I discovered Alta Stegmann and Janine de Waal’s beautifully illustrated advent calendar in the latest House and Leisure magazine and chatted to them about their collaboration and the wonderful ritual of counting down the days to Christmas.
How did the idea for an advent calendar come about?
It all started at about the same time last year. Janine created the advent calendar tags as gifts for friends & family for Christmas 2010. She had such a positive reaction and great feedback that she was encouraged to offer them for sale this year.
And so JA! was born from the initials of the two collaborators – Janine (an architect) and Alta (a graphic designer/illustrator).
Alta designed the JA! Logo. Thereafter inspirational quotes were sourced, written out and illustrations sketched to accompany them. We numbered the advent calendar ’01’ as the intention is to tackle more collaborative projects in the future.
We would like to remind people of their inner child (the fortune teller instructions bring back memories of the primary school playground!) and the important things in life (laughter & love). But if nothing else just to enjoy and share the ritual of counting down the days until Christmas with family & friends.
Tell us a bit more about you two.
We’ve been good friends since high school – our favourite subject being art of course! After school Janine studied architecture at UCT and Alta went to Stellenbosch to study BA Graphic Design. We are both freelancers and enjoy a creative challenge. Alta has illustrated for magazines such as Shape, Fit Pregnancy (and recently Oprah mag) and developed/created the logo, illustrated characters/identity and murals for Vovo Telo Bakery & Café (currently with franchises in Gauteng area).
Janine was selected to attend the Glenn Murcutt International Architecture Master Class in Australia. At this international architecture course, architects from around the world gather to exchange ideas about architecture. After working in Australia for a while, she was approached by friends to design their house in Lusaka, Zambia, and accepted the commission and moved back to South Africa.
Where can we buy your calendars?
We will be at the Fringe Handmade Creative Goods Market http://www.facebook.com/events/137695219667687/ on the 3rd of December and also the Designer-Maker Artisan Market http://www.freeworlddesigncentre.co.za/christmas-market-2011/ from 14th to 16th December. Limited edition custom made trees (see my blog) will be available at these markets and directly from us – the trees can be used throughout the year for creative displays. The calendars are also for sale at Marigold and Blank Space in Cape Town, Tastebud in Stellenbosch, as well as Pulp Kitchen & Deli in Willowbridge.
Have a look at Alta’s blog for more of her illustration or to contact her for freelance work http://www.paperandthink.blogspot.com/
Thanks Alta & Janine!