I’m thrilled to announce a very happy collaboration: beginning in January 2016, I have partnered with local letterpress maestro Bill Muller of Big Wheel Press to launch a *new* line of gorgeous letterpress cards. Working with Bill and becoming a Big Wheel artist is a thrill for so many reasons, not the least of which is that I’ve finally found someone who loves peanut butter as much as I do. In addition to letterpress cards + notebooks, Big Wheel will now be representing my full-color digital line as well as my 2017 GRATITUDE calendar, due out in May. Sneak peek below of some of the letterpress cards launching at NSS 2016 this month! Stop by booth 2259 and say hello!
Fun news alert! My book, “Wear Gratitude (Like A Sweater)” was #99 out of 100 on Amazon’s bestseller NATURE POETRY section! Woot! See photo below.
And for those of you who missed it, a dear friend came across a Nonfiction Best Seller’s List at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT last year and my book, “Wear Gratitude Like A Sweater” was listed at No. 12! Wow! What an honor for my book to have hit bestseller status and share shelf space with one of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Kolbert and her book “The Sixth Extinction” as well as Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild”. After a bit of a scramble (What!!? My book was on a bestseller list!?) we discovered that the list was compiled by IndieBound an organization focused on collaborating with independently owned bookstores to promote newly discovered writers. Thanks IndieBound!
A big thank you to my publisher Rock Point Publishing and Quarto Gifts and my amazing editor.
In the past year or so I’ve received a handful of emails and messages requesting images from my gratitude project as custom prints or cards. I was always happy to oblige, and at some point realized that this was a great way for people to connect with my work in a way that felt personal. So I’ve added a “Request Custom Work” option on my etsy shop, and wanted to welcome you all to use it! It’s right here, under the “Shop Owner” tab on etsy.
You can find the complete catalog of images from the gratitude project here, and you can see all of the card images here. One customer recently ordered these three illustrations (which were all originally cards) to hang in her nursery:
It isn’t often one can say something they made has been cataloged on another person’s skin (and not just any person, but the dearest of friends). Check out the beautiful handiwork of Noel’le Longhaul in conjunction with one of my images from the 365 days of gratitude project. Some of those images became cards, some became pages in the book, and some were part of the 2014 calendar, but this particular image was featured in all three! So here’s to Saint Francis de Sales; may we find the nourishment we need all around us this spring, and may we bloom right where we are planted in this moment!
There is nothing quite like the sharing, musing and support that happens inside creative friendship. As an artist and illustrator, my inspiration comes from a universe of writers, poets, artists, musicians, makers and human beings across time who have tapped into their own creative or contemplative curiosity. And yet, day in and day out, I mostly work alone. I value and need this kind of solitude. But it is also why I treasure friendships with other makers. Together we talk, write, muse, share work and offer each other that ever-necessary reminder that doubt, stagnation, and fear (as well as joy, excitement and productivity) are all part of the creative process (indeed, of being human).
Heather Maloney is one of my dearest gals whose work I have followed and shared and been witness to since her earliest days of songwriting—and her with me, too. She’s responsible for the sweet push that got me started in illustration (seriously!) and she has been with me at every big moment of my creative career. Her gorgeous new album MAKING ME BREAK is releasing on Signature Sounds Recordings in late April. Produced by Bill Reynolds of Band of Horses, it is a poetic and musical beauty. Check out THIS new music video of her song, “Otherwise” from the album. The image below is the upcoming cover. The artwork is by another dear friend who has been a magical creative mentor to me: Kevin Hill.
Wise encouragement from 19th Century Irish poet and author Oscar Wilde. It’s a welcome reflection: BE YOURSELF. And as Wilde points to, with humor, who else could you possibly be? I once told a friend that there are many days I feel exhausted being ME. She responded with her steady wisdom, saying, “It sounds like you’re exhausted resisting who you are.” Yes. That’s it. I am often amazed at how much mental energy (thoughts, moods, emotions) go into comparing myself to others, falling short over and over again and solidifying the belief that I am not OK exactly as I am. If I could let go of this belief, BEING MYSELF would feel easy—-like lying back on the grass and yielding to something natural, familiar, safe; like being carried by the wind or the beauty of others, but feeling clear that my basket, my carrier, is a place where I can just be ME.
Post-valentine’s day wisdom for all kinds of togetherness…(even me with me). Grateful for the ever-wise, kind, observations of 13th Century poet Rumi* (CORRECTION: this is actually a Khalil Gibran quote. He was a 20th Century Lebanese poet, writer + artist. Also a wise, kind observer. My apologies!).
In the creative process, and in all kinds of work, we often overlook the importance of taking a break. This week, Aaron Becker, a local illustrator from the Pioneer Valley (who has relocated to Grenada, Spain for the year….) and winner of the 2014 Caldecott Honor Picture Book for his magical book Journey, wrote eloquently and honestly about reaching a momentary creative limit and the importance of finally take a break—maybe for just a few days or a week, but a break nonetheless.
In my experience, hitting a limit (thoughtfully, and with awareness…) can be as inspiring to our work (and the longevity of our creative life….) as finding those ‘terrific stories’ and ‘lovely brush strokes’ he writes about in his blog. Each time I take a break in the midst of working, especially when it’s a bit earlier than I think I need one, I’m always amazed at how refreshed and resilient my mind feels when I return to working.
Thrilled to share that I am the featured artist this month at The Feline Foundation where I donated the image, ‘lioness in the rain.’ It is available on tees, hoodies, phone covers and more. 100% of all proceeds goes to supporting cats, big and small. Meow!
My first annual CULTIVATE GRATITUDE calendar is nearly sold out, wow! Today is the last chance to get them at 50% off in my Etsy shop! Thanks for all your interest and support, folks.
Hey folks! So it’s a WEEKEND BLITZ in my Etsy Shop! Today! Friday thru Sunday 6pm. All 2015 CALENDARS + PRINTS are 50% off with code: JANBLITZ at checkout. Plus! We’ll throw in a free card with every calendar purchase.
Find me on INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK and SHARE my BLITZ POST anytime this weekend and we’ll enter you to win a FREE gift bag of sweet stuff from my etsy shop. We’ll contact you with the details. Yippee!
Yep, it’s Heather Maloney in the house again! She’s running a KICKSTARTER campaign this month to raise funds for her next album and I’ve just donated FIVE 2015 calendars to her campaign rewards! For $55 dollars, you’ll get the NEW as-yet-unrecorded album (indie music at it’s poetic, mesmerizing best!) signed by Heather AND one of my 2015 calendars, signed by me! Woot! Heather is straight up A-MAY-zing. Check her music out HERE if you haven’t discovered her yet. Thanks for supporting local, home-grown art + music, folks. We can’t do it without you.
Look who stopped by my booth at OnTrend Craft Fair this weekend! Miss Heather Maloney! Thanks to all old friends and new who came out and said hello! Special shout out to some of the lovely makers I enjoyed meeting: Gemma Farrell Ceramics, Pressbound, Sarah K Benning, Zoe Tilley Poster and Freckle Paper #ontrend #local #craftfair #pressbound #sarahkbenning
New cards in my Etsy shop! Woot!
A late in the day celebration of coffee. And the 17th Century Japanese poet Basho who said, “Learn about the pine from the pines.” To learn more about coffee and the lives and history of the people who grow it, check out the documentary Connected By Coffee from Stone Hut Studios. #coffee #artpluswords
I was honored to be asked to make a welcome poster for my dear friend Jena Strong and her sweetie for their wedding this past weekend. So many beautiful moments. So much to celebrate. #thispreciouslife