Designland

The new Queer Getting Married site is LIVE!

I am SO EXCITED to share the new and improved Queer Getting Married with you!!! Now you can place orders, save items for later, and personalize online! We hope that you’ll take a peek at the changes and share with your friends. Huge shout out to our developer Marc Bonne at Design Nebula, and our web designer Matthew Elsea at Clutch Studio.

OUR MISSION IS TO CREATE NEW TRADITIONS IN WEDDING DESIGN FOR QUEER COUPLES AND ALLIES WITH DAMN GOOD TASTE.

5% of profits are donated to marriage equality educational programs.

Screen shot 2013-05-03 at 2.19.20 PM

Standard
Illustration Station

SCBWI Bulletin Cover & Interview

I had the honor and privilege of making the cover art for The Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators May/June bulletin! I even got interviewed like a famous person! Unfortunately, only members can view the bulletin, but they’ve allowed me to repost the interview. If you are a children’s writer or illustrator, I highly recommend joining!

Ricky Raccoon in Space! Just another casual day...

Ricky Raccoon in Space! Just another casual day…

ABOUT THE COVER

A Chat with May/June 2013 Cover Illustrator Mike Curato

by Sherrill Kushner

MICHAEL CURATO, WINNER of the 2012 SCBWI Winter Conference Portfolio Showcase, was born in Nanuet, New York. He earned his B.A. in illustration from Syracuse University, worked as a graphic designer for Microsoft and Amazon, led an in-house creative team

for Geocaching.com, and is cofounder of Queer Getting Married, a website for gay couples to create customized wedding invitations. Henry Holt Books for Young Readers signed him on for a three-book series starring his Little Elliot, starting fall 2014. In 2010, he illustrated Amy Jones’ Mabel McNabb and the Most Boring Day Ever.

SCBWI: What were you like as a kid? MIKE CURATO: I was obsessed with drawing and wrote my own stories. My first book was an illustrated cookbook with such culinary classics as “PB&J Sandwich”. After begging my mother not to send me back to pee-wee basketball, she enrolled me in art class. Continue reading

Standard
Designland, Illustration Station, Mikesville

Moving on Up (and over a bit to the right)

Apologies for my cyber-absence! It has been a very busy few months!

I have been in New York this week. My editor, Laura, and I have been polishing up book 1!  We had a very productive meeting, and I had the pleasure of meeting more people on Team Holt. She and the good folks at Henry Holt surprised me with a platter of gourmet cupcakes from Butter Lane! I’ve never been to Butter Lane, but it sounds like a street I’d like to live on. I had the banana coconut. Ugh-mazing!!! They made me feel felt right at home. I’m very eager to finish the final book dummy and text and get started on final art!

I’ve also had some other business in New York City…like neighborhood shopping. Yes. It’s true. Dan and I are moving to New York next year!!! Hoooray!, said the New Yorkers; Booo!, said the Seattleites. I have lived in Seattle for nearly a decade now, and I love it dearly. I have had such a beautiful life in Seattle, and have been so blessed with all of the friends and work I’ve found there. I still plan on coming “home” to Seattle for long trips.

Why New York? Well, first of all, IT’S NEW YORK!!! Dan and I are ready for an adventure. We also want to be closer to home (I’m from the NYC suburbs and Dan is from Vermont). Now that my foot is well in the door of the publishing industry, I want to step in and be immersed in it! Meanwhile, Dan is interested in transferring to a CUNY to finish his bachelors degree. We’ve always talked about moving to New York, and we’re not getting any younger, so why not now? We’re planning on next Spring/Summer, to give us some time to save and search, while savoring a bit more time with Seattle friends. So, if you’re in New York and have any leads on a sweet deal on an apartment, do let me know.

Also, I have been very busy working on Queer Getting Married‘s new website. It’s not up yet, but it is going to be amazing! Customers will be able to see pricing, place orders, and personalize all online. Right now I am living in the land of database entry. It’s not my favorite past-time, but it is going to be well worth it! Marriage Equality (Referendum 74) is on the ballot in Washington state, and if/when it passes (because you will vote to approve it!), we are hoping to be busy bees.

That’s my update for now. I promise I won’t wait another month to keep you in the loop.

xoxo

Standard
Designland

We Have Lift-off!!!

