Monthly Archives: June 2019

A gentle reminder for your self-confidence

Do you ever get a funny look when you try to explain to a stranger what you do?

“What do you do for a living?”

“Oh I’m a Cheese Sprayer.”

“A cheese what!?”

Ok, maybe you don’t have an odd-souding job like Chesse Sprayer (look it up, it’s a thing.)

And really, neighter do I.

But there is one thing I tell my customers that gets a funny look, oh maybe 75% of the time.

It’s not the fact I’m obsessed with cats. Or that my bedtime is 8:30 😴

It’s when I tell people my stickers are dishwasher-safe.

I tried to ignore that funny look at first – I thought I was reading their faces wrong. You know, sometimes, people just look funny and it has nothing to do with you.

But then I noticed the sense of relief in them when I followed up with “so you can put the sticker on your water bottle, and it won’t peel off.”

photo by Lauren Krygier

ohhhhh, I see, they thought I was suggesting they wash the stickers in the dishwasher. By themselves.

Which they can. But, that wouldbe weird, wouldn’t it? I’d give them a funny look, too, if they told me that πŸ˜€

Honestly, I don’t know how they make the stickers dishwasher-safe. I know they’re vinyl. The rest, magic, I suppose πŸ¦„

I still get the funny look when I tell people about its dishwasher-safe-ness, but I just smile and explain what that means.

You know what else makes me smile?

It’s that my stickers have quickly become one of my best-selling products.

Naturally, new designs are coming out when the next collection launches in a couple of weeks πŸ₯³

If you’re needing a gentle reminder to feel more confident, these are for you❀️

They will be available in my online shop during the week of June 24.

Sign up for my V.I.P email list, and you’ll hear about it first, and I’ll send you a promo code, of course 😘

Can’t wait for you to have them very soon!

xo

ps. You can also pick them up at Fremont Street Fair and Urban Craft Uprising Summer Show on 6/22-23 if you’re in the area.

Imposter Syndrome & saying yes to something that scares you

Happy Pride!🌈

You may have seen my announcement on social media that I’ve recently joined the Board of Directors at the NW Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian & Gay Survivors of Abuse.

I’d worked for another local DV org for 14 and a half years before making a transition to working in Honeyberry Studios full-time and have always been a big fan of the Network.

So I was honored and surprised when I got an email from my friend, Eli, who is the Board President at the organization a few weeks ago.

In his email, he said he thought I’d be a great candidate for the position and asked if I’d be interested in joining the team.

I was very excited for the prospect of joining the Board but hesitated to say yes at first because I didn’t feel qualified.

When I pictured “Board of Directors,” I imagined a group of people who are white, older (than me), upper-middle class, and have a corporate job or a “real” business.

(You know, not a “handmade” kind of business…)

I didn’t fit the profile at all πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Big imposter syndrome kicked in, and I was swallowed in a whirlpool of “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios.

What if I suck at the job? What if I couldn’t deliver what they expected from me? What if I make a bad decision or give terrible advice? What if it’s more time-consuming and stressful than I think?

I was afraid they’d find me out.

They’d be disappointed and it’d be super awkward. And then they’d wish they’d never asked me to join the team, and now they have to have a meeting to make a plan to gently exit me from the Board and never speak about it ever again.

I know, my imagination runs WILDsometimes – it’s good for my creative work, but not so good for other situations πŸ˜›πŸ˜­

Eli and I had a few back-and-forth about the logistics and my concerns – he patiently reassured me that I had a combination of qualities they were looking for.

While I still felt an imposter-syndrome hangover, I wrote this letter of intent.

That’s when I knew I really, really wanted to do this.

So I was very happy when I got a call from Eli several days later telling me that I was officially IN! πŸ₯³

Interesting, though, that my imposter syndrome got even worse when I shared the news on social media.

A lot of people sent me kind, encouraging messages and congratulated me. It was wonderful and overwhelming at the same time.

