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!!
Today I am very proud of myself for phoning up different commercial companies who send me their directories and paper adverts and cancel all this junk mail. Even thou we have a note on our door saying “no advertising” we still receive everything which carries our name and address, so thanks to Bea Johnson’s book ‘Zero Waste Home’ where she cleverly explains that the best way to reduce waste is by stopping it from entering your home I had the idea of stopping this junk mail from entering our home by contacting the ones who send it. Believe it or not, everyone I spoke with was very friendly and happy to help with this idea of decreasing waste and paper consumption. Also there are a lot of companies who now-a-days send you advertising digitally and even thou that can be annoying too at least it does not physically use resources.
That leads me on to my second topic; digital work. I have spent the last week or so creating art work on the computer, well its not all done on the computer, I have used paintings and drawings which I had laying around and collaged them together in to new pieces.I am now going to reproduce them in a certified environmentally friendly printing company, and compare the material used that way versus using paint and glue. The question to be explored: is digital reproduction better for the environment then physically using art material and making things new 1st hand?well I think so but am not sure yet, but I have just spoken to the printers and we have decided to do a test run first and then work out the impact, so I can compare the use of ink versus the use of paint per piece…These are the pieces to be tested, what do you think?
You know, I was just thinking about how to change current consumer behaviour, and that you got to start with the small things in your own life, but if we all did it it would actually be something really big, the change would be collective. Ok this was hardly any rocket science, however it is good to remind oneself that we are all part of the bigger picture. -Yes, I know that people around me probably think ‘oh here she goes again’ when my repeated conversations of what is better for the environment, how to minimise our carbon footprint, or how to recycle and consume in a more conscious way etc etc starts; -but at the end of the day I know that on some level my nagging is making them think and even if they just change one thing it is a step towards the collective improvement, and how we can get better! (got to stay positive otherwise its so daunting…) So we all got to help out in improving the environment, on whatever level we are able to!
So lets keep at it!
now, while my angels were asleep I got some old photos out and suddenly I had this urge to make a collage, so by re-using old images and newspaper/advertising I ended with these little creations, – of course, late at night… it seems like that is my time to work, the only problem is that my 1 1/2 year old always wakes up around 5 in the morning…but what can we do? well, just keep at it and change for the better, no?!?
If you want some more inspiration from someone who has taken this idea of change to a whole different level, check out Bea Johnson at ZeroWasteHome
who has really gone the full hog of changing her lifestyle! quite interesting, but of course, we all have our ways…so which is yours?
Sometimes it just drives me nuts, all these freebies that you get everywhere!…all in the name of marketing. Well ok I have to admit that it does work in getting our brains washed in believing and consuming certain brands, but honestly as a person and parent who wants to make a conscious decision of reducing and reverting the consumerist concept I feel a bit relentless about having all these cheep looking and pretty useless marketing objects around the house, so what can we do?? yes I confess; -most of the time I bin them (in the correct recycling container of course) but tonight I had another idea…tititittiitii
During my momentarily battle of whether to set up a professional on-line store or just sell creations on a whim, a client placed an order, and I suddenly felt that I wish to spread my eco brainwash to other people (marketing!?!..) and there it was, one of these gadgets that the kids had taken home the other day and japp, -why not transform that! so here it is, an ecological, up-cycled marketing piece, hopefully with a more meaningful message…
Here above you can see the original jigsaw with Snoopy before he was killed and buried by an eco-warrior, -may he rest in peace…Amen.
With all the bits of fabric, cardboard and unwanted garments we have at home I feel its time to clear out and make something new, -rather then just putting it in the bin (japp, I know, that is the easy option) but hey its so much more rewarding when you have actually made something and it could be a nice gift for yourself or someone around you. In my case and in this instance, this creation is for my little girls, you know they just happen to be the people I love the most, so making things for them comes quite naturally…so here we have some recycled artwork.
So what materials were used for creating this image? well to start with I got a bit of cardboard as backing (the cardboard came in a delivery that I received the other day) and then I cut out the owl’s body from some fabric that was laying around the house and glued that to the cardboard. Then the wing was created with a bit of lace which came from a skirt and the eyes and beak were made out of a paper bill (glad I could use that for something more fun…) and green yarn were added around the eyes as a contour line. To complete the image I painted some stripes and dots with ecological paint and framed it, -so here you go!
The other day my friend posted an article about a guy that does recycled art on a much larger scale which I found very interesting, so click on this link for some humane inspiration and architecture on a whole different level!