Sally: Tell us who you are… what makes your crafty passion tick… Stephanie: My name is Stephanie Fizer and I'm a fulltime illustrator. Right now I run my Etsy shop (http://stephaniefizer.etsy.com), do some freelance illustration work and teach my e-course, Flourish. My work is almost entirely digital now, although I love incoporating handmade textures, patterns and brushes. Sally: Who, or what inspires your creations? Stephanie: Well, I'm inspired by practically everything these days, it seems that I've constantly got new ideas popping in my head. So many actually, that I can never quite find time for all of them, so they get scribbled down in my idea book until I find time to start developing them. I'm definitely inspired by nature, I grew up in a rural area so I spent a lot of my childhood wandering through the woods and making up stories about the animals. I'm also inspired by vintage illustrations and teacups.
Sally: What item do you like to work on the most and why? Stephanie: Well for me, no matter what product is the end result, it all starts with an illustration so my favorite thing is that journey from the first doodly sketch to the actual finished illustration. But beyond that, I love dreaming up new stationery designs for my shop. I think the world of email, Facebook and Twitter, we often forget who delightful it is to give and receive snail mail and I hope that my sweet notecards will encourage more people to start writing letters and litlte notes instead of just jotting off a quick email. Sally: What do you do besides working on your passion and shop? Stephanie: I'm pretty much always working or at least thinking about my work; I thrive on staying busy and find that oddly I am most creative when I have the least time. But when I do take breaks I'm an avid reader and music listener. I also love to cook, it's so a wonderful stress relief for me. I'm a vegetarian and I live in a town that isn't exactly friendly to that diet choice so instead I always search for exciting new veggie recipes to try out here at home. As I'm typing this, I've got a vegan cinnamon crumb cake baking in the oven! Sally: What is something that you don’t do well that you’d like to do better? Stephanie: I think as a general rule, I avoid doing things that I don't do well, but then I think everyone does that. As far as my work goes, I'm terrible at hand-lettering and would love to have the time to really study and work on that.
Sally: Do you have favorite Etsy peeps? Stephanie: Yes! I really dig Belle & Boo, Sarah Jane Studios, Nella Designs and Gorjuss right now. All lovely, sweet ladies and very talented artists. Sally: What’s your fav thing about Etsy? Stephanie: I love the sense of community and the face that I can really get to know my buyers.
Sally: One tip you could give, about life, about Etsy, about the weather… Stephanie: More than anything, it's so important to maintain a positive attitude and avoid letting yourself get stressed out, especially about things you just can't control. There was a time when I would absolutely turn into a bundle of nerves when my Etsy sales were slow or when I didn't have any freelance gigs lined up and I would find myself just languishing in stress and misery. Now I've learned to just push the nerves out of the way, stop worrying and instead just focus my energy on creating new work and thinking up new ways to promote myself.