By Meda Kessler
Photos by Ralph Lauer
From custom illustration to the perfect paper, it’s all in the details for this design team.
Working from home has its perks, but working from a home studio that doubles as a cool he-she shed is even better.
Michael and Yvette Livesay-Wright live on a quiet, tree-lined street in Fort Worth. During the school year, they take turns picking up and dropping off their children, Luke and Lola, retreating to their home office when not doing carpool duty.
The couple are the creative forces behind Lola Lorena Design Co., a full-service studio that officially launched in 2011, specializing in all things paper. “Invitation design is our specialty, whether it’s a corporate event, wedding or a birthday party,” says Yvette, who handles the business and production side of Lola Lorena. “But everything is custom: the graphic design, the lettering, the artwork.” It’s the artwork that helps set them apart.
It helps when half of the business team is an accomplished artist, art director and graphic designer, a formidable triple threat when it comes to bringing clients’ visions to life.
Michael grew up in Fort Worth studying art classes at the Museum of Science and History’s Experimental Art program then graduating from the University of North Texas with a commercial art degree. He spent 15 years working in the advertising industry as an art director and creative director. It’s a career that has taken him from graphic logos to musician’s album design to art directing elaborate photo shoots.
While most of his work these days is drawn digitally on an iPad, he still takes on commissions, including a recent oil paint portrait of a couple.
Yvette is a BBA and MBA graduate of Texas Christian University, so the business side of Lola Lorena comes naturally. She flexes her creative muscles and organizational skills daily by juggling everything from paper stock orders to printing schedules to meeting with clients.
Engaged couples seek out the duo to create everything from wedding-day signage and hand-painted reception maps to invitations that incorporate illustrations of their pets. Artwork of nuptial venues — especially churches — strike a chord with those wanting special keepsakes of their big event. The Livesay-Wrights have even created customized confetti for a bride and groom.
Other clients asked them to create an illustrated monogram that captured multiple facets of the pair’s lives, including snow skis, antlers, grapes, armadillos and favorite florals. A challenge? Yes, but the final product turned out to be the perfect way to commemorate the anniversary.
While owning their own business has given the Livesay-Wrights freedom, their greatest joy is the enthusiasm of clients for the end products of their labor. “Our clients want to be unique and set apart. We love working to bring their vision to life, producing the highly custom artwork and invitations we have become known for.”