Behind the Scenes – Perfecting Your Craft on Sage Wedding Pros

I wanted to share an interview posted a few weeks back by colleague Michelle Loretta of Sage Wedding Pros.  Michelle asked me to comment on the process of being original, staying inspired and perfecting my craft.  Read on!

Where do you seek inspiration for your beautiful hand-drawn creations?

Inspiration comes from many sources but I try to always look outside the wedding industry. Window shopping is a great way to get the creative juices flowing since multiple senses are affected when in a shopping environment. Taking a walk or hiking also is a great way to clear your mind and prepare to see and think more clearly, not to mention natural resources can inspire some of the most awe-inspiring designs. I recently visited the city of St. John in Canada when Queen Anne’s Lace was in full bloom. The simple act of walking a short trail surrounded by those wild blooms sparked several ideas for new invitation designs.

How do you personally work to improve your craft?

My craft is strongly tied to my artistic skill so I attempt to draw or paint everyday. This sounds like an easy task especially for a hand painted stationer but amidst the millions of tasks us entrepreneurs face each day, finding time to put pencil to paper daily can be difficult. Creating art just for the sake of art itself is important. The subject of staged shoots has a ton of controversy tied to it but for me, collaborating with other artists to create dream scenarios is an innovative way to exercise our creative minds and explore design concepts we have been dying to try. Recently I collaborated on this shoot seen on Style Me Pretty which is a classic example of making art for art’s sake. Beyond making a statement of wedding inspiration, I wanted to explore new color palettes, innovative textures and edgy subject matter more than anything else.

How do you feel you have evolved as an artist?

In the last 8 years my artistic approach has changed greatly but the two most significant shifts have been my ability to self-edit and the confidence to recommend and suggest. Anyone can throw type and graphics into a layout and call it an invitation. What separates the dabblers from the artists is the ability to self-critique and push for better at every design decision. The second shift in my thinking over the last 8 years is tied to confidence. Our clients come to us for artistic expertise and creative suggestions. I have learned to speak up when I feel a request is troublesome or I can envision a better solution and our couples respect us for the honesty.

Anything else you want to advise people who are looking to build upon their artistic talents?

I would offer two points of advice, the first being stay true to yourself and the second don’t take the easy path. We hear the words “be true to yourself” again and again when it comes to creativity in business and design but these words are invaluable. The best advice I can give when you are refining your craft and developing a style is to have a good case of tunnel-vision. Getting lost in the sea of what others are doing is the fastest way to kill creativity. The barrier to entry for many creative business start-ups is low but the longevity of these start-ups is questionable. If something seems easy, it most likely is for a reason. If you want to make a living from your art, dig deep, study your market, define your audience and take baby steps towards building a brand that can last. Your art will take you only so far and is not an easy street to a profitable business.