totes & questions…

12here are a few pics of some new stuff i’ve been making. i always get really obsessed with making new things. tonight i have a ton of planning to do and i am going to try to make another dent in my e-mails. last night i got them down from the 700’s to the 5’s. 🙂 just a little bit behind from the move last month, but i am catching up one day at a time! as promised i am going to start working on that post for aspiring artists. i have enlisted a few friends to share their experiences as well (including mr. larson. he is always full of good advice….). i’ve been receiving lots of messages about it since the other day and I am compiling a list of questions. If you have a specific question, you can add it to the comments here. The general questions like “how did you get started” and information about the “joys and pains” or this line of work will be addressed for sure, not to worry. I am just going to compile the list and let my friends answer the ones that they feel comfortable with and I will do the same. I genuinely hope that it can be a positive encouragement as well as an honest post about personal experience. well, i am off to work for the evening. lovelove, e
  • awww, all so cute!!! that’s funny i was about to create tote bags (but smaller) and sell them on my etsy! i guess you beat me to it!!

    have a great day!


  • The totes are so cute! My question is: What are some good internet resources that aspiring artists might not know about?

  • as for a specific question what kind of paint do you use to paint on the totes?

    Also, I’m studying graphic design and so far my market looks like it would be geared almost in the same market you’re in, what would you recommend as far as trying to get my name out there so that people know that the crafting-DIY-indie-ish scene is who im trying to target???

    I Adore you bunches by the way!!!

  • elsie,

    those totes are adorable!

    i’m hoping that asking another question won’t be overwhelming. I’ve been meaning to ask you this:

    what kind of paint do you use, and what is your process for beginning a painting.

    is there any chance you might do a timelapse video like donna downey does?

  • My daughter, Emily is 12 years old. She is a very gifted artist. Whatever she’s inspired by, she creates with no education at all…that’s why I believe it’s a God given gift. She draws, makes jewelry and clay figures from Sculpty(?) clay. It would be cool to have someone look at her work so you can tell me what you think. Of if I can create a little blog of her and her creations…if that would be a good idea. She’s been creating ever since she was like 4 or 5.

    Thanks for reading this. I look foward to any response.

    Lydia (speaking for Emily) in Ohio

  • Love those bags! Thanks for being so inspiring. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!


  • I have a question! 🙂

    I’m a high school student and artist and I am looking for good art programs at colleges right now. I’m going to start with a basic studio art degree. So…what kind of education do you suggest for aspiring artists, college and otherwise? What education do you have and do you feel you have benefited from it? Any college recommendations would be much appreciated! 🙂

    – Faith

  • OMG are you going to be selling those tote bags? I so so so want to buy a Beautiful Mess one…..*grin* Fantastic work as always Elsie…always be you!!


  • Once again I am so pleased to have visited your blog today. I am looking forward to seeing the list! I am a life long crafter, I attend every holiday boutique I can get into, my family is looking forward to the next creation, I walked away from my scrapbook store(I’m the one that cries when I see you, cha anahiem), I can’t get rid of this creative bug! I am now selling our family recipe of Biscotti at local farmer markets! I am always inspired by you and feel your genuineness toward your “extended friends”

  • Stop making fabulous things I can’t afford to buy!! ;D

    Seriously though – can you tell me about the prints you make – how you print them, do you outsource that or do it yourself, how you get from the original painting to the print, photography? scanner? You get the idea…

    Thanks for the back to back posts – it has satisfied my addiction to your blog…

  • You tapped into a huge market you genius! Here in the UK..plastic and paper is almost non existant, each time you go to the register there are less and less bags, BUT you can guy a green bag(which is super strong and made of JUTE) to use and you get reward points for using them.

    Goooooooood idea and great effort to go green.

  • I’m curious about the process of creating patterned paper. I’d love it if you could explain how you work!

    Also another question.. How do you manage your time? I mean, I imagine you being so busy and you are doing all sorts of stuff. Getting inspiration from every direction, do you have some sort of system for organizing “inspirational stuff”? Do you make a schedule for the week, set goals that you need to have finished by a certain time or do you just well.. keep working and hope for the best?

    I also want to say that I admire you so much Elsie! It’s pretty amazing to stumble across a blog, like I did with yours, and feel that it has lifted my own work so much ever since. I don’t even use the same materials as you do and I’m not in the same business and our colour preferences are not at all similar.. but I just love everything that you do. You are one cool girl.

