Today we’re talking with Audrey Chenal, the creator of the bright and colorful designs in Zazzle store Girly Trend. Read on to find out more about her international travels and inspiration, and how despite not growing up as “the creative one” she took the leap to pursue her creative dreams.
Tell us about yourself!
Bonjour! My name is Audrey. I’m French (mainly on Monday’s and Thursday’s 🙂 ) originally from a quaint little village beside the beautiful Alps. I have lived and hustled in London for too many years, chilled in New Zealand for a while, got lost in Italy and met a kangaroo in Australia twice! I finally found my place and settled for the sunny south of Spain. I’m addicted to designing, drawing, sunbathing and coffee and that is pretty much all I do now!
Tell us about the space where you do your work. Do you have an official studio or have your carved out a nook in your home?
I love working anywhere and everywhere, I once shared a tree with a squirrel and that was very inspiring! When not out and about I have set up an office / studio / lounge in my living room which is now a perfectly efficient workplace although my partner isn’t happy as he has to do everything on the terrace. I basically turn every surface into a temporary work studio when inspiration hits me!
What is your background in art/design? What got you started creating?
As a child I was always told that I wasn’t the creative one (I know!) I’m left handed (and proud of it) but everything I drew would get really messy by the time I was finished. I knew I had the creative touch in me but decided later in life to concentrate on “adult” stuff and “get a real job”. It was only 5 years ago I decided to unleash the unicorn I had inside of me and dedicate my life to the wonderful world of creating. I used to live in a dull gray corporate world where colors and fun were nowhere to be seen and one day I decided to take the jump. I dropped everything to go and live my dream and bring some colors into my life. And here I am now, a proud full time designer on Zazzle! I love drawing and painting with watercolors but I am constantly experimenting with new paints and media. I use Photoshop and illustrator for the finished designs.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Girly Trend is all about bold vibrant colors, fashion and trends so I try to keep up with the latest trends and follow the seasonal color palettes. I love creating patterns, mandalas and organic shapes so nature is my best inspiration and it is free which is pretty sweet. Sometimes random ideas just pop into my head at 3am but I’m still trying to work out where they come from! Even though it may sound a little cliché, inspiration is everywhere and I find the more you travel the more inspired you become. So travel often!
When do you feel your most creative? Your least?
I wish I knew! My creativity seems to have a mind of its own. The only thing I can do is make the most of it when it comes. I once started a project and didn’t sleep for two days with only creativity (and coffee) to keep me going. I would like to think I am least creative when I’m asleep but my boyfriend did tell me I painted a pattern on his arm once (we’re still trying to work out how I did it).
What are your favorite products to design on Zazzle?
If you could wish for one new product on Zazzle, what would it be and why?
Duvet covers or bed covers or a cover that just so happens to fit perfectly on a Duvet! (I know, subtle) It would be so much fun to design and give some extra personality to the bedroom!
What was the very first Zazzle product that you sold?
It was a postcard and it was awesome! It still gives me that warm feeling inside when I think about it. Someone somewhere in the world just purchased a postcard with my design on it! I still feel the same way every time I make a sale and that’s why I love Zazzle so much!
What are your favorite product types to design on Zazzle?
I love designing on all products types, some days I’m feeling papery and just want to design on paper products like invitations and rack cards, and other days I feel more fabric-y and designing for home and décor. It’s random and it’s so much fun!
Do you have any advice for new Zazzle Designers?
I sure do! Be patient, it takes time (a long time in my case)! Keep going at it and set personal goals rather than sales when you start. Sometimes it makes me happy just to see my design on the variety of products available and if it sells great, if not, it still looks cute! When I’m designing I always think to myself, would I buy it? If the answer is yes then I post it for sale and don’t look back, if the answer is no or maybe, I keep working on. Once you find your own style or niche, keep at it. Try to be as original as possible and just enjoy what you do every day and I guarantee you will see the sales come rolling in!
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?
I draw on everything! Everything in my house that came blank or plain is now painted on or drawn on! Candles, mugs, caps, sneakers….only my dogs have been spared! Also, no boyfriends or squirrels have been harmed during this interview 🙂