Shawn Butchart spent many hours in a small shed on his parents’ property near Redstone Lake this year, poring over topographical maps of Haliburton’s lakes.
He wasn’t charting a nautical journey; he was designing art for his new brand, Blue Moon Gift Shop.
Launching Nov. 4, Blue Moon will be an online shop featuring hyper-local posters, T-shirts, wall art and sweaters.
“The thing I really love about being in Haliburton is everywhere you look is a picturesque, beautiful view. Everywhere you look is beautiful,” said Butchart. “I thought if I could capture even a little portion of that and put it on a poster that I’d have something pretty good.”
His designs range from the real-life overhead maps of Kennisis and Koshlong to apparel that celebrates tall tales and local culture, such as “Wilberforce Bigfoot Field Research Team” and Cardiff Motorcycle Club hats.
“I’ve got a real retro vibe going,” Butchart said. With a background in graphic design and web development, Butchart said he enjoyed trying to convey the hazy summer atmosphere of a time long past. “The whole concept behind Blue Moon is I wish I woke up in 1970, and everything kind of looks like that.”
Butchart calls the online store a “labour of love” which marks a shift in his career. “I sort of decided I want to get back into more creative design: fun stuff that I really enjoy making,” he said.
For Butchart, Blue Moon is also a way to celebrate the community he moved to 10 years ago – a place he and his partner plan to move to full-time when they start construction on a home next spring. “
I feel so at home and comfortable, I just love Haliburton,” he said. “It’s hard to put into words. I’m a more visual person so maybe you can see the love for it come across in my work.”
Blue Moon Gift shop can be accessed at bluemoongiftshop.ca .