Name: Kim McMullen
Website links: Flipside Creative, Uncle Phil
What do you make?
I make quirky, fun, nostalgic, light-herated, simple, and fresh greeting cards and wedding invitations. My greeting card line -- Uncle Phil -- is a charitable endeavour. The proceeds benefit the Starlight Foundation of Canada. So i get to do what I love and do good at the same time. Which is pretty much the best job ever. My custom wedding invitations are a part of my graphic design business - Flipside Creative. I meet with couples and design invitations that truly encapsulate who they are as a pair and that leave froo-froo tradition in the dust!
What or who inspires you?
Is it cheesy to say everyone? I'm a people-watcher by heart and nature. I draw inspiration from the girl outside the window who chose to couple a fuscia scarf with a green shiny vest, from the guy at the movie theatre who throws popcorn up in the air and tries to catch it in his mouth, from the little boy who splashes in mud puddles, from the 60-year-old grandmother with a slammin' tattoo sleeve. All of that. Every day people provide a garden of ideas just waiting to blossom.
I am also inspired by graphic designers like Stephan Sagmeister, by do-gooders like my Uncle Phil, by my creative friends and cohorts -- Courtney Johnston of Telly, Bernadette Giet of Wealthy Wilma, Chris MacDonald of CMAC Photography, Bryan Stuart of Sprout Creative -- by my family, by my clients. I draw inspiration from the world, from graphic design, crafters, friends, arts, family, writers, entrepreneurs, moms, mavens, cool people, not so cool people --– and I mix it all together in a beautiful smorgasbord of awesomeness in print.
How did you get started?
I was a writer and an artist. And I wanted to teach myself how to design so I could marry my two favourite things. So I just started. Scribbling, sketchbooking, sharing ideas, and trying to bring them to life online. It was really something I couldn't avoid. My passion was pushing me in that direction. I just had to leap.
If I could make greeting cards for the rest of my life that truly touch people in various ways, then I will be content. It would be my Eden.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
It's funny, although my final product is technology-based, my favourite materials are in the idea process. I love sketchbooks with thick paper, graphite, pens with ink that bleeds a little, whiteboards and whiteboard erasers, folded paper, etc. All of the hands on stuff happens up front. Then I love my mac. It helps me bring my ideas to life. So as much as I loathe technology from a crafters point of view, I also love how it can take my idea and transform it into something tangible and lovely all the same.
What is the hardest and most favourite part of crafting?
Hardest: finding the time to do it among the monotony of everyday things. I put it on the sidelines more often than not. Which is unfortunate because I love it so.
Favourite: doing it. Coming up with ideas, sketching out card ideas, and making them come to fruition is the best therapy a girl could have. Just sitting, thinking, drawing, laughing to myself, furrowed brow, intensely sketching, folding, cutting, writing. Man, it's bliss.
List 5 of your favourite links and why you like them
Etsy.com: I did all of my holiday shopping on Etsy. I do all of my birthday shopping on Etsy. I buy myself stuff on Etsy. It is an amazing forum for hugely talented people and it makes me happy just to peruse through to see what's new. I am constantly amazed by the talent out there. And I've met so many neat people and friends through sharing our talents. It's the coolest site around.
whitehottruth.com: Danielle Laporte is my hero. She may not be a "crafter", but she crafts her own success and fantasticness without shame or apology. She is a wealth of positivity, a self-promotion wizard, and a business woman with heart and brain so tightly intertwined she's bascially an enigma. Of course, i don't even know her. But I learn from her daily. I listen to her advice. Sometimes I take it. Sometimes I don't. But I always leave her blog with a fresh perspective and a moment of pause where I say "hmmmm..." It's intensely valuable to me.
ilovetypography.com: I am a sucker for great typography. Every time I make a dollar I spend it on fonts. Fonts fonts fonts. They are so beautiful and telling. Each has a story. Each is a personality. They make me drool a little. This blog is written and managed by someone with a love as deep and fond as mine. They always give me good stuff. The content always brings me back to the basics, to finding something whimsical or beautiful or strong in the cursive bowl of a lowercase g or the tail of an uppercase serif N. It's really cool.
poppytalk.blogspot.com: How can you not love a blog with categories like ceramics, fonts, affordable arts, felt, grafitti, hand-lettering, polaroids, and "the beautiful". This blog features everything and anything crafty, arty, beautiful, radical, wacky, and wonderful. It is the source for all things "the beautiful". This blog features everything and anything crafty, arty, beautiful, radical, wacky, and wonderful. It is the source for all things awesome.
cococakecupcakes.blogspot.com: This is Coco Cupcake's blog. I seriously read this twice a week. I always check back for new cupcakes. Lyndsay Sung, the owner and master of all things cupcake, is seriously among the most talented people I have ever met. Her blog is not only mouth-wateringly delicious but it is also an inspiration. The cupcakes and cakes are all art projects that Lyndsay takes on with fervour and nails, hands down, every time. When I see her success with her art, I get hungry to achieve the same with mine.
Oh, and it makes me hungry for cupcakes too. So I order custom cupcakes from her at every chance.
Do you have any advice for those in the biz?
I think the best advice is to follow your passion. I remember telling a boss once that I was going to go out on my own, open a boutique design studio, design greeting cards for charity, and work with nice people all day long. He laughed in my face. "You can't run a business like that," he said matter of factly, still snickering a little. I quit three days later, started my own company, and never looked back. If you believe that you can do whatever it is that you do, you can. Just show up, believe in you, stay passionate, and the success will come. The best asset in crafting is passion. If you have it, you're going places, baby. Big time.
Do you consider yourself an artist or a crafter?
I think art and crafting are best when considered together. Crafting is an art. Art is a craft. I think the two come hand in hand. I think "craft" garnered a bad name in the past. It was associated with cheap/homemade. And "art" was snooty and refined. Now, I think people are starting to really appreciate crafts and the talents of people like you and me and our crafting friends working out of our studios or basements or kitchens or living rooms creating beautiful, brilliant things that amaze others. I am an arty crafter. I make things with my hands and with technology for the purpose of fulfilling a passion that runs deep. There is a movement out there that is really creating an uprising and tearing down the walls between art and craft. I am so happy for it. It is showing how the two are really quite synonymous. There is no difference in quality, idea, creativity. Art is craft. Craft is art. Artists are wicked talented. Crafters are wicked talented. I would be delighted to be considered in either lot. I'd love it even more to be considered in both.
(photo images courtesy of Kim McMullen)
If you are interested in being featured, please send us an email at info(at)gotcraft(dot)com.
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