I can’t be the only one who finds a bit of irony in the fact that today — as much of the nation is struggling to dig itself out from a brutal winter storm — Good Juju Ink is officially unveiling its latest exquisite collection, one that takes us on a welcome escape to an entirely different wondrous world: the vast and mysterious ocean.
If you’re not already acquainted with this award-winning brand, lucky you on getting to discover it for the first time! Like many houses of stationery, this one is all in the family, run by a husband-and-wife team, Juju & Ryan Kissick; Juju handles all thing creative, Ryan the business side. They were also my very first guests on The Paper Fold, thus they will always have a special place in my heart! These Californians are also devoted scuba divers, the kind who prefer actually venturing into the water to laying around on the beach. That perspective informs this entire collection.
So in designing this collection, Juju thankfully discarded tired “coastal” tropes in favor of a luxe, pun-filled spin on the deep-water realm. And really, who needs to see an overused icon like flip flops ever again, when Juju has created a bewitching octopus toile, as seen below on the brand-spanking new Coral + Lavender Octopus Toile Spiral Notebook? I’ll take foiled plankton over a pagoda any day!
At the center of this glistening ode to the magic that lurks beneath the water’s surface is the admonition to “live deeply” from an octopus peering back at you from its diving helmet home. Who is the subject here exactly?
Juju explained to me that these words are not just a clever tagline: They’re an ode to not just the ocean’s depths, but the stationery medium as well. “What I love about stationery — what I’ve ALWAYS loved about stationery — is its ability to gently ask humans to sit and reflect, to take a deeper look at the life around them, and to catalog it in the tangible. So to use stationery is already a call to live a deeper life.”
“But what I love about the Oceanica Collection is its unabashed celebration of the deep sea, a celebration of living creatures that may at times feel totally alien to us on shore … but are entirely connected to us by the fact that we share this planet, these waters,” she continued. “The illustration I drew of the octopus in the diver’s mask is supposed to make us think about how there are souls on either side of a shoreline … and we don’t often think about it like that, do we? We think about resources, we think about rising water levels, travel, trade and natural disaster … but do we think about the intelligent beings that lie beneath? Do we REALLY think about them? They are so much more like us than we realize. I encourage anyone with Netflix to immediately watch the award winning documentary ‘My Octopus Teacher.’ So yes, to ‘live deeply’ is not just a catchy aphorism, but a transformative life ethos that will not only help us stop and take heed of our weird and wondrous lives, but an ethos that will also encourage us to remember the MAGIC of our oceans and the beings who live there. We can all strive to live a little deeper, to take courage in living a life beneath the surface.”
There is indeed so much to explore within our own surfaces! Best of all, in the spirit of preserving and protecting our precious water world, Ryan and Juju have ensured that a portion of all Oceanica proceeds will goes to SeaLegacy, a remarkably innovative non-profit run by true ocean warriors.
It was co-founded in 2014 by Cristina Mittermeier, a pioneer of the modern conservation photography movement, and Paul Nicklen, the renowned National Geographic polar photographer. Five years later, SeaLegacy joined forces with Blue Sphere Foundation founded by Shawn Heinrichs, an Emmy Award-winning cinematographer and conservation photographer. For over two decades now, the three have used their inspiring imagery to convert apathy into action and to drive powerful conservation. The Oceanica Collection represents the latest design ammunition to their mighty cause.
For me, any thoughtfully designed stationery collection is a joy to discover — but this one literally takes the idea to new and previously unexplored depths. Here’s a few more glimpses at the irresistible pieces waiting to be discovered.