Contemporary Art With Linda Rusconi


IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com
Hello, everyone! Today, for the Inspiration column, we have Linda Rusconi – a freelance artist with an eye for detail and exquisite sketches. She’s also an avid painter and makes portraits too. What I liked most about her work, though- it has emotion. It speaks without saying anything, and even her line drawings are striking and expressive. I found her work both technically rich in knowledge as well as beautifully moving. Her art is contemporary and timeless.

Let’s hear what she has to say!

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hello from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. My name is Linda Rusconi and I call myself a ‘beeldmaker’. That’s Dutch and literally translates to ‘imagemaker’. I have a website for commissioned portraits and I do illustration and graphic design. But mostly I just can’t stop drawing. I have the hypermobilitysyndrome also called Ehler Danlos type III – a genetic defect to my connective tissue that causes chronic pain and fatigue. Working from home allows me to be independent and do the things I love.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

What motivates and inspires you the most?

The world around me. People, animals and houses. They are a never ending source of inspiration. The longer you look at them, the more details are revealed to you.

I also like to go to museums to wander and clear my head. Amsterdam is full of wonderful museums. My favorites are Het Stedelijk Museum (contemporary art) and Foam (Photography museum). It’s lovely to see other people’s work and to see how they translate the world around them into art.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

I absolutely love your beautiful and thoughtful sketches! What is your drawing/painting process like?

Thanks so much. I love the possibilities the internet gives to share our art from our drawing table to the world.

My process in drawing commissioned work starts with getting clearly what the customer wants. Not everybody can imagine how their portrait or illustration should look like. I ask how they found me and what work stands out for them. And who will receive the drawing.

It’s very different if I draw a child for a mother or a dog for a pub. (Yeah, I painted a dog for a pub, they are called the Wolfhound). When we have an agreement on the materials and price, I start working. I send them a photo of the work when I’m done. At this moment, they can suggest small adjustments if needed. And when they are satisfied and I have received the payment, I send out the work. I like sending it carefully wrapped and always with a personal note.

My personal work usually starts with an idea. I see an interesting face or beautiful building and it inspires me to make a drawing. I take a couple of photos of the subject. And then I just start drawing. I never make sketches first. The little ‘mistakes’ that happen make the work more interesting. I also like to sketch outside. Sit on a bench and draw the dogs that pass by. Or sit in a cafe and sketch the bikes on the street. Every Friday I paint and draw form life. It’s in a gallery in my neighborhood- the Baarsjes. The model keeps the same pose for 3 hours. So I try to finish a painting in that time. It’s very good for improving my techniques.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

 It depends if I’m painting or drawing. And of course with size the works is. But I’m not the type to work multiple days on a drawing. So usually it’s between an hour to a couple of hours. Otherwise it gets too detailed and refined.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite) piece of art you remember creating?

 Since I’ve been little, I remember myself drawing and painting. But the first work that stands out is a painting of a man in a yellow house. I was 10 years old and I just figured out how to draw a collar and tie. My mom still has this painting in her living room, haha.

man in yellow house-IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

Hopefully doing the same as I am doing right now. And maybe I finally started that graphic novel I want to create.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

(writing her name for an art show)

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

07:00 I usually wake up early. After breakfast and watching something on Netflix, I move to my computer. Still in pyjamas.

08.00 Check emails and priorities what I have to work on this day. I set an alarm for an hour so I won’t sit still for too long.

09:00 Stretch, maybe do a bit of the dishes or fold some laundry. Make coffee.

09:30 Work for another hour and a half.

11:00 Shower, do my Qi Gong exercise and meditation.

12:00 Lunch

13:00 Work some more

14:00 small break to stretch again

14;30 Final work hours if needed. I have very busy weeks and very easy weeks.

16:00 time to relax. Sit on my balcony if the weather is nice or go for a small stroll

18:00 cook and Netflix binge

20:00 read or draw if I feel like it

22:00 I always go to bed early. I need my sleep.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

How long has painting and art in general been your hobby? How did you think you could convert it to something more?

So drawing was always something I did. Just like eating or sleeping. I never saw it as a hobby, just as something I had to do. When I was 20 I had a boyfriend who did street art. That was the first time I met other people who had the same urge to draw and paint as I did. In my last year of art school in 2008, I got my first commissioned illustration-work. It was a series of drawings for a book about managers. It felt so good to be paid for drawing.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

sketching at a cafe-IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 6.59.19 pm

(Sketching at cafes)

What is your favourite travel destination, colour, food and flower?

I love city trips in Europe and just lingering in a town and watching people doing their daily stuff.

My favorite colour right now is turquoise.

Avocado in whatever shape or form is so yummy.

I like wildflowers, all messy and colorful!

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

What’s the importance of art in your daily lifestyle?

