Sandy, from the Zazzle Stores sandybuckley, DamaskDiva, thegraduateshoppe, thebirthdayshop, and theflowershop, was kind enough to answer some questions about her artistic style and her time at Zazzle. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her stores sandybuckley, DamaskDiva, thegraduateshoppe, thebirthdayshop, and theflowershop!
About (from bio): First, I’ll state the obvious. Everyone is creative. There is not a person on Earth that is incapable of coming up with a new idea. The question for me, however, was how to embrace that concept in my life. So, in 2005 I decided to distract myself from reality, move 3000 miles across the country and immerse myself in a sleepy little island community off the coast of Washington State called Friday Harbor. Little did I know that my housewarming gift would be inspired creativity. My intent was a change in lifestyle but in reality I expanded my perspective and found the passion for creativity which now had its rightful outlet. Go figure.
Photography in an island paradise comes naturally so that is where I began dabbling in the arts. Within months I had collected many photos of seascapes, orca whales and wildlife and turned to the internet to see what options existed for sharing the beauty I had discovered. Just one year out of the beta mode, Zazzle seemed like a great place to see if the world would share my enthusiasm. I joined the community in 2006, never expecting to find a world of innovative artists and a spirit of entrepreneurship which would become “empowering” to me. I embraced the feedback and welcomed the interactions, muddling my way through the process as my inner artist was unleashed.
Meeting so many celebrated artists and infusing yourself with far greater than “recommended daily allowances” of creativity in a positive and nurturing atmosphere is one of the reasons why I have continued as a loyal designer at Zazzle. Over the years, I have opened stores as outlets—looking for ways to market concepts as opposed to content, each store holding a spot near and dear to my heart.
I have been very fortunate since 2006 in large part due to Zazzle’s innovation and appreciation for their artists. The island and photography community have embraced my designs and work which they see on Zazzle and now around town — bringing many other collaborative island artists to Zazzle as well. In September, my “day job” was outsourced and I have never been happier- the timing is perfect for this new paradigm in personal growth to continue. Opportunities happen and I’ve learned from the past three years and counting, I will take them as then come.
Zazzle: A lot of your work seems to be an elegant/wedding style, are there other styles or themes you enjoy as well??
Sandy: That’s a really tough question because I love designing just about everything Zazzle has to offer. Each of my stores was opened with a “theme” in mind- holidays, pet apparel, shoes, invitations, photography, etc. I certainly love photography and sharing the charm of the islands- but I am also completely enamored with Photoshop for design work. Each day brings a different inspiration so I am completely open to whatever strikes me as enjoyable at that moment and use Zazzle as the outlet to share that. I certainly have Zazzle to thank for allowing me to share my enthusiasm and interact with such an inspiring base of talented artists.
Zazzle: What’s your favorite Zazzle product to create?
Sandy: Designing wedding products is certainly my favorite pastime- it’s really fun to try and figure out what a bride or a bridal shower hostess will consider worthy of their event. But I do have to say that creating business card designs allows for greater flexibility in themes. There is such a broad spectrum of options- from modern to floral and everything in between- I’m always very honored when someone purchases one of my designs to market their presence in any given industry.
Zazzle: When you’re not creating art, what are your other hobbies?
Sandy: I live on a small island in the Pacific Northwest called San Juan Island- about 65 miles northwest of Seattle. It’s a charming but fragile ecosystem accessible only by ferry or plane and we’re lucky enough to have whales, eagles, wildlife and a diversity of beauty that is incredibly inspiring. I spend a lot of time photographing, hiking and watching the whales- but I also love volunteering with the scientists who are striving to maintain the region’s natural resources for generations to come.
Zazzle: What has been your favorite design you’ve created, and why?
Sandy: Wow, that’s a really tough question. I recently was hired to create several stock designs for some scientists in British Columbia at the north end of Vancouver Island. The project wound up lasting about 5 months during which I was honored to witness the far-reaching scope of their science and tireless efforts – both of which really inspired me in a profound way. During the course of these interactions, I created a design embracing the fragility of our environment which is one of my favorites. It sort of became a tribute to piece for the selfless work of scientists to protect and preserve the natural beauty we take for granted each day.
Zazzle: What got you interested in selling your art on Zazzle?
Sandy: When we moved to the Island, I began to try and capture all of the beauty around me via photography. Within months I had a collection of seascapes, orca whales and wildlife images and turned to the internet to see what options existed for sharing the beauty I had discovered. Just one year out of the beta mode, Zazzle seemed like a great place to see if the world would share my enthusiasm. I joined the community in 2006, never expecting to find a world of innovative artists and a spirit of entrepreneurship which would become “empowering” to me. I embraced the feedback and welcomed the interactions, muddling my way through the process as my inner artist was unleashed. I dabbled in painting and colored pencil for a while and eventually began to design in Photoshop which (for now) is my favorite way to spend my time.
Zazzle: What tips can you give someone who is just starting out on Zazzle?
Sandy: Zazzle offers an incredibly unique opportunity to share artwork and collaboratively interact with talented artists from all over the world. I’ve learned that whatever you do not know, there is someone on Zazzle who has the answer. So it has been important to me to spend some time interacting with my fellow artists over the past four years, as I learned all of the various aspects of marketing and html for store design, etc- the community is rich in resources if you need them. It’s also important to recognize that building your presence on Zazzle will not happen overnight- don’t get frustrated—with designs you’ve created from your personal inspirations, good tagging, keywords, product descriptions and alot of patience you’ll be seeing returns on your efforts.