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The Frantic Meerkat makes you laugh

I design greeting cards, magnets, fine art prints and other miscellaneous items. My fiancé, The Mincing Mockingbird, and I share a studio in the foothills above Los Angeles where we’re frequently fighting for clear tabletops from which to work.

Whatil_fullxfull.98377844_crpd inspired you to go into the craft business, do you still have a day job? I majored in art in college and have mostly worked as a graphic designer while painting in oils in my free time. My fiancé started an etsy shop three years ago and that inspired me to start my own shop designing greeting cards. I still have a day job as a web administrator maintaining press sites for movie studios, which is fun and interesting, and gives us a steady income while the businesses grow. But, sadly, I no longer have time to paint in oils.

il_fullxfull.97821293_crpWhat do you like best, coming up with ideas or executing them? Both! I love flipping through clip art books and old books and magazines for inspiration. The best part of that is that it can be done anywhere. A lot of my best selling cards were thought up on cross-country flights. Executing the cards is fun as well. They’re designed digitally so I get to play around in Photoshop and often lose track of time.

Wmonkey_bc_crpdhat’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst? The best thing is the total control you have over your designs. I started designing cards just to amuse my fiancé and myself, so when people started connecting with them, it was great. The worst would be all the paperwork involved in running a business…oh yeah…and taxes…definitely not fun.

What are your creative influences? I’m influenced by vintage illustrations and writing styles from old books, as well as magazines from the 50s, 60s and 70s. It was so much fun going to Australia and looking through antique shops for old magazines and books.

What’s the best advice you have been given about your business or craft practices? Don’t try to create what you think will sell, just make something that you would buy.

How do you stay inspired? We go out to galleries, book stores, movies, thrift  stores and flea markets. I love going to home décor stores for inspiration, too.

Anything else you would like to tell us about your business? My business has grown a lot over the past two years – from an etsy shop to being carried in over 50 stores as well as being licensed in the UK. But as much as my business has expanded, the best part is still connecting with customers. It’s so much fun to go to a craft show and hear people laugh at my cards. Which is how the cards are designed to begin with – I design them mostly to make my fiancé laugh.

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