02 December 2013: An Interview with Kalo from Kalo Make Art
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We love pretty paper details here at The Wedding Scoop so we're very excited to share some whimsical wedding invitation suites by Kalo Make Art as well as an interview with the lovely creative director and designer of the line herself! Kalo specialises in bespoke wedding invitation and stationery design and provides the whole range of wedding stationery, from save the dates, wedding invitations, RSVPs, wedding table stationery, ceremony programs, thank you cards and wedding favour stickers.
TWS: How did Kalo Make Art start?
Kalo: Before Kalo Make Art, I studied Fine Art in London where I lived for the past decade. After graduation, I worked in various art galleries and spent three years working in a concierge company, while making artwork in the evenings. I must admit, being an artist in a creative city like London wasn’t easy! Luckily, my passion and hunger towards art never faded and it had helped me to achieve what I really love to do today! In the summer of 2001, due to my husband’s job, we moved from London to Singapore. My twin sister, Kalam, who has been working in the Hong Kong’s bridal industry under the brand of “Kalam Make Up” for many years, encouraged me to make an attempt at the wedding invitation design industry. After some “investigation”, I realized there was a lack of personalized and creative wedding invitation card design services for the Asian market, so I was determined to give it a try and this was how Kalo Make Art was born.
TWS: What is it like managing your own business?
Kalo: I absolutely love it! I am doing what I love and I am in control of my own time. Although a lot of people think that being a freelancer or managing your own business is fun and easy but I personally think it is a lot of hard work! It takes a lot of self-discipline (and coffee!) At work, I spend about eight hours a day focus on designing wedding invitations, the remaining time is used for administrative work, such as responding to emails, updating my website, blog, Facebook page, etc. I work an average of twelve hours a day! Working on my own can be lonesome at times but since I moved to Singapore, I’ve met a bunch of friends who also work in the creative industry – from sound designing to fine art artists. If we run out of creative juices, we meet up to keep each other inspired!
TWS: How does stationery add to a wedding and why should couples spend time on it?
Kalo: I believe all couples have their own interesting story to tell, individual personality and style to reflect. A unique and stylish wedding invitation sets the tone in advance for your big day. It can serve to make your guests even more excited about attending your wedding! In the past when bespoke design services were not so popular and widely available (and even nowadays), most couples would walk into a wedding card company where they were presented with various design templates. The only way to personalize their invitations was to pick and mix various elements from these templates. The invitation design outcome appeared typical, predictable and unsurprising! It did not reflect the couple’s styles at all! Weddings only happens once in a lifetime, why not spend some time and thought to create an invitation that is truly meaningful to you and your partner? Create a keepsake that is precious, valuable and will continually remind you of the memorable moments of your big day!
TWS: What is your personal stationery style?
Kalo: This is a very tricky question! Since Kalo Make Art is dedicated to providing bespoke wedding invitation design services, most of the invitation designs are created in response to customer's design briefs and requirements. And as the designer, I enjoy the diverse styles amongst each project, and this is what makes my job creative and fun! If I have to choose a personal style I love to work with, I would say a style that is “quirky” and “whimsical”! Previously, I created an “infographic” bespoke wedding invitation suite for a couple which I really enjoyed. Nancy and Liam come from a financial background and processing data and figures are an important part of their everyday work. They asked me to use infographics to illustrate their interests and backgrounds on their wedding invitation. During the design process, they gave me a total of nine pages of information! The data included the latitude of the place where they were born, the total distance they travelled together, their average annual household expenditure and even their daily energy cycle! It was really quirky and untraditional.
TWS: What is it that you most enjoy about creating wedding stationery and being in the wedding industry?
Kalo: I love chatting to couples and getting to know their stories of how they met, hobbies they share and ideas they have for their wedding stationery. Each couple has their unique story, personality and bond that always fascinates me. The most enjoyable and fulfilling part is to receive positive feedback from the couples on how much they and their guests love the wedding stationery! It is a real honour to be part of their utmost important celebration in life, a reason to stay in love with my role in the wedding industry!
TWS: What kind of stationery did you have at your own wedding?
Kalo: I got married this summer and our wedding was held in a barn in Brighton, in the UK. The wedding venue has a rich and rustic countryside atmosphere. My husband and I both love animals, so we naturally chose ‘animals’ as our wedding theme. Our wedding stationery had a barn / animal theme running through it. For the wedding invitation, I drew a pair of piglets looking at the sunrise to represent the happiness of our future. I wrote calligraphy for the table plan and place names with individual cut out animals. I had also created colorful buntings and animal ornaments to decorate the barn along with pom poms and photo garlands. I even designed the confetti cones in animal patterns and hand cut all the confetti. Each element in our wedding was personal and I can’t think of anything that was not handmade by us!
TWS: Tell us a little bit more about your celebration - memorable moments, unique elements etc.?
Kalo: Daniel and I had two ceremonies on our wedding day – the first was a civil ceremony for just family members and closest friends and the second ceremony was for all wedding guests. We spent months choosing poems, literature pieces and songs that truly mean something to us. Each ceremony was full of love, whimsy and music played by my husband’s family. The moment when Daniel played his version of The White Stripes, ‘I can tell that we are gonna be friends’, I just bursted into tears.
TWS: Do you have any tips and tricks for our readers currently planning their weddings?
Kalo: Planning a wedding is fun, but sometimes it can be really overwhelming to look at the list of things you need to organise the wedding. Try to keep your planning enjoyable and stress-free, you can even take your wedding admin and plan them at coffee shops or bars! For tips on choosing a wedding stationer, I would say choose a stationery designer who is passionate about what they do, someone who is patient and listens to your needs and most important of all, someone you feel relaxed and comfortable working with. Most wedding invitation design processes take time and you don’t want to get trapped with a designer who is not able to meet your requirements. Last but not least, my top wedding planning tip is to do one thing at a time! For most people, planning a wedding is probably the biggest event you will ever experience in your lifetime, so do it bit by bit, enjoy every moment and have fun with your loved one!