1. Are there any traditions you partake in when creating your signs?
I bring my Spotify playlist into the workshop and get into a flow state with whatever strikes my fancy that day. If I need motivation it’s 90’s hip hop (which you’ll find influences some of our work). If I need to mellow out it might be Chakra healing. Being with me when Spotify is on random is a very diverse experience. Music definitely improves the output of my work though. Art and music are linked intangibly to me through emotion and I believe in the vibration of energy. From sound vibration to emotional vibration. The connection within me seems very real when I can see the difference in my own output.
I used to work with our shop Rottweiler and best friend but he sadly passed away this year. We are considering a new dog in the future as it’s definitely a bonus to have a silent but supportive co-worker with you all day when you work alone. I don’t NEED a support animal but I do WANT one.
2. If you could be any animal (living or extinct), which one would you be and why?
I am a huge sloth fan myself but I think I have to choose something more productive to stay creative and self-motivated as a self-employed animal. Can I pick unicorn? Haha. If not, maybe a horse. I’m emotional and intuitive about creativity but anxious as well. My career helps me personally express myself and when I’m one with the creativity in a good flow state it’s like running across the plains like a wild mustang.
3. Can you describe the moment in time when you knew you were an artist and what the statement “I am an artist” means to you?
I can’t even pinpoint a time. I feel like I have always been “into art.” Both my parents are creative in their own way. Living in the country they both had quite a few hobbies and as an only child, I had to fill my time with something. Drawing and painting became that for me and the fact that we only had dial-up internet for years kept me moving through improving my skill set without distraction. Now I’m pleasantly surprised how adept I am at working on my own and I prefer it. It’s the subconscious programming of my childhood in action.
Being an artist means that I get in touch with the beauty of nature around me and find the clues and patterns within it that tug at the heart-strings of my audience. When we see something we appreciate we are really seeing the order and harmony of life within it. It resonates within us because it is the same order and harmony within ourselves. I see it as my goal to make life more beautiful for others one piece at a time. Being a designer, on the other hand, means that I marry that creativity and emotionality with useful logic and reason to improve the lives of people physically as well. This may mean creating signage that’s more easily readable or infographics that explain complicated concepts more easily and quickly. I endeavor to have compassion for my audience and think about their needs. I study the details of human consciousness and how we are influenced by colour, pattern, texture, etc. in order to bend it for the benefit of my clients but also to empathize with creative problems that need solving in the world around us.
4. What advice would you give to young handmade artisans about the industry?
- Find a niche in terms of your tone of voice and make products or artwork that incorporates the triad of 1) useful, 2) beautiful, 3) unique.
- There’s may be many people making what you might be making but somewhere deep in the history of your life you’ve developed a unique approach to your work that will make people say “I love that.” It’s an artist’s job to find that voice.
- Keep at it and don’t give up. Some products work better than others. Stay fluid. Listen to what your customers are asking for and keep your branding and name non-specific so you can move around and develop new products or skills in other areas if one thing doesn’t work. We created a wooden signage company but we’re called Rustic Hustle. This allows us to branch into making anything and now we unexpectedly cut custom wedding vinyl and are looking at getting into custom aprons and apparel and laser engraving a variety of items.
5. Who are your three heroes/heroines and which attributes do you admire about them?
Yes. I will say firstly, Robyn.* It cannot be underestimated what she is doing. It can be hard to find support as an artist and we have to cherish the people who support us. It’s a rare thing to find someone dedicated to something as ephemeral as the arts and the fact that she does this so adeptly with her shop is a testament to her dedication. Until the next wave of the renaissance hits and we find ourselves with wealthy patrons just chomping at the bit to support artists everywhere, thank you, Robyn!
Secondly, Davinci is an obvious choice but as a polymath, I admire that he didn’t let anyone corner him into one profession. He developed a variety of skills and used them tandem which I think was a huge part of his rampant success. Not specifically picking one area of study, to me, is a highly prized attitude in our modern world.
Thirdly, myself? I don’t feel particularly like a heroine all the time but in a world so ready to let you know you can fail, I do find that it’s very helpful to have a can-do attitude and develop a higher sense of self when you are a self-employed entrepreneur and artist. Self-confidence is so often equated with an air of superiority or self-absorption but the media seems in a constant battle with us sometimes and many people believe, and told me when I started design school, that the “art world” is too challenging to work within. Failure was expected. In this climate, someone has to tell you you can do the things you haven’t done yet and if you’re not telling you, how can anyone else? Whether the fact I’m a hero is true or not, or whether I feel it all the time is another story, lol, but if I can try to maintain the attitude that there is an art/small business hero inside me at all times just waiting to be unleashed, the challenges aren’t so insurmountable. They just require a cape. I think all artists should try to maintain confidence in themselves. Thinking “I can do this” is nothing to be ashamed of.
we love and are flattered by this totally unsolicited compliment.
Thanks, doll! YOU are why we can be who we are and we are happy to have you in the Nest family!