  • Elsie, you are awesome! I love your blog. So professional. And I love this idea of sharing artistic experience with us. Your totes are fantastic!

  • Elsie, you are awesome! I love your blog. So professional. And I love this idea of sharing artistic experience with us. Your totes are fantastic!

  • Elsie, you are awesome! I love your blog. So professional. And I love this idea of sharing artistic experience with us. Your totes are fantastic!

  • My question to my big artistic inspiration Ms Elsie: Are you happy with your present life ? :))))

    Second question: Have you ever been afraid of changing your “normal” life to become an artist (if you’ve been in that kind of situation?)

    Sorry for my English



  • Hi Elsie! What I would love to know is how it came about that you are able to live as an artist. I mean, I would love to be able to create and get paid for it, but I don’t know where to start. The compliments I get are for scrapping, photography, decorating and organizing. I have been paid to do all of those things for people, but not enough to quit my job. Do you have any advice, because all these things make me really happy and fulfilled and I would love to be able to do it all the time.

    Thank so much!


  • I don’t want this to sound bad, but how are you able to be an artist and make enough money to support yourself? That’s what’s always kept me from really persuing that lifestyle. I worry about health insurance, paying bills, that sort of thing. How do you spread your business far enough to be able to bring in enough revenue to live comfortably?

  • Questions for you!

    How did you get involved w/the Love, Elsie line? How did you present it or did they approach you? Did you do paintings of the papers & the made the paintings into paper? Did you start by printing your own paper? Do you know where would print 12″x12″? Ok, so once I started asking the questions just started rolling out. Thanks!

  • Hi Elsie! I just love the way you inspire so many people including me! I would love to know your process in creating, if you sketch, where you get inspiration, and how you get to the final product.

    I would love some advice from Jeremy. My son is an aspiring singer/songwriter. He has worked and saved his money and has spent it on studio time recording a few songs. I’ve read that Jeremy is now not with a record company and producing independently. I would love to know any advice he could give us about how to go about getting Greyson’s music out there, producing it ourselves, how to sell it, etc.

    Thanks so very much for all your inspiration and help!


  • i’m loving the tote bags. i’m a bit of a re-useble bag fan and have loads i love the. fab desings to xxx

  • I have a couple of questions:

    I would like to know the details of the acutal design process. How do you go about making the products? Like what are the steps you go through to end up with a pattern paper, stickers, and etc? Do you even start to make these items?

    How did you start designing for KI? Did you submit your work to them or did they come to you, or..? Basically I’m asking how someone can go about becoming a designer for a manufacturer.

  • I have a couple of questions:

    I would like to know the details of the acutal design process. How do you go about making the products? Like what are the steps you go through to end up with a pattern paper, stickers, and etc? Do you even start to make these items?

    How did you start designing for KI? Did you submit your work to them or did they come to you, or..? Basically I’m asking how someone can go about becoming a designer for a manufacturer.

  • Do you ever doubt your work, or think it’s not good enough? I am my own worst critic, I rarely like anything that I create but the people around me love it, and I kind of need their support and feedback or else I think it’s completely stupid. Sounds silly, I know, but I wanted to know if I was the only one.

    and also, was there a time that you struggled with telling people what your passion was / what you did for a living? I feel silly telling people I sew things out of felt… and sell them… haha 😉

  • Hi Elsie,

    Thanks for offering to answer questions : )

    My question is this: what do you know about copyright laws within the crafting personal business world? For example, can you name something you create (a knitted hat, a scrapbook kit, etc.) after a character in a book or movie without stepping on toes? And, do you ever worry about anyone stealing your work?

    I want to open my own Etsy shop, but these unanswered questions make me hesitant to do so.

    Thanks! : )

  • Ooh! I have a question:

    The toughest part about starting up an artsy business seems to be the press/promotional side of things. Do you contact publications/blogs for features, or do you put yourself out there and they find you? Whats been the most successful advertising venture for you? Any tips for new shop owners on how to ‘get out there’?

    Thanks, Elsie! 🙂 Your totes rock!

  • Hi Elsie: Could you talk about giving back…paying it forward…gaining good personal/business karma… making deposits into the bank of life…etc? How important is this to you and your friends? How to and how not to do it? Thanks so much and really looking forward to your post!

