Thursday 20 July 2017

Etsy shop find...a chat with Shannon Kirsten

I'm super happy to be able to share the beautiful designs of Shannon Kirsten with you in todays etsy interview.
I discovered Shannons signature style on instagram a while ago, but saw it in all its glory at The National Stationery Show in New York.
A talented gal in the surface pattern world, Shannon is an artist who creates the prettiest of stationery, adorned with colourful florals, hand lettering and whimsical illustrations.

Obviously she has her etsy shop full of greeting cards, enamel pins, phone cases and prints, but Shannon also has her own product line of stationery for retail and wholesale, and has done work for clients such as Hallmark, Urban Outfitters and Nordstroms.
She's also available for custom wedding invitations.

Shannon is one busy lady!

So, let's get to know a little about this creative gal shall we...

1. Can you tell us a bit about you and your background... 

I have always been interested in art and making things. 
My mom is an artist so we were always doing crafts and projects growing up. 
I went to the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale (Florida) and majored in fashion design. 
It was there that I fell in love with illustrating and became intrigued by surface design as I learned how to make repeat patterns and such. 
In 2009 when I graduated, I opened up my Etsy shop just for fun. 
I took a freelance job with a large department store doing surface design (making repeat patterns for textiles / clothing). 
On the side, I was adding to my shop and starting to do a bit of custom wedding work. 
I took a full time job as a design director for an athletic apparel company. 
It wasn't fulfilling my creative needs, so shortly after I embarked on my own freelance adventure and never looked back. 
I began adding more work to etsy, participating in styled shoots with other creatives, 
and working for friends in order to add examples to my portfolio. 
A styled wedding shoot I had created invitations for got picked up by a notable wedding blog and I began seeing more traffic to my shop. 
Things just grew from there!

2. Tell us about a typical day for you...

I really have no typical days, ha. 
I do like to head to my studio early in the morning and start with e-mails. 
I try to blog a few times a week so some mornings I work on my posts and I like to read other blogs while I finish my coffee to get inspired. 
Some days I paint all day...sometimes for myself which ends up being new cards and prints for my stationery line and sometimes I'm painting client projects like wedding invitations. I wear many hats so somedays I have to keep up on the business stuff like accounting, managing wholesale orders, etc. 
I love that everyday is a little different due to the large amount and variety of projects I have.

3. Can you give us an insight into your creative process?

I keep a notebook of ideas, it's a variety of wording I want to use for greeting cards and little sketches of things I've seen and loved. 
I take lots of photos on my phone when I'm out and about as well. 
If I'm working on a client project we start with a moodboard to determine the vibe and colours. 
Everything I do starts as a hand painting and I use only my hand writing for wording! 
After I paint, I scan and clean up my designs a bit on photoshop before printing. 

4. How would you describe your work?

Whimsical, colorful, happy and quirky.

5. What’s the most popular item for sale in your etsy shop? And your personal favourite?

My current best selling greeting card is the 'You're the foxiest' 

My newest favourite item is this boho floral notepad planner
I find these to be so useful for jotting down notes. 
I use mine as a mouse pad and am always writing stuff on it.

6. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a designer/illustrator?

Being able to do what I love everyday is my biggest blessing. 
I have always loved cards since I was little...
I like knowing that my cards are floating around out there, being sent amongst friends and family to make each other smile. 
Working on weddings is also rewarding because my typical client is a fun, creative gal who loves design, they are so excited about the designing process so that makes it really fun for me being able to bring their visions to life. 

7. What are you currently passionate about or fascinated by 
and how is it inspiring your work?

I'm passionate about seeing the world. 
That has always been a constant source of inspiration for me. 
My sister is the ultimate travel buddy and we've been to some exciting places together. 
I take tons of photos when I go anywhere and love drawing from the colors, architecture, and cultural of new places. 
I am fascinated by the large amount of amazing, talented female entrepreneurs who are making their own way...between gals I've come across on social media and my own group of friends with businesses, it keeps me super motivated and inspired.

8. What books/ magazines are currently on your coffee table?

I read Vogue, Elle, Frankie, and Flow every month!

9. Where do you work? Describe your studio/work area...

My studio is in the downtown area of our small-ish town. 
It's in an old building with an adorable courtyard in the middle of several offices. Everything is all white with the exception of my colorful illustrations on the wall, above the table where I paint. 
I have two adjoining offices; one side I work on my computer and painting and the other side is mostly my storage and inventory with an area for packaging orders that are ready to ship. 

10. What art do you have on your wall?

In my studio, I have a random assortment of my past work and projects that are in progress with pages from magazines and little things I've collected that I enjoy looking at. At home, I have a lot of photography from my travels, a couple animal prints of Becca Stradlander that are just the cutest, and a big print of one of Emily Jeffords paintings – her work is so soft and calming, those are among my favorites.

11. What makes you laugh?

My friends make me laugh the hardest. 
I love my band of weirdos and fellow creatives, most of whom I've been friends with since elementary school (going on 20 years with some of them). 
When we can all get together it's constant story telling and loud laughter. 
I also have three goofy pets that entertain me on a daily basis.

12. What are you working on currently? 
And any big plans for the remainder of 2017?

I always have wedding clients that I'm working with. 
I just finished a project with Shutterfly that was fun and different for me. 
I designed a collection for Hallmark last year that got released this month so I've been having fun styling some photos of them for a social media (and also seeing them pop up in my grocery store!). 
I have a big collaboration for the end of the year, it's still a secret so I can't disclose much but this will be very big and exciting for me! 

(all images above © Shannon Kirsten Studio)

A huge thank you to Shannon for giving us an insight into her world.
If you'd like to follow her on social media, click below...

instagram | website | etsy | pinterest | twitter

x x x

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