Oh friends- today is a good one. I have Julie Ann Art in the house sharing a giveaway, a discount and peeks into her creative process. This chick is funny, down to earth, beautiful and she lets me text her curse words- she keeps it real! All of this streams over to her art- which is her amazing card line. I'm sure you have seen these cards of hers floating around and if you are anything like me you giggle a little, relate and then hit yourself for not thinking of it first. Today she is hanging out answering a few questions and sharing images of her art from start to finish. I heart this girl and if you don't already you will after this post. I pinky promise!
Julie Ann is a designer, photographer, and DIY lover. She started selling on Etsy in 2008 and it has changed her life. She is an avid supporter of handmade and independent businesses and continues to spread the word on the handmade movement. Along with designing cards for her Etsy shop, she's also an avid craft blogger over at Julie Ann Art. When she's not caught up in her online business world she likes to bike ride to the beach with her boyfriend and their little terrier.
first, its obvious your work is funny & original- how do you keep that witty charm through all your work and not run dry?
It is not always an easy process and a lot of ideas end up getting scrapped. I tend to have lists of ideas on hand so I can update them whenever something comes to mind. When I'm ready to start designing I resort to the list. Some ideas are an immediate "yes". Some will have a concept but I know it can be improved. Some I'm like, "that is the lamest ideas ever, what was I thinking?" So, they're not all good, but it is the extra brainstorming and editing that creates the cohesive "witty charm" throughout my shop.
because some are a little on the dirty side, be honest, do you ever get comments about that? and if so whats your response?
On Etsy, it's easy to hide behind, well, my laptop, when it comes to judgement on my cards. I do get to see people's reactions in person when I do craft shows though. When people my Granny's age stop by my table I always get a little nervous on how it's going to go. 9.5 times out of 10, the Granny laughs. (sigh of relief) Only one time, a woman spotted my "You're My Favorite Thing To Do" card and she said "Well, that's not very nice." I smiled and said "It's not for everyone."
go back to the beginning of all this, do you get nostalgic looking at your first designs or do you just see the growth that brought you to where you are now?
Nope. No nostalgia at all. When I started selling on Etsy it was just for fun. I didn't know who I was as a designer yet and I made things that I thought were "cool." This is not to say I don't think my designs are cool now, but they are a better representation of who I am. I'm definitely thankful that I randomly opened an Etsy shop one day, but I am also thankful for the changes and growth I have experienced along the way.
you are a midwest girl right?- looking back did moving to california change you as an artist or help you come out more?
I started selling greeting cards when I lived in Michigan but I hadn't found my "style" yet. I remember knowing I wanted to create a cohesive look throughout my shop but I wasn't sure what that was yet. I moved to California over three years ago and while I'm not sure the move itself directly effected my creativity, it certainly taught me more about who I am as a person. That in turn most likely helped my inner artist come out.
how do you avoid (if you avoid it at all) competition, negativity, slumps, ruts.. etc.?
There's no way for me to completely avoid competition or negativity unless I were to close my laptop, leave social media, turn off my phone, etc. I would be lying if I said I didn't let it effect me. What I can say is that I'm teaching myself how to use it as motivation. I try to take that negative energy and let it to push me to work hard, to be better. I know that the more successful my business becomes, the more challenges I will face. But overcoming challenges is what makes a business grow.
what has been one of the best parts of running your own business?
I feel so fortunate to have a great sense community that surrounds me and is so supportive. I have made real friends through this journey. I've created great relationships with customers. It's just something that I never expected. Which in hindsight is kind of silly since it is BECAUSE of these connections that I am able to do what I love. The support is so humbling, I still have times where I can't believe that this is happening. That this is what I do.
apart from your card work, what else do you do to stay creative or inspired?
Well, I have a little blog over here that helps keep me on my toes as far as DIY projects, recipes, etc. I also am a videographer for Etch Films, so that is another creative outlet that helps me to get away from the computer and get behind the camera.
so whats next for Julie Ann Art?
I'm in full Valentine's Day mode right now. It's my busiest season so the majority of my focus right now is staying on top of orders. When this season has passed I really want to focus on getting a new website going. I absolutely love Etsy but for JAA to grow to it's full potential, I will need an e-commerce site to better handle wholesale orders and have more control over my sales and fees.
Julie Ann Art
(use code JUSTLOVELY to save 10% in her shop)
THE SWEEPSTAKES IS NOW CLOSED
*Sweepstakes Details- winner will be chosen at random. if winner chosen does not have a gfc profile with a valid email address and a way to contact is not left in a comment or a registered entry then another winner will be chosen. all entries are worth the same amount after initial mandatory entry has been received. Open to US residents only. Age 18 and older. Winner will be announced publicly and notified via email as per FTC guidelines. The fulfillment of this sweepstakes is provided by Julie Ann Art and sponsored by Heather Smith of JustLovelyThings, LLC.