Mirta nominated me in a creative blog hop to talk about what I'm working on and why I do what I do, and I'm honored to join in! I met Mirta through the blog team on Etsy, and I'm a huge fan of her work. In fact, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I just bought a little llama notebook from her shop, and I can't wait to start sketching inside and coming up with new ideas! I've actually been feeling really inspired lately to take my shop in a bit of a new direction, so this blog hop comes at a good time! :)
1. What am I working on?
Right now I'm actually drawing covers of a few new notebooks for the shop. (I don't have pictures yet, so I just posted a photo of brand spanking new supplies I got a week or so ago. Is there anything more exciting than opening up a box of new supplies?)
I'm also working on illustrations and moving (slowly) toward adding prints to my shop. I won't be abandoning felt altogether--I particularly want to add a few new felt items when the holiday season approaches--but my main focus is shifting toward illustration and printmaking. This change has been coming for a long time, and I'm so excited about the possibilities! Painting and drawing were my first loves, and I feel like I've taken a really roundabout way back to finding what I really want to do. I know a lot of people decide what they want to do at a young age and find success (whatever that means to you) early on, but I feel really grateful and so lucky to have things come into focus at this time in my life.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I really just make what I want to make. That isn't always the best business strategy, haha. I might have more financial success if I paid close attention to trends and tried harder to incorporate them into my shop. But I just have to make what speaks to me. I have always been inspired by cute things, slightly sinister stories, my own experiences, color, bold patterns, architecture, nature...I guess the same things that inspire a lot of creative types. But it's how you interpret those influences, filtering them through your own unique perspective, that makes your work special. I do think I have stories to tell through my art, and hopefully people will connect to them, which leads me to the next question.
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
Like a lot of creative folks, I frequently will get a spark of an idea, seemingly out of nowhere, and it lives in the back of my brain and won't really go away until I've made some attempt to create a tangible thing out of it. There are lots of metaphors of the creative process akin to giving birth and creating life, and as clichéd as those are, there's an inherent truth in wanting to make ideas whole and put them out into the world. And an important part of that process for me is sharing it with other people. I really love putting a smile on people's faces when they open up a package and see a little brooch of their dog looking back at them, or an illustrated notebook that inspires them to write or sketch everyday and further their own creative process. I guess it's ultimately about connecting with people (as odd as that might seem for an introvert like myself).
On my shop's about page, I wrote that my main goal is to bring more joy into the world through color and texture, whimsy and playfulness. That's not a sales pitch or tag line; that's 100% me and what I hope to do.
4. How does your writing/creating process work?
Whether I'm working on a felt brooch or a notebook, my process always starts with sketching. Sometimes I draw lots of versions before settling on one that will work. And there are lots of sketches that don't ever materialize into a finished product. I do sometimes also get stuck or feel frozen at the start of a new project. The only way through that is to work through it, and for me that means to just start sketching.
By the way, the best advice I ever read when it comes to feeling stuck is from Chuck Close, who said, "The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case."
Reading that again is giving me a big push to stop typing this post and get to work! :)
Now I think I'm supposed to nominate another creative blogger for the next post, so I nominate Kate, who's endlessly inspiring, has several shops where she sells her creative wares, and is always coming up with fun new ideas. I own several of her prints and bought a Book Fair Kit for my niece, so needless to say, I'm a big fan of her work .If you haven't already, check out her blog, her Flapper Doodle shop, her Sweet and Lovely shop, and her newest endeavor, her Your Fan Club shop. Believe it or not, she has other shops too! I don't know when she sleeps, but I'm sure glad she keeps on creating cute things.