Card Designer Highlight: Expensive Hancock

The Card Designer Highlight is a collection that includes unbiased makers whose greeting playing cards you will discover in Paper Supply shops.  Meet and be impressed by a brand new designer each month on our weblog!

Wendy Mason and Earnest Merritt, spouse and husband duo, shaped Expensive Hancock in 2010 as a method to mix their love of portray, drawing, and paper items. Expensive Hancock’s painterly aesthetics and narrative particulars characterize a mixture of nostalgia, humor, and on a regular basis life. Mason’s and Merritt’s artwork backgrounds are evident on this distinctive model, notably in Hancock the Punny Rabbit, a beloved character who’s depicted hopping round humorous conditions with a steadfast expression.



How did you start your card-making profession? 

We had just lately graduated from the CalArts MFA program; Earnest was educating woodworking and I used to be working as an illustrator. We had been on a stroll at some point and I stated, “Let’s begin a enterprise the place we might be artistic and paint all day!” It was 2010, and as a result of financial downturn, I had been laid off from my design job—the proper catalyst to begin one thing new. I began Expensive Hancock that 12 months and Earnest joined me full-time two years later. We participated within the Nationwide Stationery Present in 2010 with simply 30 card designs and had been picked up by Paper Supply and Anthropologie, which gave Expensive Hancock working begin. 


The place do you draw inspiration from?

 It’s onerous to say the place our private lives start and our enterprise lives finish. Our inspiration comes from on a regular basis life, popular culture, our previous and current, and principally all the pieces round us. We take every day walks early within the morning and people walks have develop into extraordinarily generative to our artistic course of. However there is no such thing as a set time when an concept will strike—it’s all honest sport. Earnest and I are every good observers of tradition and our environment. We like to consider what makes individuals snort or what somebody would possibly need to hear when issues aren’t going their manner. I’m typically mentioning, “Wouldn’t that be a terrific card concept?” If Earnest laughs, then I do know it’s a good suggestion and we begin to develop a design round it. This course of features a quirky “Wendy sketch” that Earnest refines later for manufacturing. 


What does your day appear to be as a card maker and designer? 

Each day is diverse and so are our process lists, however it doesn’t matter what we all the time start our day with that stroll and low. Then we head out to the Expensive Hancock studio, which is simply 10 minutes from the place we reside. We moved to Richmond, Virginia, final 12 months and located a fantastic house in a classic schoolhouse. It has 20-foot ceilings and big home windows that fill the house with essentially the most lovely gentle. This previous week our days had been crammed with ending up our new Vacation launch and sending out samples of our new playing cards and calendars to our gross sales reps and showrooms. We have now over 55 gross sales reps now, so ensuring everybody’s decks are updated isn’t any small feat. We have now the perfect workforce—they assist immensely with order achievement, invoicing, and delivery wholesale and direct orders. Earnest and I additionally painted the studio’s assertion wall this week, illustrating strawberries, leaves, triangles, and smiley faces. We needed to make the Expensive Hancock house much more light-hearted and cheerful. We work rather a lot however really feel so lucky to personal our personal firm, which permits us possession over our schedule. 



What’s your most well-liked medium?

 We love working in gouache and pencil. The mix of those two mediums is on the basis of our illustration work. We regularly draw our characters in pencil and hand-paint the main points in gouache. Certainly one of our authentic illustrations options Hancock the Punny Rabbit, a bunny that has since develop into one among our signature characters, that I drew in pencil after which Earnest added hand-painted maracas. We additionally like gouache as a result of it permits us to depict detailed work for the reason that medium dries shortly and doesn’t bleed. We additionally like the colourful colours and the opacity of gouache versus different water-based paints. 



What does your artistic course of appear to be? 

We began Expensive Hancock by creating illustrations at our eating room desk after we lived in Los Angeles, but in some way even with an enormous studio, we all the time appear to gravitate towards creating paintings in our eating room. We begin from sketches that I create on sticky notes, on the again of payments, in sketchbooks, or from lists of card concepts. I’m a doodler and we attempt to maintain my concepts in a single place, however I like the liberty to attract anyplace to get my concepts out. We then create a collection of working drawings that we make on tissue paper. Earnest works out the composition, then we switch it to sizzling press watercolor paper, after which we’re prepared to color! We’re fortunate that our illustration kinds work properly collectively; we’ve comparable sensibilities and aesthetics, which helps each in enterprise and in our private life. 

What are you most happy with as a creator and card maker? 

It makes us so comfortable after we obtain emails from prospects telling us how they’ve been gathering our playing cards for years or shopping for the Expensive Hancock Bunny calendar yearly as a practice. We have now essentially the most devoted prospects, and we’ve actually cried studying emails from individuals telling us how a lot our illustrations imply to them. We’re proud after we cease and take into consideration how far we’ve come. It’s most obvious when reflecting on the development of the various studio areas we’ve labored in since we’ve been in enterprise. With every new Expensive Hancock studio, we will see the visible illustration of the development, enlargement, and progress of the corporate.

Discover Expensive Hancock’s  You’re So Scorching Bunny Card, Leaf Bunny Thank You Card, and Bunny with Maracas Birthday Card at your native retailer or on-line at For extra inspiration and behind-the-scenes motion, observe @dearhancock on IG.