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Success on Paper - Dave Garbot, Illustrator

Welcome to Success on Paper, our series highlighting businesses from around the country with at least one thing in common: Red River Paper. From architectural firms to printing retailers, companies that depend on impeccable paper quality and creative customer service are relying on RRP to help them present their work in beautiful, compelling ways.

Next up in the series: Wish you could print your artwork in your studio, but don’t know where to begin? See how we helped Portland, Oregon, Illustrator Dave Garbot spread lighthearted joy around the world via his greeting cards, storybooks, and more.

Joy for Any Season

Dave Garbot has been drawing for as long as he can remember. His professional career has taken him from advertising agencies to publishing firms like Harper Collins and Penguin Press. These days, this Portland, Oregon, illustrator relies on his whimsical imagination and humor to create highly detailed greeting cards, note cards, coloring books, and more.

The Shuttle Thank You

Enter Red River Paper

Dave had been printing his cards out of state, but as his demand increased, the cost and the shipping lag time became a problem. So, he decided to start printing his own cards. But which printer and which paper to use? Those questions found their answers when Dave found Red River Paper on Facebook. Our staff recommended a printer and paper products to suit his high-quality standards. That was about a year ago. Since then, Dave says we have exceeded his expectations, "which helps me continue growing."

One of Dave’s favorite papers is our Aurora Art White 250 Greeting Cards (7” x 10” and 5.5” x 8.5”). “I just like the look and feel of the cards with my images on them,” Dave explains, adding, “It’s easy for recipients to write inside the cards.” Made from refined 100% cotton, Aurora Art White 250 brings elegance, warmth, and nuance to photography and art prints. It’s not too thick or thin; you can print on both sides. Plus, optical brighteners help the paper retain its original shade over time.

Tree Farms X-Mas

Our 60 Lb. River Linen Greeting Cards (same sizes mentioned above) are perfect for Dave’s Christmas cards and special commissions. “The linen gives the cards a little extra texture,” says Dave. This archival paper has a slight sheen when printed, just like many photo-lab or press-printed linen cards. It’s made from pure alpha cellulose with an acid-free, high-performance coating for bright colors and deep blacks, so you can present your work in the best possible light.

X-Mas Card Outside

See More of Dave’s Work

Discover more whimsy on Dave’s website, He posts new sketches regularly on Instagram, FacebookTumblr and Pinterest.

Enjoy our Q&A with Artist Dave Garbot…

What year was your business founded and how did you get started?
It’s a long story, but 1988. I became a full-time freelance illustrator after being an art director with a few Chicago advertising firms. Things morphed from there to where I am today — selling my work as prints, cards, and other items.

Tell us a little about what product or service your business offers.
Services include illustration and design. My products are greeting cards, note cards, prints, storybooks, puzzles, games, and commissions.

What makes your business unique?
I think it's my style and my approach. There is nothing but honest sincerity in my images. My followers like that, and it's humbling to hear how my work brings some happiness to their lives.

Where do you source your raw materials from?
Red River, Printful, ClearBags, and others.

In what ways does the business reflect your own personality?
Everything I do reflects who I am. I'm dedicated and professional. I give every order my personal attention. What you see is what you get with me. I'm loyal to my followers and clients.

Who are your typical customers?
It's across the board — local shops, homemakers, publishers, and just about everyone.

What is the most interesting project you've encountered in the course of your work?
My everyday drawings are most interesting because of the reactions I get. Children's books have been very satisfying. Games and puzzles that I've designed and illustrated are always fun. I'm working on a large puzzle of Chicago that I'm excited about.

What has Red River Paper done for your business? Is there a particular challenge that Red River Paper helped you overcome or a goal they helped you meet?
I stumbled upon Red River by accident one day on Facebook. I had been printing my cards with an out-of-state printer, but it was becoming problematic. My demand was increasing, and the cost of out-of-state printing was becoming prohibitive, while delivery lag time was delaying my order turnaround. I wanted to start printing my cards myself. That's when I found Red River Paper. Your staff suggested the printer I now use, the Canon Pro 200. I had no clue which printer was good for me, so your advice was a huge help. Next came a learning curve for paper selection. But now I'm off to the races. You've been my paper supplier for about a year, always exceeding my expectations, which helps me continue growing.

What do you appreciate most about Red River Paper's products/services?
The quality of your products. The reliability of your deliveries. Never any damage. The attention to detail and personal responses from customer service when I've needed them. It’s always been very important to me to portray quality to my buyers, and Red River has allowed me to do that.

Do you have any future growth, product launch, or event goals you'd like to share?
I'm continuing to expand my line of greeting cards. Note cards, note pads, calendars, and a couple of book ideas are on my agenda. I'm interested in reaching more people worldwide.

Do you have a customer testimonial you’d like to share?
There are many, but the typical ones that give me the most satisfaction go like this: "Your work makes me smile. Your work makes me happy when I'm not. Please don't ever stop." I get these from all over the world. That amazes me. I never thought that was ever possible for what I do. My work is just so simple, but the message is being received. That is pretty cool.

All artwork and/or photographs used in this post are subject to copyright held by the featured artist.

ARE YOU READY FOR THE SPOTLIGHT? Simply respond to the questionnaire here to apply to be included in an upcoming Success on Paper feature.

Last updated October 17, 2023

Original Publication Date: October 17, 2023

Article Last updated: October 17, 2023

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