Interview with Amanda Bosveld from Dear Musketeer

It’s my pleasure to feature Amanda Bosveld from Dear Musketeer on the blog. Make sure to check out her Etsy shop and leave her some love in the comments!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your creative journey? 

I’m Amanda, from the beautiful island of Tasmania in Australia. I’ve always been madly in love with creating, art and design. I’m a qualified graphic designer by trade, but when I got seriously sick with (what I now know to be) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome five years ago I resigned from my corporate job and have totally changed direction.

This illness has an extreme amount of challenges but it’s also given me time and space to grow the little business that is Dear Musketeer. I find so much happiness in the sweet distraction of creating – even on my many bed bound days I can still design or make. (It’s amazing how much you can still do whilst lying down, propped up on a sea of pillows). It’s wonderfully fulfilling to put my limited energy into something I love so much. I really do miss my old life as a graphic designer, copywriter and marketer. But I have always been drawn to the really artistic side of whatever I did more, so it’s been a beautiful, natural progression of my skills into this space.

My advice is to work with what works for you – don’t be pressured to do what you think is expected of you as an artist. You don’t have to create how others create or run a business in a similar way.

So many of us have unique challenges or limitations and there is no one way that is ‘the right way’ to be creative or to run a small business. My intention for myself this year is to focus on my 2019 goal of a ‘slow and joyous flow’ in my work. I know that I can’t push myself or be always on the go so I’m sticking with what works for me.

I wouldn’t say I have one preferred medium or style. My work includes digital art, painting, drawing and my latest love, fibre art (or ‘fiber’ for all you Americans). But my art for my Dear Musketeer shop is always based around it being wall art as I love interiors and offering pieces to make people’s spaces beautiful.

When did Dear Musketeer get started? How has your art business experience been on Etsy? 

I started Dear Musketeer on Etsy in 2011 but only for a short while since my work as a full time graphic design job kept me more than busy. So I feel I really started just a year and a half ago with my current art range and style.

Etsy has been the most amazing platform. Many other small creative businesses I have talked to say they stay away from it since they think the fees etc are too pricey. But personally, I don’t know of any other selling platform that would give me the same exposure to new customers and therefore more sales.

It is also very user friendly and you don’t need to be some web genius to use Etsy to its full potential. For example, I still have times I can barely get out of bed, so when I feel like this, I change my shipping profiles with a few quick clicks to increase my processing time. Then I simply change it back once I know I’m feeling a little better again. 
All in all, I can’t recommend it enough.

What does your artistic process like? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

My work develops as I’m taken ‘where the wind blows me’. Sometimes I’m super inspired by the colours I see around me and ideas just spring into my mind. On my recent summer family holiday to Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula (please Google it and possibly put it on your travel bucket list), I was totally inspired by the white beaches, blue water and huge granite blocks that are coloured orange by lichen. This led to my latest collection of watercolour leaves art. Other times I feel compelled to work with my hands and just experiment and get super stuck into tactile forms of art.
I find inspiration all around me and always carry a little notebook to jot down ideas for later. I also find Pinterest a great platform for compiling (and finding) ideas and inspiration.

For other artists selling prints, do you have any solid printer recommendations?

 My biggest tip would be to do your homework. Email a number of printers and ask all the questions you need to to find out it the company to work with is right for you. If possible find someone local or in your country that will deliver to you in your time frames and with your quality requirements.
I recently changed printers since I wanted to upgrade my printing quality and paper stocks. I would say I was possibly annoying with the amount of questions I asked different printers. I’m fussy and with good reason – I want to give my customers the best! I knew the right people to work with would understand my desire for amazing quality and consistency, plus be able to work with my time frames. I therefore found a printer who I now have the best and easiest working relationship with. The quality and consistency of their prints are amazing, so in turn I’m then so happy and confident to sell to my customers. Win win!!

Are there any projects in the works for the coming year?

Ah there sure is – my work is always evolving. I’m currently in the process of creating prototypes for some unique style wall hangings. I’m also going to expand my print range plus offer gallery pack options and canvas prints with hangers too. Where else my art goes, I don’t know. We’ll just see where my ever inspired mind and whim takes me.

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Interview with Artist Taylor Mason from Mason Makers

It is my pleasure to introduce Taylor Mason from the Mason Makers Etsy shop! Taylor and her husband Ryan are both designers living in Portland, Oregon and run their Etsy shop together, please visit their shop and their website to show some love after the interview! You can also follow Taylor on Instagram @taylormasondesign.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with art?

I am a graphic designer and painter living in Portland, OR. Art has always been fascinating to me, as a kid I played movies in the background and poured over library books, trying to replicate the sketches I studied. I was in love with the magic of creating, to see a pencil sketch come to life and create an illusion on paper was mesmerizing to me.

Today my passion for drawing and painting has only continued to progress. I love painting in oils and gouache. I primarily create landscapes and animals from my travels. I love plein air painting as well, there is something peaceful and challenging about being in the middle of nature and attempting to capture the light and colors in the moment.

Where do you draw your inspiration from for your oil paintings? What draws you to painting in miniature?

My inspiration for my paintings comes primarily through my travels. Locations such as Wyoming, Maui, Canada, California and Montana offer sweeping fields, large open skies, mountains, desert plateau’s, lava fields and rainforests. There is so much variation in nature and I find inspiration everywhere I visit.

