Away to Japan & South Korea we go!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Yeeeeeee!!! Tomorrow I leave for Osaka with Kevin joining me Saturday in Tokyo. 

I had planned to close the online shops but because of the Postcard from Abroad listing, as noted by Justine (thank you thank you!), the Etsy shop will remain open. But do note: all items ordered after JAN 30 will ship AFTER FEB 18. If you order in error a refund can be issued, but please do keep the shipping date in mind when ordering.

Our itinerary:
Jan 31-Feb 2: Osaka
Feb 2-5: Tokyo (Ghibli Museum on Feb. 4)
Feb 5-8: Sapporo (snow festival yeee!)
Feb 8-9: Kyoto
Feb 10: Shirakawa-go
Feb 11: Koyasan
Feb 12-13: Osaka
Feb 13-17: South Korea (not sure what we're doing. Kevin's handling the itinerary.)

I'm detailing the itinerary for those interested in ordering a "Postcard from Abroad" while I'm in any of those locations. Make sure to include a note if you have a preference for a subject/location.

OK, I'm off to pack. See you in Japan & South Korea!

Salutations from the Philippines

Monday, January 28, 2013

I made it to Manila! Took me a few days to get over the jet lag but I'm okay now. Home for the next 3 or so months is Makati City, a hub for ex-pats, commerce & business, and ridiculous malls. I was here last time I visited & stayed in the Philippines and I can't tell you enough how comforting it is to come "home" to a familiar place. Also, having wifi, ESPN to keep up with NBA games, and a Seattle's Best Coffee down the street isn't terrible either. To counter the uncomfortably long flight, I treated myself to a bamboo stick massage where they essentially rolled my muscles with bamboo as if it was a rolling pin. Somewhat painful but damn I feel good.

Not having to oversee my online store and worry about replenishing inventory has opened up a great deal of free time so I've been able to paint again. Here's what I came up with. Enjoy! 
I'll keep drawing & sharing, and readying for my next stop: Japan!

...And we're off!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Few quick things to note:
Follow along on the blog, instagram and twitter. I'll be sketching lots :)
Receive an original, illustrated postcard from my travels.
The shop will stay open while I'm gone, courtesy of Kevin Biggers, but no custom work or tin can cards/prints.

I've been waiting & working for two years for these next two years of travel and fun. Ahhhhh! SO EXCITED. See you!

SJ Made Mini Mart on Thursday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The first fair of the year, and the last one before I leave on my travels. I'll be vending at the SJ Made Mini Mart at the San Jose Museum of Art to kick off the first of their Third Thursdays 2013 series. I'll be one of 30 vendors, and the event is free so swing on by. Stock up on Valentine's Day cards & tin can cards (because they're no longer available in the shop). See you from 5pm-8pm!

Big Changes are coming!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you're well over your hangovers and kicking 2013 resolution booty!
Happy 2013 to you all! I hope you've set great goals and hopes for the new year. I certainly have for myself and the business. In fact, I'm in the middle of preparing for a rather big change--I'm leaving the country for 5 months & taking the business (to an extent) and YOU (if you'll let me) with me!

For those who don't know, I have a system where I work for two years and then travel for two years, rinse repeat. 2013 marks the beginning of two years of adventuring. I've shared my tentative schedule above in case anyone cares to meet, eat, draw, or perhaps exchange room & board for an original painting :).  I'll be detailing my travels via instagram and my blog.

What does that mean for the business? Introducing KEVIN BIGGERS!! My handy-dandy, partner-in-crime has so generously offered to manage my online stores (big cartel & etsy) in my absence. He's not a stranger to the scene. You may know him as that Asian boy with glasses in my illustrations or the fella who accompanies me to almost all my craft fairs. Still unsure? Read more about him here (it's an entertaining read!).

He'll also be joining me for a portion of my travels during which the online stores will be closed (Feb. 1-17)so order those Valentine goodies sooner rather than later. I've been working like crazy to ready for his take over. I think I've made enough inventory to last til May but if not, I'll replenish again when I return. So if something is sold out, it will be sold out until May.

Sorry I will not be taking any custom requests while I travel (unless we've previously discussed it). This includes paintings, alterations to prints, wedding materials, and even Tin Can prints & Tin Can cards. The Tin Canprints & cards will be available until Jan. 14. However, I will be offering a special, one-of-a-kind item while I adventure abroad...

I'll be offering postcards with an original illustration & note so you can follow me along my journey. When you purchase the postcard will determine what I draw. For example, you might want to order one on Feb. 3rd, the day before I go to the Ghibli Museum in Japan. Or you may want an illustration inspired by "The Hobbit" while I'm trekking through New Zealand. Or an illustration inspired by the Sapporo Snow Festival. Oh the possibilities! The postcards will only be $8 each & there's no limit to the number you can order. Help keep me busy :)

I have a few brand new things in the shop: two new Birthday Cards (boy & girl versions available), Rawr rubber stamplittle girl stamp, and Clink-inspired, mushy cards galore.  The Valentine's Day perforated cards are back in the shop, as well, and I still have a couple 2013 Calendars left in stock. I have a new Miss You card inspired by the long distance relationship I'm about to embark on with Kevin and with all of you :wipes a tear:.

