Here's one thing you might not know about our tea company: We don't have our own storefront. No, we get into the hands of tea lovers who find us online, or at one of many coffee shops/gift shops/grocery stores who carry our tea around the world. Here at our headquarters in Basalt, Colorado, we have a small office and plenty of tea, but no one popping in to brew a cup and chat unless they're here for a meeting.
That's why we really, really love meeting our fans! We often feel have so much in common with our fans that we love to come up with lists like #StuffTeaPeopleLike (and don't miss Part II), and chatting with them on social media, be it Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is our idea of a delightful time. So imagine how thrilled we were on January 2 when we saw this tweet: ---->
SO great, right?! This is how we met Megan Tennant, artist and tea fan. Megan lives in upstate New York, but before we could ask her more questions about her work she dazzled us again — this time tweeting an illustration of our Organic Earl Grey: ---->
Whoa — that's doodling?! We reached out to Megan with our admiration and a request: If we sent her a few of boxes of tea she'd like to try, could she do some illustrations of those as well? As you've no doubt figured out by now, Megan thought it would be fun to barter artwork for tea. We're so glad we asked! Here are the watercolors she created based on our Alpine Berry, Organic Better Morning Blend, Organic Orange Sencha and Organic Better Belly Blend:
We wanted to know more about our new artist friend — wouldn't you?! — so we asked her a few questions. Turns out Megan grew up around art as her dad is an artist (see his work here), and growing up she always liked drawing. Though she majored in English Literature at Houghton College, she kept up her artwork by drawing for the Drawing Board, a weekly comic strip publication. Her junior year at school she finally took an art class and was encouraged by professors to add an art major, so she did.
Professionally, Megan has illustrated a children's book titled, "What Would I Do?", and is currently working on a second one. Watercolor is her preferred medium — she says she likes it for its versatile and often unexpected effect.
We'd be remiss if we didn't point out that you can purchase some of Megan's work on her Etsy page, where you'll find more watercolors, including some sold as notecards. We owe Megan's best friend Allie for introducing the artist to our tea (thanks, Allie!), giving Megan our Organic Chamomile tea. "When I opened up the chamomile tea, I was intrigued with the actual flower buds in the tea sachet," Megan says. "At the time I was painting botanical illustrations of flowers, so with that on my mind I eventually just stumbled onto an idea of the botanical tea plants bursting into bloom for an illustration."
So far, Megan says her favorite variety of our tea is Organic Better Belly Blend, although she recently tried our Organic Mountain High Chai and loved it. She loves reading thick, classic novels (spoken like a true English lit major), tending her vegetable garden, cooking, playing violin, taking walks and hikes, and bird watching. "I think one of the best things an artist can do is 'cross-pollinate' with other interests so that you are more well-rounded to inform your artwork." Also, she loves the color yellow and to listen to podcasts of Car Talk while she works.
We'd encourage all of you to visit Megan's Etsy page or her personal blog to see more of her work, and to check out another fun (and ambitious) project she has going this year: keeping a comic diary throughout 2017, challenging herself to post a new comic every Friday on this blog, Cardigans and Coffee.
Cheers, tea lovers! Wishing you all a beautifully illustrated day.