The Start of Something Exciting

Depending on how early on you dropped by, you may or may not know that I’ve been wanting to design and sell greeting cards online for about a year now. Last summer while school was out, I tried and tried to come up with an idea, but they all fell to the wayside. A lot of my ideas just didn’t feel like mine, as if I was over-saturated by other people’s work. I decided not to force it.

Some time passed, and an opportunity came along in a form of an invitation to participate in an art show up north. Once I agreed, there was no turning back. Excuses were no longer valid. That was two months ago.

Getting ideas rolling was never an issue. What was difficult in the beginning was deciding what to make. Unlike most of the 60 other artists that were going to be there, I had to start from the ground up. I’ve always believed that to produce great work, there needs to be struggle and failure which there was plenty of in my process, including a time when I hated the everything I created. A friend said something that pulled me out of the funk. She said, “When I’m stuck and think my work is crap, I continue working till I get something good.” Such a simple philosophy, it’s completely changed my perspective of stopping the creative process when things aren’t working (like the artist in Hayao Miyzaki’s Kiki’s Delivery Service).

Last weekend was the show. I was having trouble sleeping the two weeks prior, stressing out about all I had yet to do and whether any of it would be good enough. The day finally came. I was surprisingly calm, and chatted with customers, which was probably a good sign all that could be prepared was. Although I didn’t sell as much as I wanted (no profit), you cannot put a price on what I’d learned from the experience. I made connections. I set up shop. I called a million places to source material, from print shop, customizing a stamp, envelopes, backer board, crystal bags, ribbons, paper that will not fade in the sun, glue that will not wrinkle the paper, stain, or discolour after time, and frames for display. Whew!

And how did I feel after this was all done? A huge sense of accomplishment and a boost of confidence. For those of you who don’t know me, I should point out that I am not a go-getter. I am usually full of talk, and no action. When we got home from the weekend, sitting on the patio with a beer in one hand, the impact of what I had done the past couple of months really hit me. I just thought, I can’t believe I actually did it. I said I was going to do something, and followed it through till the end with good results. I didn’t half-ass anything. When I look back at the past two years, there has been a lot of people who influenced me and built up this new Christine that was up to the challenge. So, thank you.

*missing: Elly Mackay, creator of Theatre Clouds, and her husband, Simon, a woodworker.


I’d also like to remind everyone, that if you have something you want to do, do it now. Imagine what your life would be like if you lived for the present.

Changin’ it up

So. After my cowardly attempt to back out of the postcard idea, I went to the Sunday Antique Market downtown today and was inspired to go back to the drawing board. This time, I am going to make the days count by setting up a design schedule. My internship is winding down to its last couple of weeks, freeing up two days a week for establishing my brand. Not wanting to overwhelm myself with an impossible schedule on top of the three extra shifts I’m already taking this week, I will start by dedicating an 1.5 hrs of solid design work a day tomorrow.  I wonder how much I can accomplish in..10.5 hrs by the end of Sunday and see if I can add another half-hour a day the week after.

Wish me luck!

I dreamed of murder

Last night, I dreamt that I went on a killing rampage. The faces were blurry, just as the motivation was. Naturally, I got hungry after all that physical activity (killing is hard!), and I was eating stewed radish in the kitchen, carefully dividing the piece with chopsticks, when my parents walked in. And I knew that they knew what I had done, but no one was saying it. Then, my beloved aunt walked in, and she was very suspicious of me. I put on a dumb face, and was afraid that she would stop loving me if I told her the truth.

After I woke up, I called my aunt long distance. The connection was poor and she thought I had murdered someone in real life, and it made me wonder what I would do if someone I loved told me he/she killed someone. I think I would try to believe they had good reason, and that faith would allow me to continue loving this person unconditionally.

In other news, I’ve been racking my brains for a logo and name for my postcards. What do you think of: Bookstore Girl? I can spend an amazing amount time in one. It’s not entirely creative though, is it? “Strange Creatures”? I have used “Creamy Dreamy” in a past blog, but it feels more like a name for a dessert franchise, or a stripper. Hm… Any suggestion would be helpful. As always, you don’t need to sign up for wordpress in order to leave a comment, so go nuts!

For all of you Ghibli lovers, there is a new movie coming out. Here is the trailer for The Borrower, Arrietty:

Thought I was done, didn’t you? Last thing I want to share is a great summer recipe that takes minimal effort and time to make. There was a recipe in the LCBO magazine for goat cheese on radishes, which had too much of a kick with the spiciness of the raw radish, and pungent cheese. The other day I replaced the vegetable with sliced cucumbers, and, what do you know, it was heaven. Cucumbers have very little taste, but are very refreshing, which is a nice balance to the heaviness of goat cheese. Next time, I might add a bit of dill or some chives on top. How are you coping with the heat?

*update: I found the perfect name: Akaboshi (Red Hat)! Final draft of the logo will be revealed in the next post.