Breaking the Silence…

by Amber on November 15th, 2016

So it’s been a little quiet around here lately. But only because things have been incredibly LOUD in our world in some really neat ways.

You may already know that we live and work outside of Beirut, Lebanon with abused, abandoned, and neglected children, many of them refugees from the region’s many conflicts. Well early this year, a group from the United States expressed a desire to partner with us and another organization in Lebanon to create a brand new school just for our kids.

Home of Hope New School

Since that time, we’ve been crafting a school intended just for them. Most of them have never been to school. All of them have experienced trauma; all of them live separated from their families (if they have families at all). So our school aims to meet their biggest developmental and emotional needs first, in the context of academics and relevant vocational skills. It’s the first school of its kind that we know of, and it has been a monster of a roller coaster. It has taken every drop of energy we’ve had for months and months and months.

But now we’re eight weeks in to this boisterous adventure, and we’re seeing amazing things happen. The kids feel safe and know they’re cared for. They’re so hungry to learn and are growing as people so, so much.

Then a mere five weeks into the new school, one of the grant organizations (who reports to the UN) had their representatives come and privately interview each of our students. We felt certain there would be a lot of “constructive feedback” from our kids, but with tears in their eyes, the interviewers said that every last kid said they love school and feel safe and respected.

Now that things are finding their rhythm, we’re hoping to get back to the imagination and fun we used to share more often.

Most of all, THANK YOU for being a part of the Serious Creatures family. You are a huge part of our work here in Lebanon and your participation in our online shenanigans keeps us smiling. We can’t thank you enough!

Introducing Serious Starters!

by Amber on September 24th, 2015

Serious Starters Kickstarter!

After two years of love poured into this project, we’re excited to be launching Serious Starters on Kickstarter!

We plan to have lots of giveaways and other shenanigans this month (more shenanigans = more fun, right?), so join the fun on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

The One Where We Move to Beirut

by brady on September 25th, 2014


It isn’t everyday that your life changes, but for us, Saturday is one of those of days. In two days we board a plane for Beirut (Lebanon) to work with a home for abused and abandoned children called Home of Hope.

Home of Hope accepts kids from all backgrounds and provides basic needs like food and shelter. But, as the majority of kids are ineligible for government services like schools and medical care, they also aim to provide education, medical care, legal help, and counseling.

Some of the kids are Palestinian or Syrian refugees, others are Lebanese-born. They arrive in the home because they have been picked up off the street or have been taken from a very abusive situation (think beatings that leave scars on young faces or parents selling their children for their organs and you’re on the right track). Their stories are myriad and all very sad.

But we’re so excited to serve in this new capacity. One of the reasons we started Serious Creatures was so that we could have a flexible life that would allow for doing more good with the numbered days we’ve been given. And in a few days, that hope becomes a reality! Thank you so much for helping make it all a reality by being a part of what we do here at Serious Creatures!

(And if we happen to grow a bit quieter over the next few weeks, you’ll know why. Ditto for if you begin seeing photos of airplanes and foreign shenanigans.)

Want to hear more? Here’s a post with a bit more of our story, and here’s an article about Syrian refugees that has a bit in it about the Home we’ll be working with.

We’ll also be sharing bits and pieces over time elsewhere on the web like my personal Instagram account and Amber’s blog and Instagram account. Should you find us there, don’t forget to say hello!

See you soon from the other side!

World Art Drop Day

by brady on September 3rd, 2014

Stack of World Art Drop Day Prints

Yesterday was World Art Drop Day, a day created to celebrate giving away free art with the added bonus of a little bit of a scavenger hunt.

This unique day began because an artist named Jake Parker  went on a road trip across America with his family this summer, and to entertain himself he dropped off art along the way. He took pictures of where he hid the art and told people where they were on social media. People loved hunting his art, and he had so much fun he wanted others to join in.

In his words, “The world needs this right now. We need to feel a little more connection to each other and there’s nothing like the bond two random strangers can make through the act of creating and giving.”

I already love surprising people with art in unexpected places, so (unsurprisingly) I took to World Art Drop Day with abandon.

