Tuesday, 20 August 2013

I Heart Handmade: Claudine Hellmuth

I'm starting a new series called "I Heart Handmade" featuring products and people I love from Etsy. Today I am featuring Claudine Hellmuth, maker of beautiful 3D illustrations. Take it away Claudine!

^^ Claudine, the beauty behind Claudine Hellmuth ^^

1. When did you first start illustrating? When did you start selling your goods on Etsy? 

You could say I started illustrating as young as 18 months when my mom put me on the floor with rolls of paper and finger paints and let me go to town! :) But seriously I've been a full time artist and illustrator for 12 years. I've always been interested in drawing and creating. I took art lessons all through grade school and high school and then got my BFA degree attending the Columbus College of Art and Design and then finishing at the Corcoran College Of Art in Washington DC in 1997. I started selling my digi goods in my etsy shop just about a year ago in Sept 2012

2. Why did you decide to turn your illustrations into 3D paper goods?

I had created quite a bit of work for a couple of licensing clients, they ended up passing on the designs. At first I was really down about the licensing deals that didn't pan out the way I hoped but then I started brainstorming ways I could use that work instead of waiting for a company to choose my work and like it -- I could chose myself instead! I stumbled across the world of printables and I knew right away I could adapt some of these designs into print-yourself kits. I started with a few Halloween designs last September and had a really amazing response to the work! I continued to add new kits for the holidays, including paper doll sets, cupcake holders, and my biggest seller my Retro Oven cupcake holder set! :)

3. What inspires you to create?

For the printable kits, I am inspired to create unusual and fun boxes, I look at everything and think about the shape and wonder if that could be a box shape too. I enjoy the challenging designs like figuring out how to make a cupcake out of paper, that was round enough to be semi-realistic. The challenge of the paper engineering is what makes it really fun!

4. Do you take custom orders? (I know I'd love for you to make a VW Kombi Van for me!)

I love the idea of a VW van! I do plan on taking custom orders in the future. Right now I'm working on building my shop and keeping up with freelance work. I am also working in figuring out the pricing for custom orders. It can take me anywhere from two to three weeks to make a brand new from scratch design, so that part is something I am still working on. 

5. Which of your illustrations is your fave?

The Retro Oven is my favourite and that's my best seller too. I thought of that idea last fall and I knew it would be so cute. The retro style oven illustrations have been a signature piece of my illustrations since 2003 so I was excited to make one in 3D and even better that it also holds a cupcake!!

6. How has owning an Etsy shop changed your creative process?

It's completely opened up my creative process. It's so freeing to be able to work on my ideas and create just how I want to create. For years I've gotten so used to working with art directors and designing licensed product for companies, which means you need to also adjust your work to their marketing and their input as well, which is fine, but its been very refreshing to get to work on and build my shop with whatever I feel excited about at that moment! 

7. What has been the hardest part of getting to where you are in your Etsy shop?

Building out the inventory for the shop has been the part that has taken the most stamina. Each new design can take me a couple weeks or longer so its slow going but I'm also a little bit of a perfectionist. I can spend way too long choosing between "this blue" or "that blue" and making everything just right!

8. What is your favourite thing about handmade goods? 

I love getting to know the artist or designer behind the work. You aren't just buying a handmade item you are supporting a real person as they follow their dreams. 

Claudine has been kind enough to offer all Seductive Mania readers 
10% off with the code: IHEARTHANDMADE

Sign up for freebies here: http://mad.ly/signups/62164/join
And check out her Etsy shop here: http://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/claudinehellmuth

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If you're interested in being featured in a I Heart Handmade feature, feel free to contact me

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