Tuesday, March 31, 2009

meet:: April O.

Q. ~ Hi April, Thank you so much for taking time out to chat with me.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your designs and services offered?

A. ~ Thank you for asking me to be a part of the featured artist series. I am a freelance Graphic/Web Designer. I have been in the industry for 18 years. I offer everything from logo, print ads, brochures, marketing materials, web banners, websites, trade show graphics and more.

Q. ~How/when did you first become interested in graphic design?

A. ~ I loved being creative as a child and knew I wanted to continue with something creative when it came time to choose a field.

Q.~ Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

A. ~ I work very closely with the client to understand their needs and get a feel for what style they are looking for. I love clean well executed design.

Q. ~ Do you have set work hours in your studio?

A. ~ I try and have set hours in the am and then take the afternoon off to be with Bella. This usually means I need a few more hours in the evening to finish things. I really like to work 9pm until this way it is quieter and not as many interruptions.

Q. ~ How do you balance growing your business and family life?

A.~ This is something I am really trying to work harder at. I have been very lucky with clients but with the tough times, I am faced with searching for new ones. My family life has to be the top priority and I hope I am accomplishing that.

Q. ~ In these tough economic times, when even large corporations are closing their doors, what motivates you to "keep at it"?

A. ~ I know no job is save and have been on the short end of the stick when times where tough and received the layoff. It was a horrible feeling. I decided when I left the agency world, Bella is the most important thing and I need to do whatever I can to make this work. It is not easy sometimes and I get very lonely. I have been freelancing for 5 years and learn new things every day that are helpful to my business. I enjoy the time I have with Bella and know that even though I don’t have a fancy office at least we have our time. I am here for her when she needs me.

Q. ~ Thank you again April.. It has been a pleasure getting to know more about the woman behind Mingo Designs.
Before we go… What advice would you give to someone interested in graphic design?

A.~ Thank you again for asking me. I would say never stop learning. There are so many new avenues for designers. It is no longer a field of simply print.

You can visit April
on her website
on her blog


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

meet: Kimberly Booth

Q. ~Hi Kim, Thank you so much for taking time out to chat with me.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your designs and services offered?

A. ~Hi Tonya, first, I want to thank you for the honor of being chosen as your first Featured Artist. This is such a great thing you are doing, a fun way to get know the folks behind the scenes! My name is Kimberly Booth and I live near Huntington, West Virginia with my fiance and our 2 beloved furbabies, China and Sophie. I am a huge bead lover and magpie, I love just about anything that sparkles LOL. I am a beaded jewelry designer. I used to dabble in all sorts of crafts from painting and flower arrangement to sewing. Since I found beads though, all of my creative time has been dedicated to that pursuit and I have loved every minute of it!

Q. ~How/when did you first become interested in jewelry design?

A. ~I actually started out with beads doing seed bead embroidered 'paintings'. I'd take a design and create it on fabric with the teeny tiny seed beads. When I started searching eBay for new colors of seed beads I kept running across auctions for beautiful beaded jewelry by the talented members of the beading group The Bead Hive. I finally asked to join and have been a member and moderator for the group ever since. I have been creating wearable art for 4 years now and I can honestly say that without the enthusiasm and encouragement of the members of the Bead Hive, I wouldn't be where I am today.

Q. ~Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

A. ~Mainly from the beads themselves. I'll see a gemstone or lampwork focal bead and if it's the right one for me, I'll see the finished design in my head just by looking at the bead. Sometimes I'll get an idea for a themed charm bracelet and then search out what I need to make it but normally it works the other way around. I seem to choose either very organic focal beads or very feminine ones. I love the look of beautifully created lampwork, both borosilicate glass and the 'soft' glasses. I also love using semi-precious gemstone beads, I love the earthiness of them. As long as bead makers are making beautiful beads, I'd like to think that I'll be beading!

Q. ~Several of your jewelry designs were recently featured in a new book written by Kim Gover titled Beading Design with Semi-Precious Stones, Glass, Pearls and More.
Congratulations! Being the proud owner of quite a few of your designs myself, I can honestly say that the recognition is well deserved.
In what ways do you feel this type of artistic recognition is beneficial to your creativity?

A. ~Being recognized by your peers as a designer worthy of publication is a huge honor. The selection process and the subsequent submitting of your work is a bit nerve wracking though LOL. The biggest benefit is the confidence I've gained and the willingness to try new techniques and grow as an artist because of it.

Q. ~Is there any one marketing tool that you have found to be the most beneficial in growing your business?

A. ~I am still trying new things and haven't really struck on the right techniques for marketing my work. I've been selling on eBay for 3 1/2 years and on Etsy for a few years now. I have recently opened stores on both Artfire and 1000Markets. I have a blog that I am terrible at tending so that hasn't worked out very well for me LOL. I guess I am still learning what/where is the best fit for my targeted buyers.

Q. ~In these tough economic times, when even large corporations are closing their doors, what motivates you to "keep at it"?

A. ~Obsession, Obsession, Obsession! If I didn't bead I'd go stir crazy LOL. Getting even a small sale really boosts the drive to continue, it's a form of verification that other's appreciate your work. It's a huge ego boost to have other's spend their hard earned cash on something you've made with your own hands.

Q. ~Thank you again Kim.. It has been a pleasure getting to know more about the woman behind The Pink Martini Boutique.
Before we go… What advice would you give to someone interested in jewelry design?

A. ~Create what you LOVE! Don't create to 'sell' or for a 'market', I've tried that and it doesn't work! If you put your heart and soul into what you are making, what you are making will reflect that passion. Also, buy the best materials you can afford because quality ALWAYS shines through! Art Jewelry is a lasting investment that you want your customers to be able to hand down for generations and quality components will see that your work lasts a lifetime!

You can visit Kimberly
on etsy
on ebay
and her blog


New Feature

As I have been promising, the wait is over.
Each week I will be introducing you to a new amazing woman.
From jewelry, to graphic design, to mixed media, fabric, paper, painters, bloggers and the list goes on.
I hope you enjoy.



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy Sunday!

Hey y'all!
I hope everyone is doing good.
It has been crazy busy over here again.. Starting a few weeks ago with a family emergency, followed by another.. Getting back on track has been a challenge to say the least..
What do I have going on now?
Well, the new feature that I mentioned last month is still in the works, hopefully coming to fruition by the end of next week.
I am still working on hubby's surprise art studio, should be close to wrapping up next week also.
Have lots of new fabric for aprons; and some gorgeous lampwork beads that I can't wait to use in a few new jewelry pieces; a good friend and I are working on a new collaborative project; and so many other projects that I don't want to list because I may become discouraged by the extent. :)

Hope you all have a great day and enjoy the rest of your weekend!