I grabbed 7 of my prints, wrapped them up tight, and wrote notes explaining why this art was laying around. Then I went around my hometown of Denton, Texas and dropped them in a few of my favorite places.

Here are their locations:

1) The Square

Denton has a wonderful downtown square so naturally I needed to hit up the historic courthouse.

Dropping a print at the Square

 2 & 3) Recycled Books

Then I went to my favorite book store and dropped two: one in the art section (for obvious reasons) and another in the Dr. Seuss section to pay homage to a great artist and encourager of imaginations.

Print at Recycled Books

4) Beth Marie’s

After that I grabbed a crazy green soda thing at Beth Marie’s Ice Cream Parlor. This place is well loved by everyone in Denton so it was a must. I hope the plastic wrap will protect against the sticky fingers!

at Beth Marie's

5) Voertman’s

Then on to my favorite art supply store. Every time I come back to the US I go and wander around Voertman’s and look at stuff that I think I need to buy and bug the art guys there with all my questions.

at Voertmans

6 & 7 ) Emily Fowler Library

My last stop was the library. I placed one piece in the art section because when I began drawing a few years ago those “how to draw” books were the beginning of my current art education.

Library drops

I dropped the final piece in the Children’s section atop one of my current art teacher’s books. Will Terry hosts online art classes I have been taking over the past year which have helped my skills dramatically. So I wanted to pay respect to him and his help.

Hopefully someone finds these pieces of art and enjoys them as much as I enjoyed making and art dropping them.

What do you think of this? Did you encounter any World Art Drop Day pieces? I’d love to hear!

The Story of Serious Creatures

by brady on May 27th, 2014

Ready Frogs (via Serious Creatures Blog)

Welcome to the Serious Creatures blog! To kick things off, I thought I’d share a bit about ourselves and how this little shop came into being. Ready?

The past seven years have been host to the hardest years of my life. I had to take care of a sick family member 24hrs a day, a hurricane destroyed the house we were living in, we moved to the middle of a small village in a Middle Eastern desert, my wife got depressed, and I was just not having an all around fun time; things got a little dark. But all of this craziness forced me to pick up a pencil after many years of neglect as I aimed to maintain my sanity.

We came home from the desert one summer a couple of years ago and a friend of ours asked if I might create some lunch box cards she could use to write notes for her kids on school days. She said she tried to draw her own pictures, but that her kids weren’t keen on them, and she thought my drawings could be a great fit for what she wanted.

It sounded like a fun project to draw lots of little ridiculous pictures, and Amber thought it might be a great product for the potential illustration shop we’d been discussing. For the next six months, she dove full-steam into learning all about e-commerce, blogging, how to run an online shop with downloadable and physical products, and the unusually difficult process of running a business from half way across the world.

Then, in Spring of 2013, Serious Creatures was born.

Twelve months later, we’ve arrived at a new chapter. There’s a new website, a new blog (hi!), a renewed vision for the business as a whole, and we’ve even re-designed our printable Mini Art Notes to be easier and more flexible than ever before.

We want to help people bring fun, joy, and imagination into their relationships, and while we’re proud of where we’re at today, we’re even more excited about the fun things up our sleeves for the future.

As we begin this new chapter with Serious Creatures, we are starting a new chapter in our personal lives, too. As I write this, we’re clearing out our little Oman apartment as we begin our transition to Beirut, Lebanon, where we’ll be working with a home for street kids called Home of Hope. I’ll be “directing” the school inside the home (these kids aren’t eligible to attend regular school), Amber will be helping with the many administrative needs, and all around we hope to spread a little hope in this dark corner of the world.

More and more we’re seeing how the imagination and whimsy we hope Serious Creatures brings to your relationships will help us bring the same to our relationships at Home of Hope. And we’re pretty excited about that.

As for this blog, our aim is to journey together toward encouraging imaginations and loving each other well. We’ll be sharing stories, helps for stoking kids’ imaginations, and ideas for bringing fun into everyday life.

Join us by subscribing to new posts by email, or connecting with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Hope to see you again soon!

Dancing in the Sand