Monday, June 30, 2008

RJ of Bailey Doesn't Bark

RJ, New York, NY
Brand: Bailey Doesn't Bark

I "met" RJ a couple of months back when she kindly agreed to be on Heart Lab. Her collection has grown quite a bit since then and I'm sure she's a lot busier too - managing her three shops over at, supermarket and DaWanda not to mention that the brand new fact + fancy shop in Brooklyn now carries a selection of her creations!

1. How would you describe your style?

Simple + complex: complete opposites, yes: I tend to make either very simple line illustrations or almost overwhelming overload of lines.

2. Your work has such a distinct look. One of the hardest things for artists to do is to stand apart from everyone else. How difficult was it for you to come up with your own style and signature look? What advice can you give aspiring artists struggling to find their own voice and look?

I always struggled with the fact that I didn't have a 'style' I thought that being born with a 'half talent' was useless so I didn't think much about drawing...

I've been drawing ever since I was little. Grew up knowing I could draw, did well in art classes and I was always the one who had to draw on school banners. But I always struggled with the fact that I didn't have a 'style' I thought that being born with a 'half talent' was useless so I didn't think much about drawing - however, I did doodle throughout my entire high school and college years.

I had never drawn like that before, but I knew that I had finally found my 'style'.

I don't know exactly how it came to me but I can tell you when - where - and maybe why? A few years ago I went on a trip to Korea with my mom. It was a wonderful trip, however we did stay longer than necessary. So the last days were pretty much boring. I'd stay in the room and try to figure out what else I could do or where else I could go in a place I'd seen and done everything. Finally, one day decided to head out to town - again - and went to a stationary story. The first thing I saw, literally, was a sketch book that had several motivational quotes on the first page. Call me a cheese ball, but those quotes really inspired me to start drawing again. Back in the room, I sat on the floor, used a chair as my desk and started drawing - lines formed illustrations of the crazy dreams I'd been having for a while. I had never drawn like that before, but I knew that I had finally found my 'style'.

For the ones struggling to find their own voice: I promise that it will come to you. There's no technique/class/instructions that will unfold your unique personal style: It's your motivation/inspiration/your mental library. Draw: always: it's in you.

3. Do you do this full-time? If not, what pays the bills?

I just recently decided to do this full-time. It hasn't been paying my bills, yet.

4. You just recently joined Etsy this past April. There are artists out there who still feel overwhelmed with the whole online selling world and haven't taken the plunge. As a recent convert, can you share some tips that you learned while going through the process yourself?

Etsy is wonderful. It gives you an opportunity to show/sell your products in a non-intimidating way. It's very easy to set up and the community is very helpful. I am just starting as well and I've been learning a lot. The resources are there so you have nothing to worry about. Just create an excellent product and present it well. You will be surprised to learn how people's taste differs from your.

1. Organization - something I'm still trying to put in order. (excel spreadsheets, create systems to run your transactions smoothly, etc...)

2. Pricing - do your calculations properly or else you'll lose in the end.

3. Photographs
- lighting is essential: most recommend daylight, but my products present better in a well lit still life table - so either or I'd say.

4. Descriptions
- short but containing all the essential information.

5. Packaging
- I'm a consumer as well and packaging does make an impression and influences your image - don't overdue yourself though. Keep it simple + memorable.

6. Communication
- your customer should feel comfortable with the transaction.

5. Who is your idol/current artist-crush?

Idols: Harry Clarke, a beautiful Irish illustrator from the golden age and Kay Nielsen, an equally wonderful Danish illustrator.

6. If you could put your products on the shelves of any shops, which ones would you choose?

I need to do more research on shops... as of now, I do like:
Clio, Paper Boat Boutique and Gallery - I found out about it on you blog, actually. It would be nice!

7. Can you share with us three blogs that you've recently discovered and love?

pikaland, decor8, poppytalk

Thanks again RJ!!


Melissa de la Fuente said...

Such an inspiring interview about finding your own style and lovely. I am a big fan and excited to keep up with RJ and her shop! Also, I love that you,Marichelle, crossed out the #2 on RJ's random facts as she doesn't like even numbers! Too cute! Off to visit Baileydoesntbark on etsy!