Gill is a wonderful and inspiring artist, specializing in beautiful pencil drawings that she uses to create a world full of cuteness and happiness. Going through her Instagram feed, it is obvious that her main speciality is soft, lovely pencil sketches in a dreamy style, but there are also a few suprises where she is experimenting with brighter colours, watercolour techniques and thicker,stronger lines. Here she shares her journey and personal tips with us!
I’m Gillian Flint of Little Cup Illustrations, 34 and I live in Saddleworth. I have two amazing kids who I dote on and I work from home to try and spend as much time as I can with them.
What do you make & how did you get started?
I make illustrated paper goods and personalised gifts that are ready to frame. I started drawing and doodling characters as a child and have never stopped since!
How did you make the move from crafting for fun to crafting for a living? Was it gradually or was it all of a sudden – quit the job and just go for it?
I have worked in design jobs since graduating and illustrated for fun on the side for years. I became freelance about 7 years ago after suddenly being made redundant and it was the best thing that happened to me. It forced me to pursue my dreams and I’ve since been able to work with some inspiring artists, designers and clients and met some amazing people. I was also lucky enough to be taken on by The Bright Agency who help, advise and give opportunities for working in greetings cards and childrens books. A dream come true for me!
What inspires you and gives you new ideas? What do you do when you get stuck or what gets you in the right frame of mind again when things are not going the way you like?
I’m usually inspired by my children and the funny things they say and do, but I also love instagram. There are so many inspirational artists and makers on there. It’s an amazing source of inspiration and a great community. Usually when I get stuck I draw mermaids, fairies or animals, that can help, but just experimenting and trying something new or different from what I usually use can get me back in the right frame of mind and that is how I discovered the brush pen. That style of brush pen and watercolours is a new discovery for me and I wouldn’t have found it if I hadn’t got stuck.
How do you tell others about what you do? What has really worked for your business and craft online? Can you share some of your experience and what you have learnt in promoting your work online?
We have done local stalls at handmade fairs this summer where a lot of people take business cards and we have a couple of items in a local shop that people can order from. Online I have a Facebook page that is great for letting people know they can contact you directly if they have any ideas or they want a special commission doing. Making it clear that people can contact you I think is really important. I only set up and really got started on the Etsy shop in May. I try not to repeat my pictures and posts too much and I hope that if people like them they will use the links to go through to Etsy. I try to include the price and links in all my posts so people have all the info they need there and then. I do offers and giveaways that I promote online but are entered through facebook and I’ve recently created an offers board on pinterest. I think Pinterest is one of the best online tools to use to get your work seen and I pin everything I do to the appropriate boards.
What advice can you give others that are just starting out in creating their dream life? What would you have done differently when you look back now?
I would say to just start, even if it is only one item. Don’t be disappointed if nothing happens for a while, keep going and don’t give up. Build it up in your spare time if you can and share what you done. Do what makes you happiest as I think people can see it in your work. I would definitely have looked into a photography class if I was to do it all again so I could do more professional photos for my online Etsy shop. I think that they are really important, however I’m learning as I go and hopefully improving all the time. I am planning to look into doing a photography class when things are quieter.
Can you share 3 other blogs or crafter/creator websites you love & admire:
Blue Eggs and Tea on Instagram. Gorgeous landscape photography and illustration of wild things.
I also love the artist Mary Blair.
Can you recommend a novel?
With working most evenings when the kids are in bed, most of the books I read are either art books, parenting books, or children’s books :)
And a Non fiction book, preferably art or craft or business/marketing related that has really helped or inspired you?
I have just bought Steal like an Artist and Show your work by Austin Kleon.
Exciting upcoming new projects or products you are working on:
I’m currently working on more personalised prints for weddings and children. Brush pen and watercolour illustrations for fun and hopefully continuing with developing this style for childrens book illustration in the future.
Thank you very much for sharing Gill:) you can see more of Gill’s lovely work here:
all photos in this blogpost – copyright Gillian Flint