It gives me the freedom to keep earning money and be independent. It also helps me clear my mind and keeps me curious and wanting to grow.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

What do you do in your leisure time? (apart from art, of course!)

It depends on how my health is. But I like to hang with friends, bike and walk or go for a coffee.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

Some themes/ topics inspiring you nowadays?

One of my goals is to make a graphic novel. So I like to check out other novelists to see how they approach their subject. I would love to tell my story of living with a chronic illness and what that means in daily life.

Dip pen- IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

What are your go-to art supplies and your preferred art media?

When I draw, I use Daler Rowney smooth heavyweight A4 paper. This paper doesn’t discolor and it’s great quality. I use a Bic 0.5 mechanical pencil. When I work in ink, I use my dip pen. My favorite ink-brands are Winsor & Newton and J. Herbin.

I paint with a local Acrylic brand. I prefer painting on thick cartboard. It sucks up the paint and that causes a nice pastel effect.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

How did you discover your own style of drawing? Any advice for artists struggling with getting in the swing of things?

 I’m still discovering it. It’s all about just doing it. Keep looking at other artists. Try to define for yourself what aspect of their work you like and what you don’t. Don’t let other people decide for you what to do. It’s your journey. I know it’s probably more profitable if I would choose one medium to work in, but I’m still learning much about them to choose just one.

sketching at a cafe-IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

sketching at a cafe-IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via Opinion9.com

(different media!)

Thank you for sharing, Linda! Find Linda here:

Website http://www.portretloket.nl/ and http://www.lindarusconi.nl/ (sorry only in dutch. Something I have to work on haha)

 

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Discovering Art With Stephanie


Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Hey everyone! Today, we have Stephanie telling us about her take on art, life and..cats!

Aptly named ‘Inky Cat Studio’, Stephanie’s work can be described as cats, cats, an assortment of other animals too- set with everyday items like scooters, donuts, human stuff..you know?

And she also draws humans. Intrigued? She terms her own art as ‘offbeat’, and I’d add the words..quirky, imaginative and whimsical as well to the mix!

Well, let’s hear what she has to say on the matter!

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello! My name is Stephanie and I’m an Australian artist living in Singapore for the last 2 years with my husband and two cats. Before that we lived in Sydney where I worked for a long time in the higher education industry.

When I came to Singapore, I worked a few corporate jobs at first but after a while I felt the pull to work for myself and actively make a living from something that I’m passionate about.

After a lot of soul searching, Inky Cat Studio was born in August of 2015 😃

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

What motivates and inspires you the most?

I love producing art that expresses me and my ideas. My motivation is to build a successful business around this passion of mine, so that I can spend quality time with my family, travel and live around the world.

When I need something to inspire me, I like to go through Pinterest and my Instagram feed. There are just so many talented artists with such a great variety of stories to share.

Looking at their work really helps me think of what I could be working on as well and helps kickstart my imagination.

Besides that, I also like listening to podcasts these days and TED Talks are always a great way to feel inspired.

On a personal level, my husband is also a big inspiration because I feel that on this journey, where I am the meandering, often confused traveller, he is the steady and recurring signpost in my life. (He’s also very fast and good about packing all my merchandise hehe)

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

 

I absolutely love your quirky and colourful animal sketches! What is your drawing/painting process like? 

Thanks Aaria 😃 Yes I love drawing animals! Especially when I can put them in odd scenarios like a Pug with a Ninja Sword or a Cat wearing a Donut.

I also paint less oddball animals like this fish, but the process for all of them are roughly the same.

First, I always try to have a strong point of inspiration before I start on a painting.

Lately I’ve realised that if I don’t have a strong feeling or idea, or if I haven’t researched a subject before I paint, it can become quite lifeless and isn’t satisfying for me. Sometimes it could just be a memory of a good joke between my husband and I, or sometimes it’s a video that I see online, whatever it is, I try to set an intention before I paint.

Even if I’m painting abstracts the intention I have is “I’m going to play with colour” or “I’m going to experiment”.

When I know what my intention is then I begin sketching out ideas that I have. When it’s a very clear idea I just sketch directly onto my watercolour paper and just paint away.

Other times it takes a while to fine tune so I do little thumbnails in my sketchbook. When I’m happy with a thumbnail then I draw a final sketch onto watercolour paper and start painting. It’s during the painting process that sometimes I’ll think “this wasn’t such a good idea”, but usually if I have a strong intention beforehand it helps me overcome these doubts so I can at least finish the painting.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

 

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

(the model and below, the art inspired)
PumpkinCatIllustration

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

Most of my works are A4 size if they’re rectangular and 25cm x 25cm if they’re square. For these sizes my whole process only takes about an hour or two.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

(donut+ cat!)

Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite) piece of art you remember creating?

