Today I want you to get to know a fellow artist, Melysa, from Ink Meets Paper Design! Melysa is so very talented at what she does, she makes the most gorgeous little books, custom wedding orders and even does some foiling! Please take a moment to visit her etsy shop and website. Let’s get to know her:
Who are you? Where are you from?
I am Melysa – originally from Philadelphia, but I went to school in New York City, and stayed for 11 years! I now live in a little fisherman town in the East Bay of Rhode Island, with my husband and two children
Are you an Indie Artist/Do you sell you handmade items?
I am an Indie Artist! I majored in Fine Arts in college, and after many years of just trying to get by, working in Corporate America, I decided to really dedicate my efforts to running my own business.
When/why did you decide to sell your work?
As far as the when, I started Ink Meets Paper Design back in 2012. As far as the why, I think David Sedaris said it the best:
“I think that if you are any kind of an artist, then validation is just sort of… it can be a result, but you’re going to do the work anyway. Because you’re just wired that way. It’s so engrained, it’s such a part of your personality that you don’t just stop doing it.”
I couldn’t NOT create, and there are only so many handmade products you can gift your friends and family!
What does the term “Indie” mean to you?
The word “Indie” I think has two meanings with me. For me, personally, I think it means someone who isn’t limited by a higher presence. No one tells me when, how or even if I should take on a project. I make the decisions, and everything is up to me. And as a consumer – I think I have a soft spot for any business or designer that considers themselves to be “Indie” I love supporting local businesses, and companies. We need to stick together and spread word to help anyone that has the perseverance to really put themselves out there. When you shop “Indie” you are supporting individuals, not a corporation.
What is your favorite type of crafting?
Paper! Anything paper! Custom printing, custom books, greeting cards, letterpress, screen printing, etc!
Explain a little bit about your process.
I think the most important thing a designer can do – no matter what they are creating, is to listen and observe. I sell locally at farmers markets and craft fairs, and I listen to everything that people say, whether they are talking to me directly or just in conversation while at my table. I look at what they touch, pick up and purchase. I also look at what people are wearing even!. People gravitate to colors and textures that they are comfortable with, and a lot of that is represented in what clothing they wear. When I work on a custom job, the first thing I ask a client, is to tell me a bit about themselves. A lot of reading between the lines can result in an outcome that they may not have even realized that they were looking for. Very often people will use buzz words that they have read, or heard, thinking that it is descriptive of what they are looking for, but once they start talking, often it isn’t quite what they thought they wanted, and I always mock up what they asked for and also what I think they may have meant. More often than not, what I design on my own ends up being what they actually wanted.
What does your workspace look like?
My workspace is mostly my dining room table! Though, as situations present themselves, I adapt. I did a screen printing project two years ago, and learned very quickly that screen printing in extreme July humidity doesn’t work, and ended up screen printing 150 Save the Dates in the only room in our house that had air conditioning – my bedroom! When you start a business, nothing is ever perfect! I tend to be a bit OCD, and that may have been what prevented me from taking the plunge sooner, but I pushed through my need for perfection, and make it work.
What is one thing you have you learned from your business?
Adapt, change, and keep informed. I took for granted being in New York City for so many years, being surrounded by creative people, Fashion Week, and just everything at my fingertips. Now, it takes a bit more research to see what is really trending outside of where we live. I go to every site I can get my hands on for inspiration and information. (thank goodness for the internet!) I have a few trade magazines I subscribe to, and they are truly a lifesaver for me to keep in touch. Additionally, I think the most important thing to accept, is that nothing will ever be perfect! Something will always throw you for a loop… roll with it, and learn from it)
What inspires you?
Everything inspires me. My kids need for constant crafty-ness forces me to look for ways to use untraditional materials, and looking at fashion and design keeps me eye fresh as far as how I incorporate what is trending into what I design and sell. I do credit my mothers’ love for sewing when I was younger for my obsession with paper (I can barely sew a button on!) the same way I loved looking at fabric colors and textures as a child, I love looking at handmade papers, and patterns now.
A fun question- What is your favorite food?
Ooooh – I love talking food! I recently went vegetarian, and it’s going to sound absolutely crazy, but I LOVE tofu! It is so versatile! It can be savory, sweet, spicy, salty – it can be whatever you want it to be! So, that is my favorite every day food, but I cannot resist the Taro Root Ice Cream from the Chinese Ice Cream factory in Chinatown, NYC – it is heaven in a paper cup!
And lastly, where can we find you on the web? (links to your shop, blog, etc.