  • where would i turn if i wanted to design my own line of paper or products? maybe not be become a big name like yoursef, but just for an etsy shop or something… I’ve searched the internet but can’t seem to find someone to make paper out of my designs…

    thanks for letting s ask questions

  • I think this has been sorta asked in the comments above – and I hope this questions isn’t too rude. Would you say you are able to live live comfortably from the income of your artistic ventures? Was this always so or does it change month to month? Also, is it difficult to put your creative thoughts and ideas into a commercial product that ultimately the “product developer” at “X” company at will tinker with and have final say over? How did you deal with others meddling with your designs?

  • When you answer your questions, can you please tell me what kind of shrinky dink plastic you use? I like how bright white it is, the stuff I bought just isn’t that great. Looking forward to your Q & A…you are amazing 😀

  • I love those tote bags…so cute.

    By the way, I left you and award over at my blog so check it out when you get a chance!!

  • Hi Elsie,

    love your merch. This question is really for Jeremy: I am aspiring Soul/Funk/ R&B singer and I was wondering- how did you get your very first gig? Was it through a friend, demo? was it a paying gig? How did you start promoting? Right now I am starting to gather my music so I can go around to clubs on Miami Beach and in Las Olas (here in FL.), but I don’t know how to promote if I don’t have any fans yet. Maybe this is a run-of-the-mill question, but it’s really always so interesting to ask a fellow musician how they work their market. I appreciate your input and can’t wait for your new release. Kudos.

    Thanks again Elsie for letting us into your world.

    Rock on.

  • For the Q + A: What did you major in college? Can you post some artwork that we don’t typically see from you such as a real life drawing??? It would be so much fun to read 🙂

  • I love reading your blog… You are so inspiring. 🙂 My question? hmmm… I’m trying to start my own little business making journaling tags and embellishments… I started on Etsy and didn’t do to well and now I’m doing a craft show this month. I just wanted to know… What are some different and fun ways to advertise your talent and/or products?


  • This question was most likely asked but how do you get your prints on you tote bags? Do you hand paint each one? Do you get another company to do it for you or do you have a printing press in your loft?:)

    Love all of your creations!!!


  • Love the totes! As for an artsy/crafty question, I’d like to know more about the financial side as others have said.

    I paint & find there’s a huge divide between the indie/folk artists who rock the internet & the traditional art school gallery crowd. I think this is a fabulous development & love the wonderful community of artists & the way places like Esty have allowed all creatives to get themselves out there.

    That being said, I’m sure a lot of people open up an Etsy shop & don’t really know what else to do. Without making a lot of sales (& how can you when nobody knows about your shop?) it’s easy to get discouraged.

    So my question would be:

    What advice would you give to new artists just starting out to help them build their business as quickly as possible? And if they need to keep a day job, any recommendations? 🙂

  • I’ve always had a question for you when I first stumbled on your wonderful work!

    What kind of paint do you use? They look one of a kind in their cute bottles.

    love your work!

  • Hi, Elsie! Love your work–those bags are adorable!

    I’m leaving another comment because I guess something glitched and my first one didn’t show up. I was just curious on how you produce your prints. I have a cousin who is expecting in two months and I would love to give her a set of prints that looks professional.

    So do you draw by hand and then scan them in? Or do you use a pen and tablet to draw directly into a program?

    Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks so much Elsie! Keep on creating amazing goodies for us!!!


  • Elsie Hello!

    My name is Adliz Jamile and one of my work was chosen for you in a contest of a Brazilian blog – Jujubas World of Anne Sereguetti, you are remembered?

    I want to thank you for having considered my work with care and have seen him something artistic!

    Thank you!

    XOXO, Adliz Jamile

    PS: do not speak English, so the text has been automatically translated by Google! 🙂

  • love the totes! i was wanting to know, after you design your kits do you have them printed from your original artwork by a printing company? is so are they local? i know you do some of your own with your gocco (sp?)but I was wanting to know about the papers for example. thanks!!!

  • Aaw, your girl drawings are so pretty! Love the idea of putting them on a tote…just darling! This question may have already been asked, but what have you found is the best way to initially draw attention to your wares? Uh, I should ask, the best AND cheapest, lol! 😉

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