On the first day of Christmas I went to see: SMARTdesignsbyStacey.
Simple, modern and very effective. A black tree against a warm orange sky. In the background the full pale yellow moon rises, almost sitting it seems on the tree’s waving branches. In all the work I’ve chosen here, black contrasts with colour, in a clear lined and graphic style. That, I think, is what drew me to this design. The tree, elegant and strong is what I like best. As I write this my eyes keep wandering to a blank space on my office wall and ah . . . . well, when funds permit, it will be blank no longer.
Smartdesigns was opened in the summer of 2013 and its owner and designer, Stacey Sobelman hails from St. Louis (of the “meet me in” fame), USA. The shop sells digital graphic designs, plus a new range of printable gift and holiday cards. You can use the downloadable images for prints, stationery, hanging art, the list goes on. With Christmas coming, any of those might be the perfect gift for your “hard person to buy for” (we’ve all got one of those).
Unusually, Stacey also caters to Etsy sellers and offers a custom banner service. She works one and one with the customer to build the perfect banner for their shops. This is happy news for those of us who are not “design program” hardened. Also for sale are custom holiday banners and team badges (not to mention the fact that Stacey started and is the captain of Handmade by me Team, but that’s another post!) Click here to read about the team!
When looking at artists and their work, I always end up thinking about where they got the inspiration, what part did they liked best, what led them to their art and so on. As I am painting silk I think of the colours, deciding which to use, balancing dark with light and loving the way they spread across the fabric. I’ve decided to ask each of the featured shops the same six questions. I am really excited to see the answers; some may be similar whilst others may vary enormously. Everyone has their own way of working and viewing their art, so the answers should be very interesting. Let’s see what comes!
Interview with Stacey
What led you to graphic design?
“In high school, I was an editor for my school paper. And when I say I was an editor, I basically mean that I lived and breathed that paper. I just loved working on graphics. I made a few photo illustrations and art pieces to go along with stories and then I just started finding excuses to make one for every story I wrote. After high school, I got caught up in everything at college and didn’t really do much artwork for four years. It wasn’t until a friend of mine needed art for fliers for the bar she worked at that I started designing again at the beginning of this year. And that led to the birth of SMARTdesigns. At that point though, I never really considered myself an artist. It wasn’t until I made “A Life for All Seasons” and people started calling it art that I realized I’m an artist! And the rest is history! 🙂
What is your favourite part or what do you like best about your art or process?
I think my favorite part of graphic art is that it enables my perfectionism. I sit and squint at the screen, tweaking every little pixel, and I know that I can always change things I don’t like. I like being able to zoom in 2000% and see things up close. I think if I ever tried painting or drawing, I’d get too upset with a piece to ever finish it. With graphic art, nothing is permanent.
Also, (because it’s too hard to pick just one thing) I really love watching my artwork evolve before my eyes. When you work at 2000% zoom, you only see one tiny part of a piece. It becomes almost like a puzzle I guess. I work on one little area and then I zoom out and see the whole thing change before my eyes. It’s really cool.
It’s really hard to say where my inspiration comes from because honestly, I’m not really even sure. A lot of times I’ll see things online–paintings or photographs–and say to myself “that would be a cool graphic piece..” and then by the time the piece is done, it’s completely different from anything I’ve ever seen before. It just evolves I guess.
Do you ever have music on when you work? (I like this question because I always do, in fact I can’t work without it)
I used to watch Netflix while I worked, but I realized that I wasn’t actually seeing anything I was watching. I get so engrossed in projects that I’m working on that I tend to tune out everything else. I usually don’t turn on music just because it makes my computer run a little slower and I don’t really hear it anyway! ha ha!
Do you have a favourite piece of art in your shop?
My favorite piece is “A Life for All Seasons” because it was really the first “art” I ever created. It’ll probably always be my favorite.
And finally, what would be your “dream” Christmas gift to receive?
My dream gift would probably be a new computer so that I can get out of the house to do some of my art. My laptop now is held together with hot pink duct tape and has the battery life of about 20 minutes, so I can’t really go anywhere. It’d be nice to be able to do my artwork somewhere other than my desk.
Thank you Stacey from SMARTdesignsbyStacey.
That’s it for the first in this series. Don’t forget to check out the shop!
I know how Stacey feels about her first piece, I think mine will also always be my favourite. Also I have exactly the same evolving thing happen with me. A big thank you to Stacey for taking the time to answer all my questions. I have also set up a Pinterest board for all the featured images.
Please keep reading this series. Check back later this week for the second shop for Christmas.
Have a creative day!