Plantable greeting cards? Discover The Wandering Artist
Kristy Mary was looking for a sustainable way to share her art when she decided to launch her range of plantable greeting cards. Now, The Wandering Artist creates nature-inspired illustrations for her Earth-friendly cards that blossom into bottlebrush, swan river daisy and oregano.
Kristy, talk us through the moment you decided to create The Wandering Artist?
My art grew organically into a business over a time when I was studying and travelling a lot. The name “The Wandering Artist” came naturally as I was always making sketches and illustrations in my art journals everywhere I went. My friends and family have always called me a free spirit and I certainly had a mind that would “wander off” into my imagination a lot. The moment I decided to go all in with the business I felt like a baby giraffe finding her legs. I attended markets and festivals throughout Queensland and NSW and enjoyed living in my van while doing it.
Your plantable greeting cards offer a wonderful, eco-friendly alternative to regular cards. Can you tell us about how they work?
Our plantable greeting cards are made with recycled paper imbedded with seeds. To plant them, soak the paper in water and place in a pot or garden bed and cover with seeds raising mix. The paper needs to stay damp while the seed germinates, which takes around seven to 21 days. The seeds I typically utilise for my cards are all bee-attracting native plants such as lemon-scented bottlebrush and swan river daisy.
You design all the artwork for your cards. Where do you find your inspiration?
Most of my creative content comes from a story-telling perspective; you can see from my illustrations that I am crazy about birds, animals, trees and flowers. My designs have a bit of a child-like connection. When I was a kid, I used to read a lot of Enid Blyton books, so my imagination stems from stories such as The Magic Faraway Tree and Brer Rabbit.
Can you tell us about your day-to-day creative practice?
I draw almost every day, sometimes I write. My drawings will either be a project I’m working on, new designs or patterns for cards. I have evolved from pen drawing to digital art which has opened a whole new world for me and I’m loving it (and using less paper!).
What are you doing to minimise the environmental impact of your brand?
My plantable cards are made with recycled paper, as are my envelopes. Deciding to find a sustainable way to sell my art is how I started six years ago. Because I use recycled paper that breaks down easily, not only does my art use less trees, but it also creates more of them. Most importantly, the plants are bee-attracting, which continues the pollination process and growth of nature. I use eco-friendly inkjet printers that are refillable, use less ink and with no cartridges, recyclable mailing bags and boxes, and there are some new products in the pipeline for this year.
What makes you feel wild and alive?
Nature makes me feel wild and alive — walking barefoot through a rainforest listening to the whip birds call each other, sitting in the dark among the fireflies in spring, swimming in cold natural creeks and dams amid the scent of a sea of blue lotus plants — and sky diving — nothing will make you feel more alive than that! Oh, and dancing!
What’s next for The Wandering Artist?
A lot is in store, a lot of growth as a business (all puns intended!), and products that have been in the pipeline over the past 12 months, so it will be exciting to launch those in the coming year.