What Inspires Us: TEDTalks

by Grace on May 26, 2011

If you aren’t already a fan of TEDTalks, get ready, because they are one of the best inspirational resources available at your fingertips. TED is a nonprofit that brings together top thinkers and speakers in the areas of Technology, Entertainment and Design. The free online collection of lectures by notable artists, engineers, musicians, scientists, teachers, chefs, authors, producers and politicians is only a portion of the overall effort and mission of TED to “Spread Ideas”.

We will listen to the TED podcast in the studio or on road trips but my favorite thing is to take a break from work when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stuck on an idea and get myself all pumped up and inspired by some awesome TEDTalks. It helps me to hear other artists experience with the creative process, to hear passion and courage spoken about the importance of nutritious food in our lives and culture, to learn from the experiences of others what really matters in life when you strip all the nonsense and noise away.

One of the best TEDTalks I’ve seen was by Roger Ebert. While still in high school I had the great opportunity to take several film workshops with Ebert through The Virginia Film Festival. A collection of us would sit in an otherwise empty movie theater and watch films like Psycho, The Birds and Chinatown while we learned everything we could from Ebert. He had a special remote control and a laser pointer so he could pause the films frame by frame and point out little details and film concepts that made each movie, and every one I’ve seen since, that much richer, more meaningful and beautiful. His humor and eloquence was inspiring and I still have the notes I took during those workshops of everything he said.

While Ebert’s journey itself is an inspiration I can’t end this post without mentioning the local Charlottesville teacher John Hunter and the remarkable teaching game he made which inspired the film “World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements“. I saw a screening of the film here in Charlottesville, VA and it is brilliant on every level. It is no surprise that he was invited to be a TED speaker. Charlottesville is lucky to have John Hunter in our midst. And we are all truly blessed to have access to information and inspiration such as this. We should take daily advantage in whatever way we can. So if you find yourself watching who-knows-what online, try watching a few TEDTalks and see how inspired you can get.


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Earth Week & Popsicles

by Grace on May 2, 2011

Earth Week is a busy time of the year for us because we get a lot of client work around Earth Day. For the second year in a row we printed and Designed Earth Day shirts for The Miller School of Albemarle and vended at the University of Virginia Eco-Fair. We were also official sponsors for Charlottesville Earth Week which means we printed all their shirts and sold some of our own during the Eco-Fair on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall.

A Mystery In Common printing shirts for the Charlottesville, VA based company Pantheon Popsicles

A Mystery In Common printing shirts for the Charlottesville, VA based company Pantheon Popsicles

This week we’ve been printing shirts for the sweet little local business Pantheon Popsicle. It’s a shame you can’t get these icy, vegan treats outside of Charlottesville (yet) because they are so delicious. This family run business will mix flavors together like fresh tangy orange and smooth shaved dark chocolate , classics like pineapple and coconut or just simple, delicate tastes like honeydew melon. All their popsicles are natural, totally vegan and made with whole fruit.

Hannah of Pantheon Popsicles helping us dry some shirts

Hannah of Pantheon Popsicles helping us dry some shirts

We were apprehensive at first to take on this printing job right after Earth Week because we have so much work to do before we travel to the Renegade Craft Fair in Austin Texas at the end of May. But it is no secret that Grace is a foodie and we didn’t want to pass down the chance to work with a small, wonderful, local business that would cater an event at our studio later this summer (TBA).

The simple, bold popsicle logo of Pantheon Popsicles printed across the entire front of the shirts by A Mystery In Common

The simple, bold popsicle logo of Pantheon Popsicles printed across the entire front of the shirts by A Mystery In Common

We’re really pleased with how the shirts and bags turned out and if you’re interested in picking one up you can find them at the City Market or if you’re outside of Charlottesville but still want to support this awesome company contact:

James Rucker
601 Grove Ave
Cville VA 22902


And this week, in honor of our Australian intern Izac Chatterton, we’re hosting an exclusive  T-shirt giveaway for our fans on Facebook. Want to participate?


Printing In Progress

April 10, 2011

We’ve been printing for the past three days in preparation for Crafty Feast next weekend in Columbia, South Carolina. This will be our first year at this artisan festival and we’re pretty excited to vend with a new community of independent artists, meet the locals and enjoy a pint or two at Hunter-Gather. If you’re going [...]

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Paper Rain

April 8, 2011

We’re in the studio today and it’s pouring outside. A few people have walked by and looked through the big front windows as I sat listening to TAL and cutting up scrap paper to make decorations for the storefront. We have a lot of posters left over from our most recent poster run and we’re [...]

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Wood, Earth and Honey

April 6, 2011

We are gearing up for Crafty Feast in South Carolina next week and we are awaiting replies from other festivals (fingers crossed!). The summer is a busy time for us because it is festival season and it all starts in the spring with Earth Day. This year we have several local Earth Day festivals we [...]

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This too shall pass

March 23, 2011

For the past week Tristan has poured himself into making an art print. It is an eight color print combining halftone photos he took from both the northern and southern hemispheres, layered with hand drawn details and intricate textures. It is the second poster we are releasing through A Mystery In Common (that isn’t a [...]

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What Inspires Us: Creativity, Success & Vocation

March 8, 2011

Tristan and I started this company two years after we met. We spent the first year working in Charlottesville, saving up money to travel together. I worked as a personal assistant and in restaurants hosting, waitressing and bar tending. Tristan renovated houses, worked for a local recycling company and did some part time computer work for [...]

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After the flood

March 2, 2011

We have had the most insane week. From both our cars ending up in the shop (new batteries, new transmission), to a drunk driver taking out the front yard landscaping and almost the porch of our friend’s house we were housesitting, to our power washer exploding and flooding our studio, we welcome this new week [...]

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Reaching a summit (one of many)

February 8, 2011

We have had such a crazy awesome week we can barely believe February is just beginning. So many big advancements in the business and lots of firsts- looks like it’s going to be a great month for A Mystery In Common. Now only our Charlottesville fans would know this but something that’s been missing from [...]

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Fruits & Labor

January 28, 2011

We’ve been so involved in different projects recently. Everything from redecorating the storefront to collaborating with other artists to designing new shirts and posters to conceptualizing a line of greeting cards. It’s been an overwhelmingly productive winter but we have so much more to do before we can share the screen printed fruits of our [...]

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