you told us that you loved the last artist spotlight + giveaway, so we’re back with our 2nd installment… and this one is a long time favorite of mine!
a couple of years ago i stumbled upon Tara’s designs at one of my favorite little Chicago handmade shops (Renegade) – with that, i instantly found a cardmaker that i rarely stray away from. the greetings are unique, artistic & quirky. before moving to Australia last year, i stocked up on cards both in-store & online. i can’t even count how many weddings i’ve gone to where i’ve given ‘the knot‘ card or the amount of pregnancies where i’ve sent the ‘bun in the oven‘ greeting to a friend. they are my favorites and i rarely come across anything that compares. (oh – and she does wedding invitations too!)
i recently approached Tara about showcasing her on the blog… and we put together this post, interview + giveaway — i hope you all enjoy!
you could WIN a mix + match 10 pack of holiday cards — ENTER HERE!
Tell me about yourself…
I currently live in Milwaukee WI, in the Bayview area. I’ve been fortunate enough to turn Cracked Designs into a full time business, and have been doing it full time for a little over 2 years now. I also just had a baby boy (my first!) this past spring, so I’ve been juggling being a full time mom, and running my business full time. So far, so good! I graduated with a major in photography & art history at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and have always loved art & design. After I graduated, I held a few odd jobs and did Cracked Designs in my spare time. After getting laid off from my job at the time, I decided to go for it, and focus on Cracked Designs full time. It couldn’t have worked out better, because Cracked Designs has been growing steadily ever since!
What is the background of Cracked Designs?
I’ve always loved quirky things, and doodling funny little creations. I’ve always loved making art, but wanted to make something that was more accessible to everyone, and greeting cards are the perfect medium. I had so many ideas floating around in my head, and greeting cards were the perfect outlet for me to unload everything! I always search high and low for interesting, and especially funny, greeting cards, so I wanted to make my own unique cards, that aren’t only hilarious (or at least I think so!), but also clever & unusual. My use of collage in each card, make each design stand out, and they’re a little more special than just a flat printed card.
What is your ‘process’?
I always have ideas in my head, just waiting patiently to be turned into cards. I seriously have little sketchbooks filled with doodles & card greetings, it’s crazy. I love sitting down with my husband (who is my brilliant card idea sidekick!), and we just talk for hours about card designs & funny phrases we like using, and usually make each other laugh so hard. Those brainstorming sessions are always the best, because we are always trying to out-do one another, and we’ve come up with some pretty great stuff. After I sketch some preliminary designs, I draw it out in Illustrator or Photoshop, and then once it’s printed, I play around with the cut out elements, or whatever handmade element is on the card-like string, felt, glitter, etc.
Other than Etsy, where can one find your stuff?
I sell my cards at lots of different places, I also sell on another online market, Supermarket, as well as retail shops all over the US, Canada, and beyond! I’ve also participated in some indie craft fairs in Chicago the past couple years. Those are always so much fun because you get to meet the folks who enjoy my work, and it’s so nice to hear what people think.
Which of your products are favorites?
Well, my favorite cards of mine would be: ‘Donut Completion’ & ‘This shit just got Real’. But in terms of other cards out there, I really admire letterpress cards, they’re just so darn fancy! I also love any cards that are clever, whether it be in their printing process, or in what they say. I’m always really drawn to cards that seem elementary, designs that are simplistic in the best way. I love funny little drawings!
What can we expect to come next? Anything new & exciting?
I’m working on a LOT of new cards! I’ve been backed up with ideas for a long time now, so I’m planning for 2011 to be full of new & fun designs! I’m also working on more note card sets (A ‘Roadtrip’ set for example), along with some first ever Easter & Halloween cards. I’ve also been working on City Editions of my popular ‘Journey Journal’.
GIVEAWAY: if you love Cracked Designs cards just as much as i do, then you are in luck! we are giving away a mix + match 10 pack of holiday greeting cards (as seen here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/16957974/holiday-10-pack) entering is easy, just add your info HERE. entries close Friday, November 26th. good luck!