Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blog-hoppy Wednesday

Welcome to
Creating Success around the World
The worldwide blog hop tour, that introduces you to creative people from all corners of the globe.
Every Wednesday our hosts on each continent will introduce you to someone new whose creativity is inspiring!
Here's how you can take this worldwide tour with us:
You can follow all the hosts to support them and keep up to date with the fabulous posts they will share every week.  Then if you are inspired to join, just link up your own blog to make some new international friends.

Remember to leave us a comment when you follow us so we can follow you back! And of course we'd love if you added our button to your site to help spread the word!

creating success around the world

Here are your hosts:
Make sure you visit them all to see the inspiration and creative people every continent has to add to our community.
Australasia - Jill @ Creating my way to Success
Europe - Yaga @ The Shiny Bubble
The Americas - Suzy @ Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom
Asia - Janelle @ Of Pinks and Fairytales
Africa - Adepeju @ Peekadot

Zoe Weir is a graphical designer, illustrator and she also makes and designs jewelry. Her blog is called "Pretty Zoo". There you can browse her portfolio or have a peek into her life in Germany - that's about to change, but let her tell that story.

Tell us a bit about your trade: What do you create, how and where do you sell your things,
how long have you been doing this?

Hi! I'm a graphic designer for web and print, an illustrator, a jewelry designer & maker, an inspiration collector and a blogger. I don't think I could ever choose just one thing to do! At the moment I'm Art Director for print and commission design and a Senior Blog Designer with Freckled Nest Design. I'm also developing my own jewellery line that will be available online in August! I love working in a range of different creative realms. I've been drawing forever and designing since high-school, and I studied a Bachelor of Design majoring in Visual Communication Design, graduating in 2009. Since then I've been freelancing lots of fun projects and have been working for Freckled Nest since April. I love it

Please, tell us a little bit about the place and the country that you live in.

I live in Frankfurt, Germany, but I'm from New Zealand. I moved here in August last year and I'm actually moving to London next month! My boyfriend and I like living and working in different countries and being a freelancer gives me the flexibility to do this. We currently live 15 mins outside of the main city of Frankfurt, and we've tried to travel around whenever we can, to other German cities and also further European cities like Amsterdam, Budapest, Prague, Vienna (and Paris this month- eek!)

Do you think that your surroundings influence your creativity? How? 

I think that where I am in the world right now has absolutely affected my creativity and work. Being in a country where you don't speak the language well (we came here with pretty much no German language skills apart from the words Volkswagon and Burger) has meant that I couldn't easily get a design job in an agency, so I had to freelance from home and try and pick up my own work. I was lucky enough to be able to join the Freckled Nest team which is amazing, and I've used my time here to get my blog up and running and my jewelry designs have become a reality! Also, here's a confession: I don't know too many people here and that means that I stay home a lot in the evenings with the boy being really productive; we work side by side on our respective design projects or blog (he's an interactive designer) 

How and why did you 'pick' your creative outlet of choice?

I never really 'picked' what I do- at university I struggled to choose what to major in. Eventually I decided Visual Communication design as it can encompass a lot of visual aspects and I also took papers in photography, illustration and marketing. This gave me a broad skillset which now means I can be flexible with my design work (and it suits my attention span!)

 Why did you decide to sell what you are creating?

In terms of what I'm creating… design wise, it's my job! I love making pretty things and I've wanted to make jewelry for a few years now. As a kind of New Years resolution I just figured I had to start or I'd never get round to it! I haven't started selling the pieces yet as I'm waiting for when I'm in London(in August.)

How did you start your business?

I don't really think of myself as having a business, I'm more of freelance designer, that designs for businesses! 
My jewelry 'business' is really in it's starting days now. I made a plan, did a lot of sketches and research, bought supplies and starting making the jewelry a reality! I held myself back from launching it in Germany as the language barrier was just going to be too difficult for certain aspects. But, this was a good thing as it forced me to take my time and plan properly. Otherwise I think I might've gotten too excited and raced towards a shop launch without thinking it through as thoroughly.
What, in your opinion is your biggest strength in your creative life and how does it
influence your work?

