creative geniuses behind the Photogram themes:
"Man's Best Friend"
"Girls' Night Out"
... as well as Best Friends Forever (BFF of course!), Happy Anniversary, Purrrfectly Peachy (for cat lovers) and Honey Tot (a great theme for sharing infant pictures). Incidentally, not only do they make stylish themes for us, they also do logo designs, wedding invitations, web site design, and more for a ton of satisfied clients. Be sure to check out all their work here.
We wanted to get to know them a little better, so we interviewed them and here's what we learned.
1. How did you get started in the business?
We completed our BFA degrees in graphic design together a few years ago, having been led there from our lifelong passion for drawing.
We’ve both always known we want to spend our lives being creative, and the design, illustration, and photography industries allow us to best combine work and play.
2. What was the inspiration to set up your own shop? Was there a “defining moment”?
It all started during college when we posted photos of our own wedding invitations on a “custom invitation” listing on Etsy and had our first client within a month. We always knew that we wanted to work for ourselves eventually, but we found ourselves doing it much earlier than anticipated when the economy tanked in 2008 and design jobs were nonexistent upon graduation! The other major defining moment for us was earlier this year when, after having slowly built up our studio from scratch over the course of two years, we went full-time and never looked back.
3. How do you manage the intricacies of your business and personal relationships?
On reflection, we notice that we tend to be the same people in business as in our personal lives. That is, we’re generally easygoing, imaginative, genuine people with a goofy sense of humor and a tendency to expect as much out of life as we can get.
4. You do a lot of work for brides and weddings. Do you have any “Bridezilla” moments to share?
Ha! The funny thing, contrary to what conventional wisdom might suggest, is that our brides are almost always our most laid back clients and our only “zilla” moments tend to come from regular clients! That said, though, we feel like we’ve had a disproportionately low amount of bad run-ins with the amount of client work we’ve had, and we like to think that our cheery portfolio attracts people who are fun to work with!
5. What would you say is the one word that clients would use to describe you?
Whimsical! Which, for us, emphasizes the balance between childlike wonder and adult sophistication.
6. What do you like to do when you are not creating awesome designs and artwork?
We both love to read the Harry Potter series, watch Disney and Pixar movies, cook and bake from scratch daily, travel to see family as far west as California and east as Scotland, tend to our chickens and garden, and play with our cats. Additionally, Joel writes poems, stories, and is trying his hand at screenplays, and Ashley is building her individual style as a painter.