This board was created for Eco Wellness, a new ecological spa treatment place that will open up very soon. We have focused on natural materials like wood and leather combined with small details of brass.
Spring is around the corner and so is this project: a collaboration with local designers and crafts makers and a new found photographer who is interested in shooting interior design. So we have teamed up and I will style the pictures with inspiration from the north, so the colors are based on some natural but typical traits of northern nature.
This first mood board, the green one, is representing all the greens: the trees, northern light, minerals and foggy morning mist.
The pink mood board stands for the midnight sun and misty summer nights..
The blue mood board represents the darkness and water which we have a lot of here in the north.
I would like to show you the products but that will have to wait, am still awaiting confirmation from one or two, plus got a keep something for later…
So why should we care about the environment and take any responsibility in trying to change consumer habits and production processes? well the reasons are many and at this point we are all aware that this planet has environmental problems due to human behavior but last week this video came past my eyes and made my heart stop! I literally could not breathe for a long while…HOW COULD YOU NOT CARE?!?
This is my latest creation, which I have dedicated to the town where we live: Umea, and now all eco-prints are available in a local pop-up shop for northern designers, which feels pretty awesome! This piece is created as an homage to Umea, (which is a university town where people cycle a lot), and the buildings have been covered with letters and numbers to symbolize the academic spirit and learning going on here. Furthermore, the green shadows are there to support this environmentally friendly form of transport and encourage people to be even greener, because believe it or not here they ride it in the winter (despite -20 degrees) by putting winter tires on the bikes which helps you to avoid accidents on icy road conditions. So there is no excuse; -get on your bikes!!!
So what else has been going on? well, I have just stumbled upon a shared studio space! which for me is the best Christmas present!
Take a look at this! it’s basically an old dairy factory, which now has been converted in to various artist studios, and there one can apply for a membership with a compound that specializes in the same area as one has their skills, so I am applying for the art & textile compound. Last week I went for a visit and the space is like a massive eye candy!!! yum yum. There you can do screen printing, sculptures, sewing, painting and other creative stuff. I also spoke with the president and explained a bit what I do and she has now sent me an application form to fill out and then hopefully after Christmas I can started using the space!
So yes, went home and put my head to some serious research (as I have been abroad for 20 years I haven’t got a clue about anything around here, like where to get materials etc), and who doesn’t know that the textile industry is a very toxic business, so this will be a challenge but I am determined to carry on the ideology of eco-design, and have already found some environmentally friendly screen printing products through Screentec, who has devoted themselves to develop eco-friendly printing products which are water based and free from phthalate and PVC; and I am about to become another customers of theirs. Moreover, apart from ensuring you use good products you can also make an effort when it comes to cleaning by trying to collect residues to the last drop and wipe tools with paper before washing them with water.
In fact I read a profound study conducted by the city of Stockholm and the cultural administration where they highlight that all waste classified as dangerous for humans and the nature should NEVER be placed in the bin or poured down the sink. As dangerous you would include solvents, chemical photo products, paint residues, even packages that are empty but has contained dangerous products should not be disposed this way but collected separately and brought to an environmental station.
One big NO-NO in the art world are colours with cadmium, like cadmium red or yellow, and a lot of people do not know this but cadmium can’t be filtered away, and its highly toxic for humans, animals and plants. Recently the Swedish national water company examined the level of cadmium in water around the country and in areas close to art schools they found a massive increase of cadmium in the water; something I find very scary because it’s mainly due to the fact that people do not know this. So on your bikes and find the nearest environmental station! we need to know where they are…while we wait for the system to become more convenient for eco-living.
-have a good Christmas!!!
‘Figure it out’
Not far to go, am almost ready to open up EcoDesignUmea’s own webshop! -feels exciting and scary at the same time…
So how did this happen?!? … ok here is my story: Last year; – well in fact on the 8th of December it will be exactly 365 days since I had a bad accident and broke my sacrum bone completely (lower part of the spine)
Yup, believe it or not but I slipped so badly on the northern ice that I fell backwards and broke my back, well to be honest I could not believe it and its taken me some time to grasp. At first the doctors were not very positive and said they could not operate because it was to risky, that I was over-optimistic and they explained that the injury needed to self-heal, (which I am now in the process of) and apparently that will take a few years.
However, after 6 months of being nicely drugged up I started making little things at home and working on the computer whilst healing my back (by then my whole being were itching to create) and that is when I started this blog. So I have used this time to set up an on-line life related to my passion of ecological art & design (am a great believer of creativity and sustainable existence), which feels weird and interesting at the same time… lets see how it will go. My back is still in bad shape and am still taking the same amount of painkillers but every 2-3 months I can notice a slight improvement, like being able to stand longer and walk a bit further.
Anyhow, I don’t want this to sound like a sob-story! – and at first I did not want to share anything personal here but as time is passing EcoDesignUmea is becoming a part of my life and giving me a lot of joy and satisfaction, in fact I am a very positive person (most of the time) who just wish to create and change a few things in this world, so that is what I am going for.
Now I have just received my first bit of eco-stock, the above prints are part of that, and then spent the whole day researching environmentally friendly ways to support this concept, learning about branding, marketing and all this other stuff which I feel is a bit of drag and out of my field but it keeps me occupied. So lets see but hopefully I will find a way which stays in line with the whole eco idea, from materials (re-) used in initial stages to the final product & packaging, -so if you have any tips please share them!
Good night and thanks for sticking around!! x
P.S. all above designs are created with recycled materials
Just returned from the printers and our first test run! so the outcome is that it will be better to print, at least in this place; because they have achieved the white swan label, (read more here: svanen) which in this nordic region is a symbol for environmentally friendly products and businesses. As they have won this rather prestigious marking their regulations and products are tightly monitored to stay within the acceptable framework.
While we were waiting for the prints to come out, Johan, who works there, told me that they really have seen an increase of customers demanding environmentally friendly prints in the last 5 years and I could not help but notice that a lot of documents where being printed for the local government of Umea, which means they are falling in line with the green wave sweeping our planet. Moreover, this little town has applied for the title of ‘European Green Capital‘ 2016, (which they didn’t get but are now preparing for the comeback and a new application the following year…2017.) -Well, good stuff!!!! we want more of this please.The first year out the winner were Stockholm, so lets honor them with a little photo shall we.. its a beautiful city!
where were we? yes, the prints, so have now decided to print up a small edition of artwork to sell but before going ahead I just have to rework some details and save the images in a different format and in the meantime the printer guy will order some more sustainable paper as they had run out (its in demand ha!)
so home I went and called the inland revenue (skatteverket) less exciting but hey here everything is done by the book so I thought I better inform myself of how things work after living abroad for 20 odd years (well I was only 18 when I took off, and had never paid a bill in my life) and luckily I spoke to a very nice girl who gave me some sound advice of how to run your creative business, so lets apply them (but got to do book keeping which I absolutely detest!) anyway life is full of ups and downs -have a good week!!