When my older brother was in school he used to paint with oils. When I was 13 or 14, after he moved out, I took my brother’s left over oil paints and brushes and painted a rose on a black background. I think this rose was inspired by the enchanted rose in Beauty and the Beast lol.

I had never painted in oils, but I had tons of my brother’s oil painting books to read so I thought I’d just go for it. It sounded like a great idea at the time, but I wish I chose a smaller canvas lol It’s a memorable first piece, because it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be and I got paint everywhere, but when I did finish I felt a real sense of accomplishment.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I see myself managing a growing a creative business and still travelling and living overseas. I see myself having more confidence as an artist and continuing to experiment and define my style.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

(her husband helping her out at work)

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

Sure. A typical day in my home office looks like:

– 9am wake up and go through my morning routine: shower then coffee and some kind of light breakfast, check my phone for alerts on my social media for Inky Cat and my personal accounts.

– 9.30 Hop on the computer to plan out my day using https://getplan.co/. I love this tool because it syncs with my Google calendar and keeps my tasks visible through out the day. It really helps me own a task when I see that I’ve allocated time for it.

-10 am – Go through any online tasks that I need to do; emails, marketing, art research etc.

– 11.30am – Working on art pieces on the computer: scanning completed pieces and working on them in photoshop or illustrator.

-1pm – I usually get hungry around this time. Either I’ll eat at home or go down to the shops and pick up something around there. Sometimes I’ll drop by my Printer to pick up any reproductions that I’ve had printed as well.

2.30pm – I’m back home and if nothing’s pressing then I’ll do a short workout.

3.30pm – I’ll pack all the prints and merchandise I picked up earlier in the day and put them aside in boxes for a courier to pick up.

4pm – If I have any direct orders to ship, I’ll take this time to drop by the local post office and send them away.

4.30pm – Art time! (this includes sketching and researching, looking for reference material).

6pm – I start thinking about dinner plans with the husband. If I’m cooking at home, then I’ll start around this time. When he comes home we usually talk about each other’s day and after dinner we’ll settle down into our own wind down routines.

8.30pm – Art time! This may not necessarily be another painting, it could be a doodle or a smaller illustration. Sometimes I also spend this time just looking at more art online.

10pm – Read a few chapters on my Kindle

11pm – Go to bed.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

How long has painting and art in general been your hobby? How did you think you could convert it to something more?

Art and painting has been an interest of mine for as long as I can remember. I have always needed some kind of creative outlet, for a while I also played classical guitar and crocheted (I still do! :D) . But painting has always been the constant in my life.

I transitioned from the mindset that art was just a hobby, when after moving to Singapore I had to reassess my career plans. In Sydney, because I was in the same industry for so long, my career progression was quite straight forward. But in Singapore, I started from a clean slate.

So I did what was comfortable and took 2 office jobs before I realised that I was pursuing someone else’s dream and that I wasn’t passionate about it. When you graduate from school and start out, there’s nothing wrong with working for someone and gaining experience like this.

But for myself, I felt like an office job wasn’t going to get me where I wanted and the more I felt dissatisfied, the more I started to narrow down what I DID want to do, which was make art. At first it sounded ridiculous even to me, but because I knew what I didn’t want to do I made a plan with my husband and started painting furiously so I could build up a body of work. After that, the rest is history 😃

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

What is your favourite travel destination, colour, food and flower?

I’m half Japanese (dad is, mum is Filipino) so I love Japan for their everything! The beaches in the Philippine are also amazing, so I’d like to go there again with my husband.

Favourite colour is Prussian blue.

Food: Too many! Right now I’m thinking, waffles, nasi lemak, ramen, beef stew…I could go on and on.

I don’t know if I have a favourite flower, but lately I was thinking that orchids are really fun to draw and are very pretty.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

 

What’s the importance of art in your daily lifestyle?

Art causes me to reflect more on everything and make my own interpretations. It makes me slow down and observe and think. I can’t rush out my drawings or paintings, and even if I could I imagine it wouldn’t be enjoyable.

So when I sit down and sketch or go online and look for reference photos or inspiration, I feel like I’m not just admiring pretty things. I feel like I’m absorbing new information and interpreting it in my own way.

I really like this feeling, because for a long time I didn’t prioritise the way I interpreted the world. I prioritised how my teachers, or bosses wanted to see things, how my company  wanted to see things. But making art reminds me to express and share my own views of the world.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

What do you do in your leisure time? (apart from art, of course!)

Lately, my husband and I have been visiting Macritchie Reservoir here in Singapore to go hiking and kayaking. Hopefully soon we can get our two star certification for kayaking and go on expeditions 😀

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Some themes/ topics inspiring you nowadays?

Lately I’ve been painting a lot of hands and legs lol With these, my style is quite different from when I paint my usual animals. These are for upcoming art shows that I’m participating in so I can’t reveal too much yet, but they’re happening within a few months and I’m very excited to push myself and try new things!

