Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Michelle Christina Wall graphics.

Well I don't know about you, but I have lived in many a shabby houses and colorless apartments over the years. I believe only one time did we really find a gem of a house to rent that was full of color and character. All the other ones were quite a sight. I mean I tried my best and painted my room yellow one time to add some life, but if only there had been wall graphics back then that were as cool as the ones my next artist creates. If there had been then that one dump of a place I once resided in would have been at least somewhat funky and fun. But anyway, if you have a bare wall somewhere in your home and just don't know what to do with it, well maybe by the end of this interview you may just have an idea that involves fun changeable wall graphics. And also lets not forget about your blank laptops, she has something to cover that as well!

1. Lets begin with an introduction all about you, who is Michelle?

I'm a twenty something full time crafty person currently living in Southern New Hampshire. I spend nearly all of my time making, creating, drawing, sewing, painting, etc.

2. What does your artistic/crafty background look like? Did you study art in school? A
nd if so what as your major?

Well, I graduated in 2005 with a degree in Graphic Design, but I've also taken an excessive amount of fine art courses throughout my schooling. I've been actively involved in art related activities for as long as I can remember. I also have a bit of web design experience, (self taught) I skinned my own website, which was a huge project.
3. Your wall graphics and laptop decals are pretty darn awesome, a very cool concept if I do say so myself. How did this all come about? How did the idea grow?

One of the first jobs I had right out of college was designing for a large sign production company. It was there that I learned about different types of vinyl, application techniques and the many different machines available to die cut and print on vinyl. I was living in my first apartment during this time and the landlord was not so receptive to the idea of painting or poking holes in the wall to hang artwork. The wall decal idea just grew from there!

4. When did you first start selling your designs? What was the outcome? Did you hit any bu
mps in the road along the way?
2008 was my first full year in business! I feel very fortunate that my product line has been so well received. I'm currently working full time on my website: michellechristina.com! Jumping into business has definitely been a learning experience! My biggest hurdle thus far has been learning to effectively manage my time. A self employed person really has to be a Jack (or Jill) of all trades - marketer, customer service, artist, accountant, shipping assistant, etc.

5. So for those out there who are thinking that they might like to purcha
se some
wall graphics, perhaps you can give us a little information on them. What sets them aside from say wallpaper or painting? How durable
are they?
All of my wall graphics are die cut from very thin self adhesive vinyl that has a matte surface finish - they actually look as if they have been painted right on your walls. Wall graphics are super flexible (they will conform to corners & curves) and very durable - you can even apply them to your shower (they are waterproof once applied). The great thing is that they are removable when you are ready for a change. I use a special type of vinyl with a low tack adhesive, so they won't leave sticky residue or damage paint once removed. It's a super easy peel and stick products.

6. I have read on your site that you are pretty much a one woman show. In a little side note it states that all products and orders are put together by you solely. How much time is usually spent in say putting together an order? What are the pros and cons of doing it all yourself?

Well, it really depends on the size of the order. Generally speaking it usually
doesn't take too terribly long to have a small set of decals cut, prepped and packaged. All of the artwork is ready to go on my computer, so it's just a matter of setting up the vinyl and cutting it on a machine. I don't mind doing all of the work, as I like to be able to see the final product, but an extra pair of hands to do the boring stuff (i.e. printing shipping labels, packaging, etc.) would be nice to have around occasionally.

7. As for the artwork that goes into your product, how is that process from start to finish?? Are you constantly thinking up ideas for new designs?
carry around a sketchbook to catch all the latest ideas that may come about?

I actually can't really use a sketchbook, I've never been able to keep one. I'm a random scrap paper drawing sort of artist. I have a binder to keep ideas semi organized. Some designs I create digitally, others start on paper and are then scanned in to the computer. All artwork ends up in vector form. I'm constantly thinking about new designs. I'm pretty sure at this point I have more sketches than I'll ever be able to actually use.

8. Aside from your own personal website,
are there any other places we can find your work? Any future
plans for your products?
I actually started out on michellechristina.etsy.com and then came my own website michellechristina.com shortly after. My products are also sold in a few different stores in the USA & Canada. I'm actively looking for other places that might be interested in carrying my product! I'm also working on expanding my product line to include
prints & original artwork - which I am super excited about!

9. Describe your work space to us. What do you usually surround yourself with, i.e music, artwork, movies.

My studio space is full of gadgets, many rolls of vinyl and lots of paints & art papers! I have wall space behind my desk that I use to test out my wall graphics, it's sort of a rotating art space. I always have music on when I'm working. My current band to listen to excessively is Tegan and Sara. Last month it was Mindless Self Indulgence. I also have a fuzzy grey cat named Mojo and he likes to supervise the goings on in the studio.

10. Tell us 5 things that you could not live without!

Music, friends & family, my cat, and everything in my studio (that counts as 1 thing, right?)


cynthia said...

yea! for these awesome wall graphics. and the computer ones ooh la la. now going over to check miss michelle christina's cool stuff.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I'm lovin' your cat named Mojo. I have a blue-silver Maine Coon named Star, my Sweet Starry Girl. She likes to supervise activities in the studio too.

Blessings ~ Eileen


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