Everything Sucks: A Positively Good Stationery Club
Part One: Going into year two of my subscription clubs there are a few updates.
When I set out last January to start a stickers/stationery club I had no idea what to expect. There were some bumps at first and I even wrote about trying something and failing when the original launch didn’t go as planned. As I mentioned in that post, failure is something no one wants, but it’s definitely something you can learn from if you’re open to it.
So I made from adjustments and tried again. This time I didn’t completely fail and continued getting a at least couple new sign ups every month, ending the year with 22 active, paying subscribers. I’m hoping in 2023 I can hit a goal of at least 50.
January also marks one year of actually writing blog-style posts. That has come with it’s own mental challenges as my brain loves to convince itself that I’m an imposter (yay imposter syndrome mixed with some childhood trauma!) and that I’m not a real artist, let alone a real writer.
As the oldest child in a toxic, narcissistic family the only time someone really cared was if you were perfect. It’s easy to brag about yourself when your kid is perfect. You had to be the best to get praise, and even the praise was the adult telling others “look at MY daughter’s accomplishments. I’m so glad I paid for *blank* for her...” - all those damn “I” statements. Always needing to the hero of their own story instead of lifting their kid up. To this day, cannot functionally take a compliment from someone without getting uncomfortable because for so many years that compliment wasn’t just praise or good thing. It came with the expectation of exchanging something emotionally in return. Even though I want success I think (I know) that I’m scared of it because it puts attention on me. However, I’m more terrified of failure and that’s what motivates me to keep going. As shitty as praise was while growing up, failure was way worse. Disappointment and passive aggressive anger hits hard in a toxic family, because you’re no longer the golden example but it’s now “you’re making me look bad” and “how could you do that to me?”
Going into year three, I’m terrified that Tiny Werewolves overall will not succeed because growth is slow - but that’s a post for another time.
New Club Name & Added Benefits
When I first launched the club, I didn’t know exactly where I wanted to take it other than I wanted to do it. Going into year two, it needed an official name: Everything Sucks: A Positively Good Stationery Club.
The overall premise of Everything Sucks being, yeah the world sucks (like really REALLY SUCKS) - but here’s something good you can do about it. I will be continuing to donate 10% of each subscription to a cause.
There will be a larger, new benefits announcement starting in February, but in January all current and new subscribers will receive an addition of 2 mini stickers every month!
There is also a new club option - a button club!
Kayla (She/Her) is a queer artist and designer behind Tiny Werewolves. To receive new posts and support her work, consider becoming a free or paid Substack subscriber.
2023 Theme Changes
Something else that’s new this year are the theme selections. In 2022, I more or less just did whatever popped into my head and made sense with the organization or cause I was supporting. 2023 is going to be different.
I struggled last year, probably with about half of the months deciding what to even draw. I could draw *anything* and that was the problem. Some months I had no idea what I was going to do until literally hour zero and that’s such a shitty, rushed feeling. So I have chosen an overall theme for the clubs that will continue all year, if not indefinitely.
Every month will be inspired by a different artist, art style or art movement. I’m not setting out to copy any artist or style, but instead look at the elements of each and let that influence my designs for the month, while staying in my own retro, vector style.
Secondly - every month these different art styles will be translated into different emojis. Emojis have become universally known and are generally very common knowledge. By comparison, art history is definitely not something that everyone is super familiar with and I’m hoping by using everyday iconography that will make learning about new art styles fun and engaging for everyone.
For January the art style is Pop Art. I’ll link the longer post here when it’s published for those wanting to learn more. You can preview these designs on Tiny Werewolves now.
(post link coming soon)
Going forward, I am choosing to focus on one cause - bringing the arts and arts education to children. I will be evaluating my choice for nonprofit quarterly (and possibly staying with the same one longer) instead of changing to a new one every month. I donate an average of about $15 per month through subscriptions currently and I think it would be better to maximize my impact over a few months instead of changing every month. This also takes away the added stress of coming up with new designs while researching nonprofits - so I hope to streamline that part of the process for myself.
I generally choose smaller nonprofits. Bigger, more established nonprofits obviously have more access to funding, grants, donors, cooperate gifts and more. I think I can do more with amplifying a nonprofit that maybe it’s as well known (but that doesn’t mean people should know about it).
For minimally the first quarter of 2023, I’ll be donating to The Crayon Project (read more below).
In 2022, I donated $410 to various nonprofits and causes through subscriptions and other item-based fundraisers. This came out of my profits for the year and in 2023 I’m hoping to minimally donate the same with the high-end goal being to double my impact. You can read more about the 2022 impact in my year end recap: