Today I’m continuing the graphic artist interviews. If you haven’t seen the others yet, here’s the scoop: This year I’ve teamed up with some amazing graphic designers for our annual free printable calendar. These artists create such beautiful designs that I wanted to feature them in a post of their own. I’ve asked them to do a short interview so you can see some of their designs and get to know them a little.
Meet Sarah and Gabriel of PrettyGrafik who have designed the background image included in our 2015 calendar for the month of May. I loved reading their story about how PrettyGrafik started, it’s so inspiring and encouraging to see how other artists have succeeded in their craft.
1. How/why did you start your business?
My husband Gabriel and I started Prettygrafik after a huge set back in our lives. We had to quit the family business because of the financial crisis, which was to say the least a devastating experience. I spent a year trying to find a job while Gabriel supported us by working for an engineering firm which saved us financially. Right around the one year mark I became super frustrated and decided that I wanted to find a way to sell art, something we are both very passionate about. I did some research and I discovered Etsy and the digital art world and we quickly learned all we could about this market.
We worked tirelessly for another year and our shop started to sell a little but not enough to support us. That same year through Etsy we ended up being discovered by a giftware company who liked our work and needed some commercial designs. This opportunity opened up a whole new world to us, the art licensing world. Within the next year we were able to become a professional design studio with both a commercial and e-commerce division selling our art worldwide. This became the push that we needed to succeed as it allowed Gabriel to leave his job and for us to work full time on Prettygrafik.
2. Where do you get your inspiration from? What inspires you?
We are inspired by creative people, by beautiful things, we love Pinterest and magazines. We like to shop for ideas and see how other people express themselves and their ideas.
3. Are there any routines or practices you do to keep you organized/focused?
We have Monday morning meetings, and we follow a schedule to make sure that we are dedicating time to all aspects of the business such as marketing and social media. We have normal work hours from 9am to 6:30pm and we have a very structured and organized system for all our art.
4. What is your favorite design/favorite current trend?
I love so many things it’s hard to choose, my favorite personal trend right now is the apothecary/vintage style. For Prettygrafik our favorite trend right now is super bright colors, chalkboard and kids party themes which is a trend that keeps growing in popularity and originality.
5. What is your favorite pastime or hobby besides graphic design?
Gabriel: Reading and traveling
Sarah: Gardening, repurposing old furniture, watching movies, playing MMO games, planning Halloween parties and learning anything new.
6. How do you balance your business and family life?
We try to keep them as separate as possible which is challenging because our studio is at home. So we keep a normal business schedule and really try to unplug after office hours, although we sometimes have trouble staying away from social media because we love to check up on fan reactions and comments. Our meetings have really helped to focus us because we allow a generous amount of time to discuss the business in depth, so there is no need to do it in our time off.
7. What modern technology can you not imagine having?
Gabriel: A Wacom tablet
Sarah: A computer, and the internet for work. Personally it would be clean water and modern medicine, which unfortunately not everyone has access to.
8. If you could visit anywhere in the world were would it be?
Sarah: I am desperate to visit Ireland as it is part of who I am, and I feel very close to it. I have visited and would love to revisit Italy, what a beautiful Country.
Gabriel: I’m obsessed with England and would live there if I could.
9. Is there anything that I haven’t covered that you would like to share?
We would just like to encourage anyone out there who is trying to turn their passion into their job to not quit. It is not always easy but if you are persistent and focused you will succeed.