Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Focus On... Alex Wijnen! {And A Discount Code!}

Alex Wijnen's shop is a happy place for me. I love the color, the lines, the FUN behind all of her work. Luckily, Alex is a super nice person and has offered a super nice deal for Kate and Oli readers! Read on to learn more!

Tell me some basic info about yourself. 
I'm a graphic designer working from home in Portland, Oregon, where I live with my hubby, two dogs and two cats. I grew up in northern Europe and when I was 17, my parents decided to move to the States. They dragged me along kicking and screaming (after all, what 17-year-old wants to leave their friends behind?!) but now I love being in the US and couldn't imagine living 
anywhere but in the beautiful Northwest. 

What kind of mediums do you use and why? 
In my teens I preferred working in watercolor, but I've since moved into this new realm of combining black and white illustrations with digital finishing, adding color and texture to make my images come to life. As a graphic designer I use Photoshop every day so I guess it was just a natural progression to start using it in my art as well. 

What made you decide to sell on etsy?
It's a great way to have a web presence without having to invest a lot of money in a custom site. I hang out on Etsy quite a bit, not just tweaking my shop but also surfing the forums and finding new favorites. My house is filled with art I found on Etsy so I'm an avid buyer as well as seller.

Where do you get your inspiration? 
I find inspiration both in nature and from my childhood memories. I've always loved to draw, and the natural world is just so beautiful, it's easy to be inspired. But lately I find myself wanting to use my art to tell a story so I go inside myself, back in time, and try to create little vignettes of 
fragments of my life. 

What is your favorite music to craft by?
It actually varies quite a bit. Sometimes I find that classical music best fits my mood while at other times I love the sounds of house music and electronica. The last few weeks I've actually sought out a Dutch radio station that plays a mix of modern hits. I love hearing the hosts speak Dutch; I guess it relates to reaching back into my childhood (I grew up in the Netherlands, among other places). 

When it's cold outside... I love to cuddle up on the couch with a good book, a mug of tea and my dog. 

When I'm hungry... I reach for whatever I can find in the cupboards. I don't like cooking and often joke that I'm on a bag diet (if it's in a bag, I'll eat it). 

When I need a boost... I look to other artists and designers who inspire me. Or I look to my husband and the life we've built together; that always makes me feel quite lucky.

I wish I was/were... skinnier! My bag diet is obviously not working. :) 

If I could give one gift to everyone I know, it would be... to accept themselves just as they are (wish I could give that gift to myself as well!) 

If I could have coffee with anyone, it would be... my baby sister. She lives in the Netherlands and I dearly miss her. 

If you were an animal, what would you be?
I'd love to have some funny or unique answer to this but I'd probably just want to be a cat. Seeing ours curled up on a soft pillow under the window with sunlight streaming in always makes me feel slightly jealous. 

What's your favorite piece of your own? 
It often changes, depending on my mood or what I'm working on, but I think I'd have to say my overall favorite piece is Taking the Scenic Route. 

What are your favorite blogs/websites right now?
I follow quite a few blogs (including Design*Sponge, Poppytalk and SFGirlByBay) but right now I'm really drawn to Oh So Beautiful Paper. As a graphic deisgner, I've recently had more invitation projects come across my desk so I'm always inspired by the gorgeous designs showcased there. 

You can find Alex Wijnen on
her website
her blog
and on etsy!

Alex has offered a fantabulous deal just for Kate and Oli readers! Simply enter the coupon code "KATEANDOLI" and you'll get 20% off of your order! I bet you can find a lot of prints to snap up at that price!


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