I’m hoping to every once in awhile have a fun “10 questions” session with some of our contributors to the Indie Craft Sampler. Some serious, but mostly fun questions. Our third installment is with Victoria from ToriandOllie.com (to read our other 10 question interviews click here)
1. So when did you realize that you could draw like really REALLY well?
I’m not sure when I realized when I could draw well but I did notice when people started showing interest in my art. I attended art school and was surrounded by incredibly talented students. They were beyond inspiring and so experienced that I didn’t think my work was at a good enough level yet. I began to notice my art was appreciated when I started posting my sketches on Instagram about a year ago. I was caught off guard and was deeply flattered. The community on Instagram is very supportive and I love meeting new artists on there everyday.
2. Tell me about Ollie & how he came about…
Ollie is a little sea otter (stuffed with love) that was given to me by a friend a few years ago. I have a huge obsession with sea otters and think they are the cutest creatures ever. I dream of one day expanding Tori & Ollie enough to be able to donate to various funds that help out endangered animals. Ollie is my supportive teammate that keeps me going to create more. He reminds me that its the small things in life that brings a smile to your face. I want to share a little piece of that happiness with others.
3. Where do you get ideas/inspiration from when coming up with new products for your shop?
Like I mentioned in the previous question, the little things in life inspire me. There is so much beauty around us, I’m totally fascinated by color and lighting and ultimately how they all interact with each other. When it comes to new products that I create for my shop, the ideas usually stem from a medium I’ve been wanting to play with. I’ll somehow find a way to merge that curiosity with products I want for myself. For example, I love surface pattern design and I need notebooks. This sparked the idea of fabric notebooks, which also encompass my love for paper. This is a little secret on what Tori & Ollie will be offering in the upcoming months.
4. Best advice another crafty/indie owner has given you?
Off the top of my head I can’t remember a piece of advice that another crafty indie owner has given me that played an influential part in my small business. Most of the indie crafter friends I made provide the best support team ever, we all play as cheerleaders for each other to keep moving forward. On the other hand, I find the Red Lemon Club by Alex Mathers very motivating and a valuable resource for beginners and pros alike. I highly recommend following his Twitter accounts, the articles he tweets are useful and a positive nudge in the right direction. http://www.redlemonclub.com
5. Do you have any advice? or something you’ve learned since opening a shop?
If you’re thinking about opening a shop on Etsy or Storenvy, just do it. When I first started out, I did a lot of research on branding, merchandising, etc. and worried about what direction to take with Tori & Ollie. I ended up stressing myself out. At the end of the day, do what you love, and the rest will fall into place. Also, create something that is helpful and most of all, create something that is uniquely you. For example, there are many crafters that do jewelry, but what do you do that sets you apart from all the others?
6. What are some things that freak you out?
Days I don’t draw in my sketchbook. All I think about is art, even when I’m out and about, I always make sure to have a sketchbook on me. Another silly thing that freaks me out is when I feel I’m not getting enough work done. I’m a bit of a workaholic. Lastly, I’m always worried about the consumer, if they feel they are getting their bang for their buck.
7. Five people you find fascinating?
Absolutely love Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, my childhood right there. The creators of Ugly Dolls, David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim, Cozy Monster is my favorite ugly doll. And I consider American illustrator Andrew Loomis’s books to be must-read for all artists.
Honeybadgers. My boyfriend tried to get me to draw him a honeybadger for more than a year. Not happening.
9. We already know you are crazy talented in drawing…what is a talent you wish you had?
I’m absolutely fascinated by people who can sew and do hand lettering. I would love to learn how to sew but I have accepted the fact that I can’t do it as well as I hope and I should stick to drawing. One day, I would like to do a collaboration with someone who sews. On the other hand, I plan on taking courses in hand lettering in the next month and am super excited to try it out.
10. Why should people visit your shop?
To treat yourself to a little piece of cuteness. We all deserve to be spoiled and pampered once in a while. I want to create things that brings people happiness. Especially on a rainy day, I hope Tori & Ollie will make your day brighter.
ToriandOllie have notecards that will be included in 50 of the September samplers. If you haven’t purchased a Sampler yet click here.
Also check out ToriandOllie.com for stickers, books, zines, art prints & other super cute items.