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Spotlight Designer: Gillian!

Spotlight Designer: Gillian!

Hey Fellow Makers! I'm Gillian! I'm a Mom of 2, a Maker, a Business Owner, a Designer, Coffee Addict, Cat Lover, Loud Music Lover, Halloween Queen, a Photographer, and a Laser Enthusiast! I began my journey into the arts when I discovered I had a passion for darkroom and photography as a young adult. Eventually, I worked as a portrait studio photographer and a freelance photographer on my own. I always had the ability to capture emotion, I have an eye for bright colors, and the ability to keep the eyes moving in a single image! I started my laser adventure in 2018, once I got myself a Glowforge Pro, I made all the things, especially Halloween-related items! I opened my first Etsy shop in 2018. Shortly after, my laser died and I quickly had to adapt and switch my focus from products to digital designs. During that time period, I immersed myself in learning the basics of drawing using my iPad and the Procreate app and further self-teaching myself in Inkscape and Affinity design. I began to create digital files: nursery and florals, signs for the home, and various seasonal designs and ornaments. I was easily inspired to draw flowers and plants because my mom has always had quite a green thumb and tried to teach me a thing or two but was unsuccessful. I am always inspired by the changing of the seasons and the magic of the holidays. My collection of files grew and in May of 2021, I opened a second Etsy shop just for my digital files while I continued to make handmade products for my other shops. I have continued to draw and develop my skills by learning the process of single-line design, and learning how to use a Dremel and an airbrush for different paint techniques. In December 2021 I enrolled in the Handmade Alpha Academy, (Class of 2021!). I also started my very own Glowforge community, The Glowforge Holiday Group, which I use as a platform to promote a positive environment for makers to grow and learn together while using the knowledge and resources I've gained from my endeavors over the last few years to build these groups and create a sense of community. I also started my very own VIP Group specifically for makers who enjoy my files. I still continue to make new designs regularly as well as beautiful rustic farmhouse style products for my gift shop and my southern-style handcrafted sign shop on Etsy and on my 3-year-old e-commerce website (which I also self-taught myself how to build that from scratch, twice!). My goals moving forward are to continue to learn my new tools of the trade, strengthen my drawing and painting skills, and continue to make unique designs and one-of-a-kind florals that are perfect for makers at any skill level. My dream is that one-day people can spot my designs in the wild and immediately know, "Hey, that's Gillian's Art!". 
What three words do you use to describe yourself?: Honest, Genuine, Silly!
What is your favorite type of material to work with and why?: Birch wood and MDF! Birch because I love creating pieces with a smooth surface while maintaining that gorgeous light color raw wood or adding a rustic stain to make that wood grain pop. MDF because I like to add bright bold colors to everything I make and I find MDF to be the best material to paint on for bold or bright colors. 
What is a project you are proud of and why?: My wood and acrylic Santa sleigh Christmas ornaments, and my poinsettia florals which were one of my first ever complex florals! My goal was to make something a little different from my usual round signs that were themed with both Christmas and farmhouse. I needed a floral of sorts that I could have in my house that wouldn't hurt my pets, so I came up with an overhanging poinsettia, and it is to this day one of the prettiest files I've ever made! 
What do you do to get in the zone for crafting?: I have my morning coffee, go out to my she-shed, put on ASMR, seasonal Ambiance, or my Spotify Music, and spend the day cutting designs and painting. On cooler days in the Fall and the Spring, I like to sit on my deck or my front porch with my koi pond and draw on my iPad for hours. 
Who inspires you?: My kids, my hardworking hubby, My Mom, My older sister, and my laser ladies, Daniela, Erica, Julia, Faith, Pamela, Carly, Samantha, Amy, and my friend and Etsy coach Starla Moore. All hardworking businesswomen and mothers, creative, talented, kind, supportive, amazing multitaskers, and all-around super wonder women! 
What is your favorite thing to do outside of crafting?: I work on my craft 99% of the time! but if I'm not working or crafting, I'm spending time with my family watching Movies and TV shows, playing video games with my son, throwing the frisbee or bubbles with my daughter, taking a dip in the pool, taking impromptu Starbucks trips with my kids, or drawing on my Ipad in one of my zen places.  
Anything extra to share?: Fun fact: My workspace is my very own she-shed which hubby and I built from a shell to the amazing functioning (and livable) climate-controlled space it is today! (All that's missing is indoor plumbing and we could legitimately call it an Airbnb! I guess a girl can dream!)
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