Today on Creative Loves we have the fantastic Stacie of Gingiber... Based in Arkansas, USA, Stacie is an illustrator who creates gorgeous prints, pillows, desk calendars, tote bags, and most recently, wall decals. Most of her drawings feature animals as the subject matter and are pattern and line driven. Stacie started selling online in her Etsy shop with the intention of producing nursery art, but has found that her style has evolved and appeals to a much broader audience than expecting mothers.... Welcome Stacie!
Can you tell me about your work space? My studio is a bedroom in my three bedroom home. It is a bit of a hodgepodge. I am not what you would call an 'organized' person, so on a typical day I am climbing over piles of supplies, fabric, and prints to get to my computer or sewing machine. But my studio is filled with things that I love, like thrifted wooden furniture, prints, and other nicknacks that I have grown up with. I really only need my sewing machine, computer, scanner and printer, but somehow I have way more stuffed in my little office than the essentials :)
Have you always been creatively driven? My earliest memory is that of drawing a puppy dog when I was 3. I have always been doodling, and creating. In fact I am most happy when I have a pencil and a piece of paper. I always knew that I would be an artist. I studied art in college and have dabbled in graphic design along the way. I was born to draw. I never really knew in what capacity or how I could make art a career. Things just slowly evolved, and now I am running my own small business, selling my artwork, and loving every minute of it.
What inspires you, where do you go for ideas? Typically I am inspired by color and patterns. I love looking at blogs for color scheme inspiration and to keep up on the latest trends. I am definitely inspired by quilts for patterns. Also clothing is a great inspiration for patterns. I love figuring out new ways to explore pattern and color in my drawings. And of course I adore animals and draw them constantly!
Please tell us about your current Creative Loves...
What is a typical work day for you? I quit my day job to focus on Gingiber full time in February. Plus I have 2 children (ages 3 and 5 months), so I am still working out a great schedule for a productive work day. But, on a good day, I wake up at 7 AM and start the morning routine of getting the family fed, cleaned, and ready for the day. Two days a week I take the kids to a local Kids Day for 5 hours a day. After I drop them off, I come home, check and return e-mails/etsy conversations. I spend about 2 hours filling Etsy orders and wholesale orders. Then the rest of my work time is filled with drawing and brainstorming new product ideas. On the days my girls are home with me, I focus most of my time on them. During their nap time, I use the handy laptop to answer work e-mails, brainstorm, and work on the bookkeeping side of the business. My routine is still evolving. I am the type of gal who can function in a bit of chaos. But I do look forward to having a more concrete schedule to live by ;)
How do you approach each project? I approach every sketch, custom illustration, or pillow design with an open mind and the knowledge that it is going to take a few tries to get the drawing just right. So lots of erasing :) I use a sketchbook and a pencil for initial drafts of drawings. Then I move onto redrawing the image onto a plain piece of paper with my favorite Muji pens. I scan the image into Photoshop and clean it up a bit. The most time consuming aspect of my process is choosing just the right color scheme. When a illustration comes together, it feels like I can finally exhale :) I love that feeling!
What projects are you working on at the moment? I am working on some designs for baby onsies! I am really excited about these little pieces of clothing. Also, I am working on my holiday items, so calendar design, stockings, and a few other items perfect for Christmas.
What has been the most interesting or exciting project you've worked on and why? Oh I think that every project is exciting! I recently finished work on some custom packaging illustrations for Austin Sugar Works, and amazing sugar cube company based that specializes in molded sugars for coffee and tea service. Elayne, (the owner) learned of my artwork because one of her relatives purchased a set of my postcards and had been sending them to Elayne one by one. She then tracked me down and asked me to design whatever I wanted for her product packaging. What an honor! That kind of creative freedom is a gift, but also scary, because you want the customer to be completely satisfied with the end result. Fortunately, both she and I were quite excited with the end results, and I cannot wait to see the complete packaging in a few months.
In terms of your work what couldn't you live without? Coffee! But really, I couldn't live without my Macbook Pro and Adobe Creative Suite.
What do you love most about what you do? Mostly, I love the freedom of being my own boss and being in charge of my own workflow. My success rests on my shoulders, so the harder the work, (hopefully) the better my business will be. And, I just love drawing! It is who I am. Without drawing, I wouldn't be myself. So living out what I feel like I was born to do is an amazing feeling.
What do you want to do in the future? I am big on setting goals. So my goals/aspirations for the coming year include getting into rubber stamp design, because I feel like the line driven nature of my drawings would translate well with stamps. Plus, I am working on a small line of screen printed onsies and shirts. The dream would be to design fabric! But really, the sky is the limit.
Where are you happiest? I am most happy when I am spending time with my family and drawing. The best nights ever are when I am sketching, my husband is reading, and my daughters are content. I have the most supportive husband in the entire world, and really he is my favorite person. He makes me super duper happy (cheesy, but true).