Mohawk Blog

Mohawk's Guide to Staying Inspired while Social Distancing

Words
Rebecca Gatto
Photography
Rebecca Gatto
craft projects flat lay

A growing list of inspiring resources made by creatives who are reimagining what it means to really "share" while social distancing.

Makers never cease to amaze us. We know that the events that have occurred in the last few weeks have hugely affected us all, and yet, you continue to make and share generously. We are in awe of the creative community's ability to adapt and inspire.

As we all continue to try and make the most of our temporary digital world, we want to amplify the voices of makers who are reimagining what it means to really "share" on social and inventing new ways to connect from a distance. Check back regularly for updates to this list, and follow along in our Instagram highlights under "Resources" to see who's helping to keep our spirits up and the creative juices flowing. 

Click the sections below to explore resources and activities, and let us know on social @mohawkpaper what you will make today:

FREE DIGITAL GOODIES
PAPER PRODUCTS
INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW

craft supplies

FREE DIGITAL GOODIES

A Free, Printable Coloring Book from Illustrating Designer Craig Frazier

You may recall Craig as the illustrator of Mohawk's stunning (if we do say so ourselves) 2019 holiday card. He has turned his children's book, Stanley Goes Fishing, into a free, downloadable coloring book for all ages—he promises it will "distract you for hours right in the privacy of your own shelter," whether you're eight years old or 80. All he asks is that you scan your coloring or take a well-lit picture, then send your progress to him via email at [email protected]ier.com. He'll post progress pictures on Instagram @crafraz and build a book of the creative community's collective efforts. Download the coloring book here.

A Rambunctious Storytime with Mary Bruno, Owner of Bruno Press 

For a couple of weeks now, letterpress printer extraordinaire Mary Bruno has spent her lunchtime entertaining kids—and let's be honest, adults too—with her ingenious Quarantine Storytime. Every weekday on Facebook Live at 12 p.m. EST, Mary streams a video of herself reading a children's book. Don't worry if you're late to the game; you can catch up on Storytimes past on her website. And if you're caregiver to the can't-sit-still type, Mary has created a special coloring card kit for kids to work on while they listen.

Truly "Viral" Kindness from Becky Wass and Jot Paper Co.

Becky Wass, a seriously wonderful neighbor in Cornwall, U.K. created a free, printable card for people to leave on doorsteps and in mailboxes. The friendly notes include checkboxes for kind tasks like picking up groceries or making time for a friendly chat. Jot Paper Co. has posted their version as a free download, which they've been promoting and sending out with their digital orders while they're closed for social distancing. By the way, you can still order paper from Jot, and they'll ship as soon as they reopen.

Jot Paper Co's version of designer Becky Wass' friendly note is available for download on their website.
"Viral" Kindness
Jot Paper Co's version of designer Becky Wass' friendly note is available for download on their website.

Coloring Pages, Lettering Lessons and More

The envy of wannabe handwriting artists everywhere, PunkPost, has been sending out a steady stream of free, printable content designed by their creative team—like this stay-safe reminder poster that will keep you occupied, markers in hand, for at least an hour. You'll have to join their email list for more. Their blog is also full of great ideas for sending a smile while following social distancing protocols.

Friendly Reminders that #Kindnessmatters

If your inbox looks anything like ours right now, it's pretty discouraging. Brighten it up by joining Crane's email list, which the team is using while their plant is closed to send out ideas for doing small acts of kindness during the crisis—no fancy stationery necessary. Join in using the hashtag #Kindnessmatters on Instagram and tag @Craneandco for a chance to be featured on their Instagram account.

Stanley Goes Fishing coloring pages
Stanley Goes Fishing
Craig Frazier has invited anyone who feels inspired to color in his children's book, Stanley Goes Fishing, and share the results.
PunkPost coloring page taped up
Wash Your Hands
The artists at PunkPost periodically send out free printable activities to their email subscribers.

PAPER PRODUCTS

The Thornwillow Dispatch

Looking for a pick-me-up to arrive in the mailbox? Check out The Thornwillow Dispatch, a monthly subscription of finely printed ideas and inspirations from Luke Pontifell, an exquisite creator of specialty books and stationery in Newburgh, NY. Each month, subscribers receive a box containing a new Thornwillow publication, as well as a curated selection of letterpress and engraved keepsakes and goods for the study. Past Dispatches have included an assortment of limited edition chapbooks, broadsides, and prints featuring new editorial and artistic content, as well as finely crafted goods for your study, including engraved note cards, journals, and calendar cards. Makes a great gift, too! 

Illustrations for the Cause: Small Businesses

Brand identity and design firm Shore Creative felt helpless when their beloved clients started to feel the financial pain of having to close for the sake of public health. In response, they worked up a series of storefront illustrations featuring each of their clients who have recently had to limit their services or close completely. Shore Creative has promised to donate 100% of the profits from the sale of each illustration to the storefront depicted. It's their way of lifting up local businesses. In fact, the $25 art prints were so popular that Shore has since added a set of matching downloadable coloring sheets for just $10.

Coloring Pages for the Cause: Food Banks & Artists

Decent Market, a design fair in Dallas, launched their Coloring Pages Project with a simple philosophy: Order coloring pages designed by local artists. Print at home or get them shipped to you. Profits benefit local food banks & the artists. In addition to being a great way to pass the time while making a donation, we also love that if you have the coloring pages shipped to you, they arrive on Mohawk paper. Right now, the pages are available as collections only, but the project is growing and soon you'll be able to order single pages, too.

