Written for The Argo by Esmeralda Rivera
Valentine’s Day is the international holiday to celebrate love— not only romantic love but friendship and familial love as well. Paul Kleba, a talented artist, came to Stockton University’s Galloway campus on Feb.7 to make and give out free greeting cards for people to give to their loved ones on Valentine’s Day. Many sample cards were spread out across the table for students to read and pick out. Once they presented the sample, Kleba would copy the design, draw the student, and replace the sample names with the name of the person they wanted to give the card to.
The messages on each of the cards ranged from humorous to sincere, with some even containing a hint of dark humor. Others were cute confessions for people to give their long-time crushes. One such example was, “Nothing is better than being your friend… that’s why I chose nothing.” Every card was different, perfect for all sorts of relationships. Kleba has gone to many other universities to draw cards, like Arcadia University and the University of Massachusetts at Boston, among others.
Kleba’s “Persona Cards” company reached its 30th anniversary on Feb. 8. “Since that first day, 30 years ago, I’ve done this, like… 2,400 times, and I’ve made approximately 147,000 cards in that time,” Kleba said. “It’s easy [to keep track] because you know how much you have to buy… at the end of the year, you say, ‘Okay, I did 4,300’… and when you add it all up, you say, ‘[Wow], how did it get to this many?’”
He expressed that to many people, his job may seem repetitive and boring, but for him, it was living the dream. He compared his work to the work of Yul Brynner, the main actor of The King and I, who had appeared in the play “10,000 times over the course of 40 years.” Brynner was asked how he was able to do so many shows and not get tired, jaded, or bored, to which Brynner replied that since every show had a different audience, it felt like the first time for him every time he appeared. Kleba echoed Brynner’s sentiments and passion for his own work after appearing at many different schools many times to draw his greeting cards.
Kleba makes cards for every special occasion and holiday. To book a date or receive more information, visit personacards.com.
Categories: Campus Life, Stockton News