Happy Maker Monday!
This week we are featuring Annika Chicharro of ChicharroDesigns! We just love her quirky greeting cards! Creativity runs in the family and so does making a career out of it! Annika is not only a graphic designer, she also has her own Etsy shop where you can find all of her amazing greeting card designs for every occasion imaginable. If you want to give a sweet card with a little sass added in, Annika is your girl! To learn more about Annika’s card making journey, read on!
: Tell us a few things about yourself!
: I’m a graphic designer based in London, UK. I like to to make people laugh every day and my best friends are my 4 siblings. My three favourite things are my miniature schnauzer dog called Boris, peanut butter on toast and napping. I’m a queen napper – you’d be surprised at the places I’ve managed to fall asleep in.
: As a graphic designer and illustrator, what made you decide that cards were the perfect format for displaying your designs?
: I always made hand-made greeting cards for family and friends on their birthdays. I would get complimentary comments about them and people would often recommend that I start producing them to sell, so I thought I’d give it a go!
: How would you describe your cards and the overall style or feeling of your designs?
: I would describe my cards as minimalistic, sweet and trendy. I’ve tried to tap into current trends such as Dachshunds, terrariums, pineapples, 70s interior design and so on.
: You’ve recently launched a new collection filled with colored cards! What made you transition from B&W cards to starting to use color? Tell us a little bit about your new cards and what the process of creating this collection was like.
: The reason I’ve launched a coloured collection is quite simple – to appeal to a wider audience. Not everyone likes black & white designs, adding colour will hopefully interest more people. I’ve created two types of coloured designs. One of them has full-bleed bright and contrasting colours – I feel like bright and contrasting colours are coming back in (hopefully I’ve got that right!). I’ve also got a selection of cards that are still on a white background but the image is in colour. Again this is to appeal to a wider audience.
: What made you interested in pursing a career in design? Was it something you were always passionate about?
: I’ve always loved art. My Mum is an artist and art has been her profession her whole working life. She does Batik (art on silk). My mum was also a very spiritual person growing up and always encouraged my siblings and I to relish in our creative desires. My older brother (who I look up to a lot) is a UX designer for Oracle in San Fransisco and I have always aspired to follow in his footsteps.
: How do you decide what phrases to create cards for — and then choose the imagery that goes with them? Do you have a favorite card out of your shop?
: As I try to create cards on trend, the tone of voice of my designs can change over time. At the moment I try to create a style with a small hint of quirkiness, something not too ‘sweet’ or ‘sickly’ but something with just a hint of edge to it. For instance, rather than ‘congratulations on your new arrival’ for a baby card, I’ve gone for ‘Congrats on your new human’. Contrary to this, my favourite card is my floating planet design with a little house and two people in a hot air balloon which says ‘You are my world’ – you can’t get more sickly than that!
: Finding inspiration for any creative work can sometimes be hard! What is your perfect setting or mindset to begin creating?
: I think it is really important to look at inspiration every day, and not just inspiration for illustration but for anything creative. I have my Google Chrome launch page set to ‘Muzli’ which is a website of daily inspirational picks from creative people/industries. I always think it is super important to get feedback on my designs and ideas. I use my social media accounts on a weekly basis to continually get criticism on my thoughts. Then after this, I like to make sure that me and my iPad Pro are in our most comfortable position (sat on the sofa in-front of the TV) and from there I can spend up to 12 hours drawing (with a few naps inbetween).
: What do you love or find the most rewarding about being a graphic designer and running your own Etsy Shop?
: I love the sales the most about having an Etsy shop. When someone in Canada or Australia wants your artwork, it feels pretty good!
: What do you see for the future of Annika Design? Any current goals or new projects in the works?
: Once my Etsy shop is up and running I would like to expand to other materials such as prints, book designs etc. I hope that ChicharroDesigns on Etsy will be successful. I currently have 30 sales in 3 weeks which isn’t bad for starting up!
: Any advice for other designers out there or those looking to start an Etsy store?
: I have a few tips but not a huge amount as I am still learning myself. I would advise that you have at least 10 items to sell before you start. Make sure your ‘tagging’ is on point (this can be trial and error to begin with). It is also worth promoting your shop in the beginning, it may mean you spend more than you make but it will be worth it in the end. Finally, try and give your shop a brand, make a logo, cover photo and cohesive product shots!
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