Communication between friends these days has been reduced to brisk emails, text messages, and IM’s. In spite of these trends, enormouschampion understands the meaning and pleasure of sending a hand written note in a beautifully crafted card. Perhaps it’s because what they create is truly a labor of love. Jason Wong and Jordan Provost are the husband-and-wife team behind enormouschampion. Their artistic collaborations intertwine their passions for design, photography, letterpress, and music—culminating in an outpouring of greeting cards, album covers, posters and more. Based in Brooklyn since 2000, they are rooted in a tight knit community of independent creative-doers. They debuted their collection of greeting cards at the National Stationary show in May of this year. We knew they were bound to be cooking up more beautiful work, so The Scout popped over for a Sunday afternoon studio visit.
The Scout: Who is enormouschampion?
Jordan Provost: enormouschampion is made up of myself and my husband, Jason Wong. We both work professionally, outside of EC in creative fields. Jason is a designer and I make photos.
Jason Wong: We started from a collaborative design/photography project for a band we know, and it took a number of years and a wedding to get to the point we are at now.
What is your creative process like?
JW: We typically get inspired, as do most people, by things that surround us- either in our home, during our travels or through people we meet. We start with an idea (sparked by one of us individually or that we come up with together) and it grows until it’s something we are both happy with and selfishly would want for ourselves.
JP: In our day jobs we work with clients all the time so we started enormouschampion to give us a venue for all of our ideas that don’t necessarily apply to our client work. We have ideas that sometimes remain in sketch books for months until we can find the perfect home where we think they can materialize either as printed matter or dimensional objects.
How are your cards made?
JP: Jason designs them usually with my input along the way, or at least at the end. Sometimes, I ask him to extract the idea from my mind and put it down on paper…. that usually creates some frustration from his side, but leaves me extremely happy at the end. He almost always gets me, and if he translates things differently than I intended or than I would have visualized, I’m am usually happier with his version anyway. (or we keep working on it until we both are happy.) Other times, the ideas are his from start to finish. It’s a great balance- sometimes he designs for me, and other times I print for him. We’re sort of co-dependent in that way- or symbiotic, depending on how one looks at it.
But, yeah, he generally sketches up the idea in a sketchbook, draws it up in illustrator, and then sends out for polymer plates from an awesome company in Syracuse, New York- Boxcar Press. I letterpress everything myself, except for two series that we have, which were silkscreened by hand, just not by my hands. In two instances, which we hope to have happen more in the future, we’ve asked artists/designers to design things for us. They have both been great experiences- because we get something that evokes their style, which we could not have created ourselves, and hopefully, we help get their names out there too. It’s always nice to see one’s art in print, you know? After the letterpress stage, we cut, score, fold, compile everything ourselves…. an arduous task, but hopefully the care shows in our product.
What are you currently working on?
JP: We’re in the midst of our first production run of wooden animal silhouettes. It’s definitely been a learning curve because we’re sourcing every aspect of them, from the eco-friendly mill to the finishing work. We wanted to keep the entire production in the states.
JW: We are also in the middle of producing some limited edition prints (letterpress and silkscreen) which will be available in early 2009. And, we’re working to create a line of tea towels and wrapping paper to be put out later this year. We are also talking to a couple of artists to collaborate with us on some designs for our artist series, which so far has been only in the realm of stationery/note cards, but we want to open that up a bit.
The craft world has been embraced by younger participants in the past several years and has gained much recognition. What is your opinion of it and do you feel that enormouschampion is a part of this community?
JW: Well, we both grew up in the 70s raised by mothers who were very crafty. Jordan was surrounded by her mother’s homegrown craft company, Kookaburra Puppets, and I just watched loads of cartoons while my mom knitted and sewed in the next room. The resurgence of the craft movement in recent years has been an amazing thing to witness. As for us, we are happy if people count us in the mix.
JP: In Brooklyn alone, where we live and work, there are so many great people making, publicizing, supporting & selling locally made items. We are lucky to be able to take part and meet so many like-minded creative people. We are always psyched when local NYC shops want to carry our stuff.
You mentioned earlier that your surrounding influences your creative process, whether it be the objects in your apartment, your neighborhood, or the city. Looking around your studio there appears to be a connection. Can you talk more about this?
JP: We tend to collect things that remind us of our youth or our separation from nature (living in NYC and all). Somewhere between cultural interests, historic ephemera and design influences, we find ourselves immersed in a well of stuff.
JW: We also have similar tastes in music and still enjoy making mixtapes for one another (yes, even now). We live in a world of nostalgia and our own childhood memories (and we like it here).
What’s next for enormouschampion?
JW: It would also be excellent if we could use enormouschampion as a springboard for larger scale projects, collaborative or otherwise. We’d love for it to be a self-sustaining entity, where one project can grow organically into others.
JP: Yeah, what he said.
Thank you Jason and Jordan for your time, we look forward to seeing more of your products. For now you can find enormouschampion’s line of cards at Scaredy Kat in Brooklyn, Greenwich Letterpress and Makie in Manhattan. Visit enormouschampion’s site for their latest catalog and visit their etsy shop to buy online. Contributing illustrators to enormouschampion’s artist series include Erik Marinovich and Tim Fite.