Keiko Brodeur began her line of paper goods, Small Adventure, as a way to not only enjoy drawing and painting but to observe nature and learn about traveling and cultural lifestyles. Her naturalistic yet sophisticated illustrated stationery and prints have been featured on blogs such as Apartment Therapy, Design Is Mine and Unruly Things and publications Lucky and Bust magazines. Small Adventure is located in Los Angeles, CA.
Keiko describes her work as sometimes silly, but I find her the simplicity of her words with the backdrop her soulful looking illustrations as artfully poignant. I mean two rambunctious foxes with “Wild Combination”? How simply perfect.
Whether as a card, calendar, notebook or as illustrations adoring your home, Keiko has masterfully created art that will speak to some of your own sweetest memories.
When did you decide to start your own business? And why this business?
I was feeling creatively unfulfilled in the jobs following graduating from college and started experimenting with creating different items to sell on Etsy and craft fairs. Over time I discovered that I most enjoyed working with paint and illustrating for paper products such as greeting cards and art prints.
What was the best piece of advice you were given as you were starting out?
I remember reading an article on Design Sponge with Christine Schmidt of Yellow Owl Workshop who said it's important to take risks and work hard to accomplish what you want to. I also learned probably kind of late in the game that you're supposed to keep your costs as low as possible to make more money on your products. Pretty common sense advice but I'm not super business oriented.
What do you do behind the scenes?
Since I am still a mostly one-person business I have to wear a lot of hats. Designing products, getting them manufactured, marketing and selling, shipping, invoicing and collecting payments as well as bookkeeping and dealing with ordering supplies and other various business paperwork are some of the main tasks I do myself or mostly by myself.
What is your inspiration for your work?
Almost anything can spark an idea for a project. Traveling, music, movies and art all inspire me on a regular basis. Right now I'm into historical folk costumes of various cultures and their rudimentary tools.
What is your goal during each project?
My general mission is to create beautiful imagery that conveys a certain feeling or idea. I hope each card I make will communicate the beauty of our natural world and spawn a desire to travel and garner new experiences.
What are a few things people don’t know about you?
I've seen every episode of Gilmore Girls at least six times, my husband is a writer and illustrator of comics, and I have a major addiction to buying cookbooks.
And finally: What’s on your playlist right now?
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