Creative Series: RightBrainy

I found RightBrainy when looking for a birthday gift for a friend on Etsy. The quality of her product and cuteness of her work, made me a fan. Now she has been kind enough to share in some of her creative process.

Creative Moxie: How did you get into making handmade paper goods?

RightBrainy: Like many artists and crafters, I've always loved to create, make things with my hands, draw and paint. As a child, I enjoyed origami and I can specifically recall making an origami animal for every child in my kindergarten class as each child lined up single file in front of my desk to receive their gift. I love the versatility, availability of paper, and I am continually intrigued by construction of 3D objects out of a two dimensional material. So I started playing around with paper, folding, making cards and pop-ups, buying books and reading off the internet on materials and construction. Lots of trial and remodifications.

CM: Where do you get your ideas from?
RB: My ideas come from a variety of sources. Even though I am able to make a variety of things, I have focussed my etsy shop on items I would find most useful. Most often I was inspired to make something to fulfill my own need to have something. When you see a card for a 16 year old boy in my shop, it is because I have a sixteen year old nephew who was having a birthday. The scripture encouragement cards were born from a need to bring encouragement to friends who were undergoing hardship, and is my way of expressing that care and concern. Lately, my need for an iPad cover drove me to creating one for myself that melded by love for books, paper crafting and a need to have a durable cover.

Other times I am inspired by learning a new technique or the purchase of some raw material, that I have to think of some way to use. But I am deeply motivated to create something that is original rather than an assemblage of something that is pre-made, or been-done by others.

CM: What is your favorite thing to make and why?
RB: My favorite thing to make is usually my newest product. I am one of those who love to create something new, rather than to mass produce something I've already made. I think that is why you will seldom find more than ten of any one item in my shop, and why I have so many different product lines. I also do not carry a stash of pre made items which is why I have tried to promote a custom order business. There is nothing better to make something for someone who will really appreciate the product by having that person be able to participate in its creation from its inception.

CM: What is your creative process?
RB: My creative process often begins with a mock up made with pieces of throw away papers, saved pieces of cardboard, roughly assembled with tape, glue, staples, whatever. It's like a 3-d sketch, say of a pop- up card, or a sticky notepad wallet. Then artistic permutations of this idea are pencilled out in a notebook, like my brilliant ideas notebook which I really do carry around with me. I make one for myself and try to "live with it," and modify the design as I see fit. Finally, any feedback from customers is really important so that I can continually improve upon the design.

CM: How do you promote your work?
RB: Promotion is really lacking for me and I am only recently able to take myself seriously enough to tell most of my acquaintances. I have a Facebook fan page and I am a member of a couple of Etsy teams. I have been fortunate to be featured in a handful of blogs, but I have yet to pay for any promotional effort. That being said, the majority of those who find me by browsing Etsy or through treasury in which someone else kindly included me.

CM: Any advice to artists who want to pursue a career selling their work?
RB: It is funny that you would ask for my advice, since I still consider myself a beginner in many ways. I can tell you some things I have learned that I would not mind sharing. This process of putting a price tag to one's work has really changed what I make in a good way. I realized that in order to make my time and efforts worth the pricetag it bears, my products must be made with the highest quality materials. I have to hone my skills and make it well with excellent craftsmanship. To compete with the vast options available, I have to think of what is uniquely RightBrainy. To be ultimately satisfied with the process, I have to love what I make rather than make what I think other people would love. I am hardly the person to ask about making a living off of it, but I have a newfound respect for those who do.

CM: Anything you would like to add?
RB: I have three wonderful boys and an amazing husband who encourage and entertain me daily. I live on coffee, chocolate and Words with Friends. I am a soccer mom, would love to speak Spanish, and I passionately follow Jesus. I am blessed with so much that I try to serve others, and I am currently able to do so at a free medical clinic for the poor and uninsured. Thank you so much for giving me the chance to share about me to your blog readers.

Check out her facebook. Here


Check out past Creative Series:
+Laura Di Francesco
+Ryan R Thompson
+Delia Jalomo
+Cory Graves
+Anthony Williams