Tell us a bit about yourself.
We are Maddy and Seth Lucas of Ello There, and we’re just two folks who are trying our best to make something you will love. We never really planned to be in this position of working on our own. Maddy and I met at college and started studying art at the same time, with the intention of getting jobs in our respective fields when we graduated (Maddy studied photography and I studied graphic design). As we worked on projects, we noticed that our work was better when we did it together. I think we filled in the holes that were missing to make our work really stand out. I started making wedding invitations because Starbucks wasn’t cutting it, and at some point we were able to keep busy enough to do this full time.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
We love road trips. They’re infinitely more fun than air travel, and we get a chance to be away from our computers and just talk, listening to podcasts and good music. We tend to go on several each year, with at least one big one in the summer.
What would be the title of your memoir?
Are We Doing This Right? I Don’t Know, I Sure Hope So by Seth & Maddy Lucas. I feel like we’re constantly trying to figure new invitations and ideas out. We’re always in this sort of learning phase, which is a place I hope we can always be in.
Where does your inspiration come from?
We try to stay away from looking at what other invitation designers are doing. Our goal is to stand out as much as possible, and we can’t do that by trying to do what everyone else is doing. We try to keep our inspiration to what we’re passionate about, which is why you see a lot of music, photography and travel themed invitations in our shop.
What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade means I’ve taken the time to craft something I’m proud of.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
Our friends. Most of our friends make creativity part of their life in some form or another, and it’s exciting and motivating to see them succeed. Also we both had some really solid teachers in college who taught us the value of craft. Not scrapbooking craft, but well made work that you can be proud of.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I used to have this Windows 95 program called “Fine Artist” and it was basically a really watered down “kids” version of Photoshop. I made this design (I’m sure it was awful) for one of my sister’s friends who had a band, and he couldn’t believe I had made it. I loved that I made something that got someone excited, and I just keep chasing that feeling.
How would you describe your creative process?
We both approach it in different ways. I tend to go through lots and lots of different ideas until Maddy gets super excited about a sketch or idea I’ve shown her. Then I tinker and edit, and think and edit until I have a good prototype, and figure out how to get it produced. Maddy usually has a much more clear idea of what she wants, and doesn’t need to fiddle with her work as much as I do.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
William Morris, of the Arts and Crafts movement. I think it would be amazing to look inside the studio he created and see their dedication and intricate work.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My grandma made these really amazing Native American dolls, and we’re lucky enough to have received one after she passed away. She put insane amounts of detail into each one. I love that she didn’t care about the money, it was just something she loved to do and she did it well. That’s probably a better definition of what handmade means.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
By working hard, and getting lost in the work. Any time I sit down to just “be creative,” my ideas are terrible. But if I just get my real work done, new ideas tend to build on top of older work I’ve made, and I can create this bank of good ideas to draw from.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
We’d like to have a flood of new ideas and fresh work, a small house that we own, and 100 babies.