keiko brodeur is an illustrator in los angeles, california who is taking the card world by storm with her brand, small adventure. her unique illustrations are warm and inviting. there is a strong theme of wildlife and nature amongst her work, which makes me feel safe and comfortable, like all of her characters are friends that i've met just awhile back. keiko tells us more about her story and shares some of her pieces and workspace below.
what is your background?
i went to college for music and then changed my major to graphic design. after having a few different jobs i started teaching myself illustration and developed a drawing style.
how did small adventure start?
i was feeling stuck and creatively unfulfilled in my job and decided to start experimenting with different forms of craft to make products to sell on etsy. after a slow, crawling start coming up with various paper and sewn products and selling my work at a renegade craft fair, i decided that illustration for paper products was the medium that i truly loved to work in.
what inspires you and your illustrations?
inspiration can come from anywhere. traveling, art, movies, instagram, etc. what i'm most inspired by currently is traditional folk attire from different countries, especially japan and peru.
what has been the best thing you’ve done for your company?
two things have really helped me grow and expand my company this past year. first was leasing a studio space which allowed me to move all my inventory and supplies out of my one bedroom apartment and get everything organized. i couldn't believe how much more efficient this made my work. the other was hiring some part time help to plow through some of the more tedious and time consuming parts of fulfilling wholesale orders. it freed up a little more time for me to create new card designs.
what are you looking forward to most this next year?
i'm most looking forward to achieving some goals in my business like expanding my line of cards more than i ever have before and hopefully hiring some more people to help with all the tasks i have to accomplish.
what advice would you give to makers who are just getting started?
i'm sure i've said this before in other interviews but i think this idea is important to keep in mind when starting a business or a line of products: having a distinct aesthetic voice sets your work apart from the crowd, so make sure your products are as unique as possible, as well as presented professionally. do lots of research in whatever field you're starting your business in and see what other people are making and what price points they're selling their products at. definitely consider selling your products wholesale to stores.