In an effort to make up for lost time and years of receiving gifts without properly sending thank you notes, lately, I am sending a ton of cards. Out of necessity and the desire to send quality notes to my loved ones, I am always looking out for a new card line and after a lucky discovery on Instagram, I found the incredible work of Keiko Brodeur, the artist behind my favorite paper goods company Small Adventure. The outdoorsy theme of Small Adventure has a real vintage campy vibe and evokes nostalgic memories of the summers that I spent in Bass Lake, smelling pines trees and roasting marshmallows.
I got the opportunity to visit Keiko's studio in Highland Park and when I arrived I met Keiko, the beautiful illustrator behind Small Adventure, her husband who shares the studio space and her mother who is kind enough to help with Keiko's latest order (greeting card companies can be busy this time of year due to holiday orders). The studio was a brightly lit space, with outdoorsy inspiration on many walls and a cute pup named Bae. I asked Keiko to tell me a little bit about why she started Small Adventure and how she ended up in Highland Park.
K | I started Small Adventure as a creative outlet from my frustrating job and began by making fabric crafts and a little bit of illustrated cards and prints. I soon realized that I wanted to focus solely on illustrating designs for paper goods and the Small Adventure theme also developed organically from that. My ideas seem to work best when there is a limit to them and I was arriving at a place in my life where I was rediscovering the mind blowing aspects of the natural world that fascinated me in my childhood. Having my card line be completely based on nature and traveling worked really nicely for my thought process and is continuing to challenge and inspire me as well as sharpen my observations.
Most of my sales grew from the cards and prints so I started focusing in on making more illustrated designs and found it to be quite exhilarating! I love painting and in turn seeing my artwork reproduced onto a paper that I choose.
I found my studio in Highland Park through a very talented woman, Linda Hsiao, who makes beautiful pottery and has a shop in the area, Arroyo General, that carries my cards and prints. Her husband has a wood shop in a unit on the property that my husband and I are now renting and when I mentioned to her that we were looking for a much needed space to work out of she got back to me quickly about this space and it worked out perfectly. We live in South Pasadena and had both been working out of our very small apartment for years and our space situation was getting wildly out of control. This studio has done wonders for both of us!
During the studio visit I found myself falling in love with nearly everything Keiko created. From the vintage trailer birthday card to the sentimental Miss you card which depicts a vintage tent, each piece was more brilliant than the last. Two items in the shop that I currently love are this box set which features a variety of cards and this card that I gave to Bryan for Father's Day. Keiko also makes beautiful prints and we recently purchased this one for our home.
Fall in love with other work from Keiko here or for daily inspiration follow Keiko's rad instagram feed @smalladventure