On Love, Life and Being Back in the Swing of Things

It has taken my fingers, wrist and hand much longer to recover than expected.  When the doctor said a sprain can take as long as a fracture to heal, I didn't really take it too serious.  I have had sprains before.  They have never taken this long to heal!  Boy was I in for a surprise.  A whole month unable to work or paint, sigh, well frankly, I am just not built for that.  The minute it started healing, I started doing some little creative project, even if it was just sewing a feather on a handbag - anything to get some creative outlet.  Put my fingers to work.  My fingers would scream in protest afterwards, so it is with much relief I can now say the waiting is over - I am back in full swing.  Cooking up some good stuff for you in the studio.  And spending my evenings painting for an upcoming exhibition with just five weeks to go.  But no complaining from me.  

We will be giving the website a little face lift in the coming months, improving some key features and functionalities.  All to make it an even better experience to use our cards and visit the site.  Here is a little sneak peak at our updated logo.  Hope you like!

In addition, we just released our newest card, which features some of our best hand painted flowers that beautifully grow into a heart and the word "You".  Because I just never, ever will tire of flowers - or painting them I suspect - and because flowers say it so perfectly.  

Flowers radiate at a special frequency, the frequency of life, of hope, of all that is hard to sum up.  They symbolize the ephemeral (a nice little SAT word that we artists love, because it means something that lasts only briefly).  You would think flowers would not be the perfect symbol for love and Valentines for this reason, but perhaps it is because they remind us to be in the present and treasure the moment we have with our loved ones, because everything in this life is ephemeral.  

Did you know almost all our cards are mobile friendly?  

On the Creative Journey and Unexpected Detours

Running an artistic ecard business, like Ojolie, requires a lot of fresh ideas for new card designs. Even though it is a constant process of looking for inspiration, at the start of every year, I begin the planning process for what new cards are going to be released and when. This year a little accident gave me longer to ponder and plan in my head though: I sprained my right hand - the one I paint and work with - and for two weeks have not been able to even write my own name. Luckily, the hand is finally healing quite well and I feel blessed to even just be able to type this.

An accident like this is often a blessing in disguise, reminding us of all there is to be grateful, giving us renewed energy when we can return to work and our creative pursuits and most importantly giving us a mandatory break. That said, I am a terribly impatient person in these situations and just before it happened, I had completed my early spring cleaning of the studio, grounded four canvases in preparation for an upcoming exhibition I am working on. They now sit and smile at me. The dust has settled in the studio, but that will soon change.

In the meantime I thought I would share a little bit about the creative journey with you. Like most artists, I collect a myriad of materials from diverse channels to draw inspiration from.

"Tree of Life" by Frederikke Tu, 200x140cm, Sold, see more at www.frederikketu.com

Observations from my daily personal life, things that I’m fond of, personal hobbies, a memory, something a friend told me, the list goes on and on. I like to experience and watch nature to capture the essence of life and use this energy to spark ideas.

All these activities help generate ideas. As the concepts reveal themselves, I create document lists and pin boards on Pinterest as future referral sources. Then I ask myself, “From all of this, what is useable?” What are my customers looking for to suit their occasion? The concepts have to be relevant, useful and appeal to a wide audience. My process begins as divergent then moves towards convergence.

Once I decide on an idea, I start to visualize the card and animation. Sometimes that is influenced by a piece of music I would like to work with, where the melody ignites images in my mind. Other times, I see the final image and work backwards to the start filling in the gaps, or vice versa.

I consider the style, medium and pace to match the concept and take it from there. This process is useful both in my work on the ecards and in my other work as an artist. The discipline and process helps me get past any blockages, knowing that inspiration and creativity is just a question of getting to work, moving past the blocks and accepting that with time you will get into flow, and what may appear like magic to others, is just another day of work for the artist. Which I am waiting, impatiently, to return to soon as possible.

If you would like to see more of my recent work on canvas, you can see some of my acrylic and oil paintings at www.frederikketu.com