hi guys! this week steph from extase is here. extase offers hand carved stamps among other handmade goods. i loved steph's stamps and her simple styling. i think you will too!
what is your background?
i went to art school on and off for a couple of years, though i consider myself to be self-taught. i discovered printmaking (specifically relief printing) there and took to it immediately. i loved the combination of fine art and craft and really enjoyed the carving aspect. traditional japanese printmaking techniques that don't require a lot of materials or presses appealed to my love of diy and minimalism.
how did you get started designing & selling?
i had been selling art prints locally at several art and craft fairs and wanted to expand my offerings - so i decided to try selling hand-carved stamps as a natural off-shoot of the type of prints i made. also, i was working as an assistant to a local artisan who owned her own small business, which partially influenced me to try starting my own endeavour selling on etsy.
maybe my favourite part of the printmaking process is carving, so i found a way to make that the main thing. i also love the idea that i'm making something useful to contribute to others' own creations.
what are your influences?
minimalism, diy, several women i've known who've started their own businesses, etsy, my husband, comedy, creative and independently-minded friends and family, animals, nature hikes... i love the art of hokusai, james ensor, and allison schulnik, among many others.
what is your favorite item in your shop?
i'm partial to the full moon stamp.
what are you most looking forward to this year?
i'm most looking forward to a move i plan to make to a new town. my husband and i want a fresh start and a cheaper place to live where we can focus on our work. i have a lot of ideas for my shop that i'm excited about (custom stamps, new designs, etc). i really want to try some totally new things (like ceramics, sewing) as well as get back to first loves like painting and papier mache.
what advice would you give to makers who are just getting started?
i'd say working in a variety of media is pretty important - they tend to influence each other and i think in general helps with expansive creative thinking. in terms of business, make what you love, pay attention to how you present your work (i've only recently even begun to think about branding and creating a cohesive look to my online shop), update your offerings and have new items available as often as possible.