In a world that's designed to keep us overstimulated, with our attention constantly split between screens, the simple joy of assembling a puzzle is making a surprise comeback. Spending a quiet evening with a cup of tea and a puzzle is an alarmingly wholesome way to recover from a hectic week, giving your brain a break by slowing down and forcing it to focus on the task at hand.
This unlikely renaissance didn't happen by itself, though. Puzzling pioneers Journey of Something helped to turn a hobby that's usually left to pensioners and pre-schoolers into a beautiful bit of downtime that helps us stay mindful, and manage our mental health.
Exasperated by the daggy puzzle options available, friends Lauren and Nicola put their love for art to good use to bring Journey of Something's inspiring, evocative range of designs to life.
"Our superhero power is being able to pick a good puzzle image," says Nicola. "It's all about colour and detail. You should be able to totally zone out whilst puzzling and then, the added bonus of a Journey of Something puzzle is that once you are out of your puzzle induced meditation, you find you have a beautiful artwork in front of you ready for framing."
The process of assembling the art you'll hang on your wall adds an extra something, so you're not just seeing a gallery-worthy design – you've also got that sense of achievement that comes with completing something, giving you an extra connection to it. Choosing those designs is a tough process, says Nicola.
"We look for artists whose work gives us the right vibes (it's a very technical process). But we do try and spread across various mediums."
From their self-deprecating Hot Mess candle to the irreverent Edition K puzzle from artist Billie Morris, to the gallows humour of the Guess the Musician game, Journey of Something also love adding a playful edge to everything they make.
"When we first started Journey of Something, we asked ourselves what 3 values would underpin our products," says Nicola. "We decided on 1) good design; 2) functionality; and 3) a sense of humour. We try and sneak in number 3 as much as possible. And as for the darkness of our humour, well, irreverence is at the core of every good joke IMHO."
The irreverent Guess The... games are a new addition to the Journey of Something lineup, and Nicola says they're not stopping there. "We don't just spend our Saturday nights puzzling you know. We also do other cool things like playing adult games. So, watch this space! Puzzles will always be our first love, but we might just be moving into some other adulty games real soon!"
Journey of Something founders Lauren and Nicola