This idea to create stationery was a long time in the making. Over 25 years ago, my parents started a stationery business called Future Dreams. Art was created. There were characters. But, the business never got off the ground.
Four years ago, my father died. He lived with Major Depressive Disorder, and as the years went by, without proper care, his condition worsened. He lost direction, purpose and, in the end, his humor.
While mourning his death, I began working on a stationery collection that would capture my dad's silly, childlike humor. It helped me remember the best part of him.
I fiddled around with a simple drawing of a crayon. I pronounced each syllable of the word crayon, and I realized I had been saying it all wrong. "Is it a cran or a crayon?" I asked myself. Many cran puns followed and didn't stop. There it was, my character had a unique name, something catchy, and a collection of phrases that made me giggle. Overtime, the simple idea became a world of Cranz. This future dream became reality. Cran Love was off and running.
I am the artist, but I stand with my family in representing Cran Love and the cast of Cranz. They push me along and keep me moving forward in doubtful moments. With every post on social media, every art print I create, a little bit of my father's humor lives on. It's how I remember him in his healthiest moments. It's what I choose to remember.
Giving back is at the heart of Cran Love. Because of my father’s struggle with mental illness, a percentage of every sale is donated to mental health research. We donate to the Gift Fund at the National Institute of Mental Health, a governmental organization. “The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.”