I chose to paint body parts only because I think even on their own they’re strong but delicate and expressive. I want to see how much I can convey just by painting them alone.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

What are your go-to art supplies and your preferred art media?

I use Micron pens and brush pens from Kuretake or the $2 ones from Daiso for my doodles and small illustrations. For my sketches, I have a mechanical pencil from Muji with blue lead that I like to use. The blue fades away easier into a painting if I decide to paint it, as opposed to regular lead.

I love watercolour. It’s my favourite medium by far. When I want to paint on the go I have a portable Windsor and Cotman set, but when I paint at home I pull out my box of Kuretake Gansai Tambi and Holbein tubes.

I only usually use two brushes when I paint, a number 4 synthetic round brush, and a 0 brush for details. I rarely need to use a bigger brush, but if I do, I have a half inch and 1 inch square brush too.

There was also a time when I would only use my small or medium Aquash water brushes, but nowadays I only use them when I’m out of the house. A good white pen is also very important for highlights so I use a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen for this. Sometimes, I’ll dig out a tube of white acrylic paint as well.

For paper I just use any good watercolour paper – ideally it’s smooth or hot press. But for my smaller doodles and illustration, I’ll draw on any clean spot I can find lol I’ve scanned in doodles that I drew on copy paper or business cards. I always try to have a pen and paper near me.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

How did you discover your own style of drawing? Any advice for artists stuggling with getting in the swing of things?

My style is still very much a work in progress, but I do feel that I’m slowly starting to see what colours I’m drawn to, how I like to mix them and what subjects interest me. I attribute this progress to just making a lot of art.

Looking at other people’s styles help as well. Making a board on Pinterest of art that interests also helps me see the types of things I like and what I want to try myself. So yes make lots of art.

It can be frustrating when it feels like there are roadblocks to your growth, so my next advice is that nothing is wasted. Every artist I know of, including myself make a ton of bad drawings and sketches.

But of course, that’s not what gets posted on Instagram or printed. But that’s not to say that they’re a waste of time and effort (which is how I thought of them before).

Lately, I’ve come to understand that even the worst and even the most random of sketches move you that one step closer to that meaningful piece of work that you’ve always wanted to make. When I realised this, I started putting less pressure on myself and really appreciating all those little sketches and doodles.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

(flower cat!)

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

(as Stephanie puts it, the rare deer cat!)

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

(unicorn cat?)

Why cats?! (I love ‘em too!, but I want to know why you named your whole biz around them!)

Besides them being super cute (my new favourite instagram kitty is sir_silas_kitty and albertbabycat), my own cats are the epitome of cool. They’re so chill and they totally live to the beat of their own drum.

They always stretch after they wake up, when they play they really play and when they’re concentrating on something (e.g birds outside the window), it’s very hard to distract them. They enjoy life and have incredible focus.

These are qualities that I really admire and that I want to incorporate in my art and business.

My logo, the black ink blot kitty, is based around my 16 year old Devon Rex. I thought I’d make a logo and brand name around him because I wanted to be reminded of all these qualities so that it would keep motivating me.

….

Find Stephanie and her work here:

Direct store – inkycatstudio.bigcartel.com
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A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

Hello! Today for the Inspiration column, we have Jacqueline telling us about her wonderful world of dolls, delicate floral designs and more! I especially adore the dolls she designs, which you can dress up and colour in. Her work brings me back to childhood when all a girl has to think about are dressing up her dolls, and buying more clothes and colouring books.. and lazy play days. (yes, that would sum up quite a large portion of my childhood days too, haha!) So when I found Jacqui’s work on instagram, I had to contact her to find out a bit more on her process. I really appreciate the fact that her work started off (and still very much is) a source of inspiration not only for her, but also for her children! Let’s hear what she has to say.


Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

I am a 30 something, stay at home mum to three children. As a family, we have moved lots for my hubby’s work. This has meant that we have lived in quite rural isolating areas and I have been affected the most by this. Living away from friends and family and unable to really make a new social circle my children and our home really have been the focus of my life. As much as this is a blessing, I do struggle sometimes; feeling very much like Jacqui has just ceased and the Mummy has just been autopilot mode for all of these years. So, desperate to have a bit of ‘me’ back and to get back to a talent that I didn’t want to waste, I started ABOEdesigns.

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

I love your lovely dress up dolls and all your products really (bunnies, florals and all)! What got you started in making them?

My youngest was a tiny baby when I started ABOE. I had made lots of things for her and her room; just like I did with my other children. I always had other mothers asking me how I made these items and it seemed obvious to me to create products to encourage crafting and make the process seem less daunting and more fun to do. I began selling baby shower kits. Beautiful bespoke boxes filled with all the goodies needed to create unique decorated onesies. These pieces made such thoughtful keepsakes for little ones. I created example vests to show what the kits could create and to my surprise found the vests in demand too.

