Bio: Vivien is a born and raised Dallasite who lives with her awesome theology teaching husband, Jon Jordan, and their dog Hoosier Daddy. She loves color, food, traveling, parties, thrifting, time with friends and more food. When she's not designing invitations for The Eclectic Press, you can find her doodling on a chalkboard or daydreaming of what city she and her husband will travel to next. Vivien has an art degree from the University of Texas at Dallas with a concentration in photography. Her unofficial degree is in dance parties
Favorite Dallas hangout: Oddfellows & our home
AHD: Tell us all about The Eclectic Press. When and how did you get your start?
VJ: My interest in paper goods started in college when some of my mentors trusted in my creative talent enough to hire me for little projects here and there. When I got engaged to my now husband, Jon, I was determined to design our wedding invitation. It was nothing you’d want to write home to your mom about, but at the time I was really happy with our wedding invite. It wasn’t until a year after our wedding in 2009 that I had enough confidence to start designing for friends showers and then eventually weddings and parties. The name, The Eclectic Press, is inspired by my general interest in a variety of aesthetics ranging from modern to vintage. I wanted the name of my invitation endeavor to pair up with my blog, The Eclectic Life and I think the word “eclectic” fits my personality and aesthetic well.
AHD: You specialize in custom invitations and paper goods. What is it about paper that drew you in?
VJ: I think the combination of graphic design and print design is really appealing to me. I enjoy designing in Illustrator and love the process of working on an invitation and watching the design come together, but few things are more satisfying for an invitation designer than to see the end product of that design in paper form. I guess the whole process of creating an original invitation that a client loves to be able to see your work in print form is why I love paper so much.
AHD: The Eclectic Press paper goods boast gorgeous colors, patterns, and pairings. Where did you get your eye for design?
VJ: Man, talk about confidence booster! Well first, thank you for your kindly worded question. Getting a subscription to Instyle magazine in college, changing my major to art despite my parents disapproval, falling in love with photography and design, traveling, and starting a blog have probably been some of the most influential factors that have shaped my design perspective. In addition to those experiences, I think the cliche "being true to yourself" mantra has been a worthy confidant that's helped me decorate my house, determine my wardrobe and persuade my invitation designs, thus also shaping my design eye. Oh, and watching a little HGTV Design Star doesn't hurt either.
AHD: Do you rue the day the electronic invitation was invented, or consider it just another reason why real paper retains its charm?
VJ: Absolutely not. E-vites are extremely practical and cost-efficient (postage, unfortunately, isn't getting any cheaper) and I know from experience that people are more likely to RSVP to an e-vite when they're faced with one in their inbox –which really helps a host determine how much food to prepare and how to plan a party accordingly. While I can concede that much about e-vites, when you do receive an invitation in the mail I think it makes an occasion even more unique and thoughtful. Therefore, if you want your next event to really stand out, consider mailing out a paper invite!
AHD: You stress the desire to create custom designs for clients, saying you'll even meet in person and start with a sketchpad. Why is it so important that every creation be personal?
VJ: When a client has come to me for an invite, they've likely done a decent amount of research and ultimately discovered that what they're looking for exactly (AKA what reflects their personality or relationship) isn't out there. By creating a personal custom design, the client and I are working together to make something that will express their style, personality and relationship on a piece of paper. A wedding can be easily characterized in the mind of a guest based on the look and feel of the invite (formal, casual, fun, playful, modern, dare I say eclectic?). My end goal for a custom invite is to create a design that my client absolutely loves. With that said, if I'm going to accomplish that goal then it is imperative that I get to know my client, their tastes, their vision so that I can understand better what they're looking for. Meeting for coffee or conversing over e-mail is a great initial start to the entire custom design process. Plus in most cases, it helps me also befriend the client. This is especially helpful when you’re exchanging somewhere in the neighborhood of 100‐200 e-mails over the course of the design process!
AHD: You have a pretty clear statement of faith on your website. How central to your creative endeavors is your faith?
VJ: My faith as a believer in Jesus Christ is the core of everything I am and do, whether artistic or not. Being a believer is a big reason why I strive to offer not only invitation design, but quality customer service as well. You might wonder why this is? As a Christian, my first calling is to love God with everything I have and then to love others in selfless, sacrificial ways. I am passionate about using my platform as a designer to get to know people and to love them well through the process. I want this process to be about people, not just paper. In addition, as a Christian, I see the beauty of art, color, and design as linked to their Creator. When I participate in the creative process, I attempt to emulate God's creative process. I can honor Him by pointing others beyond the beautiful things of the world to the God who created them.
AHD: Do you have anything special planned to share with folks during your appearance at this month’s Walk The Light Arts Festival? How does participation in events like Walk The Light benefit your art and the broader creative community?
VJ: A good friend and talented photographer named Allie Brill, who will also have a lovely booth at the Walk The Light Arts Festival, suggested I do the show and per her recommendation, I am looking forward to connecting with fellow creatives in the area and getting my feet wet since this is my first art festival to participate in! It’s always neat to watch a community of creatives come together and support one another; and considering I’ve only heard great reviews of WTLAF from the past, I am honored to be a part of the participating artists this year!
AHD: How can we learn more about The Eclectic Press, and order our very own custom paper goods?
VJ: You can find The Eclectic Press and more eclectic shenanigans here: paper | blog | instagram or you can shoot me an e-‐mail at email@example.com for more information and a quote for any prospective events you might have.
Thanks a million Art House Dallas for having me! *Art House Dallas solo dance party commencing*