Photocredit: The Pen + Piper
At Hester & Cook, we are constantly inspired by the artists around us. It is a privilege to work alongside many of them and share their work with you. Which is why we are excited to share with you the designer and photographer behind The Pen + Piper, Noelle Glaze.
The Pen + Piper is a photography studio and stationery line designed by stylist/photographer Noelle Glaze. Noelle regularly creates artistic visual imagery for food/product brands such as Harper Collins and Brown Cow Yogurt, but launched her own creative work in the form of a stationery line in 2019. Believing that beauty lies in the colors, textures, patterns, and shadows around us, and that it is meant to be shared, the collection is aimed at capturing and extending the artful everyday.
Photocredit: Fresh Grace Photography
We sat down with Noelle to learn more about her and the designs behind The Pen + Piper.
Q: What inspired you to become a photographer and designer?
A: With young kids, husband being a federal employee, and living outside D.C. I wanted to make some extra money for our family. I started selling Lularoe and Noonday Collection and loved creating flatlays of the outfits and jewelry. Pretty soon I wanted to do the same for other brands so I bought a camera, watched a ton of YouTube videos, took courses, asked a local fair trade store if they would let me borrow items to photograph in exchange for image use, and contacted tons of brands to ask about their visual content needs. The stationery collection came from a love of food photography and the desire to make it more personal. Hopefully with the addition of quotes by famous authors and handwritten messages the images can have even more impact and lasting value.
Q: How long have you been in the industry?
A: I’ve been doing food and product photography for four years and the stationery collection began in 2019 with the first wholesale catalog in 2020.
Q: What is your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?
A: I’ve been honored to work with several departments at Harper Collins over the past few years creating product photos for their new releases. Early copies of books from numerous author heroes arrive in the mail, but recently my four kids ages 6-13 were especially ecstatic to receive the new Dude Perfect book and be featured on the DP website reading it. ;)
Q: What is your creative process like?
A: Sometimes it begins with a singular prop. Every summer dinner we eat on our screened porch with a view of Mrs. Ferlo’s butterfly bush. One night a butterfly died on our porch and that became the Time Card. It was so colorful and beautiful there didn’t need to be anything else crowding the scene. With so much beauty in what’s around us and composition being key, I have enjoyed artfully arranging balloons, cake slices, eggs, coffee beans, basil leaves, childhood toys, and my granny’s old typewriter. I just keep moving things around, adjusting the light, and scouring our home for the right color ribbon or old book. I don’t have a fancy studio or endless props, the stationery designs really are a product of our artful everyday.
Q: Who/what are your biggest influences?
A: In terms of business influences there have been many - most of whom I have only met through books and podcasts - Emily Jeffords, Donald Miller, Emily P Freeman, Nada Jones, Joanie Simon, Katie Hunt, and other generous stationery designers who have shared their experiences. Most of all I have the gift of an encouraging husband, who despite our busy life with his travel and lots of kids, has always valued the work and made sure I had time and space to create. Also I hope people see a glimpse of God’s beauty when they experience The Pen+Piper collection.
“We must admire the goodness of God in placing us in a world so exceedingly full of beauty.” - Charlotte Mason
Photocredit: The Pen + Piper
Q: What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
A: There are so many parts I enjoy - working with interesting clients, styling, (not editing!), finding and placing the exact right prop, seeing the work in print, my daughter helps me sleeve and package, hearing from shop owners how the designs are received, and stories of how the image and quote were right for a particular person or moment are always so encouraging. The Post Subscription is also a highlight - each month I send subscribers four cards grouped by theme and aesthetic, plus four stamps. Three of the cards come from the current collection plus one new design released to The Post first. I handwrite a note with a bit of info about the theme and feel very connected to my recipients from our monthly correspondence!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Because a lot of my designs utilize natural or seasonal elements, it’s sometimes hard to work ahead. I can never remember to save candy canes to start Christmas in May... so some designs just have to begin in the season items are available. In addition to Christmas I’m working on a little art collection of 12 flatlays where all the materials are squared up similar to the Nest and Hatched cards.
Q: What advice can you give to people who want to be more creative?
A: Oh gosh, we all have the creativity, we probably just don’t give ourselves the time or margin to take hold of it. For me personally I need empty space - a quiet house, going on a run, sitting down with a candle and a notepad, seeing new scenery, and listening to podcasts with a pen nearby, have all been sources of creative inspiration. I love this quote by Jeff Goins from The Art of Work, on the long term legacy of creativity -
“Remember: your vocation is more of a magnum opus than a single masterpiece. It’s an entire body of work, not a single piece. You will spend your life creating it, and if you stop too soon or don’t see your entire life as a means of accomplishing that task, you could miss it.”
Q: Name something that excites you and why.
A: Mamas have so many skills to share - it is very exciting to be living in an age where mothers have the opportunity to be home and available to their children as well as business owners! Once a month I get together with a small group of female founders in my town to discuss and ask questions concerning a variety of businesses. It has been such an encouragement as we have listened, shared resources, collaborated, and spurred each other on to the next steps. No matter the size of the business, I believe it is such a gift for mothers (and their families) to have something outside of the family responsibilities that fuels creativity, gives life to the soul, contributes financially if possible, and utilizes mama’s other gifts!
Q: If you could dine with one person, past or present, who would it be and why?
A: Maybe Julie Andrews - I was a voice major at Vanderbilt and always wanted to sound like her!
UPCOMING EVENTS IN STORE
Meet Noelle in person! Come out to meet the designer and photographer of PEN + PIPER, Noelle Glaze at our Franklin and White Bridge stores! Guests can enjoy a free gift with purchase of The Pen + Piper products as well as snacks and refreshments.AUGUST 5 | WHITE BRIDGE | 3PM - 6PM