Melissa Held is a graphic designer living in New York City. She loves pattern, color, and design from the 1960’s. See how all these things combine with holidays to create her adorable greeting cards:
BBP: What are your favorite holiday traditions?
Melissa: I guess like most people, our favorite traditions for the holidays involve being with family and cooking. We also like to spend at least one night between Christmas and New Year’s at our favorite hotel in the mountains of upstate New York. It’s a historic victorian hotel on a lake and is decorated beautifully for the holidays. It’s my family’s happy place and something we all look forward to every winter.
BBP: What about the holidays inspires you to make holiday-themed artwork?
Melissa: Designing artwork for the holidays is fun because there are so many motifs to make use of that are specifically holiday themed. I like that themes from nature such as snowflakes and animals can be used without any religious significance and can appeal to everyone. I also love looking through design and craft books from the 1960’s. I’ve been collecting them for years for inspiration. It’s also really nice to work on holiday designs while it’s actually holiday season. I’ve worked for years as a textile designer and often had to design holiday patterns during the summer – not very inspiring.
BBP: Do you find the winter holidays relaxing or stressful?
Melissa: A lot of my holiday stress is self-inflicted so I have to remind myself not to overdue it. I don’t need to clean or cook nearly as much as I tend to for family get togethers. I wouldn’t mind a little more time in between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. I’m usually a little relieved when the holidays are over and I can get back to work and a normal diet.
BBP: How do you like to decorate for the holidays?
Melissa: We have a small apartment so we can’t get too out of control with decorating. We use lots of lights and hang paper snowflakes from the ceiling that our kids made when they were little. We still leave cookies and milk for Santa even though our kids have been over that for quite awhile now.
BBP: Where did you typically spend your winter holidays as a child?
Melissa: I grew up in the suburbs of New York City and spent most holidays with nearby relatives alternating Thanksgiving and Christmas between our home and theirs. Also, being near NYC there were always trips to see the Rockettes at Radio City, the tree at Rockefeller Center, and the Christmas window displays at the big department stores.
BBP: What was your favourite gift you received as a child?
Melissa: My favorite gift as a child was definitely my Suzy Homemaker oven. It was turquoise blue and I don’t think it had any safety features at all. I still remember what those little cakes I made tasted like and how my parents pretended they were delicious.
BBP: What is your favourite holiday food? Who usually cooks for the holidays?
Melissa: My favorite holiday foods are the side dishes that go with the main course like stuffing, potatoes, and cranberry sauce. I could actually just skip the turkey entirely. The last few years cooking has been a combined family effort which makes it more fun and less work and I always look forward to having leftovers to eat for the next few days when there’s no entertaining or traveling left to do.
BBP: Which of your holiday designs on BoomBoom Prints is your favourite?
Melissa: It’s hard for me to pick my favorite holiday design. I love using deer in my work. I think they are the most beautiful animal and are a great holiday motif that is nondenominational. But I also love using mod graphics that say holiday just with the use of seasonal colors.
BBP: Do you like the cold and the snow or do you prefer to stay inside by a fire?
Melissa: I do like being out in the snow, especially if it’s sunny, but will admit to being the first one wanting to go in and get warm with hot chocolate by the fire.
BBP: Eggnog or hot cocoa?
Melissa: Definitely hot cocoa. BBP:
Gloves or mittens?
Melissa: Mittens are more comfortable than gloves and make it harder to use my cell phone while I’m out, which is a good thing.
BBP: Colored lights on the house or white lights?
Melissa: White lights for decorating, colored lights for the tree.
BBP:Real tree or fake tree?
Melissa: We always get a real tree. We use lots of vintage ornaments that we’ve bought at yard sales over the years. Our cat manages to smash a few every year so we keep collecting them. BBP:
Snowmen or snow angels?
Melissa: I prefer making snowmen instead of snow angels. Lying down in the snow has never been appealing.
BBP: Pumpkin pie or apple pie?
Melissa: Definitely apple pie. It’s one of the things I always make for the holidays. I’d have to say I bake a really good one.