Creative Crafters- Ashleigh Brown Design

It has been a long time since I have interviewed another creative crafter, here is an inspirational crafter Ashleigh Brown. Whos’ chronic illness has been in her words a blessing in disguise.

Tell me more about your craft? What is it? When did you find out you were good at it?

I do mainly illustration & graphic design. I completed a textile & surface design degree in 2015 and had started selling at craft fairs in my final year. I have always loved being creative and have tried my hand at most things. I have yet to venture into ceramics but it is on my list haha!

I discovered a real love of illustration during my degree and a fascination with reproducing traditional techniques in a digital way. I love creating texture within my work. I still feel like I have a long way to go but I am growing as an artist every day.

Why did you decide to turn it into a business?

In 2016 I started having some health problems. I tried to maintain my job as a visual merchandiser/retail assistant but unfortunately, I couldn’t work on my feet as much as I had and had to leave. It was hard because I loved my place of work and the people I worked with. After a couple of years feeling like I was trapped not working, I decided to take the plunge and invest in starting my own business properly. Before I had always worked on creative projects in my spare time but now I had the time to dedicate fully.

My chronic illness has sort of been a blessing in disguise even though it has been a massive struggle and learning curve because without it I don’t know if I would have taken the risk of starting my own business.

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Image Credit: Ashleigh Brown 

Tell us more about the process.

I have a huge list of to do’s on an app called trello that I use to keep my ideas in check as memory loss and brain fog is a major symptom of my illness. So most days I head there first to see what my priorities are for the day.

If I have a particular project in mind I will usually start a pinterest board to collect some inspirational imagery and get me into the right frame of mind for creating. Mood boards were a huge part of my degree and I really find they help me clarify what I want to create and what vibe I capture in my work.

Then I start working. For some projects, I get out a sketchbook and start to draw whatever I need to. For others, I start working directly in Affinity designer on my desktop computer.

Once the artwork is complete I head back to Pinterest to find some colour palettes that I think will work and I start colouring up the work.

Then I tend to do mockups of my products so I apply the artwork to a blank photo of whichever item I am designing. This is then used for shop listings, Instagram, Pinterest and all other social media.

I also have a blog that I am not dedicating enough time to currently so I will sometimes write a post to include new works.

Where do you sell your product?

I sell on Etsy, society 6, red bubble and I will hopefully have my own site soon.

Have you noticed a rise in crafters and people buying creations?

The market is pretty saturated at the moment which makes my job more challenging because I have to keep my work fresh and exciting and make sure I am offering something that isn’t already ten a penny on online marketplaces. I do think more people are interested in buying from small businesses right now too though so that’s always a good thing.

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Image Credit: Ashleigh Brown 

What is the crafting industry like?

There is a lovely support network locally in the craft scene and also internationally on places like Instagram. I am also a member of a few groups on Facebook that provide support and critique if needed. That’s something that I miss from my uni days.

Do you recommend people starting their own crafting creations and turning it into a business?

It’s definitely not for everyone. I’d say do things you enjoy and share them on social media. This can help you to gauge if there is a market for whatever you do. If people like it then set up on a marketplace like Etsy or numonday. You have nothing to lose really and it is still so exciting every time I sell something I made. It never gets old.

thumbnail (1)Image Credit: Ashleigh Brown 

 

 

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