Happy Holidays from our team to yours!

Click on objects in the image below to reveal staff tips and tricks for our favorite winter activities.

To view the alternative text version of this page, click here.

This year we were able to see many Big Ideas come to life, with hundreds of videos made for impactful organizations, and wonderful partnerships with clients as a result. From showing the impacts of kidney diseases to demonstrating how kids need safe routes to parks and school, we’ve become fulfilled and engaged through communicating the stories of our clients. 

But alas, not all Big Ideas have been seen to fruition… Below are some rejected internal projects that weren’t made this year.

“A series of office prank videos. Hard to make when we’re working from home!” - Jake

“Tutorials on “how to use animation software” podcast. Not everyone is an auditory learner!” - Laura

“An extremely detailed animation on the consequences of sneezing in public. It started to get… a little gross.” - Maya

This year, we’ve continued to use technology to connect with clients and each other. Sure, we make videos that tug on the heartstrings (and the brainstrings!) – but we also bond through Zoom calls and talking about the latest binge-worthy show. In 2021, we wrote a few articles about explainer video trends and visual trends – and made a few videos about our digital lives. This winter, we’re taking a more personal approach to technology.

“I’ve been spending time curled up on the couch with my laptop, chatting with friends on zoom (usually book club or Dungeons and Dragons. Nerd Alert!). It’s so nice to have long winded convos with friends from faraway, especially when it’s cold out!” -Maya

“Having some time off during the holidays means I have time to go back and enjoy all the great recommendations from my coworkers during the fall!” - Bess

What’s winter without winter activities? Getting outside makes the short days feel a lot longer, and we have lots of recommendations, including skating, skiing, and biking (when the weather permits!). In 2020 we received a Bicycle Friendly Business Certification from the League of American Bicyclists - we love that our staff can stay active in all kinds of weather!

“I love checking out holiday lights and window shopping. Andddd forcing my tiny dog to play in the snow ” - Hannah

“This year, as the temperatures dropped, the Baltimore team members worked with The Sixth Branch, a local organization that works with communities to maintain outdoor spaces. We cleaned up a lot near a park – sweaty (despite the cold) but rewarding!” - Laura

“Honestly, when it’s -10 in Minneapolis and I just want to get out of the house, just going for a drive around the city is the best. Or playing some indoor ping pong!” - Morgan

Perhaps you're familiar with the concept of hygge? It’s a type of coziness perfected by places with some of the longest winters: Denmark and Norway. Think warm wool socks, hot tea, good company. In 2021, we translated our videos into over ten languages ranging from Khmer to Amharic, so we have a soft spot for learning words like this. Here are some of our tips for maximum hygge.

“Building a roaring fire in the fireplace while drinking hot chocolate with friends and family and music playing. That’s it. That’s all you need.” - Beny

“I love winter foods - stews, roasted things, baked goods - and spending slow afternoons cooking and making the house smell delicious” - Hannah

“Lighting some candles and curling up on the couch with a good book. Two favorites from this year are Virtue by Hermione Hobe and Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters.” -Louise 

“I cut up and froze 2 halloween pumpkins so I can have pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup all winter long. I think I’ll find a recipe for pumpkin cookies too.” - Elisa

We’re a pretty creative team. Even those of us who aren’t illustrators or animators love to indulge in the fine art of fleece hat construction or to attempt to perfect their cat toy design.

We also love to support the creative work of others. Our Illustrating Awesomeness Scholarship received applications for the fifth year. Creativity manifests itself in all kinds of ways, and winter continues to be an inspiration! Just think of those Russian novelists scribbling away during the long nights...

“I’ve been making toys for all my friends’ cats using homegrown catnip!” - Laura

“Winter is the perfect time for getting carried away and spending hours on my latest craft projects.  I recently rediscovered making designs with Perler beads, which used to be my favorite as a kid!” - Bess

“I like to make fleece hats. I wish it were colder in California so I had more opportunities to wear them.” - Elisa