studio tour: small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

chances are if you’ve bought a greeting card in Los Angeles you’ve come across the fabulous painterly designs of one Keiko brodeur of small adventure. her whimsical illustrations are uplifting, cheerful, cheeky and a touch retro. we paid a visit to her highland park studio and learned about the path that brought her to the wild (and not so small) creative adventure she’s on today. you can shop for keiko’s cards at these locations.

greeting card by illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

studio tour: small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

were you working elsewhere before leaving to start your business?
I worked at Anthropologie as a Home Merchandiser full-time and then a Sales Associate part-time while I started my business. Small Adventure itself was a part-time endeavor for years so I also taught piano and violin lessons while building up more product and figuring out what kind of business I wanted to have. I finally stopped teaching altogether in 2015 to work on Small Adventure exclusively even though I technically started the business in 2009.

was your new path motivated by a particular creative need or personal goal?
I felt I needed more creative control over projects and I wasn’t getting that from working for other people. Starting Small Adventure was sort of a last-ditch effort/experiment to see if I could learn more about drawing and find creative satisfaction.

small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur's line of greeting cards. / sfgirlbybay  colorful paint palatte of illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

where do you gain fuel that inspires your creative endeavors?
i’m most inspired by talented illustrators and painters who have been honing their craft for a while, but inspiration for me can come from anywhere: a tv show, a ceramic bowl, a beautiful landscape, a cool outfit, interior design, a children’s book, etc. just seeing something that sparks an idea gets my creative juices going again. even just thinking about how much more i have to learn and practice makes me excited to get working on something.

greeting card illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

studio tour with highland park illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur's highland park studio. / sfgirlbybay

what was the most unexpected aspect of putting together your business?
i didn’t expect that small adventure would become a greeting card line, but as i made various little craft items at the beginning i realized that i enjoyed drawing and painting most and found excitement in seeing my paintings printed on paper. as my business grew, i realized that making cards for a wholesale based business seemed to bring in the most income and started focusing on that which helped the business grow even more. i’m lucky that small adventure has developed and grown naturally over the years.

what kind of vibe did you have in mind while designing the new studio space?
i wanted my first away-from-home studio to be organized and functional but not too proper or clean so i could feel like making messes and being creative. sometimes it gets a little too messy in here with all the boxes and our ever-changing methods of trying to hide them away and keep them out of walking paths, but i truly love this space and never felt more inspired to work hard and create than when i’m here. i’d say it has kind of a relaxed and homey vibe, with soft colors.

greeting card designed by illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur with her line of greeting cards. / sfgirlbybay

painting tools of illustrator keiko brodeur in her highland park studio. / sfgirlbybayinside the studio of small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

what are some of your work tools that you can’t live without?
isabey squirrel mop paintbrushes as well as any super tiny brushes for small detailed painting, arches hot press watercolor paper, holbein gouache, a thin mechanical pencil, mono zero tiny mechanical eraser made by tombow, sketchbooks and traveler’s notebook by midori (a japanese paper goods company). i also recently purchased a medium called pan pastels on the recommendation of an illustrator i really admire and am having a blast playing with them!

what are three books that changed your life?
The Chronicles of Narnia (kind of cheating since it’s a whole series, but maybe The Voyage of the Dawn Treader if I had to pick just one.), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and I just finished reading The Three Body Problem, the first in a Chinese science fiction trilogy, that blew my mind.

studio tour: small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

dia de los muertos greeting card designed by illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

what do you currently have playing on the studio’s turntable?
i can feel you creep into my private life by the tune-yards, the baby driver soundtrack, and afrodisiac by fela kuti.

• photography by lily glass for sfgirlbybay; come together print | cool lady card | cactus birthday card | dia de los muertos card | card photographs by tawny alipoon.

The post studio tour: small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur. appeared first on sfgirlbybay.

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studio tour: small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

chances are if you’ve bought a greeting card in Los Angeles you’ve come across the fabulous painterly designs of one Keiko brodeur of small adventure. her whimsical illustrations are uplifting, cheerful, cheeky and a touch retro. we paid a visit to her highland park studio and learned about the path that brought her to the wild (and not so small) creative adventure she’s on today. you can shop for keiko’s cards at these locations.

greeting card by illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

studio tour: small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

were you working elsewhere before leaving to start your business?
I worked at Anthropologie as a Home Merchandiser full-time and then a Sales Associate part-time while I started my business. Small Adventure itself was a part-time endeavor for years so I also taught piano and violin lessons while building up more product and figuring out what kind of business I wanted to have. I finally stopped teaching altogether in 2015 to work on Small Adventure exclusively even though I technically started the business in 2009.

was your new path motivated by a particular creative need or personal goal?
I felt I needed more creative control over projects and I wasn’t getting that from working for other people. Starting Small Adventure was sort of a last-ditch effort/experiment to see if I could learn more about drawing and find creative satisfaction.

small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur's line of greeting cards. / sfgirlbybay  colorful paint palatte of illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

where do you gain fuel that inspires your creative endeavors?
i’m most inspired by talented illustrators and painters who have been honing their craft for a while, but inspiration for me can come from anywhere: a tv show, a ceramic bowl, a beautiful landscape, a cool outfit, interior design, a children’s book, etc. just seeing something that sparks an idea gets my creative juices going again. even just thinking about how much more i have to learn and practice makes me excited to get working on something.

greeting card illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

studio tour with highland park illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur's highland park studio. / sfgirlbybay

what was the most unexpected aspect of putting together your business?
i didn’t expect that small adventure would become a greeting card line, but as i made various little craft items at the beginning i realized that i enjoyed drawing and painting most and found excitement in seeing my paintings printed on paper. as my business grew, i realized that making cards for a wholesale based business seemed to bring in the most income and started focusing on that which helped the business grow even more. i’m lucky that small adventure has developed and grown naturally over the years.

what kind of vibe did you have in mind while designing the new studio space?
i wanted my first away-from-home studio to be organized and functional but not too proper or clean so i could feel like making messes and being creative. sometimes it gets a little too messy in here with all the boxes and our ever-changing methods of trying to hide them away and keep them out of walking paths, but i truly love this space and never felt more inspired to work hard and create than when i’m here. i’d say it has kind of a relaxed and homey vibe, with soft colors.

greeting card designed by illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur with her line of greeting cards. / sfgirlbybay

painting tools of illustrator keiko brodeur in her highland park studio. / sfgirlbybayinside the studio of small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

what are some of your work tools that you can’t live without?
isabey squirrel mop paintbrushes as well as any super tiny brushes for small detailed painting, arches hot press watercolor paper, holbein gouache, a thin mechanical pencil, mono zero tiny mechanical eraser made by tombow, sketchbooks and traveler’s notebook by midori (a japanese paper goods company). i also recently purchased a medium called pan pastels on the recommendation of an illustrator i really admire and am having a blast playing with them!

what are three books that changed your life?
The Chronicles of Narnia (kind of cheating since it’s a whole series, but maybe The Voyage of the Dawn Treader if I had to pick just one.), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and I just finished reading The Three Body Problem, the first in a Chinese science fiction trilogy, that blew my mind.

studio tour: small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

dia de los muertos greeting card designed by illustrator keiko brodeur. / sfgirlbybay

what do you currently have playing on the studio’s turntable?
i can feel you creep into my private life by the tune-yards, the baby driver soundtrack, and afrodisiac by fela kuti.

• photography by lily glass for sfgirlbybay; come together print | cool lady card | cactus birthday card | dia de los muertos card | card photographs by tawny alipoon.

The post studio tour: small adventure illustrator keiko brodeur. appeared first on sfgirlbybay.