I love color. Cheery bright pops of color. Which is probably why Johnna West's stationary caught my eye on a recent trip to design store fave, The Primary Essentials. Lauren Snyder, TPE's owner, showed me some of Johnna's line, called Frances Lab. It includes notebooks, cards, wrapping papers in abstract, painterly patterns as well as crisp, graphic designs.
All curious, I recently visited Johnna to find out more about her work. Frances Lab's HQ is Johnna's comfortable, spacious apartment in Bed-Stuy, a home she shares with her boyfriend and a ridiculously cute feline showboat named Luna.
Johnna describes her process as one that walks a fine line between between design and art. She begins by creating an oil painting, watercolor or line drawing, then digitizes and formats the art for printing. Johnna began making stationary in 2013 while still at her day job as creative director for a restaurant group. This past January she fully launched Frances Lab with a new collection. "It's been exciting to see the immediate response -- and a bit of a roller coaster," she says.