Artist Interview: Claudia Ramos Designs

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Claudia Ramos is a graphic designer, surface designer, and illustrator, who has worked on everything from web design, greeting cards, and fashion apparel to signage. She is married to her high school sweetheart and is a mom to a spunky 8 year old. Get to know Claudia in my latest interview.

How do you manage to balance your various projects while remaining so upbeat and positive?

The way I balance my work and life is by planning and getting a lot of support. During the day I’m at work and I try to make it fun by taking the time to chat with my fellow co-workers and see what they are working on. When I get home I spend time with my daughter and my husband. I leave all my work issues at work and just dedicate the few hours with my daughter before she goes to bed. My husband helps me out a lot! When I get home he has dinner ready and my daughter has finished all her homework. Once my daughter goes to sleep I take a few hours to catch up with my e-mails, and work on my own projects.

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I try to work on my own personal projects because it makes me happy and I get to do what I want to do. It took me a long time to make the decision to start my Etsy shop. I just said well it does not hurt to start small and see if people like what I create. I’m happy that I did it and I’ve met some amazing creative people! I always carry a sketch book with me and I just doodle or write down anything that I feel would inspire me for my later projects. I try to just see the positive in any situation and I think that’s why I love kawaii art. You get to see cute, happy items, from food, office supplies, and so on. It makes me smile and I try to see everything as a happy fun place in my mind. I know it sounds funny but it helps me out.

What have you learned by entering the pin game?

What I’ve learned is that there’s a big community! The way I learned a lot about the pin game community was all through Instagram. I just reached out to some of the pin artists and they pointed me in the right direction where I ended up in a Facebook Pin group. I was lucky to find a company that creates pins for a good price and I’ve been very happy with the results. I’ve been using them for all my pins.

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I’ve learned there’s different types of pins from soft pins to hard pins which are the two I’ve used so far. I created these cute heart-shaped donuts that you can use as collar pins. They came out so cute and I’m excited to see how people would react to it. As for how I decide what artwork would make it onto a pin is by first loving it and if it’s something I would wear. I try to keep in mind what people love, which are food, pets, unicorns and just cute stuff. People that love Kawaii want to wear something that makes them smile so I keep that in mind on all my projects! I want people to feel joy from wearing my pins.

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Can we expect to see more embroidery from you?

YES! I’m so in love with embroidery! I’ve been sketching and using past artwork that I created and making them into embroidery. The reason I love doing embroidery is because it is like therapy for me. I set up all my embroidery items, have my coffee and watch all my shows while I’m working. I feel like embroidery is another way for me just to enjoy different ways to create my cute art. My whole wall is full of embroidery and it just makes me smile! Every time I start an embroidery project I learn something new about how to execute and make it better. I tell anybody that wants to pick up a new hobby to try embroidery, it’s the best way to relax!

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What 2017 project are you most excited about?

I want to keep challenging myself by trying out new ways to express my art and growing my business. I would like to take part in fun events like designer con and other events where I can meet more artists. I would like to also start collaborating with other artists.

I love supporting artists and just enjoying all the amazing talent! I was always that person looking from the outside and now I’m part of this amazing community. I’m truly happy and blessed to take part in it. I just want to spread joy with all my work. Thank you so much Hana for allowing me to be part of your cute events. I remember when I decided to just open my small Etsy shop I saw your blog post regarding if you want to be part of an art show. At first I did not think I would get a response back but I said just go for it and when I saw that email form you it just gave me confirmation that I should keep doing what I’m doing. Thank you and Happy New Year!

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Learn more about Claudia on her official website. You can purchase her works at these online shops.

Artist Interview: Bored Inc.

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Bored Inc. is a mother (Carol) and daughter (Courtney) design team based out of Los Angeles and San Francisco. They create super kawaii characters that are featured on an array of products and sold at stores around the globe. I’ve been a fan of their work for many years and I was happy to interview Courtney for this series.

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My first encounter with Bored Inc. was your Stinky Poo plushies. This was way before the poop emoji was so popular. How did you come up with such a poo-rific character?

I was in conversation with my mom when the idea first came up – we were trying to think of an odd pairing that would make good friends and I thought of poop and toilet paper. I remember saying to her, “Would this be too gross?” It was a challenge to draw something that looked like poop but still could be posed in different ways and be made into different products. That’s why he has a little body, unlike the emoji style poop. At this point I would like to explore more sophisticated illustrations, but Stinky Poo remains one of our best selling characters. It is fascinating to me the range of people who connect with him!

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Does working as a mother/daughter team have its ups and downs as one would expect?

I started working professionally with my mom while I was still in high school, and we’ve been collaborating ever since. When I was younger, I think family dynamics were more challenging – especially when you live and work together – but over the years it’s been nice to see it evolve. I now live in San Francisco, and my mom lives in Los Angeles, so it’s a good way for us to be creative together even though our lives have taken separate paths. We bring different strengths to the table, and I think that’s what makes it productive after all these years.

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I love how my favorite artists have ventured into the pin game. Do you think this trend will go on for a while?

Pins are so fun to make! I hope that they have staying power, though I worry the market is oversaturated. The cost of entry into pin-making is pretty low, which makes it a great starting point for so many talented artists. I do wish there was a healthier option for the pin-making process though, and one that was better for the environment.

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How do you balance art exhibitions vs. creating art for your business?

I am a stay-at-home mom, which makes this tough for me. I really love being included in exhibitions, and the inspiration of the show themes (and deadlines) push me to actually sit down and make something. In an ideal world I would nurture both sides more independently, but to be honest it’s really hard to find time (and energy) to be creative when you have a toddler, so there ends up being some crossover between the art I make for shows and the art for Bored Inc. products.

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What’s next for Bored Inc.?

I wish I had better grasp on this! Like many others, I have felt gutted over the political and social climate of the past year. This – paired with with the responsibility I feel raising a daughter – has nudged me to evaluate how I spend my time and energy and to really consider what I want to be working on.

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I love making cute stuff for Bored Inc. and so deeply appreciate the people who’ve supported me over the years. I’ll keep making cute stuff, but I’d like to foray into some different things too, more influenced by my feminist ideals, and the desire to create art that can be empowering on a deeper level. Stay tuned, I have ambitious ideas in the works!

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Bored Inc. products are available online and select retailers like Leanna Lin’s Wonderland.