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 solution to mix their love of portray, drawing, and paper items. Expensive Hancock’s painterly aesthetics and narrative particulars symbolize 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 lately graduated from the CalArts MFA program; Earnest was instructing woodworking and I used to be working as an illustrator. We had been on a stroll someday and I mentioned, “Let’s begin a enterprise the place we will be inventive 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 yr 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 a superb 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 each day walks early within the morning and people walks have turn into extraordinarily generative to our inventive course of. However there isn’t any set time when an thought will strike—it’s all truthful recreation. Earnest and I are every good observers of tradition and our environment. We like to consider what makes folks snort or what somebody would possibly need to hear when issues aren’t going their approach. I’m typically declaring, “Wouldn’t that be a terrific card thought?” 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 seem like as a card maker and designer? 

Every single day is assorted and so are our job lists, however it doesn’t matter what we all the time start our day with that stroll and occasional. 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 yr and located a phenomenal area in a classic schoolhouse. It has 20-foot ceilings and large home windows that fill the area with essentially the most lovely mild. This previous week our days had been full of 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’ve over 55 gross sales reps now, so ensuring everybody’s decks are updated is not any small feat. We’ve one of the best staff—they assist immensely with order success, invoicing, and transport 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 area much more light-hearted and cheerful. We work lots 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 mixture 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. One in every of our unique illustrations options Hancock the Punny Rabbit, a bunny that has since turn into certainly one of 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 rapidly and doesn’t bleed. We additionally like the colourful colours and the opacity of gouache versus different water-based paints. 



What does your inventive course of seem like? 

We began Expensive Hancock by creating illustrations at our eating room desk once we lived in Los Angeles, but in some way even with an enormous studio, we all the time appear to gravitate towards creating art work 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 hold my concepts in a single place, however I like the liberty to attract wherever 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 effectively collectively; we’ve got comparable sensibilities and aesthetics, which helps each in enterprise and in our private life. 

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

It makes us so pleased once we obtain emails from prospects telling us how they’ve been accumulating our playing cards for years or shopping for the Expensive Hancock Bunny calendar yearly as a convention. We’ve essentially the most devoted prospects, and we’ve got actually cried studying emails from folks telling us how a lot our illustrations imply to them. We’re proud once we cease and take into consideration how far we’ve come. It’s most obvious when reflecting on the development of the numerous 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 development 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, comply with @dearhancock on IG.