Monday, 22 December 2008

Add some sparkle to your holidays.

I just wanted to start off this next interview with a big thank you for all the support and wonderful comments I have received so far. It means alot to me. I really enjoy putting these together to share with all of you, because I know that as for myself, I enjoy reading and getting to know all of the fabulous creative people out there. I look forward to bringing you many more interviews and soon craft tutorials as well. What do you get when you put together a self taught graphic design artist and some very cute characters that lend themselves to her designs on paper and other various cute items??? You get SparklePaw, our next guest here on The Little Red Suitcase!

. Introductions are in order. Tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Leslie and I'm a graphic designer in San Diego. SparklePaw is a new adventure for me, but I've always loved design, art, crafting, and cute things.

. You have a very vibrant fun shop on Etsy called SparklePaw. Where did you come up with this name? Is their a story behind it?
The name actually comes from a nickname I called my boyfriend at one time. I'm not really sure where it came from, but we thought it was hilarious. It's just one of those goofy things that starts from nothing and sticks.

. I have read that you are a self taught graphic designer. When did you first stumble upon designing? When did that love for it first develop? And how did you go about learning certain techniques and applications?
I first happened upon graphic design when I took a free Photoshop class here in San Diego in 2001. I loved it immediately and started taking as many classes as possible. I landed a job in the marketing department at a publishing company where I cut my teeth. It was a super demanding job, but I learned a ton. I also come from a very creative family - my mom, dad and two brothers all express some form of creativity. Computers and design have just always been around, so it seemed a pretty natural route to take. It's funny though; I never took a design class in college - I have my degree in psychology. I guess you just never know where you'll end up!

4. You tend to use colorful, sweet imagery. What would you say is one of your biggest inspiration for your designs? Is there a certain style that you tend to be drawn to?

I lived in Japan for five years as a young girl and I am definitely influenced by the sweet, funny characters you see on toys/stationary/candy there. I remember wandering around the little stationary shops for hours trying to find THE perfect pencil case to house my adorable pencils, erasers and pens.

. How long have you been selling your items? What has been the response to your products?
I've been selling my products since early November of this year. The response has been great so far. It's so hard to be objective at first, because friends and family are telling you nice things; but they're supposed to, right? But I have gotten a positive response from people I don't know, too, so I'm delighted.

. Aside from creating such fun graphic design pieces, are there any other art or craft projects you enjoy doing?
I love arts and crafts in general! You name it: sewing, paper crafts, painting, decoupage. My friend and I have a running "craft day" where we make something, drink wine and eat fattening food. It doesn't get any better than that!

. So with most cards come saying or greeting. How do you go about choose the perfect saying or greeting? Does anyone ever ask for one in particular?
The sayings/greetings often just come to me. But I do get input from friends and my boyfriend - he's really good at it and I know if I run something by him, he'll be honest if it doesn't work. I want the greetings to be positive and sassy, just like the animals and creatures. The world of SparklePaw is a happy one!

. Any new designs or products in the making that your excited about? What do you see for SparklePaw designs in the future?
I have several ideas in my arsenal - I want to keep things fresh. My next product will be a little owl mirror, and I've got some more cards/mirrors in the works. Eventually, I'd like to expand to other products - little buttons and magnets at first, and then possibly some prints.

. Describe your work space to us. Any must haves that you surround yourself with to really get those ideas flowing?
My workspace is actually very, well, work-like. I do most of my designs during my free time at work because I have a really nice, speedy Mac there. But I am surrounded by adorable things: postcards by my favorite artist - Yoshitomo Nara, pictures of unicorns - which I find very amusing, drawings created by friends/co-workers, and my rubber chicken squeeze toy for stress relief! Oh, and my cup of coffee.

. Five things you could not live without:

candy, my iMac, my iPod, delicious food (of all kinds), all the SparklePaws in my life!

You can find many more adorable designs over on the
SparklePaw etsy shop.

Thank you Leslie!


jen renee said...

lovely stuff!

cynthia said...

Ok Patty:) I have missed out on a lot:) Leslie is really inspiring:)Self-taught graphic designer. How cool is that:) LOOOOOOOOve her stuff. so putting it on my wish list:)


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