I make things that help you learn and smile. preferably at the same time.
learning new things can feel scary. Play is my way of giving you a portal in.
I was the kid who did really well at school. Maybe you wanted to be me, but here’s the clincher: all my great marks did not prepare me for real life.
Out in the real world I felt like I had missed the actual curriculum. I didn’t know how to learn on my own and felt embarrassed at the discomfort of not knowing. Type A me didn't deal well with this.
Where, I wondered, was the school for grown-ups to learn everything they had missed? And I know this adult business is meant to be serious, but maybe we could miss the text books and yawn-worthy speeches this time around?
So I started dreaming up ways to teach myself all the things I wish I knew but didn’t yet. Anything from quantum theory to how to cook rice. Most of all, i wanted to make it fun.
There’s a well known quote by Leonard Cohen that goes “there’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
I like it for this reason: When I think of all the things I do not know I tense up. I am an adult. I think. How do I not know this by now?
When this happens there is no reasoning with my fear. Eating everything in my fridge also won't do. Instead, it's a smile--or finding a reason to--that lets the light in. It cracks me open (actually, this is why ‘crack a smile’ makes total sense), and this is how new things—knowledge, ideas, world views—get in.
I hope the things I create can make you feel the same way.
things I have done
In addition to finding ways to learn and smile at the same time, I am the founder of After Brunch, a series of illustrated city guides for outdoorsy people.
I also contribute essays to Dumbo Feather Magazine, and am the author of Dear, Friend, Love, Stephula, a weekly note that goes out every Sunday.
I’m originally from Australia and am now based in Europe. I am a bit of a wanderer.
And there you have it. Steph Stepan in a nutshell. The longer version requires coffee and maybe a bite to eat.