FOLLOW FRIDAY FEATURE #7 - PRINT YOURSELF MAD
Hey, I'm back, again! Things have been super busy so far this year with the relaunch of the website etc. But this time, I'm back for good and the Follow Friday and Ghoul Gang Features will resume every week as usual!
For this weeks Follow Friday Feature, I'm chatting to the insanely talented Olivia who runs a brand new Small Business - Print Yourself Mad! From what I've seen so far, everything is absolutely beautiful. Like really, really, REALLY beautiful. Her collection of prints are so perfect for all of you that love everything dark, witchy, enchanting and magical.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Liv, and I am the owner of Print Yourself Mad. I'm 24 and I live with my partner, my friend and my dog (she's my favourite, and probably my biggest distraction from doing anything productive) I studied Digital Media & Marketing at Manchester Met University and I now work for a digital marketing agency, but my goal is to go full time with my shop!
What made you want to start your own business?
I have always found myself drawn to the more creative things in life, as a child I answered the question "what do you want to do when you grow up" with "an artist!" and I guess 20 years later I'm trying to make it a reality. Like many creative people, I'm not very good with routine and the 9-5 doesn't love me, and I don't love it either. I like waking up and choosing my own schedule and to-do's for the day rather than having to fit into the very rigid 8 hour day we've all become used to - deep I know! Every avenue I explored which meant I could be somewhat creative in a professional or corporate setting just felt so restricted and like I couldn't REALLY be creative, only within the bounds of what someone else wanted. I'm only at the beginning of my journey but I cannot wait to grow and hopefully make this my full-time job.
Where did the idea for the name 'Print Yourself Mad' come from?
Honestly, who even knows. I knew I wanted something "different" or "quirky", whatever that means... but I'll be honest there's not much meaning behind it! The phrase 'drive yourself mad' kept coming up and I thought hey, I'm pretty 'mad' about prints (my house is covered) and so Print Yourself Mad was born! I also tried not to over think it too much, I'm sure when the Arctic Monkeys first told people their band name, they got a lot of funny looks, but it's only what you get used to hearing.
What are your main influences/inspiration when creating your products?
Something magical. Something that makes you go 'ooooo'.. haha, but seriously, that's how I know I really like something! I've always personally been more drawn to art that provides an escape, something that is unknown and makes you question it and create your own interpretation of the meaning. I know that sounds so pretentious but it's true! Don't get me wrong though, plenty of my creative choices are made purely based on 'it looks good that way'! I think I'm very much still finding my style and every time I sit down to draw, I can feel my style changing slightly. I'm excited to see how different my products might look in a years' time!
Whats your process for making your ideas come to life? How are they made?
I'm one of those annoying people who isn't very good at planning and I kind of just dive in as soon as I get an idea. Sometimes this is great, and I can whip an almost finished design together in a couple of hours. Other times I waste hours and hours messing with something because I didn't really think about it before I started. If I'm feeling uninspired I browse Pinterest looking for some inspo, which could be from anything really, not just other pieces of art. I draw digitally on Procreate on my iPad, I then export this into Adobe on my computer for some more detailed touch ups. Finally, I do a test print to check it looks how I expect! (My first few weeks of learning to print my own products was stressful to say the least, who knew there was so much to consider!) I'm hoping to one day upgrade my printer so I can get the paper and ink combo I really want, but all in good time!
What was the first product you made?
The first product was the moon phase print. I drew this by hand with good old pen and paper. It was the first time I had ever used stippling as a technique... I watched a YouTube video on how to do it and just went for it! I probably won't continue with this print as I feel I could improve it, but I'll always remember it as what kick started it all.
Do you have a favourite product?
Right now, it's the Fortune Teller print. I think it's her white eyes, they just speak to me, haha! I didn't plan on not giving her any 'proper' eyes, but once I drew the outline I just loved it how it was, so I left it. I think it gives her this spooky quality I just love.
Whats your favourite thing about being a small business owner?
This is a tricky one for me to answer because I do still work full time and my shop is really my 'side hustle'. But when I do manage to go full time with my business, the thing I'm most looking forward to is being able to live on my own schedule, being able to create the work I want to produce, and just generally being able to spend my days doing the things I've always wanted to do! Doing what I enjoy has ALWAYS been the most important thing to me, money and all of that is great, but if what I'm doing doesn't bring me joy, then I don't want it!
And now, what’s your least favourite?
Well, it could be bookkeeping, because I mean who enjoys that? Or it could be SEO research, because who really gets that? OR it could be me comparing everything I do to all the other amazing businesses out there haha! But I think really it's when something doesn't work out the way I want it to, when I can envision what I want but I can't create it. That sh*t drives me mad... no pun intended.
What are you most looking forward to as an Independent Business when things start to go back to normal?
Craft fairs and shops! Having only started up during the pandemic it's not something I've even begun to look into, but I've seen some great stuff from other small businesses and I'd LOVE to be able to do that one day.
If you could recommend five other independent businesses to the readers, who would they be and why?
Wow this is hard... okay...
Haus of Gaunt - @hausofgaunt on Instagram, sells the MOST beautiful handmade items and her grid is to die for.
Elise Florence Designs - @eliseflorencedesigns on Instagram, sells beautiful lino prints and everything she produces is super eco-friendly.
ARTEMIS - @artemis.accessories on Instagram, sells really beautiful and affordable jewellery, I truly do want it all.
Ma Belle Maison - @mabellemaisonuk on Instagram, sells beautiful interior decor products, perfect for those who love a chic, classic look.
Now I have to give a special shout out to this one... Carte De Visite - @carte.de.visite on Instagram. Kat really did inspire me to start what I'm doing, her prints are gorgeous but she's even more so. She's shown me nothing but support despite us not knowing each other personally, I owe her so much! Sneaky tag as well just to say she also runs an interior account too, @little.rose.house - her house is to die for!
Do you have any new items/collections coming up? - Tell us about them!
My shop is launching on Wednesday 27th Jan. I'm SO excited and also so nervous, I technically opened up in July of 2020, but all I really did was throw up some items on Etsy and hope for the best... This time around I've created prints that I wanted to create, not just what I thought people would like. I'm praying people do like them though, haha!
Do you have any lockdown Music / Film / book recommendations for the readers?
I'm definitely a film/TV person, and I'm sorry to jump on the bandwagon but Bridgerton really is the dogs b******s haha! It might not be everybody's cup of tea, but I loved it, entertaining and gripping while also being an easy Sunday watch. I did watch another Netflix series called 'Hollywood' which I really liked, a little bit of scandal and humour, but with a really important and touching message. My trusted go-to's are obviously Harry Potter, anything with Leonardo DiCaprio, and Desperate Housewives (yes, you read that right. I love it more than life)
Thank you so much to Olivia for chatting with me this week, I'm absolutely OBSESSED with her work. If you'd like to check out more of her pieces, you can find them on the Print Yourself Mad Instagram here - or, maybe go treat yourself to one! You can find the Etsy page here!
Thanks for reading, and I'll be back next Friday with our 8th Follow Friday Feature! Don't forget, if you're an artist/creative/small business owner and you'd like to be featured - just drop me a message via my contact page, Instagram or via the Nox Caelo email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Much love and stay safe,