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Sponsor Spotlight: Interview with Cursive Arts

June 6, 2011
Today we’re interviewing Jessica of Cursive Arts. It’s a cute little shop that sells amazing stationary. (And, there just may be a giveaway of her fantastic work coming up this week!)
 
Set of Four  Tulips Handmade Linocut Ivory Cards with Envelopes 5 x 7 inches Deckle Edge
 
Three Things About Yourself:

1. My family consists of myself, my husband, a grumpy little black kitty named Crusty and a cottonball of a dog named Luca.

2. I love Dr. Pepper so much that taking the last one in the fridge will start a fight.

3. One of my favorite things to do is read, especially children’s lit from “Mary Poppins” to the “Little House” series to Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” series.

When did you start printing your own cards? Did it start out as a personal hobby or begin as a business idea?

It started because my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law both went on about how I needed to make prints of my artwork, especially on notecards (my GIL is a huge letter-writer, much like me), but when I looked into getting good quality cards printed of my illustrations there was no way to do it affordably. Then, I thought, maybe I could do block prints on cards. I gave linocutting a try and loved it. So, in a way, I picked up a personal hobby because of a business idea and it became both.

Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

Nature, first; there are so many weird plants and shapes in nature if you really look. I have these tall seed pod things in my backyard that I want to do a print of soon. Secondly, other artists. Gustav Klimt, John William Waterhouse and Duy Huynh are three of my favorite painters, but I mot love seeing the random, amazing illustrations that pop up on Etsy everyday. I never realized there was so much talent in the world.

What are your hobbies outside of your craft?
 
To name a few: knitting, crocheting, writing and soapmaking. I am an autodidact and love to learn (I taught myself to knit entirely from videos in the internet).

Any advice for others who want to get started in the handcrafted market?

Marketing is everything, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. I take my photos using stuff I garner from around the house. I advertise on Project Wonderful for less than I spend on listing fees every day on Etsy. I got my husband to put together my ad (he’s a graphic designer). Most importantly, use the internet to your advantage. It can tell you everything you need to know to get people looking at your stuff.

What famous person, living or dead, would you like to have over for an afternoon of crafting and why?

Zooey Deschanel. I love her as an actress, but she also seems like she’s very quirky and down to earth at the same time. I feel like she’s got some secret hidden talent no one really knows about, like quiltmaking or sewing. I could picture her being down for an afternoon of papercutting, gluing, painting or whatever.

If you could learn any other skill, what would it be?

Definitely pottery. I tried it once in high school and loved the feel of it, but sadly, the piece I made broke in the kiln. One day I will finally take some classes.

How did you come up with your great business name?

Cursive is actually the name of one of my top five favorite bands to listen to while working (the other four are Walking Sleep, Arcade Fire, The Good Life and the fifth one varies). I started using the name when the only thing I was making were paintings. I love that it now fits since I mostly makes stationery.

Did you foresee yourself becoming a handcrafted cardmaker when you were younger? What did you think you wanted to be?

I always knew I wanted to be an artist or writer. I just had a really hard time accepting it for years, because I believed if I made any kind of living at doing what I loved, I would come to hate art. I lost my job a few months back and have finally realized that if I can make it as an artist, it would be the best thing in the world.

Any other info you’d like to share?

Write more letters. You’re mother/grandmother/friend in another state, will love you for it. So will the post office. Also, I once made a painting for my husband of a very large rabbit and Godzilla attacking Charlotte. Finally, ants don’t sleep.
 
Where to Find Jessica:
 

@cursive_arts (Twitter)

(It’s a lot I know, but as I said, marketing is everything!)
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