In this designer newsletter we are featuring the very prolific Zazzle artist, Kathleen Fusinski from Plush Paper Design. Be prepared to be swept off your feet with her enchanting designs and illustrations.
Tell us about yourself! Where is your hometown? Where do you live now? Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of design? Any fun facts about yourself?
I was born in Chicago, raised in Kalamazoo, and now live in the northern suburbs of Detroit with my husband and our two little boys. Along with family time, my interests include traveling, decorating, and I love trying new restaurants and foods. Most days, though, my interests are pretty simple: a good cup of coffee, dance parties with my kids, and unwinding at night with my favorite shows.
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?
My workspace used to be a combo office / playroom / family room, but we recently moved and I now have a dedicated office space that is adjacent to the kids’ playroom. It’s funny though, the toys still tend to migrate to my office…my desk is usually covered in superhero ‘guys.’
What is your background in art/design? What got you started creating?
Art has been my passion for as long as I can remember. When I was young, I loved coloring, drawing caricatures, and trying out different hand lettering styles. Many weekends and summers were spent at art camps and classes at the local art museum. My creative interests in visual design and communication led me to study advertising and art in college, and I began my professional career working in the automotive advertising industry. A few years later, I started Plush Paper Design as a creative outlet after loving the experience of planning and personalizing my wedding day. This experience inspired me to create custom-order wedding invitations for local brides and my business was at first more of a hobby / side job. Many years of enjoyable work later, it has become my main source of income and I love what I do now more than ever. My Zazzle store was initially a place where clients could order their custom stamps, but I began to experiment with developing template designs on Zazzle’s custom stationery products and was thrilled when customers started purchasing from my store! At that time, I was creating mostly wedding and holiday card designs, but I have expanded my product line to include invitations, stationery, and gifts for all types of special occasions.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
My favorite sources of inspiration are beautiful photography, typography, nature, fashion, and color trends. Many new ideas start as a customer request for a specific design theme. I also find that experiencing different events and milestones in my own life will inspire new ideas.
When do you feel your most creative? Your least?
The peace and quiet of nighttime has always sparked my creativity. I tend to jot down and sketch ideas throughout the day and then develop them into designs at night, typically with a glass of wine and my favorite radio station streaming.
What are your favorite products to design on Zazzle?
Wedding paper goods are my favorite to design and it is a great feeling when customers choose my designs for their weddings, because I know it is such an important day and the invitations and personalized details help to make it something special. I take great care in developing invitation designs, and the coordinating items like stamps and favor stickers are simple and fun to create.
If you could wish for one new product on Zazzle, what would it be and why?
My customers would love designer envelopes with recipient and return address printing. This would create a cohesive, more personalized look for their mailings.
What was the very first Zazzle product that you sold?
In 2009, my first sale was a single sheet of favor stickers. I earned a whopping 38 cent royalty, but I celebrated each and every sale. Still do.
What are your favorite product types to design on Zazzle?
See answer above (same question).
What Are Your 5 Favorite Products in Your Store?
Do you have any advice for new Zazzle Designers?
There are so many new talented artists joining the Zazzle design community! My best advice is to take the time to set up a design to your liking, and only publish products you love and imagine others would love to buy.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?
I just want to thank those who have personalized my designs for the special occasions they are celebrating, and also Zazzle for allowing me to share my creative passion with people around the world.