Wanting to create pieces to encourage crafting in all ages – and of course because I have three children I was also toying with a kit for the older girlies. It was after my eldest daughter was bought a gorgeous paperdolls set that the #colourcouturedolls became a strong idea! My daughter spent ages beautifully colouring the outfits. But her stubbornness wouldn’t allow my help and on cutting the pieces out there were accidents followed by tears 🙁 The outfits that did survive didn’t last long with the card ending bent or ruined somehow. So my daughter genuinely completely inspired the colourcouturedolls! It was producing something that she wanted to play with that wasn’t available.

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

 

What was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

My work starts in the evenings when the littles are sleeping. Sometimes this can get frustrating, especially when I have lots of orders. I also panic sometimes because my family does come first and should one of my littles get poorly it means everything stops while I naturally dedicate myself to them.

I’m not sure I could describe any part as easy – well the coming up with ideas, what’s that saying “too many ideas, too little time!!”

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.comA Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

The dolls and the dresses took over a year to perfect! I never imagined it would take that long; but I am a perfectionist! I draw every part of the dolls and their outfits. Including the prints for the dresses and even creating the dolls dress pattern myself. They really are made with such care and attention to detail. I find these initial stages my favourite! I like designing and drawing and I could sit and draw florals for hours; but as much as I love this part I cannot described the feeling of accomplishment on seeing all the finished components together – each time I package a doll I cannot help but smile!

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

How do you balance your creative business along with regular life?

I enjoy the balance I have created in our lives now. On a daily basis I do all of the usual Mummy duties, the house hold chores, the school runs and play dates etc. Two of my children are at school and I have only my youngest at home with me now. On days that she is happily playing I can package orders, or do some sketches but if she doesn’t want me to then I don’t get to do any work. I get to be in ABOE mode when the littles are all sleeping.

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

While my youngest is still at home I will continue to grow ABOEdesigns. I’m uncertain what the future holds. My studies were in contour fashion (lingerie design) and surface pattern design; so I will always be doing something creative this is where my passion lies and I just love drawing and designing. Thanks to Instagram I have also developed my love for styling and photography and have had some product photography jobs, which I really enjoyed! ABOE designs is A Bit Of Everything! So I really am keen to develop and open to new avenues and ideas.

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

What motivates and inspires you the most?

ABOE began completely inspired by my children and my life with them and I’m proud of that creative detour. In the future I might return to what I know best. Although saying that, at the moment my current inspiration really is the wedding industry! Since eloping with my Hubby I cannot stop ‘pinning’ wedding themes and inspirations! I’m very keen to produce pieces for such special occasions and I have a major crush on tulle!! I think I’d be very well suited to this industry; quite often describing myself as ‘unashamedly girlie’ – a true lover of all things blush, letterpressed, gold foiling and of course peonies……just screams wedding doesn’t it 😉

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

How long has making and designing been your hobby? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

I have always been artistic. Never one to have phases of this career path or another it has just always been design that I have wanted to follow. I found my niche – lingerie when I was 16. However I found studying in the fashion sector very hard, it is an environment that very few thrive in and I preferred the free and messy art side of print and textiles. I don’t think for one second I ever had the arrogance enough to say im starting this business and it’s going to make it and be fantastic! I am simply a Mum who wants the enjoyment of creating and making and if I can earn a small income whilst staying at home with my babies then that’s just amazing and more than enough…for now 😉

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

What’s your favourite food, colour and flower?

I am a chocoholic!! I cannot resist chocolate and am constantly on a diet as a consequence!! Blush is my favourite colour and peonies are my favourite flowers; I cannot resist all those ruffles!

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

Could you share some advice for people trying to start a business?

After just two months of launching ABOEdesigns I received an email from a lovely company called Belle and Boo, announcing the launch of their Boo-tique. Where they collaborated with other designers to create new Belle and Boo inspired handmade pieces. I couldn’t help but send them an email and ask if they would consider a collaboration with my baby shower boxes! This would be my first piece of advice to any other start ups – be brave!! You never know until you try! To my delight they loved the boxes and a special edition was created and is still currently for sale on their website www.belleandboo.com.

 

I launched the colour couture dolls in July and the response has been amazing! The colour-in products have completely surpassed the baby products which I have now had to stop doing in order to keep up with demand for the new products. My second piece of advice would be don’t be afraid to evolve! My initial products becoming part of a very saturated market meant it was actually exciting for me to concentrate on the new unique products!

 

Another piece of advice is to be open and honest with your customers if you are able. Thanks to social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter it is possible for people to get to know you, the person/the mummy behind the makes and not just your products and I think people would be pleasantly surprised at how much customers can be supportive and understanding!! The Instagram community in particular being my favourite and most supportive!

