I have a 'problem'. I sometimes wait, and wait, and wait for that right moment, inspiration or feeling when approaching a project. It's been this way from the beginning, whether it's life choices, simple decisions, or in this case finding the perfect – and 'me' - business card.
Naturally for a material I gravitated to wood, which holds dual importance in my life not only as a medium but as a means. I’ve been woodworking now for 5+ years, and have gained such an affinity for the feeling of the grain against my fingers, the smell of it when it's freshly cut, and even the endless wood shavings that seem to permeate in my life. So it was going to be wood, that much at least was clear.
I sat with many ideas of how I wanted to make these cards - slight frustration building. Until one day I came across an old memento, one I had received years ago from Rev. Master Koten Benson of the Lions Gate Buddhist Priory. I met this magnetic figure years ago in his local Vancouver Soto Zen (Buddhist) congregation – and later decided to join him and another monk a top their humble and utilitarian mountainside outpost.
I spent two weeks there in retreat, practicing zazen (meditation), eating, sleeping and shitting in true zen spirit. All peppered with some of the best discourses and real life teachings I’ve had on eastern philosophy with Rev. Master Koten. It was amazing, and I am forever grateful for the time I spent on 'Dragon Flower Mountain'.
On leaving, the Rev. Master gifted me two wooden cards carrying hand-stamped Buddhist effigies. One day, years later, I opened an old journal and found these two cards. They instantly reminded me of this time I spent in retreat; their thoughtful preparation, the utilization of this otherwise antiquated material (balsa – often used for architectural models), and the feeling they carry of being made from one person for another just all ringing true with what I wanted my business cards to be. Every card I hand out is an extension of the appreciation born from this time.