Cheryl, from the Zazzle store CherylsArt, talks about her art and her time at Zazzle. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to check out her store CherylsArt!
Zazzle: When and how did you first become interested in art? How long have you been making art?
Cheryl: I first became interested in art and color as a kid. I so looked forward to the day when I could help my father change the colors of the walls with a paint brush. I especially liked making crafty things and painting paint by number kits. I also enjoyed doing liquid embroidery, which was painting pre-drawn designs on table cloths, pictures, and napkins, using paint tubes.
Art was seen more as a hobby than a job or career choice. After graduating high school, I worked mostly in the office world. Once my husband and I became parents, I decided to stay home to raise our daughter. Somehow I knew I wouldn’t be going back to the office world, I didn’t know what I was going to do yet, but I knew I would figure it out. When our daughter was four, she and I were out doing errands. On the way home I saw a yard sale with a two sided easel in the yard. One side was higher than the other! My heart sang. She could create on one side while I could paint on the other.
So began my journey of giving myself permission to make art my career choice. I purchased lots of painting books and practiced for a good number of years and then opened up my art business, Creative Brushstrokes, LLC, in 2004.
Zazzle: What is your favorite style to create?
Cheryl: Free flow is my favorite style to create, when there are no lines to consider.
Zazzle: When you’re not creating art, what are your other hobbies?
Cheryl: When I’m not creating art, I like reading and writing. I like creating Squidoo lenses on things that I like. I also like walking and dancing; it feels good doing something physical.
Zazzle: What has been your favorite design you’ve created, and why?
Cheryl: Wow, to pick a favorite! In looking back through what I’ve created so far, I would pick the earth bouquet design.
I like thinking positive and looking forward. Since God was supposed to have created the world with words and thoughts, then I think it’s better to focus upon that which we would like to have. If God looked backwards instead of forwards, then there would still only be a vast open space. So I choose to imagine having a pleasant world.
Zazzle: What is your favorite Zazzle feature? How do you use it?
Cheryl: I love that Zazzle now fills in familiar lines of keywords when adding tags. When adding new tags, I browse through the latest options that show up and pick the most appropriate one and then make any changes to it. It saves me a world of time.
Zazzle: Who is your favorite Zazzle seller (besides yourself, of course)?
Cheryl: My other favorite Zazzle seller, one of many, is itty_bitty_keds. She creates such cute and happy designs.
Zazzle: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play you?
Cheryl: I would pick Meryl Streep. She is so versatile. I once took an acting class in which I played a part by Meryl Streep, so it would be fitting that she could play me as well.
Zazzle: What got you interested in selling your art on Zazzle?
Cheryl: Trial and error was my motivation. When I first decided to make art my career, I started out with making floor cloths and painting murals. After doing some of both, I realized that I didn’t like as many aspects of it to keep going with that. When painting murals, I had to pack up supplies, load and unload the car, consider heights, etc. When painting floor cloths, I also had to glue, hem, get down on my knees on the basement floor, etc. So I decided to continue with art without all the things that I didn’t want to do.
I had a computer and a scanner, and a couple of people online that I knew had mentioned Zazzle. I checked Zazzle out and it seemed like a perfect match. I could still paint and create, all my supplies are handy, and I no longer had to glue and ship. And Zazzle did the billing too. I love it!
Zazzle: What tips can you give someone who is just starting out on Zazzle?
Cheryl: To stay focused on your goals, to add good keywords and descriptions to your products, to promote (it doesn’t have to be just your own), and to invest in a professional art software program. A professional program allows one to erase backgrounds, giving individual items a cleaner, professional look. Customers can then also choose a different color background for the item, on products that allow them to do that.