I think my biggest creative strength is flexibility in design styles and media. I used to worry that I didn't 'specialize' in one thing or another, but like I said before, now I love that I can work in a range of different design media- blogs, logos and branding, illustration and handmade objects, and I'm always up to try something new.

What would you regard as your greateest weakness in terms of your creativity and how do
you deal with it?

My greatest weakness is keeping my files and folders tidy! I'm really bad at file management and rely too much on the Finder search bar to locate files… but I'm working on it! It's just boring and I'd rather be doing pretty, visual things! ;)I've been getting better at backing up my files and I try to remind myself it will save me time in the long-run if I keep everything ordered! Kyla inspires me because she's a super organized lady, and I recently made some Blog Organisers which has helped! 

How do you stay motivated and inspired?

I stay inspired by checking out new design online everyday, and I'm always motivated to out-do myself. At university I was taught to push a concept as far as you could, then you could always pull it back if need be. I love learning new ways to design and the feeling when you make something you never knew you could!

Where do you see yourself and your creative life in two years? Do you have any plans?

Hmmm… in two years I don't even know what part of the world I'll be in! I have no idea how my jewelry will go, and I have no ideas what opportunities may pop up so who knows, really!? I do know that I plan to carry on designing with the lovely Freckled Nest kids, do fun creative collaborations, and take any awesome opportunities that come up. I also have dreams of developing my shop into more than just jewelry and art, but you'll have to wait and see what happens :p

What are your 5 hottest tips for people who want to be more successful with
1. Keep both eyes out for opportunities to get your work out there. Calls for submissions, competitions, and features- apply for them all! The worst that can happen is they say no, thanks. Then just move on to the next :) Have a scroll through some websites like ffffound.com and Pinterest everyday to keep your inspiration up.
2. If you want to build up your portfolio, consider doing free or discounted work. If someone needs some design or art done but they have little or no budget, and you think the project would strengthen your portfolio, (or is for a good cause!) then consider doing it for them. 
3. Having said that, don't undersell yourself on creative work. I struggled with this a bit when I first started out charging for my work. I was like, I can't charge that much! Then I learnt that if I didn't, someone else would! When you add up the hours that something takes you to do, you need to make sure its worth your time. Especially if it's your job! Mechanics, plumbers and house painters all charge for their expertise so why can't you?
4. Have an online space to showcase your work- a portfolio website, a blog or even just a flickr set! Just somewhere people can clearly see what you do.
5. Even if you feel like no-ones paying attention just keep at it. Be yourself, be approachable, and support others in the same position as you. And have fun!! :)

Thanks for interviewing me, Yaga! This has been really fun to write and I've given myself a few reminders from it! And thanks so much for reading, too. If you want to come hang out at my blog Pretty Zoo I'd love to see you! Zoe xo

Thanks millions to you Zoe, it was such fun having you here!

Now it's your turn! Link up your posts: Inspiration, craftsy blahs, tutorials, tips or business talk: We wanna know!

Have fun hopping, reading, linking, connecting... take some time to share your love and inspiration by following, leaving comments and visiting each other.
Happy Wednesday! ;o)


Jill said...

Great interview with Zoe! She sounds like a fun, and spirited artist! I'm off to check out her blog now!

Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Michelle L. said...

Wow, I LOVE her 5 tips! Great intro to a cool talent - and I think the name Pretty Zoo is especially nice!

Janelle said...

I just visited Zoe's portfolio. Her work is beautiful and spans different styles from vintage to contemporary. Great interview!

Suzy Myers said...

Great interview!!


Joni Nickrent said...

Fun share! AWESOME! Popping by from the International Blog Hop! Pop Art Minis

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