In the stationery business, your calendar looks a little bit different to everyone else's...and (this time) I'm not referring to the design. You're the wacky neighbour humming Christmas carols in August as you work on the new collection...and then just as the lights go on and the wrapping comes off...you're brainstorming new ways to say I Love You in time for Valentine's. I always find myself walking around a New Year's Eve party secretly wishing I could just hand out post-its and sharpies and turn the room into a think tank. Put down your champagne - let's talk about love!
And as if two mega card and gift giving seasons in close proximity weren't enough...this is also what's known as "engagement season"...so somewhere between reindeers and hearts, you have to make room for some interesting mothers-in-law. (More on this topic, another time). In short...October-March is a busy time of year. (Ok, I'm not really complaining...I did in the middle of all this spend a couple of weeks exploring the white sands of Zanzibar and vineyards of Cape Town. Note to self: Bad idea. No great idea! No...really bad timing...Yes! Replenish creative juices with piña coladas!)
So when April finally rolls around...I like to think of it as my New Year. Leftover Christmas and Valentine's cards are neatly stored away, most wedding invitations have gone out...and while there is still (thankfully!) a constant stream of non-seasonal work...branding projects, event invitations, custom prints...it's time to take a little breather. Which really means, See ya! I'm off to New York. As the birthplace of The Letterist - the city where I got my first client, hand-drew my first logo, and fell in love with shelves and shelves of paper...I think of it as a necessary annual personal and professional pilgrimage. To reconnect with my original vision and inspiration...to clink glasses with some of my clients on the other side of the Atlantic...and of course, to buy more paper (ok fine, and cashmere, and yoga pants and other stuff).
It's a time to decompress and debrief...to throw out the old and make space for the new...(yes, I Marie Kondo'd my entire studio over Easter - you should too)...and to set some new goals and intentions. Oh, and get a new puppy. And a new intern! See? New vibes, all 'round.
So I'm sitting and interviewing my intern last week, asking her what she knows about The Letterist, what her skillset is, where she might see herself fitting in, or what projects she might contribute to, and she says, "Well, I've noticed you haven't really updated your blog since September." Oh, right, the blog. It feels slightly better writing this now...or at least a little justified...having explained that October to March circus above...but there is no excuse really, is there. Just like there's no excuse for living with a cluttered wardrobe, or not working out if you want to, or not actually implementing all those goals and resolutions we so often set for ourselves. So I added "blog more" to the long list of things I intend on doing this "new" year...in my ever-lasting conquest to be a better, more productive, more astute, more balanced, more awesome and mind-blowing version of myself.
Still helplessly under the spell of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up...and that wonderful question, "does it spark joy?" I all too quickly sent all the old blog posts to the trash. Even virtually, that feeling of less clutter and more space is undeniably liberating. Not to mention that virtually, you don't have to haul all the bags.
Enter space for new ideas, new joys, new blog.
Here I shall endeavour to, more regularly, share the behind-the-scenes wonders and madness of The Letterist. The inspiring Ted Talks I watch early in the morning (yes, another resolution)...the incredible pins I scroll through as I fall asleep, the heart-warming or entertaining emails I receive from clients...the moodboards, the sketches, the beautiful letterpress wedding invitations, all of it. I should perhaps add the disclaimer that for the next few months the talk might be more puppy, less paper...but you have to applaud that I have throughout the entire writing of this post resisted the mad urge to insert lots of photos of him. Feel free to follow theletterist on Instagram for those.
Seriously though, read Marie Kondo. Clear away the clutter. And if you haven't quite started on your new year's resolutions, or have long given them up...who cares. Start over. Change it up. Set new goals. Go get em tiger.