I decided to paint in miniature when I ran across interesting wood rounds in a craft store. I like how small they are and how painting or staining the edges can mimic the frames of larger classical paintings. I’ve also found that people enjoy owning smaller, more affordable pieces, in contrast to larger commissions.

How did your series on Maui come into being?

My Maui series came to be through my trip to Hawaii last spring. I’ve visited the island several times, but on this trip because I’ve been more focused on painting landscapes, my eyes were more attuned to noticing details I hadn’t before. One thing I enjoy is the variety of climates in a relatively small area. Visiting volcanoes, rainforests, coastlines and wildlife provided me with an abundance of inspiration, and led to this series.

Can you speak to the creative partnership between you and your husband?

I met my husband Ryan through the graphic design program at our university. His humor and love for drawing really captured my attention. Today we enjoy sharing creative time side-by-side, sitting at our desks in the evenings as he draws comics and I sketch or paint. We also enjoy creative days outdoors where I paint en plein air and he sketches beside me. Ryan challenges and encourages me on a daily basis, helping me with my compositions and not letting me take shortcuts. I’m thankful to have a spouse who values creativity just as much as I do and enjoy pursuing our passions together.

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Free Square Photo Prints

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Graphic T-Shirt Giveaway: Win a Graphic Tee from Graphic Designer Ioannis Moschou!

This month The Art Spectrum is happy to announce its first ever giveaway featuring YANMOS!

As a brand, YANMOS has been growing over the past few years and I’m happy to support the brand, which creates many designs geared towards a green approach. Other designs are inspired by humor or pop culture.

The designer behind YANMOS, graphic designer Ioannis Moschou from Thessaloniki, Greece sells on many platforms, including Redbubble, Design by Humans, his own Eco-Labelled organic Teemill t-shirt store that makes t-shirts at a certified wind-powered factory, as well as his own website, YANMOS | Sustainable Creativity.

   

You can follow YANMOS on any or all of his social media sites: 

FACEBOOK 

TWITTER

PINTEREST 

INSTAGRAM

ENTER TO WIN A YANMOS T-SHIRT OF YOUR CHOICE 

YANMOS Graphic T-Shirt Giveaway

Click Here for Full Article View With Comments

ILoveGiveaways.com



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Interview with Graphic Artist Jackie Hurd

Work by graphic artist Jackie Hurd

It is my pleasure to introduce graphic artist Jackie Hurd, creator of colorful pattern designs and vector art!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with art?

I would draw for hours and hours as a kid, it was both my entertainment and my escape. But my true journey with art started when I joined the U.S. Air Force back in 2003. The job they gave me was graphic design! They sent me to their version of art school where I sat and painted in camouflage and left with a solid foundation in design and military bearing. After a 10 year journey with the military, I decided to go freelance and I’ve been a freelance designer since 2014, the bulk of my clients consist of craft breweries needing beer labels designed…. it’s kind of funny because I’m not really a beer drinker. A few years ago I decided to finish my degree and elected to finish it in Illustration instead of graphic design. While working through my course work, I discovered and fell in love with the world of surface pattern design.

Work by graphic artist Jackie Hurd

Where does your inspiration stem from? Do you ever use references for your work?

I am inspired by many things. I have a few kids, a cat, a dog, some chickens… they are always giving me ideas. Lately I’ve been really into landscaping my yard so these days I’m finding a lot of inspiration from being outside. Flowers, trees… And yes, I do use references for my work. Before I start a new pattern collection I make a mood board. I also do a lot of research to learn everything I can about the subject of my collection, I feel like that’s important.

Work by graphic artist Jackie Hurd

What does the process look like to create one of your pattern pieces?

The process of making a pattern for me starts with a page full of doodles, sometimes in pen, sometimes in marker or paint. Most of the time, once I get my work scanned in, I work solely in Adobe Illustrator to color in and create my patterns. I love working in vector! The best way to learn about my process is to check out my Skillshare class.

Work by graphic artist Jackie HurdWork by graphic artist Jacki Hurd

How has selling been going on Redbubble? Do you have any advice for artists interested in showcasing/selling their work on there?

Selling on Redbubble has been such a great experience. I’ve still got plenty of beer projects to do, my own art projects now take up the bulk of my work day. I am finally at a point where I am making an income selling my work. I can actually pay a bill or two every month with my Redbubble earnings! My advice for artists selling or wishing to start selling on Redbubble is that it’s not a competition. Redbubble and success as an artist in general works best when you immerse yourself in the creative community. Get to know the other artists, comment on their work. If your work is good and you’re active on the platform, you’ll have a better chance at getting noticed and making sales.

Work by graphic artist Jackie Hurd

Have you worked on or will you be working on any new and exciting projects?

I am actually working on a very exciting project right now with a fellow surface pattern designer who lives in the U.K. I can’t say much about it at the moment but we’ll be making an announcement in August so more to follow on that 🙂

Work by graphic artist Jackie Hurd

What are some of your artistic and business goals for the near future?

I would love to land a licensing contract and see my work on some boutique shelves! My other goal is to get more classes up on Skillshare, I absolutely love teaching and sharing my approach to design.

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Follow Jackie on Instagram 

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Recommended Reading 

Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines 

Vector Basic Training: A Systematic Creative Process for Building Precision Vector Artwork (2nd Edition) 

Color and Pattern: 50 Playful Exercises for Exploring Pattern Design

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