Saturday, April 15, 2017

Insights From a Fellow Creative, Brittney Hansen

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to form a close friendship with fellow mom and artist Brittney Hansen. We met while living in Hoboken, New Jersey at a meetup for new moms. I was drawn to her kind disposition and soon discovered that she was a talented graphic designer. She is the owner of ARTiculate Printsa boutique dedicated to invitations and printables. Brittney is a renaissance woman, she expressions herself artistically in many fascinates of her life, including party planning, baking, and photography. I conducted a brief interview with Brittney to find out her insights on creativity, business and staying motivated as a busy mom of two.

photo by Brittney Hansen

First, tell us a bit about yourself

Hi, everyone! My name is Brittney Hansen and I am a Graphic designer, Etsy shop owner, mom of two sweet tots, and creator of a newly launched lifestyle blog called "The Hansen House." My Etsy shop, ARTiculate PRINTS began with custom made party invitations and supplies, and has since grown to feature printable stickers and embellishments for use in day planners. I love designing products that are lighthearted, not too stuffy, and full of color and zest. My new blog casts a wider net, capturing a taste of all things creative in daily life, from baking, to parenting, to DIY design.

When did you first discover your artistic side, and how did graphic design become your creative outlet of choice?

I have loved producing art throughout my life. From crafting with my mom as a young girl to taking extra art classes in high school to get more time in the studio, all the way through to today when I seek our moments for creativity in all aspects of my life.

My interest in graphic design sprung from my days spent in an office working a job unrelated to art. As little by little my colleagues came to me for their small tasks which required an artistic eye... "can you create a better-looking flyer for this upcoming event?" or "can you redesign this web page to feel a bit more current?"... both my interest and my skill set in computer generated art grew. I finally took a leap in 2014, after being hired by several acquaintances to design custom invitations for parties and weddings, and opened my first real online shop.

photo by Brittney Hansen

What has been the most rewarding and most difficult aspects of your artistic journey so far?
The most rewarding part of my journey thus far has undoubtedly been having a platform to create custom art for customers around the world who entrust me to design their event invitations and supplies. To me, an invitation is more than just a piece of paper; it's the first impression that guests will receive about your event, and, like our mothers always said, first impressions really do matter. An invitation sets the tone, and it's such an honor to be a part of that tone-setting process for special moments like first birthdays, baby showers, and even weddings. While my shop offers several pre-made designs, my favorite time is spent working directly with customers to design something that is unique, created just for them.

When it comes to challenges, I believe that one of the hardest things about running your own creative business is effectively managing your time. There is always more you can do to grow your business. There is always another design you make, a photo you can take, or promotion you can run. It took some time for me to truly understand this, and knowing when to step away from the computer vs when to buckle down and get work done is not always easy.

What do you do for inspiration when you find yourself in a rut?

For me, ruts come often, but they rarely last for long. I find that as long as I don't panic and allow myself to step away for a few days (or now and again, even weeks!), I always come back more energized than I've been before. I let myself take off in new directions, even when they weren't a part of the original plan. Sometimes they lead to new and exciting endeavors. Other times they totally flop. But that's ok, too.

One of the biggest shifts in my business (from offering invitations exclusively to featuring printable stickers and catering to the day planner community) happened completely on a whim while in the midst of a huge creative rut. I noticed that many people in my life where setting a New Year's resolution to de-clutter their lives, so I created a "30 Day Declutter" printable sheet that could help guide that process and offered it for sale in my shop. It TOOK OFF! I was in complete disbelief as I watched sales skyrocket, and began to create more and more products relating to organization and planning. These products are the core of my daily sales today, and they never would have come about without experiencing that rut and having the willingness to just go with it and try something new.

Launching a small business isn't easy, do you have any tips for aspiring creative professionals?

If you love art and creativity at heart, stick with it. This line of work is not always easy to break into, but I strongly believe that if you are truly passionate about creating art there is room for you in the field. Be tenacious, create prolifically, and keep it up until you discover the niche that is right for you.

photo by Brittney Hansen

To see more of Brittney's work, check out her new blog The Hansen House, where she chronicles her projects and creations. It's not to be missed!


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