Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Rachel Bright: Finding a happy place

A bite-size guide to the happy life of The Bright Side from Rachel Bright, the creator of four new fabulous gift books

There aren’t many problems in life, which can’t be made smaller by laughing. If you can see the funny side and try not to take life to seriously – whatever the ups and downs on your road, you’ll find it’s not long before it’s almost all ups. If you can make that paradigm shift in your perspective to the positive – in any given situation - you hold the key to happiness in your hands. I feel pretty lucky that I can make this philosophy my living in creating The Bright Side.

The first card I ever printed for the range came quite by accident. I was in a small room in the university where I was studying for a Masters in printmaking – and I discovered drawers and drawers – floor to ceiling – of wooden and lead letterpress type. I was like a kid in a candy store (*read typography nerd in a type room*). I just started hand-printing things with them – things I’d written and things that fell out of my head… ‘You make my heart go boom’ was the first phrase to come out and I just thought, ‘you know - that would make a great valentines card’. It was really that simple. I can barely believe that 3 years on, over 3.5 million people, and counting, all over the world, have sent a bright side card to someone they care about. That was what it was all about for me – spreading the love – I just never guessed it would spread so far.

These new Bright Side books have given a whole new voice to what has become a way of being for me. A practising of the art of positivity. They were so much fun to work on. I love to ponder and philosophise and in these - I wanted to create some mini-rays of sunshine for the soul – a buffet of bite-size philosophy which makes you smile and feel like you can take on anything. One of my favourite things is to write little mantras and manifestos – sort of pledges to go forth and squeeze the best out of life – and every book has a big helping of these. I think the universal truths of being – the things which make us truly joyful - are deeply ingrained in our psyche, but everyday busy life can sort of squish them out of you when you’re all grown up with a million things to do and it all gets a bit serious – but it only takes a little nudge to remember your playful side has been there all along. I initially started writing the bright side form of these little nudge- reminders for myself – it’s a privilege to be able to share them with so many other people now.

I get my best ideas for cards, gifts or books, when I’m actually expressing something to a friend or to my family –trying to find a way of telling them why I think they’re so brilliant – or say happy birthday – or express a big enough thank you – or say how excited I am about their success – whatever the occasion it’s the truest words spoken by or to me that ring the best bells in my mind. You can never force that sort of thing when you’re brainstorming– you just have to stick out your creative diving rod and hope that it wobbles. And as long as it keeps on wobbling – I’ll have a smile on my face.

Visit Rachel's website, or follow @look_brightside to find out more.

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