1. Tell us a little about the person behind the artistic genius!
"I just graduated from Ball State University with a double major in Urban Planning and Economics (thank goodness!), and I'm attending University of Illinois at Chicago this fall for graduate study in Urban Planning and Policy. I’ve always been very creative-minded (I originally went to Ball State with the intent to study architecture). So when I fell in love with the less design-oriented field of urban planning, I started looking for other creative outlets. I went through a phase of jewelry making, completed a number of DIY projects from Pinterest, of course, and then somehow landed on digital design, which combined the academic design training I had received with my desire to create somewhat offbeat, funky design prints."
2. What kind of artistry do you focus on in your shop Arcadia graphic? How would you describe your brand?
"I definitely say my focus is on poster prints (though hopefully I will also have photography up soon). I would say by brand involves creative, quirky humor as well as custom prints for the home and gifts."
3. How did you come up with your shop name?
"I live next to a town called Arcadia, where my high school was. And my shop focuses on graphic art. Therefore, Arcadia graphic!"
4. You've had QUITE a few sales for the short time you've been open! That must feel fantastic, right?
"Yes! I had no idea how the shop was going to do. Of course I liked my work, but you never truly know how everyone else feels about it until you get some feedback. I’ve been creating things for years, so it feels amazing that other people actually value my work enough to even pay money for it!"
5. What made you decide to open an etsy shop and sell your pieces?
"I essentially started creating these prints to decorate my new apartment in Chicago. My original plan was to combine typography prints, sketches, and photographs I’ve taken in my travels to Haiti and Southeast Asia in a multi-frame collage over my bed. I’d been thinking about opening an etsy shop for a while, wanting to sell various creations. It wasn’t until around February/March of this year that I considered doing poster prints, similar to the ones I sell now. But of course school work picked up as always, and the etsy thing got put on the back burner.
I finally found a little time this summer as I was working as a waitress at a local restaurant that wasn’t doing so hot, and my hours got cut dramatically. Around this time, I paid the deposit on my apartment for the fall, and I saw my summer savings vanish! Luckily I have an assistantship to cover many of my grad school costs, but I was definitely still in need of funds, so I thought the etsy thing might be worth pursuing. I still had a lot going on, but I just decided to suck it up and open shop!"
6. Where do you look for inspiration in your work?
"Everyday things that are essential (coffee) or almost essential (wine). Or things that I love (lake houses, martinis, ice cream). Or things that make me chuckle (potatoes with hipster glasses, penguins, sloths, narwhals, etc)."
7. Would you consider accepting requests or custom orders?
"Absolutely. I recently did a custom order for a friend. The tricky part about setting up such a shop is knowing what people are looking for. When someone requests a custom order, they remove all the guess work and uncertainty."
8. What are some art goals or things you want to accomplish with your shop?
"Ultimately I’m hoping to add some of my photography from Haiti, India, and Nepal. So far I haven’t had time to get all of the logistics figured out for the photography prints. I also want to offer larger sizes of my current prints. Similarly, I’m still working on getting all of the details worked out."
9. Can you share any secrets about upcoming prints?
"I’m hoping to do more custom prints, such as the wedding prints and the lake house prints. I just sold my first lake house print yesterday, so I’m pretty excited about that! Customized prints make great gifts (some of which I plan on using for upcoming weddings and showers that I’m going to), and I’m hoping to further develop my offerings in this category."
10. Anything else you'd like the indie art community to know!?
"I love custom orders, ideas for prints, requests, etc. If there is something you would like to see, please don’t hesitate to ask!"
Thanks for stopping by and meeting Claire! (Isn't she a doll?) What's your favorite print?! I hope everyone's having a beautiful and inspiring day!