One of our favorite things about our work is receiving feedback from customers and fans. Whether it's kind words or pictures of our artwork on their walls, we are always blown away by their support and creativity. Recently, one of our faithful customers JP Gisclair sent us a photo of his wall—completely covered in our designs from our National Parks, American Travel, and World Travel collections. We were so impressed with JP's Wall of Adventure that we did an interview with him to find out more about what inspired his epic idea and how he pulled it off.
What inspired you to create this unique wall display?
My wife and I were redesigning our home office and wanted a work environment that was inspiring. I am a web developer in marketing with a creative mind so the prints from Anderson Design Group not only appealed to my artistic senses but also gave me a means to both track and reflect on the places my wife and I have travelled to together. We keep some framed travel maps on our wall where we place a pin every time we visit a new place.
Are the postcard frames custom-made, or off-the-shelf?
Off-the-shelf from Ikea which made it much more affordable for the quantity of postcards that we were hanging. They are not perfectly sized to the postcards and in some cases the text gets cut off but with that many postcards on the wall, the imperfection is barely noticeable (though I would love if text on future designs were closer to the middle).
How did you get them hung so perfectly?
The first row at the top requires measuring. I measured the wall and the frames and mapped out on a sheet of paper how many I could fit on the wall leaving a few feet of padding at the top, left and right sides and equal spacing between. Because I had an uneven number of postcards, I was able to measure and hang the center frame first and then measured the distance from the nails to the left and right. I made sure to hammer the nails in at a consistent angle to keep level and used a level to adjust as needed. Once the first row of evenly spaced nails were hung, I used a trick I found off the internet (https://www.viewalongtheway.com/2011/08/frame-hanging-hack-how-to-get-ikea-ribba-frames-to-behave/) where I drilled a hole in a wooden paint stick large enough to fit over the head of the nails on the first row. I then measured what the distance should be between the row of nails on the first row to the row of nails on the second row leaving the intended spacing between frames. I then measured the paint stick marking the placement of a nail which was hammered in to barely protrude from the stick (enough to put a mark on the wall). Then for every other nail, I hung the paint stick from the nail above it and used a level on the side to make sure it was vertically aligned then punctured a hole with the nail in the paint stick to mark the location where each nail should be placed. I then hammered the nails in on the second row, remeasured for peace of mind, and repeated the process for each row thereafter.
What happens when you run out of wall space?
All the postcards are hung in chronological order visited and I have framed maps on the opposite wall with numbered pushpins that correspond to the places we’ve been (see attached) and locations of the places we want to go. The majority of the last row on the travel wall are the remaining 15 National Parks we have yet to visit so these can be replaced with places we’ve actually visited while I store away the ones removed. We have enough room for one additional row before hitting the electrical outlets and we ordered enough additional frames to produce an entirely new wall if need be. We did most of our traveling early on in our 20s and 30s and have a baby on the way so suspect the travelling may slow down at least at the pace we had been doing previously. Trying to find more wall space for any new adventures is a great problem to have and is a challenge that I certainly welcome in the future. The hardest thing has been keeping them chronological as The Design Anderson Group keeps churning out amazing designs for places we gone which means constantly having to reshift – but again, a wonderful problem to have.
What are some dream trips you still want to take?
We’re at a point where we have 15 national parks left to visit but there are some international destinations that I would love to travel to more, so where we travel to in the future may depend on logistics and circumstances such as are their special travel deals or credit card offers that make one destination more attractive than the other or can we can piggy back off of a work trip or other reason to travel. We’ve been fortunate to have the companion pass through Southwest for the last four years with no kids which has afforded us the opportunity to cover most of the places at the top of our list domestically. I have a fairly large bucket list some of which includes South America (Iguazu Falls, Angel Falls, Machu Pichu, Galapagos Islands, & Easter Island), Iceland & Ireland, Australia & New Zealand, the Indochinese Peninsula, Greece & Santorini Island, Africa (Victoria Falls, Great Pyramids, Avenue of the Baobabs) and much of Europe.
Anything you want to say about your experience with Anderson Design Group?
I can’t say enough about this talented group of creative professionals. I’ve not only enjoyed the work they produce for our enjoyment in our home but also the interactions I’ve had with them via email and during the online checkout process. I love the ability to customize any 8 postcards I want which allows me to choose place I’ve been for the wall. I even use the travel categories for scouting new potential destinations. With a baby on the way, I suspect we may scout out the Kiddy Korner category since we will be converting one of our rooms to a nursery and since we have plenty of frames to utilize.
Do you have any advice for folks who may be inspired by your love of travel, art, and decor?
Put your dreams of traveling or doing something creative into action no matter what barriers stand in your way. There are so many beautiful places on this earth to be seen that are easily accessible for folks on virtually any budget or circumstances. For us, travel provides us the excitement of planning, the anticipation of going, the adventure in exploring, and a spiritual opportunity to reconnect with myself and my wife. Travel has also provided me an opportunity to further my creative pursuits through photography. Each trip provides me with an excuse to learn something new about my camera. The resulting photos are used to create art for our walls and coffee table books that we will one day be able to share with our children in hopes that it may inspire them. My wife and I have always valued creating shared experiences which has created some amazing memories together in our last 10 years of marriage.
We always encourage customers to send us suggestions for new designs! Shoot us an email at: [email protected] on what you'd like to see in our collections. Also, sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page to receive a monthly e-blast featuring new designs, sales, and a 10% off coupon code for future orders!