Hi Friends! We're in for a treat. Artist Vicki Chrisman is letting me interrogate ask her all about her art and the creative work she does for companies like Crafty Secrets, Tattered Angels, AccuCut and many more. I have included a few of Vicki's projects in this interview– prepare to be delighted!
I got to meet Vicki in person last year– what a sweetheart(!) as well as an incredibly creative person. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and join me on an journey into "Vicki's World."
Malia: What is your background? Have you had any type of art training?
Vicki: No college classes, but art has always been my passion, so growing up I jumped on any opportunity that came along that incorporated any sorts of arts or crafts. I did get a “All State” scholarship in high school to live on campus at UNL and attend three weeks of art classes, and it was an amazing creative experience!
Malia: Have you always been artistic?
Vicki: Yes, definitely! I always think about the Child Craft Encyclopedia set my parents bought me as a child. I think I about wore out the “Arts and Crafts” edition.
Malia: Have you had a mentor in your artsy journey?
Vicki: Oh, so many people have helped my along the way, I couldn’t begin to name them all. I am thankful for the guidance and inspiration I’ve had, and will do my best to pass them on to others on the same journey. We’re all in this for the same reason… we love art, and the process of creating it.
Malia: How did all these designing gigs unfold…
Crafty Secrets Project
Vicki: Crafty Secrets was the first company I started working for almost 10 years ago. I loved their products but was having a hard time finding them, so I had contacted them. The owner Sandy and I just hit it off right way. She was in Canada, and I in Nebraska, we did most of our correspondence via the internet or phone in the beginning. Now I have been there to work a number of times as well as working many shows with her, and teaching with her. We tend to be drawn to the same styles, colors, designs etc. It was really fun for me to see there was another person out there that really understood the “creative side of me”. She and I still share this love of all things vintage, and a wonderful friendship!
Tattered Angels Metal Frame Project
Vicki: I initially ran across Glimmer Mist here in Nebraska when it just first hit stores. I was so intrigued with it that I started using it on a lot of my projects, and blogging about it. This was when they were JUST starting out, and had no design team at all. Wendy Senger, the owner saw my work and how much I was using their products, so she contacted me about sending me some Glimmer Mist to create some things for them for an upcoming Trade show. From there I started working shows, teaching and creating for Tattered Angels.
Fancy Pants Project
Vicki: I have been with Fancy Pants since their very first paper lines were released, and it’s been so fun to watch their growth. I was on the Design Team for a online kit club who was using Fancy Pants papers in their kits that month. Jodi (owner of Fancy Pants), saw my work and contacted me about doing samples for them. I have loved being on their Design Team ever since. I love working trade shows and teaching for them whenever possible.
Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L?
Vicki: I love Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L products and have been using them for years. They started sponsoring my classes at Trade Shows and then eventually when they formed a team, I was asked to join. Hope to be with them for a long time.
Vintage Street Project
Vintage Street Market?
Vicki: Vintage Street Market is a new Company that just attended their first Tradeshow (CHA Winter 2011) I was so excited to be asked to be a part of the Design Team for this company, One… because the Creative Minds Behind this company Michelle Jackson and Allison Rittner) are wonderful friends that I have met through the craft industry, and Two… their (vintage) and Vintage inspired projects have stolen my heart! LOVE them!
Paper Wedding Dress and Bouquet AccuCut project
Vicki: I am lucky enough to have AccuCut right here in my hometown here in Nebraska! I have been using their die designs in many of my classes over the years, and I help out with projects for trade shows and their catalog when needed. I was thrilled to have two AccuCut die designs of my own released last year. You can see them here.
Malia: Do those companies ever fight over who gets your time?
Vicki: Lol– no. Lots of times companies do different shows, but when I’m asked my more than one, I usually just go in order of how long I’ve been with the company. It always works out. All of these companies work well together and all are so good to me. I’m very lucky.
"Pinwheels" Vintage Street Project
Malia: Do you have advice for people who aspire to design for one of their favorite companies?
Vicki: One thing that I think is most important to those who are aspiring to be a designer for any company, is that you should always try to be true to “you”. Trends come and go, and all of us are influenced by them in some way or another, but settle in to “your style”. Find what feels right for you and comes naturally, then just stick with it.
Malia: Is this a career for you? If so do you pinch yourself every day?
Vicki: Yes, I’m so lucky to be able to do what I love and do it from home. I love teaching, and that helps make this possible. Nothing better than playing with paper, scissors and adhesives all day right?
Malia: Best/most challenging part of your job(s):
Vicki: Best part… creating, traveling and making new friends!
