First up in our creative spotlight is our wonderful friend, Jesse Delgado, with his fantastic envelope art! Jesse has enjoyed drawing since he was a kid. When Jesse was around 5 years of age, his older sister encouraged him to start sketching. Years later, Jesse began delighting friends and family members on special occasions with creatively decorated greeting card envelopes. His envelope art began as a simple and fun outlet for creativity but has quickly evolved into an artistic tradition. Jesse’s gifts of art are treasured by everyone who receives them. Friends and family are so excited to see what he’ll draw next that the greeting cards are almost more anticipated that the gifts that they accompany!
Jesse was kind enough to chat with us about his creative process and inspirations.
(HAL): Where did you get your start in envelope art? What inspired you to begin (and continue) this unique art form?
(Jesse): Eight years ago I decided to come up with a fun way to change Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards for my parents. I then began making birthday envelopes for the rest of the family, and somehow word got out that I drew on the envelopes. I was asked to draw for a few friends, and loved having the chance to sketch since I don’t have many occasions to do so. This is an outlet to create for me, and I enjoy the process.
(HAL): What do you think is the most important influence in your art?
(Jesse): The biggest influence for these projects is brand recognition. I try to think about what the person likes and what they can relate to, and then put a different spin on the design. I like drawing something familiar; however, I also really enjoy working on lettering. I try different designs and try not to duplicate the same pattern, if I can help it.
(HAL): Why envelopes?
(Jesse): I got into the envelopes because I think they’re appreciated. The creations I do don’t warrant a frame, like a picture on someone’s wall. I am not great at painting or airbrushing. I like to draw with pencils and markers, as this is most comfortable for me.
(HAL): How has your envelope art evolved since you first began?
(Jesse): It’s evolved quite a bit over the years, especially considering that I now focus more on challenging myself to do better each time. I want the recipient to say, “Wow!” or, “Whoa!”. For the first envelopes, I was more concerned about ‘how fast can you come up with something that is recognizable?’, or ‘just make something that is different from the other cards that might be given to the person’. I still want to be different from all other cards that will be lying on the table or in a gift box. The biggest change is that previously, I used to only draw what I saw in my head in its entirety instead of just starting with a rough sketch first. I now sketch, then fill in the work and take more time. I have also upgraded materials to include colored pencils along with Sharpies.
(HAL): Do you currently have any favorite art materials (certain brands of pens or pencils, paper types, etc.)?
(Jesse): I enjoy working with Prismacolor colored pencils and Sharpies to achieve the fine lines. When buying a card and envelope, I look for the white envelopes so that I have a nice, blank canvas. If the card is too funny or fits the person just right and the envelope is not white, then I make do.
(HAL): Tell us about other artistic interests that you enjoy.
(Jesse): Since I started watching “Ink Master” on Spike TV on Tuesdays, I feel that Wednesday is the most creative day I have. I am fascinated by the different designs and techniques but can’t imagine being able to tattoo. I like the rockabilly style of clothing, cars, and tattoos. This style reminds me of my favorite musician, Elvis Presley.
(HAL): Anything else that you’d like to share about art, creativity, or yourself?
(Jesse): Not at the moment, but thanks for letting me share my creativity with you guys!