Designer Moment: Hello Happee

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Tell us about yourself!

I was born and raised in Ireland, but after graduating college I decided to travel and work abroad. Since then I have lived and worked in London and now live in Italy, close to the wonderful city of Milan. I am a preschool teacher by day, but illustrating and creating are my ultimate passions in life. Fun Fact: My cat Captain traveled with me from London when I moved to Italy!

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Tell us about the space where you do your work.

At home I have converted our guest room into my studio/work space; when I’m at home, this is where you will find me 90% of the time. However, I get most of my work done during my daily commutes in and out of Milan for work; I sketch out my design ideas and then use my iPad to create the finished illustrations from the comfort of the train. It’s not ideal, but I’m very passionate about what I’m doing. I utilize every moment of my spare time to work on it.

What is your background in art/design? What got you started creating?

I’ve always been a creative soul; I studied art when I was in secondary school. Though I went on to do a degree in education, my passion for design stayed with me. I illustrated for the college magazine and took a special elective in art education in my final year. When I started working full time in London, I lost connection with my creative side and forget to make time for it. However, it didn’t take me long to realize I needed to find my way back to it. I started blogging in 2015 and that is how I found my way back to design and illustration.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

My designs started as positive quotes on Instagram. I’ve noticed that the online space was becoming saturated with negativity and unrealistic expectations and I wanted to inject a bit of fun and color back into it, even if just for myself. People really responded to what I was doing. Since then, I take inspiration from my own feelings as well as the views and opinions of those I have connected with online; ultimately, I just want to create a positive online space and make people smile.

When do you feel most creative? Your least?

My levels of creativity ebb and flow like any creative. Funnily though, I’ve always felt my creativity is connected to the moon phases as I always seem to come up with my best ideas when the full moon is out! The thing that really blocks my creativity is stress. When I can’t clear my mind of other thoughts, it’s very difficult to let inspiration in.

What are your favorite products to design on Zazzle?

I love the button badges and stickers because I feel my Instagram post designs translate really well to them and I like the idea of positive quotes and thoughts getting stuck up all over other people’s lives and worlds.

I’m also such a sucker for mug designs because I personally can’t resist a nice quirky, colorful coffee cup design. (My cupboard is overflowing with them.) I always carry a reusable coffee mug with me when I travel. Being eco conscious, I love to design quirky reusable take-away coffee cups to encourage people to reduce their waste and take their reusable cup into their favorite coffee places instead of always getting plastic and paper cups.

What was the very first Zazzle product that you sold?

One of my positive button badges, it reads, “you’re a rainbow of amazing”!

What Are Your 5 Favorite Products in Your Store?

Magic Moments Button

Love is Blind Pride Month Mug

I Am Stronger Than You Think Button

Classic Ice Cream Paper Plates

Throw Kindness and Happiness Around Coffee Mug

Do you have any advice for new Zazzle Designers?

Take note of all the correct dimensions of the products you want to create before you start your designs to avoid being disappointed that something doesn’t fit well later. Try and be unique and true to yourself. This is a creative space so let your creativity run wild and don’t try to be a copy and paste of someone else’s style. Share your designs on social media and ask your followers for feedback on what they’d like to see next. Most importantly create things that you love and would want yourself.  Have fun with it and don’t get yourself stressed out if you don’t make oodles of sales straight away.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?

You can follow me on Instagram at @hellohappee or @laurajaneillustrations to see more of my daily posts of positivity or check out my website, hellohappee.com, for some weekly ‘happee’ fueled posts and ideas.

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