As far as “challenges” when it comes to this job. I LOVE the challenge of creating something new and different. Those challenges are fun! As far “challenging” in a bad way– I would have to say, writing up supply lists and directions. Ha! I’m not so fond of that part of it all. I would rather be creating and getting messy.
Upcycled Vase Project
Malia: What changes/trends do you see happening in the craft industry?
Vicki: As we all know, changes are constantly happening, and trends will come and go, but right now I love seeing how much “repurposing” is going on. I love making something old and useless, new and fun again. I think this is going to be more than a trend. Between the economy and people wanting to be more earth friendly, I think “making the old new again” will be popular for some time. I love it, because I think it brings out the creativity in all of us.
Malia: What is your creative process? You seem to come up with all these unique ideas and they always turn out so beautifully
Vicki: Oh, thank you so much. I guess I would have to say; for the most part usually the products themselves inspire that process a lot. I do love to think out of the box, and try to use things in a new and different way whenever possible.
Tattered Angels House Project
Malia: Where do you craft?
Vicki: I have Craft Room/Studio in our home that I do all my work in.
Malia: Snack while crafting?
Vicki: Eek.. I wish I could say no to that, but– guilty! My real vise while crafting is diet soda!
Malia: Music while crafting?
Vicki: Definitely. I love music! I am very eclectic when it comes to the music I listen to. I find music very inspiring when creating.
Malia: Top 5-10 products you LOVE?
Vicki: Of course I love the products of the companies I do work for the very most, so those are the ones you will be most likely to see me using. Other things I love to use are, Canvas, Fabric, Wood, acrylic, chipboard albums, and ANYTHING VINTAGE.
Shadow Fairy Box Crafty Secrets Project
Malia: Where do you go for inspiration?
Vicki: Wow… Inspiration is everywhere. A drive in the country listening to my favorite music is at the top of the list. I love to alter, and am totally inspired by vintage finds, like fabric, buttons, lace, etc..
I see designs and patterns in things everyday that I find inspiring, colors and patterns in fabric, ads in magazines, home décor, nature, etc. When I’m scrapbooking, the photo itself inspires what I create at times. Inspiration is everywhere. I think it’s about taking time to look, and sometimes, just looking at things differently.
Malia: When did you start your blog and how has it changed your life?
Vicki: I started blogging in April of 2006. I was one of those people who said they would never blog. Now look– it’s been almost 5 years! Blogging has just become such a part of my life now, it’s unreal. I just do it, usually without even thinking about it much. It has been so much more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.
Not only have I meet amazing people and make fantastic friends, but I think it’s helped me learn more about myself and the things that are important to me. I love that I notice I now take more “everyday” photos, since blogging. And I’m thrilled about that, because I think those are so important to document.. not just special events in our lives. I’ve also learned you don’t have to be “a writer” to blog. People will accept you– bad grammar, spelling errors and all. You can make up for it, by posting lots of pretty pictures.
Orange and Sky Blue
Malia: Best loved color scheme?
Vicki: Oh– this changes constantly for me. Right now I love orange and sky blue. But I have always loved the color green and the color pink. I wear brown a lot for some reason and tend to have a lot of browns and reds in my house. Never been a huge fan of purple for some reason.
Malia: Favorite quote?
Vicki: I’m more of a “song lyrics” sort of girl, so here’s a few favorite lines from a song I love by Roger Clyne:
Daisies stand up on their tip-toes
Clouds tumble over themselves in the sky
And all the pretty horses come runnin' to her
And even the dust devils pray,
that they'll catch her eye
Malia: I'm happiest when…
Vicki: I’m with my family, enjoying nature, listening to music, hanging with my pups, or creating whatever I want, for no specific reason.
Malia: What influences your art?
Vicki: Anything and anywhere, on any given day. It’s ever changing!
Malia: What are you working on now?
Vicki: Right now I’m working on some upcoming Tattered Angels projects using Glam, Glaze, Chalk paint and fabric. You’ll be able to see them along with all the other Design Team girls’ projects on the Tattered Angels blog next month.
Malia: Are there things in your life that you are actively trying to grow? Things you are working on letting go of?
Vicki: I think as the years have gone by, I have tried more to think things through when deciding what I will take on, and not just jump on everything that comes along. Everything is a learning process, and I am so happy for all the experiences I’ve got to have along the way, but I try now to choose the things that I know in my heart, are really “me”. Things I know I enjoy and love doing. I love what I do!
I wanted to say thank you so much Malia for having me here. I was so glad we got to meet in person at last year. I feel like we’ve known each other forever. Thank you for sharing and inspiring!!
Malia: Thank YOU for your friendship and inspiring us with your work, Vicki!
Here are links to the companies Vicki designs for:
And her blog: This Art That Makes Me Happy