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Find ABOE Designs over on instagram | twitter | blog | etsy

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Miniature Art with Geraldine

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Hello everyone. Today for the Inspiration column, it’s all about macarons. And cake. And cupcakes. And chocolate dripping, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries piled on fondants and cream…well, you get the idea. It’s a sweet interview! Geraldine makes these deliciously detailed desserts.. out of polymer clay. And obviously, you can wear them and once you put them on, you feel an urge to go out and treat yourself to a nice slice of cake etc. Ha!

Let’s get down to the matter: She sells her lovely little creations in her shop called Gemnesis. And, she’s going to be sharing a little bit about her creative process and her inspiration. Seriously, I’m always in awe of the ‘fine’ details in art and she makes miniature desserts too?! Consider me a fan. Now on to what she has to say…


Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hello. My name is Geraldine and I am 24 years old. I am currently taking my degree in early childhood and at the same time building my business selling my creations.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

 I love the delicate details in your polymer clay creations! Could you share the story of how you started using this particular medium?

Since young art has always been my favourite subject, particularly- painting. However, I always loved creating things with my hands. About 8 years ago, I chanced upon this tutorial that used polymer clay to create cute animals. Together with my mum, we went to the store and she got me my first set of polymer clay kit and an oven.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comHow do you maintain the balance between regular life and your work?

I only started getting serious about setting up my own business late last year as I had a full time. Before that, it was just a hobby I loved and my shop was to sell my creations to others who would love them as much as I did. To be honest, when school gets busy, my shop is usually very empty. I do try my best to stock up whenever I’m free so I usually start crafting when I have the time again.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

I think everything about starting a business isn’t easy, from having to produce the product from scratch, to setting up a shop and marketing, everything takes time and experience. Mistakes will be made for us to learn from them. But the easiest part would definitely to be able to do something you love to do.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat makes you the happiest in your creative process?

Looking at all the delicious dessert online and offline and in my own style, making them into delicious looking polymer clay jewelry. I can never say no to desserts so it excites me that I can gather inspiration and eat at the same time.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comCould you give us a glimpse in a typical day of your life?

I usually start my morning on the wrong side of the bed because I am definitely not a morning person. It takes me at least 2 hours from waking up to be fully functional.

Depending on how my day is planned, I would either head out, start on my creations or study. If I am home the whole day, it would consist of lazing in bed A LOT. What can I say? I love my bed. The rest of the day would be alternating between working and lazing around.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

The first most important thing is you have to have the passion for what you are doing. A handmade business would require you to turn your hobby into a business. Thus, you need to have love for what you are doing in the first place. Secondly, what you are selling should be something that you really enjoy making. I started out with a lot of trial and error. I tried out making animals, little people and that are even of my own creations (big head dolls with round bodies and hands with no feet at all.). It was only in recent years that I realised that I loved making delicious looking desserts the best. This made my clay making even more enjoyable.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com
Where do you see yourself in a few years?

In a few years, I hope to be able to make this business my full time job and focus on what I love to do the most.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat motivates and inspires you the most?

DESSERTS! As well as the love and support I have gained from my love ones. They are the ones who paid for my materials when I was out of money and also encouraged me to pursue what I love. I also love looking at other polymer clay artists’ work. When I am out of inspiration, looking at others’ work can actually motivate me to do more!

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comHow long has jewelry making been your hobby? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

I started making jewelry when I was around 16 years old and it has stuck with me since then. I wanted to do something I love so I thought it would be a good idea to convert it into a business.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comJust for fun: What’s your favourite colour, flower and food? 

I love, love the colour pink!- so much I have to restrain myself from getting pink clay and creating all pink desserts. I love sunflowers the most because of their bright happy colours. If I would have to say my favourite food, I can eat nuggets everyday.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comHow did you come up with the name for your shop?

I am really bad at coming with shop names. Before I got things serious, I came up with a few names myself. My first shop name way back in 2011 was Treasure Whispers then, Hut of Presents and I even tried to use my own name for a shop name.

My sister was the one who gave the name. It sounds like genesis which means a beginning and gem at the front is to show how much my creations mean to me, just like gems.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

There’s a great emphasis on sweet treats in your work. Do you think you’ll explore other elements/themes later on?

If I were to explore other themes, they would definitely be cute looking miniature animals.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com
What would an ‘ideal’ day be like for you?

My ideal day would be: at home with the people I love, eating tasty cakes and working on my creations with fun and laughter at the same time.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com
What’s the significance of art in your life?

Art is something I can find happiness and solace in when I’m sad. When upset, creating things with my hands makes me forget about the worries and stress that I face. It also makes me happy and I see how a piece of clay can slowly turn into something that can look so beautiful.

