Today's a special day for me because I can share some fantabulous crafting news with you! I'll try not to make it too long, but because I am excited about what I've been doing, and because I know there are other crafters out there who have similar goals I am excited to share my crafty news with you.
My dear friend, Nicole Rixon is the owner of Sweet Stamp Shop. Nicole and her shop are AMAZING! She hasn't been around too long, but in the short while she's been designing and selling stamps, she's been kicking booty with trendy designs, a successful business, a creative team of talented women and an incredible heart to share her passion and knowledge with other crafters. From the moment I met her, her genuine warmth and generosity just radiated--she was exuberant about meeting me, and about her business, which was infectious! Over coffee we shared funny stories, tips and ideas and her plan for her creative career. She got me jazzed about thinking beyond simply making cards.
Don't get me wrong---designing cards is amazing and fabulous, but after three years of crafting, I was falling into a creative slump. I would go to my craft room uninspired with no new ideas, and at times I felt I was creating the same cards, but with different patterned paper. What once was something I thoroughly enjoyed was becoming an uphill battle with constant rejection that caused me to doubt myself at every turn.
Enter Nicole. From some sad Facebook posts, she saw that I was feeling beat creatively, and shared with me an idea that changed my outlook. Nicole was in the beginning stages of establishing an intern program for designers interested in trying out their skills at illustrating through Sweet Stamp Shop. I had some experience with illustration, so I was keen to learn more, but I was still a little unsure about whether I could successfully design stamps.
Nicole understood my fears, and re-assured me that she'd be with me every step of the way, and she's done just that! I want to share why I joined and what I've been fortunate enough to experience alongside her on this incredible new journey.
When Nicole first shared her idea, I knew that if I was going to illustrate, I didn’t want to buy an expensive software program, design a few sets and have them go nowhere, stored on my hard drive indefinitely. So, after she explained the internship program, I was definitely interested. I thought the program was just the right amount of the push I needed to try designing stamps, without feeling too overwhelmed. But, the program was also a great opportunity to receive incredible insight, personal experience from a professional, design tips and knowledge that are invaluable in an industry that can be tough to “break” into. Not many companies are willing to share their knowledge and insight, but Nicole was so transparent and realistic, I knew that it would be a win-win situation for both of us if I got involved.
- Gain experience from industry professionals like Nicole Rixon and Alyssa Bennett who take the time to share their personal experience, insight, knowledge and constructive criticism to help you grow as a design
- The time and space needed to try out ideas and find your style as an illustrator with plenty of encouragement and insight along the way from others.
- Less capital investment: Minimal software investment (you can sign up for an Adobe monthly subscription with all the most recent updates!) and a manufacturer who will produce high-quality photopolymer stamps for you. No cost to participate in the program means that you are not “backed into a corner” with financial commitments to a business; you can design for the love of designing and to see if this something you’re willing to commit to.
- The chance to build a marketable portfolio of work that you can list on your creative resume; take out to other manufacturers or even the opportunity to try it on your own.
- Personalized training information made available through videos and documents aimed at addressing intern’s questions throughout the artistic process.
- The chance to meet new friends who are just as eager as you to try something new.
- The opportunity to work with people at varying degrees of illustration experience. Some designers are brand new to digital illustration, others know the basics and others have been doing this for a while, and have a wealth of knowledge to share.
- Consistent support and encouragement from fellow illustrators to brainstorm, develop and improve your designs through all stages of artistic process.
If you'd like to learn more about the internship program, learn more about the current interns, or if you're interested in applying of this unique opportunity, please visit the Sweet Stamp Shop blog to find out all the details!