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!