About striped PEar Studio 

Hello, you wonderful person! I'm Kirsten, the artist behind STRIPED PEAR STUDIO, a new brand featuring prints and products I feel good about creating and you can feel good about buying. The artwork is my own, and everything is printed and produced right here in Minnesota. For my first notecard sets, I hand-selected a lightly textured 100% post-consumer recycled paper. They were printed using Earth-friendly agri-inks by Ideal Printers in St. Paul, MN. Even the envelopes in my notecard sets were made by a local company, Twin City Envelope. It is my aim to continue to bring you great quality locally-produced items that we can all feel good about.

WHY STRIPED PEAR?

Well, that is a good question. My answer may sound silly, but here it comes. I love pears! I have made many art pieces involving pears in sculptures, paintings, and drawings. I think pears have the most adorable shape, no offense to the other beautiful fruits and vegetables. I just happen to be a pear lover.

Also, I LOVE stripes! I wear stripes almost all of the time, and in my illustrations I stripe nearly anything I can. I even painted my studio wall and ceiling in multicolored stripes. (The white walls were suffocating, like a terrifyingly blank sheet of paper, so I simply had to do it.) 

The pairing (pun intended) of a pear and stripes seemed to be just the right combination for me. It was an arbitrary choice, of course, and I could just as easily have chosen PLAID MELON or POLKA DOTTED APPLE or CHECKERED LEMON or PAISLEY BANANA. I prefer the image and the sound of what I chose, though. I like that it is silly and playful, just like me. Also, I have a really hard time making decisions, especially when they feel important, so I'm just proud that I made a choice and I'm sticking to it! 


ABOUT KIRSTEN

Whenever I am composing a paragraph or two about myself, I'm never sure if I should write in third-person, as if to give the impression that I am too busy or too important to write a paragraph about myself. I guess I just shattered that perception, so I might as well just tell you about myself. I'm Kirsten, an illustrator who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with my husband, Chris, and our adorable Icelandic kitty, Eyja Fjalla Jökullsdóttir, who we adopted from a cat shelter in Iceland and named after the famous Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, but we simply call her Eyja. Here are four random things about me...


I was pigeon toed as a little kid and I was constantly falling down and tripping over my own feet. Then one summer my family traveled to Holland and I got a tiny pair of wooden clogs (painted red, of course). I wore them everywhere and could do anything in them without falling because they were so clunky. They were also very loud, which I loved because it drew attention and I loved attention. My older sister, however, was terribly embarrassed and would try to lose me in the grocery store, which is completely understandable because it was not uncommon for me to don my grandmother's old silk nightgown and drape myself with scarves before such outings. For a while I wore corrective braces attached to saddle shoes when I slept, and they were very uncomfortable. I guess the saddle shoes weren't so much a part of the apparatus as they were supposed to make the whole thing more pleasant because I got to pick out a new pair of shoes for it. I walk just fine now, though I am still accident prone, and I don't really care for saddle shoes. 

My mother is from Kristiansand, Norway and my father is from Minnesota. My father taught himself Norwegian and my parents raised my older sister and I speaking Norwegian at home right here in Minneapolis. My parents, Mike & Else, were Norwegian folksingers who recorded 9 albums when I was growing up. I appear on two of the jackets along with my older sister, Mari, and I sing on Barnefest, the children's album. My family toured locally before I was born and I started performing with my family when I was about 3 years old. I always thought this was extremely cool and was very proud to be a part of our family musical act. If you want to get a rough idea of what some of our performances were like, just watch A Mighty Wind. Yes, my parents performed a song about a farm with chickens and asked the audience to cluck a little. Really cool.

I have a fake tooth. I was born without a lateral incisor to replace the baby one. I got braces and head gear in junior high to create a space for the fake tooth. I looked pretty gross, though my friends from that time can attest to the fact that it did not affect my confidence. When the space got big enough, they gave me a temporary fake tooth that was attached with a rubber band and bracket to the wire of my braces. It was bright white, making my other teeth look yellow, and it flipped around in my mouth when I ate. I found this embarrassing. I would get embarrassed in places with black lights because my fake tooth didn't glow the same as my other teeth. It kinda made me look like a pirate. I recently got a dental implant, which I had been wishing for for a long time, so I now feel much more confident in showing my full smile. I still look terrifying under black light, though, I am sad to report.

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Though I am a very cheerful and upbeat person, I am also a very sensitive and emotional person. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I suffer from depression and anxiety and have for many years. I don't think I should be ashamed of this or should hide this, and I don't think anyone else should either. Even though people very close to me know this already, I feel it is important to be open and honest about it. Sometimes it is important to overshare for the greater good. Consider how much better everyone might feel if nobody were closeted. Let's talk about it! Let's remove the stigma! And if you are someone who is a closeted anything, consider that you are not alone and coming out will help others just like you. And if someone needs to overshare and you are in a position where you can listen without judgement and offer a shoulder to cry on or a sympathetic hug, you make this world a better place to live. Do this as much as you can and know that I love you wholeheartedly for being an awesome human!