April dispatch
The Thornwillow Dispatch
April's box includes an excerpt from a book Thornwillow is publishing about Rip Van Winkle.
March dispatch
Past Box: March 2020
Thornwillow sends stationery lovers something new and unexpected each month in their subscription box.

Coping Card Packs

Extra home time means more time to write. Egg Press created three assortments to help us all share our encouragement, gratitude, and whatever else we’ve got.  In the new world order of social distancing, where hugging, holding and nose-blowing is barred, Egg Press wants everyone to embrace the comfort of sending a hand-written card. PSA: you can seal your envelopes with hand sanitizer - or just tap water. Each assortment includes five card styles depicted, Kraft envelopes, and an "Egg Press Loves You" pencil. 

Egg Press also sponsors the Write_On campaign each year, which is a movement that invites people to send a handwritten note every day in April. It's not too late to join in! And if you're feeling generous with your newfound time at home, they also host a comprehensive list of people in need who want to receive letters, including elderly folks, children battling illnesses, and young people living in group homes.

Save on Snail Mail

Stationery designer Tay Ham is offering 20% off orders of $20 or more, so we can all say "hey, neighbor" with an adorable Mr. Rogers card. Or will you go with the ultimate symbol of our times: an empty (gasp) toilet paper roll? Anyway, her designs are delightful, so we think it's worth a browse. Just be warned—some of the designs are cheeky!

P.S. We already mentioned Bruno Press' Quarantine Storytime kids card kit, but did we mention you get to draw your own silly faces on the front of each card? Yeah, it's delightful.

Color a Corona Mandala

Nick Pavoldi owns a massage studio in New York's Capitol Region, near Mohawk's headquarters. Though he's unfortunately closed, like so many small businesses are right now, Pavoldi is using the time to explore another passion of his: letterpress. Using mandala designs created by his friend, Allison Petroski, as a way to help process anxiety about current affairs, Pavoldi has created a series of high-touch, letterpress coloring pages on Strathmore paper from Mohawk. He has also created a set of coasters with four mandala designs. The creations are a great way to meditate and relax while supporting an artist and small business owner.


“Since we are all in this boat together, let's go fishing!”
Craig Frazier
craigfrazier.com/coloringbook

INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW

Have you found yourself scrolling... and scrolling... and scrolling? It happens to the best of us. Just make sure your feed is topped up with uplifting content from makers of all kinds. Here are a few fantastic accounts to get you started:

AIGA Eye on Design

If you're not already following @aigaeyeondesign, you're in for a bright and colorful treat. In addition to sharing inspiring design projects, check their story highlights for a comprehensive collection of COVID-19 resources for freelancers, artists, and students looking to make ends meet while making the most of some extra time to themselves.

Eleanor Anderson Studio

Sure, it's a great time to try a new craft, but you know what it's not a great time for? Going out to buy new supplies. Thanks to @eleanor_anderson_studio's incredible creative prompts, all you'll need is a quick wander through your junk drawer to make a cool, patterned drawing. Or grab a trash bag and some thread and try your hand at plastic basket weaving. Or maybe a game of Bauhaus Yahtzee is in your future. Anyway, go check out her highlights—we dare you to get inspired. 

screenshot
A Helpful List
When things are tough, sometimes figuring out where to start is the hardest part. AIGA's Instagram is full of pointers.
a tiny weaving
#WeavingInPlace
This tiny weaving was made from yarn scraps on a credit card loom.

A book a day with Oliver Jeffers

Author and artist Oliver Jeffers is reading his children's books on Instagram Live every other weekday at 2 p.m. EST as a way to help people feel more connected during social distancing. If you miss an episode, not to worry; you can catch up on past Stay At Home Storytimes on Jeffers' website.

Chapter Books After Dark

For elementary school-aged kids who want to dig into a longer storytime, author Mac Barnett is using his Instagram, @MacBarnett, to broadcast himself reading one chapter at a time. He's currently performing the book Mac B., Kid Spy: Mac Undercover. He's nine chapters in, but it's easy to catch up here on IGTV.

The Museum of Modern Art

Follow along on Instagram as brilliant minds at the MoMA guide followers through an innovative experience they've titled #Museumfromhome. In addition to sharing photos from their collections to enrich our cabin-feverish minds, the museum invites followers to listen to poets read work they wrote in response to a work of art in the collection while viewing the piece online. On Instagram @museumofmodernart, you can see some of the sublime results in the "Poetry" section of their Instagram highlights. Parents who are trying to enrich their kids can use the museum's Kids Audio section to explore art remotely with expert narration from curators. And beginning April 9th, MoMA will take people into their collections remotely in specially designed, weekly web broadcasts.

Finding Artists to Support

Purveyor of artist-designed home goods, @slowdownstudio, tracked down a cohort of artists who have made illustrations about social distancing, isolation, and washing your hands. Check out this comprehensive post on Slow Down's grid, which is carefully linked to each artist so that anyone who's able can support creators.

"Marc" the Moment with Marc Friedland

Another great letter-writing project to watch and join: #30ThankYouNotes with @MarcFriedlandCouture. Friedland said he's been thinking of this one-letter-every-day gratitude project for years now, and there's no time like the present. If you participate, share your notes on Instagram and tell the community what the project means to you.


This list will be updated regularly. To suggest someone for this community directory, please email [email protected].


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