Taking stock on MLK Day

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” -Martin Luther King Jr. 1963

MLK Day is a day of reflecting on what actions I have or haven’t taken during the year to push back against racism. When have I continued to live with learned sincere ignorance? When have I been stupid? When has my silence been viewed as agreement with racism?

Sometimes it feels overwhelming. Especially these days when White Supremacists are noted as “good people” and after eight years of seeing memes denigrating people of color across social media.

Change takes time and my belief is that many “little” things add up when combined with the efforts of many.

What’s a tiny part I can play in creating change that is in my skill set? Well, years ago when I started out as an illustrator I noticed how many illustrations didn’t reflect the population of my country. The illustrations only showed pasty white people like me. So I decided to start placing people of color in as many of my illustrations as possible. Sometimes art directors would subtly push back, sometimes they pushed back more directly. But gradually more of them called me for jobs because my illustrations were more integrated. I know it’s a simple thing but simple things add up. I believe that visual images hold power. And when you create enough positive imagery it can make a difference. No matter how small.

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

What other things can I do in my daily life outside being an artist?

  • I can encourage people of color to run for local/state/national office. I can donate to their campaigns.
  • I can speak up when I see subtle discrimination within my life: white teachers who are unduly harsh to children of color for minor infractions that white children easily skip away from.
  • I can note when local planning commissions that enable white flight via tax credits within my city/county.
  • I can support my local university’s effort to bring fresh produce to food deserts in area.
  • I can gently and firmly call out racism when people disparage people of color in my midst and think that I’ll agree with them vocally or with my cowed silence. Nope. Bystanders are what got us into this mess. Bystanders speaking up and showing up will go a long ways towards bringing equality and shining a light on racism in our midst.
  • I can get involved with local groups fighting racism and working on issues like education, healthcare, diversity, sustainability, etc.

Every day is a chance to unlearn racism and to learn about ways to make this world a better place.

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Woof Woof

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

I rounded up my pups and put them on a fun card (now in my Etsy Shop) to attempt to celebrate 2018: the Year of the Dog!

English Bulldog, Schnauzer, Wire Fox Terrier, Cavalier King Charles, Black Lab, Boston, Basset Hound, Pit Bull, English Cocker, Yellow Lab, White Lab, Corgi, Dachshund, Pug, Poodle, German Shepherd, Vizsla, Husky, Golden Retriever, Bernese Mountain….and more! Whew!

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Winter Walk 2018 at Swag of Northfield

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Iowa Made Gifts

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

The other night at my book club friends asked about my small biz and that led to several of them telling how they purchase my Iowa-themed towels for friends and family who have moved away from Iowa. Someone pulled out their smart phone and got on my Etsy shop site and starting making mental notes about what they wanted to get for Christmas gifts.
I tell ya, you all are so good to me….! <3 Thank you so much for sending my goods to friends and family across the globe. It means so much to me!

Now back to packaging and shipping out more goods! :)

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Shop Small Saturday

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

…include stopping by to shop at these wonderful shops who carry my goods and who help support their local economies. They work hard to bring you fun one-of-a-kind goods that Big Box stores might try to mimic; but, alas, they can’t because handmade goods radiate the good vibes of their makers.

So go enjoy some good vibes and tell them Kate sent ya! 😉

 

 

IOWA

Barn Happy    |   Cedar Falls

Mohair Pear   |    Cedar Falls

Hatchling & Hens    |   Cedar Falls

Miss Wonderful  |  Cedar Falls

Waterloo Bike Works   |   Waterloo (across the hall from Plaid Peacock)

White Rabbit  | Iowa City

Outside the Lines Art Galleries  | Dubuque

Crafted QC   |  Davenport

The Shop Kalona  |  Kalona

Maker’s Market   |  Sumner

Left Bank Gallery  |  McGregor

Onion Grove Mercantile  |  Clarence

ILLINOIS

Outside the Lines Art Galleries | Galena

INDIANA

Homespun   |   Indianapolis

MAINE

Under The Dogwood Tree  |  Southwest Harbor

MISSOURI

Ugly Glass & Company   |   Kansas City

MINNESOTA

Swag  |  Northfield

Highway North/Groundswell   |   St. Paul

Doodlebird Design + Gifts  |  Minneapolis

Ohana Construction   |   Mendota Heights

NEW MEXICO

Milagro Vineyards

KANSAS

MADE on Mass   |  Lawrence

OHIO

Salty Not Sweet  |  Cleveland

ARKANSAS

State + Pride Provisions   |  Hot Springs

VERMONT

Birdfolk Collective  |  Winoosk

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Thank you stockists

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Hey All,

I wanted to share some other challenges I’m facing while I recover from surgery. Recently my stockists alerted me to infringements on my “I’ll Lick the Dish YOU Dry” collection. (now up to 18+ breeds).

I can’t go into details but I can say that Iowa has some top notch Intellectual Property (IP) professionals to deal with folks who blindly, or knowingly, don’t follow best practices in art & design.
I’ve been building this collection based on my original writing/design since 2012. Five years of long hours spent drawing, printing, folding, packaging, marketing, selling,etc. Why? Because I saw you giggle at this funny phrase at markets. I saw your smiles as you purchased my towels for yourself and far flung friends. YOU gave me the fuel to keep searching out for the best inks & towels I could find, the best packaging to meet your needs.
As more folks heard about my collection I couldn’t keep up and so my husband joined me in the printing process. We met over a screen printing frame and ever since we’ve been creating a life together so it was only natural that we’d begin printing together again. We switch off and on in printing. If his arm is hurting, mine is feeling fine and so I push/pull the squeegee through the night and vice versa. People have asked me why I don’t just outsource it all to India. Here’s why: quality control. My actual name is on my product. I can’t stand cheap see-thru towels that shred after two washings, and I won’t put up with ink that “crocks” (rubs off) or is like a 70’s tshirt and won’t absorb water when you dry your dishes. So by keeping it in-house (literally) I see each and every towel that goes out the door to you. It matters to me.
I truly appreciate the way you all support my hard work by purchasing my goods and sending me sweet shout-outs. You understand the idea behind my homegrown & handmade business and I’m ever-grateful.
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Never Forget the Difference YOU Make!

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

I took a batch of my #neverforgetthedifferenceYOUmake towels to my surgeon & staff as a token of my appreciation for all their hard work. I truly appreciate all the many hours of study and dedication it takes to be the best at taking care of their patients.

Sometimes it can feel a bit awkward to reach out and tell someone what a difference they made in your life, but once I get over that shyness it sure feels good to do it. Do you every feel shy about speaking up with gratitude?

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Etsy Shop on Vacation

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Copyright Kate Brennan Hall

Yes, my #etsyshop is on vacation but I’m not! If you need some of my #homegoods you can check with my stockists via katebrennanhall.com

I’ve been working extra long hours to fulfill orders (Thank you!) and to get ready (much like a squirrel  getting ready for winter) to have a seamless inventory control for when I need to step away from my studio for some surgery next week. (no details necessary)
Friends and family will be helping fulfill wholesale/consignment orders so stockists…don’t hesitate to email me an order….we’re stocked and ready!

💃🕺💥💨🐶🐱🐿

I welcome prayers/good vibes…whatever you call good wishes 😊Please & Thank You 💖

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