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Find Gemnesis here: Instagram |  Facebook | Etsy | Blog 

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Real Life Lettering Inspiration Vol. 1


lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Hey everyone. This feature has been long due and I’m excited to have it published here today.

For Surely Simple, over on my instagram (@surelysimpleblog), I started a lettering/drawing challenge and I was so happy to see others participating in it too! I always love to get someone else’s perspective on things, and what better way than to ask all the amazing letterers/ artists over on IG!

There’s something so motivating about reading people’s views and their outlook with whom you share a common interest- and here of course, that interest is art! So, here are 5 different people (in no particular order), all with their own perspective and take on lettering. Enjoy!

(To see their lettering/ artwork, head on over to #surelysimpleart and #surelysimplelettering.)

Let’s hear what they have to say about lettering, life, art and more!

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AMY

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

 Southern girl from Arkansas with a passion for travel. Very close to my family although I have no children of my own. Well, unless you will allow me to count my two cats, Ruby and Roxanne! My dad was quite the sketch artist even though no one really knew. I have never taken a formal art or lettering class but love practicing every day. I feel like my own style is a bit scattered and often seek focus in my life.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

What sparked your interest in lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

As a young adult, I remember saying that I wish I could have a job where I could just write pretty things all day and so at 47 years old I am doing so as a hobby. I look back on my work from when I first started in March 2015 and can see a remarkable improvement.

 

What are your hobbies? (apart from lettering, of course!)

iPhone photography, watching old black and white horror movies.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Favourite art tools and supplies?

Tombow dual brush pens, Tombow fude, Pentel sign pen, Gelly roll pens, chalk pencil, watercolors.

 

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally in life?

Lauren from Renmade Calligraphy, Sharisse from Pieces Calligraphy, Lisa Congdon.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Any advice for lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

 Just start! All you really have to have is paper and a pencil or pen.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

I love all the positivity and support my IG community offers. It’s so nice to read all the comments and watch each other progress.

 

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

It’s a hobby but plan on opening an Etsy shop soon.

Social Links-

Instagram – @lilylanecreations

Pinterest – Amy Davis   @hulatree

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DUSTY

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

I am a mom of 2 kids (11-Laurel and 14-Lily) and wife of 18 years to Michael. I am a teacher–I spent many years as a special education teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio, but now I am an associate professor at Eastern Kentucky University in the College of Education working to teach the next generations of teachers.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

What sparked your interest in lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

My mom was (and still is) very arts/crafts-y…she used to do calligraphy when I was little…little framed quotations or certificates at work. I always loved it. I tried to learn as a teenager but didn’t have much success. I’ve been seeing so much more lettering around lately and I was reminded of how much I loved the way handwritten art looks. So I signed up for @ckelso ‘s better lettering course in November and just started practicing. And practicing. And still practicing.

 

What are your hobbies? (apart from lettering, of course!)

I am a potter in some of my free time and a meditator in other parts of my free time…otherwise, I think I spend more time than I realize driving my kids around!

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Favourite art tools and supplies?

I have inexpensive pencils, markers, and watercolors from Michael’s (craft store) for most of what I’ve worked on in my short time learning–but I JUST GOT a set of Tombow dual tip brush pens this week and I am really enjoying how much easier it is to move from thick to thin lines with it! However, I still lack confidence with them so much more practice is needed!

 

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally in life?

I’m new to handlettering and calligraphy and am mostly learning folks through instagram. Some of my favorite folks to follow on IG (and I know there are LOTS more!) for lettering are: @alejandro.olarte, @art.by.rim, @surelysimpleblog (of course!), @lilylanecreations, and the more collective @artoftype. For calligraphy I love to see what @thepostmansknock, @bienfaitcalligraphy, and @piecescalligraphy put up daily. I love that you’ve added the #surelysimpleart hashtag because I tend to lean more toward little illustrations rather than true lettering or calligraphy and my favorite IG to watch for that kind of stuff is @jean_jullien.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Any advice for lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

I’m still too much of a novice to offer anyone ELSE advice 🙂

 

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

Of course! Isn’t that why we create?

 

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

This practice, for me, helps me remember the human side of life–when I just work and parent and ‘to do list’ my life I’m just not very fun to be around. But when I take time to create–even if it’s not great–I find so much more pleasure and beauty in all my ‘to do’ lists. So, it’s a hobby I love because it helps me to love life right back.

instagram: @dustycolumbiae

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DIANA

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Looking back I can see that my passion for graphic design and typography began as a teen. Back in the day, I used to pore over teen magazines and study the contents of their layout designs cool words that were stylized and photographs. I then cut them out and staple the cutouts to my bedroom walls creating a unique collage or wallpaper. It was quite a site.. Oh, my mother just loved that –HA!

