The Talented Swiss from the Prairies

The Talented Swiss from the Prairies

The Talented Swiss from the Prairies – Anja Studer

Anja and I met a long time ago while working for a local advertising agency. Anja has always been very task oriented, perfection is her main thing, much like the Swiss watch. She has also always been into art. Whether she is focusing on photography, sketching, painting, making jewellery, or sewing she does it all and with Swiss perfection!

I no longer work with Anja, but thanks to social media channels, I do see her work occasionally. In the past year, Anja has been posting photos of her unique drawings that always catch my attention. She also recently had an exhibition featuring her illustrations, that I regretfully missed.

Little did I know one day she would announce that she published her own colouring book that includes all of her animal drawings! I got so excited for her, and am very proud of the fact that I know a local artist who is publishing.

Familiar Friends

Anja’s adult colouring book is called Familiar Friends. In her blog, she explains that all of the illustrations are portraits of people she knows. Her style was inspired by folk art from all over the world including a Swiss decorative painting style called Bauernmalerei.

A Gift of Relaxation

The popularity of adult colouring books is a great example of us acknowledging that our lives are very hectic and full of many micro-moments we need to seize. There is a need to slow down and explore different avenues of relaxation. Let’s face it, we all need it. I knit to relax as well as once in awhile colour with my daughter. It is a precious moment that I have with her one on one, but I have to admit, I don’t do it enough.

I have asked Anja for a copy of her colouring book as I think that this is a very good way for me to relax and spend quality time with my 8-year-old daughter. We can enjoy the colouring motion and the inspiration we get from choosing colours while we talk about the experience or enjoy the silence.

Where to Buy

Today is December 11, a couple weeks before Christmas. It is the time of giving and receiving. This book is a unique gift idea made by a local artist. Make sure to visit McNally Robinson to have a peak at Familiar Friends by Anja Studer.Better yet, purchase it online here.


Anja, it is an honour to know you. Grant and I wish you all the best and hope to see more of your art success in the future.

Book Review – The Virgin Way

Book Review – The Virgin Way

The Virgin Way |“If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.”

Book Review – The Virgin Way, a book on leadership with great sense of humour, written by Richard Branson.

Picking up this book from the business section shelves in the bookstore was easy this time. My goal was to get a book that will inspire, entertain and teach me skills that I have not mastered yet. (Which I know is quite a long list.) The bright red cover of The Virgin Way book with Richard Branson wearing pink shorts caught my attention right away.  I immediately told myself, this will for sure be a good fun read and… It was!
At the beginning of this book, we learn about Richard Branson and his dyslexia. We learn that he had to find a way around it in early childhood and that it was one of the triggers of his later success.
Branson talks about his parents and the way how they taught him the leadership skills during the time when he was a child.

“Leadership Lessons Begin at Home, We need to say less and contribute more.”

According to Branson, one of the most important lessons his parents taught him was the ability to listen. He believes “The Importance of being able to listen is dying”. Many of us struggle with listening more and talking less, including myself.
Considering many books written on business tend to get boring, repetitive and can be hard to finish. I have to say this one felt different, Branson’s April fool’s pranks and other life stories are well written and amusing.
Lastly, I found this book was both fun to read and insightful. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a book on business that stands out.
The Virgin Way by Richard Branson can be found in the business section at bookstores everywhere or on amazon.