Okay that's all for now. See you on the road & across the sea!

Ice Cream & Cookies,
Le Petit Elefant
Copyright © 2013 Genevieve Santos, All rights reserved.

Meet Kevin Biggers

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Have you ever wondered about the Asian boy with glasses who keeps popping up in my illustrations? Well, he's Kevin Biggers! You may have met him at one of my craft fairs, but don't fret, you'll be able to get to know him more now. He's stepping up and taking care of my online stores while I adventure abroad for 5 months. So if you notice a handwriting change in the thank you notes, that's why :)

I asked him a few questions so you can help get to know him a little better. Have a read!

What do you enjoy in your free time?
I enjoy reading, both the internet and real books. I like to write fiction occasionally and I hope to write more frequently and more consistently in the near future. I like biking a bunch. I watch a lot of sports and I read a lot about sports and I think a lot about sports. Particularly, baseball, basketball, and football. My favorite teams in those respective sports: the Seattle Mariners, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the players on my fantasy football team. I like good food as opposed to bad food. The most important non-human thing in my life is calmness. 

Thoughts on biking?
I'd say biking has gradually become my favorite facet of living in LA. The idea of transit in this city being actually fun and an actual form of meaningful exercise seems like a wholly and simply good thing rather than a partially and complicatedly good thing which most good things, in my opinion, are. Finding the fastest and/or most accommodating route from your point of origin to your point of destination seems in a small but somewhat meaningful way thrilling and also vaguely artistic in its varying degrees of improvisation. I enjoy the varying formlessness of the roadway infrastructure for bicyclists. For some reason, I am wary about the idea of more bike paths and something that would be labelled a "safer" structure to biking throughout the city. I like it how it is now.

I also find it somewhat nice being able to ride through and see parts of the city I otherwise in a car would have no reason to encounter and experience. For instance, I frequently use my bike to commute from where I live in Los Feliz to where I work in Sherman Oaks. This commute takes me through areas with which I had little to no prior experience: the LA River via its somewhat new bike path, Burbank and Toluca Lake via Riverside Drive, and Studio City via Moorpark Street. Now I know that the LA River Bike Path in spring and summer offers one of the nicest low-key evening bike rides in the city. And I'm now aware of a bowling alley in Burbank with a $1.50-a-game morning special on Tuesday and Thursday which feels deep down like a nice thing to know. And now I'm able to stop by this really tremendous sandwich and dessert shop in Toluca Lake called Sweet Salt (disclaimer: Genevieve is friends with the dessert chef here) whenever I want without enduring one of the the freeways. These things and other things related to biking seem very good as opposed to very bad, which is nice.

What have you learned or observed from helping Le Petit Elefant?
One thing I think about is the balance Genevieve has struck and is continuing to strive to strike between both running a thriving business and feeling nourished as an artist. I think anytime you (the proverbial you) introduce art into an environment of commerce, you (the proverbial you) can from time to time become vulnerable to conflating the value and worthwhileness of your art with the amount of money it generates for you, which, as far as I can see, sows the seed for possible alienation between you and your art. I think Genevieve does a great job of continually reminding herself how fun and exciting and meaningful her art can be for her outside of the context of business while at the same time, continuing to embrace and develop a thriving business. Neither idea seems ever far from her mind, which seems like a very good way of maintaining that balance.

Why do you come to so many craft fairs? Don't you want to enjoy your weekend?
I like working craft fairs because I enjoy observing and participating in Genevieve's business' in-person commerce. I've never worked a retail job so I've missed, in my opinion, the quintessential life experience of observing people up close and over a substantial period of time making decisions to buy things from a specific entity and discerning trends from these observations and further, applying this knowledge to an improved experience for both the business and its consumers. I find this interesting, just I guess watching how people make decisions about your art.

However, I think way more importantly, I enjoy watching Genevieve do well and be happy and feel good as I feel like she is when she's interacting with customers in person. It's pretty fun to watch and be a part of.

How do you feel about being drawn (hehe)?
I don't know if I like being drawn in general, I mean I don't mind it but I certainly like if not love Genevieve's drawings/illustrations/depictions of me.

Excited for your upcoming trip to Japan & South Korea?
I'm not really interested in just travelling to Japan and Korea once and then moving on to other countries but rather I'm interested in seeing if travelling throughout Japan and Korea cultivates a desire for subsequent trips, perhaps, hopefully, to the same cities and places over and over again. I had a similar experience growing up in visiting LA (from New Jersey) every year to stay with my uncle. Getting to see how one actually went about living day-to-day in LA fascinated me. Getting to know LA better and better felt cool. I don't have any special insight, at this point in time, into whether or not Japan and/or Korea possess the potential for this kind of process or experience or whatever, but I think they both seem pretty cool, in a general sense. All in all, I'd say I'm excited to use the internet in Korea and I'm excited to eat in Japan and any other expectations I'm trying to suppress as much as possible because expectations are the devils of experience, etc. etc.
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