What sparked your interest in lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

I’ve always loved calligraphy and would practice from a calligraphy book I got as a birthday present. I tend to be an impatient person and feel that my lettering progress is slow, or rather not as fast as I’d like. I realize it takes time and really plan to hustle to practice drills and focus on my calligraphy/lettering in 2016.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

What are your hobbies? (Apart from lettering, of course!)

Other hobbies include painting, photography, and I recently started a mixed media art class online that I am really enjoying.

 

Favourite art tools and supplies?

I have many favorites.. but I really love my brush tip markers. The Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pen and the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen (soft and hard) to be exact. I like that they are small and very easy to control. I also like the Nikko G nib with a straight holder.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally in life?

I follow many talented lettering artists on Instagram. Some of my favorites are: Amanda Pel Arneill (@amandaarneill), Victoria Rothwell (@designhouseofmoira), and Bianca Mascorro (@biancamascorroart). These ladies have an IG account full of beauty.

 

Any advice for lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

My advice would be to not be afraid to put yourself out there to network with others. The lettering community really is a supportive one and are there to cheer you on. Another piece of advice is to not get discouraged it takes a lot of practice and remember that it’s going to take time to get to the level others are at.

 

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

Whenever I am mentioned in a post or receive an actual comment on a lettering piece I posted always brings a smile to my face.

 

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

For now I’m lucky enough to have my art as a full time hobby. I often get judged by some family and friends and it used to bother me, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let their opinions get in the way of my happiness. 🙂

 

Social Media Links:

Instagram > @olive.blossom.design

Blog> www.oliveblossomdesign.com

Twitter > https://twitter.com/Olive_Blossom_

Pinterest> https://www.pinterest.com/Olive_Blossom/

Facebook > https://www.facebook.com/OliveBlossomDesign/

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KRISTINE

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m Mary Joy Kristine Rocamora, 25, married and a Mommy. I’m a 3rd year Psychology student but I’m planning to take up my old program/course, which is teaching.

 

What sparked your interest in lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

I got inspired when I saw some lettering posts on Instagram. I know that in constant practice, I will improve more.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

What are your hobbies? (apart from lettering, of course!)

Aside from lettering, I also read books during my free time.

 

Favourite art tools and supplies?

I love my colorful pens! My collection! 🙂

 

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally in life?

My father. He is really good at lettering, drawing, dancing, singing and cooking!

 

Any advice for lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

Just keep on trying and practicing. Look for inspiration!

 

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

My elementary days. Whenever I think of those days, I can’t stop smiling. Those were the times when I used to join quiz bees and dance contests.

 

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

Art is really just my hobby but I’m sure that I can use it more when I go back to teaching. 🙂

 

IG: @mjhappycorner

Twitter: @mjkristine

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KATRINA

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hi! I am Katrina Andrea Ong or Trina for short. I am from the Philippines and I am a recent graduate of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and a frustrated interior designer (since I wanted to take Interior Designing for college but I’m not that good in drawing lol).

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

What sparked your interest in lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

What sparked my interest in lettering is when my aunt joined a workshop just earlier this year and I saw how beautiful her works were and envied her so much, I wanted to be like her instantly! Lol. She influenced me to take some workshops too and now I’m hooked! Addicted is an understatement. Lol! My family thinks I have gained progress in this lettering “career” of mine but for me, I don’t really see the difference/progress. I feel like it’s just the same, haha!

 

What are your hobbies? (apart from lettering, of course!)

Apart from lettering, I love doing punch art. I used to sell those during my elementary years and earned so much from it since it was such a trend knowing how elementary students are given projects that often needs creativity and a bit of scrapbooking.

 

Favourite art tools and supplies?

I have about a hundred punchers and I am still continuing to collect them. I love collecting craft stuff like washi tapes, ribbons and other cute stuff that catches my eye. I don’t even use them now that I’ve graduated but the sight of them just makes me happy.

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally in life?

I look up to my aunt (my mom’s sister-in-law) who has introduced me to this world. Her works inspire me to strive harder and aim for progress. Also, I look up to my (other) aunt (my mom’s sister), the interior designer who loves to explore and learn more about the world of creativity who, when she does, excels all the time. She really amazes me because he first time she has learned about calligraphy and took a workshop, her works seems like she’s been doing it for years now. Such a fast learner!

 

Any advice for lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

An advice I could give to those starting in lettering is that for me, I think it helps a lot when you have a calligrapher or someone in the same field who inspires you to pursue your career. Never stop learning about it and not just in learning but in loving it too. It’s such a stress reliever. I would not ever wonder if you get attached to it the same way I am!

lettering inspiration vol 1- interview with real letterers via Opinion9.com

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

If only I could pursue this art professionally, I would. Fingers crossed!

instagram: @katscribbles

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Watch out for volume 2- and hop on over to @surelysimpleblog to participate in the monthly lettering and drawing prompts. To see more of their lettering work, check out this link.

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