Maura Reed was born in Nashville, TN and received a BA in Interior Design with a minor in Fine Art. Her mother was an artist and enrolled Maura in formal art instruction at a very young age. Maura worked as a commercial interior designer for about 3 years, and then left to pursue abstract painting — a profession that would last two decades. In 2008, she decided to try her talent in digital art. Maura took some time to talk to us about her background and favorite products.
I found out about Zazzle after looking for some notecards to print my abstract photography. I’ve been designing since 2008 — that first year was a complete learning experience. I love designing for business cards — it’s my niche. I would describe my style as: elegant, professional and stylish. It’s mostly understated, but with a bold touch of either color or design.
Here are my top 10 tips for other designers and sellers on Zazzle:
1. Love what you do.
This is mandatory.
2. Be patient and persistent.
Understand it will not happen overnight.
3. Only post your best work.
In time your inventory will grow as you continue to sharpen your skills. If you have a store that only displays great designs, then the customer will have more trust and confidence in you as a designer.
4. Be true to yourself.
Always strive to be better….never stop educating and inspiring yourself. This is a constantly evolving industry. Surround yourself with great talent, read books, take a class, join great blogs and visit museums.
5. Be original.
Be known for what makes your work stand out.
6. “Know when to put the brush down.”
Every fine artist understands this. For me, the same goes with designing business cards. I try to keep my designs simple, yet memorable – not busy or overdone.
7. Find a niche and stick with it.
The longer you are with it, the better you will become. In time, you will be known for your talent and skill.
8. Create a smart and professional header.
Every single time your customer clicks on one of your Zazzle product pages, they will see it. It sets a stage and is an extension of your professionalism. It’s almost like an online business card in itself.
9. Get feedback.
If you’re not sure if it’s good enough, ask other designers on the forum. The forum is a wonderful place — very supportive and resourceful in so many ways. Make sure to visit it often.
10. Balance your life.
Balance keeps everything in perspective and keeps us from becoming stagnant, burnt out or stressed. It keeps you fresh.
Here are some of my favorite products:
This was a variation of an older lotus illustration that I wanted to give a more simple, elegant feel. Healing arts and cosmetology are a huge inspiration for many of my designs.
This circle motif was a design I created out of complete spontaneity. I only knew that I was going to do some kind of mandala design…so I began with one circle and “the rotate tool” in AI.
I love to incorporate texture, pattern and light into my designs.
I wanted to create something soft and feminine with a hand drawn style. I’m trying to add more hand-drawn work to my designs.
I love using the circle motif in my designs. The gold and wood texture gives warmth to this bold, mod design.