Hello dear readers! So sorry I’ve been away for a while. I have been a bit busy. Since last May, my friend Jenny and I have been working on a new business venture, and we just launched this past Friday!

Queer Getting Married is a wedding invite company geared towards the gay community! Our mission is to create new traditions in wedding design for queer couples and allies with damn good taste.

Yes, I know –>GASP!<– But wait, there’s more!

Since we believe that gay marriage (or what I just like to call “marriage”) is a civil right that belongs to all people, we are donating 5% of all profits to organizations campaigning for marriage equality.

Total Eclipse of the Heart

“Why should gay people shop at Queer Getting Married? What’s the difference between these and other invitations?” Aside from donating money from each order, Queer Getting Married wants our customers to feel secure that the invite company they are ordering from believes their union is as meaningful as anyone else’s and that their order will be treated with the utmost respect and care. Also, there is no such thing as “traditional gay marriage.” We’ve waited a very long time for this reality, so why should we be tied down by some cumbersome outdated designs? Your save the dates and wedding invitations are printed declarations of your love! We want to help you celebrate your marriage with ridiculously stylish designs that break the mold of traditional wedding stationery.

“So…do you only do invites for the gays, or can a straight couple ask you for your services?” As I said in our mission statement, we serve queers and allies. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, an “ally” is someone who does not personally identify as queer, but supports queer people. If you’re reading this right now (and you’re not queer) you’re most likely an ally, otherwise we probably wouldn’t be friends. Don’t worry, if you’re a hetero, we won’t judge your lifestyle choices 😉

Very Versailles

“This is amazing, Mike! What can I do to help?” Awww, thank you so much for asking! You can help by posting on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, talking to your gay friends who are getting married, or your gay friends who aren’t getting married, or your straight friends who support marriage equality, or your barber, or your Brazilian waxer, or your nosey neighbor that won’t stop talking to you even though you’ve given them all possible social queues. The point is, share, share, share whenever you can. Like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. We are really looking to the community to help us get this off the ground. Amazingly, within an hour of posting our new site on my Facebook page, a bunch of my friends already started re-sharing without me even saying anything. You all know who you are, and I’m truly touched. Thank you.

“How the hell did you think up this delicious brain nugget?” Good question. Last year, my friend (and now business partner!) Jenny was getting married to my other friend Nate. They are so ridiculously cute together that I throw up in my mouth a little bit every time I see them. For a wedding gift, I offered Jenny and Nate my design services to make their save-the-dates, invites, etc. When Jenny sent out her save-the-date, she had an amazing response. People liked it. A lot. Someone even scanned it in and posted it on Facebook. It was very flattering.

Wheel Love – designed for our first customers!!!

Soon after, Jenny and I were having dinner, and she said that I should really consider getting into making wedding invitations as a business. I had made several wedding packages before, and really enjoyed it, but I could see myself becoming very bitter making other people’s wedding invites when I’m not allowed to get married (which hopefully will become possible in Washington state this November once we get through REF 74). The next day I was working on their invites, and something clicked. I’ll just make invites for the gays! Now that would make me smile! I texted Jenny my idea, she said it was brilliant. We had always wanted to start a business together, and here it was! And there was much rejoicing. (yaaay)

Super Homo

Since then, it has been a long, windy road. I left my very stable job as Design Team Lead at Groundspeak at the end of October so that I would have more time to work on QGM (that’s cool-speak for Queer Getting Married–get with the lingo!). We’ve done a crap-ton of paper-work and searched high and low for the right printer (and it looks like we’re still looking for a long-term printing partner).

Working on all of the designs was so much fun. I loved experimenting with different typefaces and layouts, and pushing the limits of what a wedding invite can be. All of the samples on our site were printed on digital press, but we’ll be offering offset and letterpress! The site features our ready-made designs that people can purchase (I’ll be setting the type), and we also offer custom orders! The current site is temporary. We put up the temporary site just in time for the GLBT Expo in New York this past weekend.We have some super-duper web guys working on a more robust site, where you can actually place an order and personalize online. Matthew Elsea from Clutch Design is doing the web design, and Marc Bonne from Design Nebula is working on web development. They are such good guys and easy to work with.

Victor Victoriana

Jenny and I are both thrilled to finally be able to share our vision with you. Feedback is always welcome, so please do let us know what you love or dislike about the current site or products. Here’s to new beginnings!!!

Standard