We often talk about tradition as it relates to the holidays, reminding our customers to embrace the opportunity to create new memories that will stand the test of time. In our offices, however, we sometimes don’t often follow our advice! Holidays here at Pottery Barn HQ are an exciting, rapid-fire game of producing helpful, seasonal content and collaborating with our amazing community of influencers, bloggers, and all-around fabulous content creators.
It occurred to us that we’d love to create a tradition with all of you — a way to foster that sense of creativity that we highlight all year long. With that in mind, we reached out to one of our favorite men about town, artist George McCalman, to kick off this idea of what it means to create tradition.
One word that comes to mind when thinking about traditions has to be homemade. Whether it’s freshly-baked cookies, handmade scarves, or a charming paperweight with a tiny handprint inside, spending time with and for the ones you love this time of year really shows someone you care.
We figured we’d let you hit two birds with one stone: Take a moment to show someone you care, and help you finish the remaining items on your holiday to-do list at the same time. The result? Our fantastic downloadable Holiday Card and Gift Tags from artist George McCalman! George takes our traditional plaid pattern and turns it on its head, creating a new pattern that some of us in the office have nicknamed “informed whimsy” — the coloration, addition of the hand-drawn characters, and the movement is a wonderful departure from our normal take on pattern, but perfectly aligns with our mood this season. What are you waiting for? Download the Holiday Card and Gift Tags now!
What You’ll Need
- Hole Punch (optional)
- Twine / String (optional)
1. Click the images below to download the respective holiday printables of your choosing.
2. For the Holiday Card, simply print the file, fold the paper in half, and cut off any extra white space around the edges. Fill out your message, and you’re done! You’re ready to make someone’s day!
3. For the Holiday Gift Tags, just print as many copies as needed, then cut out each tag individually.
4. Once printed and cut-out, write the lucky recipients’ names on the backs of the tags.
5. If you choose to tape the tags to your gifts, then you’re done! Alternatively, use a hole punch to create one small hole in each tag, then use some seasonal twine to tie your tags to their respective gifts.
6. Place your well-labeled gifts under the tree, then stand back and admire your work! Happy Holidays!
Download the files below:
Click the images above to download each holiday printable, or right-click to save the files to your computer.
Based in California’s Bay Area, George McCalman is what you could call a “renaissance man” — artistic director, fine artist, and writer — and his approach to his work is steeped in theory, always carrying a gravitas that showcases the thought behind the concept. We found time with George between planning his upcoming trip to Cuba and finishing his holiday preparation to ask him a few questions about his work, the holidays, and what tradition means to him.
How would you describe your work?
My work marries my sensibilities of graphic design and fine art. Typography, color, collage and composition are used in concert with each other. Some of the pieces are type based. Some of it is representational. Some is abstract. I recently started a monthly visual column called ‘Overheard’ in the San Francisco Chronicle that observes culture in everyday life. It combines painted portraits and overheard direct quotes from the subjects. It touches on my interest in identity. It’s a throwback to a regular journalism column and it tickles my sense of tradition. I’m very excited about it.
What informed your design of our first annual Pottery Barn holiday card? Where did you find your inspiration?
When I started thinking about this collaboration, I really wanted it to embody both of our sensibilities. I took a lot of inspiration from the Pottery Barn collection this year. I saw lots of plaid of being used and I thought it was a good way to incorporate the PB sensibility with my own. A lot of my fine art work is hand-drawn, and I thought it would look interesting to match the geometric overlap of plaid patterns with a hand created line-work. I like that phrase ‘informed whimsy’. I think it captures the intent. I had a lot of fun doing this project. Thank you for the opportunity.
Your work is based on telling a story visually, but often shows tremendous amounts of thought. How do you maintain the balance of simplicity and telling a compelling visual narrative?
I come from an editorial graphic design background and my instinct is to have precision in all of my work. Working in magazines for years, I’ve learned that telling stories matters to an audience. As I’ve started doing more fine-art work this year, I’ve learned to let go and let my instincts take over; I try not to overthink what I’m doing. It wasn’t easy at first, because I’m in my head a lot. I’ve had to learn to trust my instincts and not second-guess the flow of where a particular piece is headed. Painting and respecting the creative process teaches you to relax your need for control. It’s a god lesson in life and I try to maintain that level of balance in my work (emphasis on ‘try’).
What holiday tradition do you look most forward to during this time of year?
I’m a pretty traditional guy, but I can’t say I have too many traditions around this time of year. I love traveling and will be doing so this Christmas. It’s a way to see what kind of cultures embrace what traditions this time of year. I love observing and documenting my travels, so I’m looking forward to seeing how people live in other parts of the world.
When selecting a gift for a friend or family member, what do you keep in mind?
I love giving thoughtful gifts. I don’t like giving gifts just to give gifts, so I want to know that the gift I’m giving has some meaning for the person.
So putting you on the spot, what’s something from Pottery Barn that you would love to receive as a gift?
I’m obsessed with the ornaments. I have to say, that’s where I drew my inspiration from in creating the Christmas card, and I’m obsessed with the cute ornaments that I saw throughout the catalogs. Even though I won’t have a Christmas tree this year (due to my travels), I would have the ornaments saved for next year.
Where will you be this Christmas and what new memories are you hoping to leave with?
I’m traveling to Cuba this holiday season. It was something that was planned a while ago and in light of all of the interesting twists that have happened this year, I think it will be a fascinating place to visit. I’ve wanted to go for a while and I am going to be documenting the trip by painting the people and the locations that I see. I’m looking forward to making new memories.
Inspired to check a few items off of your seasonal to-do list? Our Holiday Headquarters can help!
Click below to get started now: