Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Origins of JCreatureTravel

Many of you may wonder about the origins of the name JCreatureTravel, which is my Twitter handle. The JCreatures™ are characters that I created and have been drawing since I was 10 years old. At that time, they reflected a 10-year-old's emotions: happy, sad, angry/frustrated, and so forth.

When I was in elementary school, I'd add the Happy J to letters and notes I sent my girlfriends. In high school, I signed my friends' yearbooks with the Happy J. In college, when I mailed postcards from my spring break or summer travels, one of the JCreatures™ always appeared to illustrate how the trip was going. Then, when I was a high school biology teacher, if my students performed particularly well on an exam, I would draw the JCreatures™ (of course, the Happy J) at the top of their exam, along with an A+.

That's why, when I decided to open a Twitter account, it seemed only natural to use JCreatureTravel as my handle.

As a travel writer and blogger, I wanted the JCreatures™ as my icon. Each of the different characters reflect my emotions during the course of my trips:

Happy J -- When I met a new friend in Tel Aviv, revisited my favorite plaza in Madrid (Plaza Santa Ana) or found a great bicycle path (such as one of the rails-to-trails I recently blogged about).

Sad J -- When I was forced to say good-bye to one of my favorite cities (like Reykjavik) or when I found that a tree that I loved in my neighborhood toppled because of a tornado that we suffered this past year in New York City.

Frustrated J -- When I somehow missed the last bus of the day in a small town in Spain because of a communication error, or when the restaurant I hoped to visit in Lisbon was closed for a week in the summer.

Sleeping J -- Though not an emotion like the others, sleep plays a big role for me, as it does for any traveler. Luckily, I rarely get jet lag, because, among other things, I immediately set my watch to the time of my destination after my flight takes off. That means that on most flights from New York City, I'm asleep.

I'm now selling a variety of T-shirts, including shirts with long sleeves and those with spaghetti straps, that each bear one of the four JCreatures™. Should you decide to buy one, I hope you enjoy it. Wear it when you travel. It certainly might be a conversation piece and maybe a way to help you make new friends, which, after all, is what travel is all about for me.

18 comments:

LillyHouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JTravel said...

Hi LillyHouse, awww. Glad you like 'em. Thanks.

Living Large said...

These are so cute! What fun that you created these when you were a kid and carried them throughout your life!

MyKidsEatSquid said...

Very cool. I love how simple, and fun, the designs are.

JTravel said...

Hi Living Large, Yes, it is unusual that I kept sketching these little characters at different stages of my life. And here they are again. Who knew?

JTravel said...

Hi MyKidsEatSquid, Glad you liked them. I'm all about simple designs.

Sheryl said...

Just adorable. The simple design says it all so well!

merr said...

What an integrated brand you have! I bet you could add those drawings to other items that travelers could and would use and need on their journeys.

JTravel said...

Hi Sheryl, I'm so glad you think they're cute, too.

JTravel said...

Hi merr, great idea. Thanks for that.

Donna Hull said...

I have always been curious about your twitter handle. Now I know. What cute creations!

JTravel said...

Hi Donna, I'm sure you're not the only one who was wondering. Glad you like 'em!

shino said...

Hi,Jeanine
They are so sweet.
I love Sleeping J .

Jane Boursaw said...

Those are so adorable. Way to parlay childhood drawings into a nice accompaniment to your travel writing. I'd go for the sleeping J right at the moment.

JTravel said...

Hi Shino, You're the first to vote for Sleeping J as your fave. Glad you liked them.

JTravel said...

Hi Jane, Another vote for Sleeping J. Thanks. I'm happy you liked my sketches.

sarah henry said...

I did not know this about your moniker. And now I do. So sweet too.

JTravel said...

Awww, thanks, Sarah. Yes, a lot of people have been asking me about the jcreature. So I decided it's time to explain - and market t-shirts, too.