Journal

Artist of the Week: Brigida Swanson of Yardia

"I’m a native of Seattle and the sense of home that hiking through the forest and exploring tidepools on the beach gives me is what fuels my imagination and my creative process."

Brigida Swanson of Yardia

Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!

This week we are featuring Brigida Swanson of paper goods and gift company Yardia. Brigida's greeting cards travel far and wide, bringing love, sympathy, congratulations and more to everyone you love. Her art prints allow us to slip away into a tide pool adventure or a starry night of camping without leaving the comfort of our house (sometimes it's too cold, right?). Read all about her process in the full interview below!

Who are you?

I’m Brigida Swanson, an artist and business owner from Seattle, WA. I’m a gardener, hiker, chicken-keeper and learner.

What do you do?

I work with watercolor to create Pacific Northwest-inspired stationery, gifts and home decor for nature lovers. I run my illustration-based product company, Yardia, full time from my home studio, so my days are a blend of creative work, painting, writing, marketing, number-crunching, packaging and walking to my neighborhood post office.

Who/what inspires you?

I’m inspired by the quiet beauty of nature in the Pacific Northwest. I’m a native of Seattle and the sense of home that hiking through the forest and exploring tidepools on the beach gives me is what fuels my imagination and my creative process.

What is your favorite moment in the process?

I love working with watercolor because it’s a collaboration with what the paint wants to do since it doesn’t like to be controlled too much. I love the moments when I get surprised by what appears on the paper from my brush and the natural flow of the paint. I also love how painting is a process that allows time to disappear once I really get into the focused flow of things. It’s so meditative!

What is a trick of your trade or a piece of advice for artists in your medium?

Have patience with your process, whether it’s learning to work with watercolor, or starting a business. Start to recognize and quiet the voice of your inner critic, and when it comes up in your process, say, “Thanks for your concern, but I’ve got this handled.” Begin instead to seek the voice of intuition, your inner mentor, who can guide you with gentle encouragement and truth.

And on a more practical level, register your copyrights before you publish your artworks! It’s so much easier and more inexpensive to do it this way, and you’ll be grateful you have that little bit of extra protection around your work when, inevitably, you have to put your rights into action.

What is next?

I’m bursting with excitement to be on my way to the National Stationery Show, a wholesale trade show that has been a goal of mine to exhibit at since I started Yardia in 2016. I can’t wait to see how this takes Yardia to the next level as a company. 

         

See more of her work here!

Artist of the Week: Hollis Kitchin

"I do have a love for the fog and rain here in Southeast Alaska which is reflected in my work but I also draw and sketch everything around me my dog, scraps of fabric, vegetables, scenes around town, rocks I find on the ground."

Hollis Kitchin

Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!

This week we are featuring Hollis Kitchin, a Juneau-based artist whose watercolor paintings have charmed many visitors and residents alike. Hollis is a multi-talented human who finds fulfillment in all the ways her art contributes to the community, such as our recent Kindred Post holiday card or new set pieces for Perseverance Theatre. Read more about Hollis and her work below!

Who are you?

I’m a pluviophile, illustrator, artist, bra fit specialist, and general maker of things.

What do you do?

I paint, draw, and build things. I primarily use watercolors, ink and gouache (a thicker opaque type of watercolor paint) in my work. I have also built props for theater productions using a variety of materials from wood and metal to sugar.

In addition to making visual art I also co-own and run Bustin’ Out Boutique where I specialize in professional bra fittings and get to be involved more one on one with the community of Juneau. 

Who/What Inspires You?

For me Inspiration comes from anything and everything, I do have a love for the fog and rain here in Southeast Alaska which is reflected in my work but I also draw and sketch everything around me my dog, scraps of fabric, vegetables, scenes around town, rocks I find on the ground.

What is your favorite moment in the process?

The randomness that watercolor produces. There are definitely ways to control the paint and be very precise but my favorite way to use the paint is to start with an idea and see where the paint takes me. I love to start with a completely wet piece of watercolor paper and just drop color onto it and see which direction it wants to go, let that first layer dry and then let the painting come out of that.  I also really enjoy filming timelapses of my work as I make it so others can see the process from start to finish.

What is a trick of your trade or a piece of advice for artists in your medium?

Use more water than you think you need, and work with a test strip of paper until you feel confident with your control of the paint. You can always build up color and intensity with watercolor but it’s very hard to lighten the painting if you go too dark.

What is next?

More creating always! I have an upcoming show at Annie Kaill’s for March’s First Friday and am working on getting more prints made of various paintings and illustrations that I have done. 

           

Hollis will also be a First Friday Artist for Kindred Post in August. Official announcement to come later this year.

See more of her work here!

Artist of the Week: Kristen Drozdowski

" I also take a lot of inspiration from nature, deep processes of self-inquiry and reflection, mind-body practices, and my relationship to myself and the world around me."

Kristen Drozdowski of Worthwhile Paper

Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!

This week we are featuring Kristen Drozdowski of Worthwhile Paper. Kristin has done the emotional and artistic work behind the goods that inspire us daily to get to know ourselves and celebrate the worthwhile details, no matter how big or small they may seem. Check out her full interview below for a peek behind the curtain and news of some really exciting things to come from Kristen!

Who are you?

My name is Kristen Drozdowski, I am an artist, mom, creative business owner and seeker of everyday magic!

What do you do?

My work consists of illustration, design and painting. I have a paper goods line called Worthwhile Paper, and we are happy to be stocked at many lovely shops across the world, including the beloved Kindred Post. :)

Who/what inspires you?

I am the most inspired by feelings, I naturally find myself using intuition and emotion to determine my process. I also take a lot of inspiration from nature, deep processes of self-inquiry and reflection, mind-body practices, and my relationship to myself and the world around me. The people who inspire me the most are those who are close to me in real life, and the little beautiful things I find wonderful about them.

What is your favorite moment in the process?

Magic moments in my art studio where something happens just right - like I get the math right on some stripes I am going to paint, or I nail a color mix on the first try. I also really love the onset of a new idea, sometimes it happens fast and naturally and out of nowhere, which is exciting.

What is a trick of your trade or a piece of advice for artists in your medium?

I would say my favorite 'trick' is to not logically think too hard about your process, let the natural curiosity and feeling guide you, and piece it all together logically later. It usually all falls into perfect place. Also, my favorite advice I have been giving myself is to step outside of any rules I have made for myself about what kind of art I am supposed to make and what kind of person I am supposed to be, and that PLAY is so important in both self discovery, my art practice and running a creative business!

What is next?

This is perfect timing, because this morning I just announced that I have been working on a guided journal with Chronicle Books! It is called You Are The Magic You Seek and will be published later this year and pre-orders will be available soon :) I have posted a little announcement with a tad more information on my instagram @worthwhilepaper - stay tuned for more! 

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See more of her work here!