Overwhelming because a lof of the comments were about me as a person, like “you’re great” or “you’re wonderful” and I didn’t feel I deserved it.

I was telling Dave how these comments were making me uneasy because I hadn’t actuallyΒ done anything yet.

A little voice inside me was saying, “Yuko, anyone can join the Board. But what are you going to accomplish? You’ve been away from the work for so long. Do you remember half of the things you said on your resume?”

Yeah, right. People should really hold off on congratulating me until I do something awesome.

Maybe I shoud’ve kept it a secret.

And then Dave said, “You know you’re gonna do great work, right?”

Right.

Sometimes when my brain tells me I can’t do something, I listen to the people I trust, who say “yes you can.”

from my next collection πŸ’™

If I trust their judgement, and they say they believe in me, then I should believe in myself, too, you know?

It’s so meta, but I think you get it.

And that’s how I’ve gotten over the most recent bout of self-doubt.

Being uncomfortable with something new and unknown is healthy.

I know I’ll continue to have moments of insecurities throughout my life – after all, I’m a human being with lots of feelings (LOTS) – but I’ll also continue to learn and practice skills and tools to manage them more effectively so I can get back to being my whole self more quickly.

Why am I telling you all this?

Well, because I wanted you to know it’s OK if you feel this way too.

when I say I make art that tells me what I need to hear, I mean it 🌡

You’re not a robotπŸ€–

Sometimes we stumble and get stuck. There is no shame in that, my friend.

I know you can, too.

xo

ps. my friend Sarah at Saltstone Ceramics is having Queer and Dear show throughout this month and July! Go enjoy the work of amazing queer artists in person or online πŸ₯°

From bored to inspired πŸ¦πŸ€πŸŽ¨

Hey friend,

Back in the first week of May, Dave and I took a couple of days off to get away to Whidbey Island, a short drive and ferry ride from Seattle.

Gorgeous view from Fort Casey State Park

We wanted to spend time together and relax away from our daily routine.

We’re independent people with different interests and schedule, so it’s easy for us to do our own thing and not connect with each other intentionally.

We stayed at our friends’ beautiful studio for a couple of nights, and on the second day, we went out to some of the state parks and did hiking and birdwatching.

Dave looking for birds to watch

Dave’s always been a bird nerd πŸ¦…πŸ€“, but me, not so much.

I like nature and animals, but birding seemed sort of too stationary?? I’d get frustrated and bored because I didn’t know what I was looking for/at.

Every time he would stop to see something, I’d be like (inside my head, sometimes out loud, maybe) “Ugh, again??? I only see brown dots fluttering around. Let’s keep walking.”

I know, not a very fun companion for your birding activity πŸ™Š

Maybe it’s more of a mature person’s thing, because I’m learning to enjoy it more as I get older.

(Or maybe it’s because I finaly figured out how to adjust my binocular πŸ‘€ so I could actually see the things πŸ˜‚ It helps.)

We hiked around Fort Casey State Park, Ebey’s Landing, and Coupeville and spotted a bunch of neat birds.

I love colors and textures of these rocks on the beach
Ebey’s Landing
Lighthouse at Fort Casey State Park

Later, I sketched some of the birds to document the fun time we had.

Birds we saw on Whidbey Island, May 2019

And they turned out so adorable 😻

It inspired me to learn more about the birds and draw more.

And then I thought, wouldn’t it be so cute to create a new design with birds of Washington πŸ€”??

The answer, of course, is YES, it would be SUPER cute.

I asked my Facebook friends for bird suggestions, and boy they had so many great ideas!!

(If you were one of the people who helped me, THANK YOU!)

Here are some of the birds I’ve sketched for the new artwork.

Bird sketches
I drew them on my iPad Pro with Procreate app if you’re wondering!

I’m having a lot of fun with these little birds, and the new print will be available in late June when my new collection debuts!!

Stay tuned, my friend.

xo