The wonderful world of Keiko Brodeur

Meet Keiko Brodeur, artist and owner of the Small Adventure Shop. Warning: you are about to fall in love with her beautiful illustrations, inspired by escapades into the great outdoors.


I first came across Keiko’s adorable ‘packing list’ illustrations in Frankie magazine. Their pull-out poster of her canoe print, depicting all the essentials you’d need for a kayaking trip (like an axe. And cookies) now takes pride of place on my wall, so I couldn’t resist asking Los Angeles-based Keiko to tell me more about her work.


What was your inspiration when you started Small Adventure?
When I started Small Adventure it was more of an experiment in creativity. I began making crafts and drawing things and the drawing won in the end! Nature has always been a source of emotional comfort for me and I’ve always been drawn to its intricate beauty and mystery.


What do you like to get out and do in the fresh air?
I do have a dog, Bea, who always needs to be taken on walks, and I dream of renting a cabin in the woods or a little place on the beach with my husband, hopefully in the near future.


Where do you find inspiration for your What to Pack designs?
The What to Pack illustrations are based on my childhood dreams of packing up only the basics and taking off to see what the world had in store for me. One time when I was only about seven I actually did pack up a backpack of food and other random things and took off with a friend down the street, without so much as a word to my poor mom. Luckily I have a very attentive mother and before we got too far she noticed we were gone and frantically jumped into her car to come look for us!


What advice would you give to a budding artist keen to follow in your footsteps?
Surround yourself with as many people as you can who help stimulate and inspire you creatively. Sometimes being a creative professional means you have to spend a lot of time alone and your work can be frustrating. Having people to talk to who understand what that lifestyle is like is invaluable. I’ve been a part of an occasional business meeting, founded by the very talented Erin Dollar of Cotton and Flax, where small business owners meet up and talk about what their goals are and ask each other questions. If it wasn’t for that group I don’t believe I would be as far along as I am now.

See more of Keiko’s work at Small Adventure Shop and