Me during a rare moment of tranquility, postpartum baby hairs proudly in full display.
Hi! I’m Mandy, the designer behind Soap Note Ink. Never did I think I’d be opening a card and gift shop, but life - as we've learned this year - is surprising and unpredictable!
I loved arts as a kid but like many of us growing up in first generation immigrant families, art was a hobby not a career. So I did what many good Asian Canadian girls did and got into medical school, matched to my residency, and settled into the wonderful world of medicine.
During my years of studies and early practice I did not have time to explore my creative side. But over the past few years, I started to pick up (and put down) various art hobbies (crocheting, cookie decorating, calligraphy… to name a few). A few years ago while on maternity leave with my first daughter, I drew a single urine bottle along with a medical pun for my husband for Valentine’s Day and was so tickled that I began keeping a mental list of ‘these would make a good greeting card…’ ideas, and…
Fast forward to the birth of my second daughter at the start of a raging pandemic. With nowhere to go and noone to see, I picked up my pen and digital “paper” and started drawing again. I became obsessed! Every precious spare moment I had (when no little humans were around talking to me/touching me/feeding from me, etc.) was spent hunched over my tablet drawing and creating. It brought me so much joy during an otherwise very depressing and isolating time. With the encouragement of my husband, I decided to share my art with the world and open this little shop!
This art journey has been both fulfilling and revealing of my insecurities. I’m not a real artist. I didn’t go to art school. I don’t know how to use any professional graphic design program. Doctors are risking their lives working the frontlines and here you are doodling. I’m still working on quieting / reframing that inner critic and doctor-mom guilt voice. Thank goodness for my husband who, without him, this shop literally would not exist. I must also thank my baby who would consistently take 90+ minute naps twice daily so mommy could draw. And my toddler who, while watching me drawing and redrawing, would remind me “mom, it doesn’t have to be perfect”.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you find some joy in my creations :)