Midsummer is coming. And it's long overdue.
So now you know, I took some time off from the push to grow thunderpeep the stationery company. It was the best thing I could have done. I took time to find myself again, and brought that back to thunderpeep as well. The 2 of us are stronger as one unit than 2 battling sides.
All those things I said I'd love to do when I had some time, I did them. Well ok, not ALL of them as that big trip didn't come together as planned, but I'm not sad about that because so much goodness came out of the past couple of months (and now the plan is to be spending the New Year in Iceland and a bucket load of time travelling across it and Norway)
Now, first off let me make one thing clear. I do really love making funny cards. No, it's not what I started out doing, but it's the side of the business that really took off. And I'm so grateful that it did, it opened so many doors and helped me grow as a businesswoman and artist. And the cards aren't going anywhere. The world still needs them (and I already have a few new ones ready to go later this spring. They're really good too). But my creative soul needs to get back home. As I started to look inwards and rethink the business, I started to really look and judge it. What would it look like if I stayed the path with the current plan. It was already getting to be too much for me to handle on my own. I was working endless nights just on the business and production sides, where was the creative side? And while that's a part of small creative business, if I'm not 100% in love with it, am I going to be fully committed. Well, the answer is of coarse No. I was starting to feel like I was making things for others again, not for the joy of making them. What would sell, what is on trend, what shows to do to get my name out there. Did I want to go full into a wholesale world that really doesn't always value the artist. (that's a strong statement and is why I'm very selective with the stores that carry my products. There needs to be a relationship between maker and vendor for me. I hate big box stores, I don't shop at them, why would I want my products in them - I'll avoid them as long as I can. This is not a common point of view though, if you are setting out yourself into the wholesale world with your craft, do what is comfortable for you. I love all my vendors and am proud to sell in their shops!)
This is when I re-discovered my journal from Finland. Remembered where I started. What I wanted to accomplish. What I really loved doing. And then one day I sat down and tuned out the world and wrote that story I keep saying I wanted to do, but never had the time to fully devote to. It was one of the greatest creative highs I've ever experienced. And the new and improved but back to the old thunderpeep started to take shape.
The Midsummer collection has been a sad non-event the past couple of years. It was always prep for spring shows and then christmas had to be ready in May and then it's summer shows. It made me so sad to not be exploring those characters, and stories. So the first order of business was to bring that collection back, Bitter and More Badass than ever. And it is. It more than makes up for the past 2 years. And it's not even half finished. Above is your first sneak peek of the story, it's not much but you can let your own imaginations run wild with it. I'll write a post all about the process of writing the book too, as the launch gets closer. There's a whole collection of goodies that are spawning out of the book, and for the first time we are kind of sneaking in on Family Friendly territory. Well maybe only kinda sorta… I'll let you be the judge, I don't want to be scaring kids out of the forest!
Then, I HAD to bring my Troll friends back. And it kind of fits in with the fairy tale. I mean, you had to know there were trolls in that story, right? So there's a little companion book for all my North American friends who seem confused by Trolls (NO they are not the same as yeti's, not even related)
And this is just the start. I LOVED writing and illustrating these books. It was an excuse to get lost in my own imagination. There is already a plan for books for the Polar Nights collection this winter.
It's all about the stories. All about the stories (sorry if I got that song stuck in your head right there)
As for the blog, I want to create a more personal space here. That can mean so many things, but I want it be full of things and stories to inspire, to create to laugh at and to share. My goal is to remind us all to really look at the world around us, to see all the small details, to be an active participant in your life and the world around you. I might even have some of the Trolls come and guest post. No seriously, that's going to happen!
For now, I'm still here in Toronto. I still have things to do here, for a little while longer. On a side note: one thing that I'm really excited about, something I really enjoy, is my role with The Toronto Etsy Street team, helping other makers in Toronto to grow and learn and share and inspire. Giving back is such an important part of living. You may remember from last Fall that we organized the flagship Toronto edition of the Made in Canada show. I love all the work I get to do with the team but am SO excited for all the amazing things we're working on right now in regards to this years show. It's really fulfilling to be able to be involved in this creative community, and to work with the group of women that make up the leadership team with TEST, but being able to give something this awesome back to all the other small creative businesses who work so damn hard, is also extremely personal for me. As much as I love so many designers and companies from around the world, I'm a huge cheerleader for the Shop Local movement, and Canada has so many, so many fantastic makers, it's important to make sure they get the attention they deserve. You'll hear lot's about the show from me as it approaches, and wherever you are (if you're in Canada that is) hopefully you're close to one of the other 30 shows that'll be happening across the country!}
But let's end this epic blog post now. It's time to move forward. And so I can stop talking about myself for at least a couple more months...
One day I'll live in the mountains again. It may not be in Vancouver, or even Canada. But I'll be there again, and have some awesome new Troll friends to hang out with.
They may not be Trolls but Monsters are still fun too. As I'm writing this I'm overly excited that OMAM are coming to Toronto this September and I can't wait to see them again. I love them almost as much as Troll stories. Maybe Toronto's not so bad after all…