Amongst the many things I have been intensely working on is this blog. It has a precise purpose which is to provide a forum for artists, agents, manufacturers and retailers from around the globe where they can share their stories about art and licensing. Our motto is Partnering to Make the World a Better Place through Art. So I just wanted to say that it's been a pleasure to publish many of you and that we will continue posting you, your fabulous art and stories because we believe it helps us all as a community to learn from each other.
And on this note I would like to introduce a wonderful artist who creates stunning paper art, Patricia Zapata.
The Moon from My Attic: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your art? Hi Alex! First of all thank you so much for having me on your inspiring blog.
I'm an independent graphic designer working from my home in Texas. We have two children who are the reason why my freelance career started in 2000. I decided to be a stay-at-home mom but a year after our son was born I was itching to get my mind working in a professional capacity again. That's when I slowly started my online design business. None of my first clients were local (thank goodness for the internet!) because I wasn't really promoting myself here at home. I was doing everything online and it was such a blessing. It gave me the flexibility to work when the baby slept or late at night.
Four years later I still had a small number of design clients but I was craving some handwork — something to do away from the computer. That's when craft blogs were taking off and I decided to jump into the fray by focusing on paper. I also opened an online shop where I started selling handmade cards, paper cuts and hand cut balsa wood pieces. One thing led to another and after discovering the world of electronic cutting machines I was hooked. It turns out that even though paper cutting is extremely fun to do, after making multiples of the same piece the activity really loses its charm. I discovered that the real thrill for me is to design a product and have someone else make it. So now, through my A Little Hut shop, I sell downloadable cutting patterns for crafters that have their own machines at home.
In the midst of all this, my literary agent found my blog. Out of the blue she sent me an email asking me if I'd like to write a paper craft book. I was so shocked and excited to do it! It was grueling work but in 2009 I got to see my hard work turned into a beautiful book called Home, Paper, Scissors. Now I'm slowly making my way into the licensing industry and this coming May will be my first time to exhibit at Surtex, booth 664.
TMFMA: What is exciting about your creative work? I find it very exciting to come up with fresh ideas that are simple and reflect my style. Brainstorming and sketching is incredibly liberating. The thought of what will become of these ideas drives me to keep going. I really enjoy working not only two-dimensionally but in 3D as well.
In the crafting world it's very important to make something that can also be made easily by others so putting together clear instructions and process photos is also something that challenges me.
TMFMA: Is there a person or thing that has influenced you in your artistic efforts? What inspires you? I've said this many times, and it sounds so cliché, but everything inspires me. Nature, architecture, furniture design and our kids are all very inspiring to me. I never know when the next idea will hit me — or where it will come from.
TMFMA: What project are you currently working on? I'm working on new spring and summer themed patterns for my online shop and getting my portfolio in order for Surtex.
TMFMA: Tell us of your experience as an art licensing artist. I just entered this field and my first real experience is in the craft industry. I'm licensing many designs to an electronic cutting manufacturer that also has an online shop for cutting files. It's been very interesting to see what customers are more interested in purchasing — sometimes it isn't at all what you’d expect.
TMFMA: Any important tips and tricks you can share or anything else you'd like to share? I think the most important thing to do as an artist is to continue evolving and learning while always staying true to what makes your art unique.
TMFMA: What are your future aspirations and goals? I really love paper and working with it, so I would love to work with patterned paper that has my designs on it. Fabric, embellishments and other home goods that compliment my paper creations would be wonderful. My dream would be to see a line of Patricia Zapata products — no harm in dreaming big right?!
Find out more about Patricia Zapata on her web site: http://patriciazapata.com
or blog: http://alittlehut.blogspot.com