Pip, of the Zazzle store Pip_Gerard, was kind enough to answer some questions about her inspirations, her introduction to Zazzle, and her time as a Zazzler. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store Pip_Gerard!
Zazzle: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Pip: I spent a wonderful 7 years working at Pan Macmillan Publishing Australia. I learned so very much there and the people there were just wonderful. The excitement of meeting celebrities & authors through their books was a real rush too. I cannot say enough good things about my time there. I wouldn’t be doing what I am now on Zazzle without that time at Pan because that is where I learned most about computers, internet html and where I first self taught myself Paint Shop Pro. Without doing that I would never have then moved onto teaching myself the Adobe Creative Range of Software.
I left Pan Macmillan to have my son and did not return.
I worked briefly part time in a Kodak Photo Store, and during that time purchased a Canon Digital SLR Camera which helped re-ignite my creative passion for designing, because through photography I learned Photoshop inside & out. After that, I then had the confidence to start delving into vector art & design, beginning first in Photoshop & then moving onto Illustrator.
Once I started designing, I truly knew it was what I wanted to do in my life. I played around with t-shirt designs & photography until I realized stationery was where my heart was. Designing on Zazzle honestly makes me very happy. I’m very, very thankful that I can do what I what do from home and love it so very much.
Zazzle: What inspires you to create art?
Pip: Everything & anything. I’ve constantly got my ‘design’ eye working and looking for inspiration and ideas… that’s part of the most fun I have with designing. I see inspiration in all kinds of places, from a pub’s menu, a store catalogue, even in places like a children’s book. And I’m always eying other people’s fridges to see what they’ve got hanging on there. I keep a pen & paper handy in my bag, as well as beside the bed for writing down new ideas (especially for those rare times when a funny t-shirt slogan may just hit me). I learned the hard way when I thought up what I thought was a great slogan one night before sleep and couldn’t for the life of me remember it the next morning!
Zazzle: Out of all of the designs you’ve created, or photos you’ve taken which one is your favorite?
Pip: So many are ‘special’ to me for different reasons. But I would have to say for sure that my favorite overall would be my ‘Retro Circle Tree’ that I’ve adapted and used on all kinds of stationery, from business cards, wedding invitations, baby shower invitations, to moving house postcards & birthday stationery!
For many years I’d been sidetracked from painting, because I was too busy with things like photography, Adobe software, black line drawing, as well as the little task of bringing up a little baby boy.
So once those things weren’t foremost on my thoughts & to do’s, (& the little boy was at the more independent age of 5) I prepared to get more involved in my creative mediums, so went out and purchased new materials. I finally sat down one night and decided to paint. I chose watercolour paints, because back when I did painting at art school, I used to enjoy it the most out of all paint mediums. I enjoyed that night of painting so much, that once I finished that tree I was hooked! Now I’m constantly trying to find ways to adapt watercolour or acrylic painting into my designs, and am always looking for new and different ways of using it and displaying it digitally.
Zazzle: What got you interested in selling your art on Zazzle?
Pip: My lovely Mum, Zazzler Lornie got me onto Zazzle when she first heard about it from someone else. My Mum is a wonderful artist and has always been an inspiration to me. We both seem to have a passion for creating in us.
When I started on Zazzle over a year ago I was just dabbling in some creative fun. I wasn’t taking it seriously like I have been for at least the last 6 months. Now, my designs and store are on my mind most of the time.
Zazzle: Do you have any fun stories about being a seller on Zazzle?
Pip: I’d recently purchased a few sets of my own business cards and designed some flyers that were a sample catalogue of products I sell here, and I decided to post them all around my local area.
I had only just left them at my local Community Centre and Children’s Play Centre, when I was contacted by a local lady that said she was walking out of the maternal health centre, (baby & toddler in tow), when, she said, my business card just jumped out at her. She said she just had to grab it. She said she looked up my store when she got home and told me she was so impressed that she just had to contact me and let me know what she thought. Not only that, but she also managed to get 15 of her friends to ‘follow’ my Facebook page in the meantime.
Well that in itself absolutely thrilled me, but then she contacted me two days later to say she was at the local children’s playcentre (the ONLY other place that had my business cards) when she saw a lady walk past with my business card in hand. She stopped her and said ‘Aren’t they just gorgeous business cards?’ and the woman said she’d picked it up to give to her friend for baby thank you ideas. She then said she went back to all her friends she was there with and talked about my store for a good while. They all then got a card and flyer to take home!
Well the coincidence of it all really floored me!! Then I realized how much free publicity I’d received from one business card!!
Zazzle: Great story Pip! Do you have any tips that may help new Zazzlers?
Pip: The internet is such a massive pond and each one of us are very tiny fish. To start a ripple effect you need to make a very big & consistent effort at making a splash first. Then it takes time for the ripple effect to reach you.
Also, I think you have to love what you do as well as making sure you do it honestly & right. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than designing and I like to hope that my love for what I do shines through.