Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Maker Series: A Grape Design

Happy Wednesday, lovelies! I am so thrilled to introduce to you the lovely Anna Grape whose work I have admired for a long time. I was first introduced to this lady when the Dainty Squid was sharing a giveaway that Anna Grape was offering. Fingers crossed I entered into it, and was so pleasantly surprised when I won the giveaway. I never win anything! I hummed and hawed for ages and finally decided to get this & this. The Slightly Strange Illustration makes me happy every single time I look at it. Grape's style is so unique and completely up my alley; I am so very happy to introduce you all to her today and to have her share a little bit about herself and A Grape Design. Enjoy. 
I've always loved to draw since I was little, but it wasn't until I was about 25 years old that I figured out that I could make a living out of it!

I was studying media design at a university in northern Sweden, and I was figuring out what to do when I graduated when I came up with the idea of trying to work as a freelancing illustrator. Unfortunately I didn't get huge support from my teachers and some people around me, as everyone just kept telling me how hard it is to make it as an illustrator. But that just encouraged me to try even harder. 
I mostly drew with marker pens and did lots of small details back then, this owl below for example is one of the illustrations I did back then, and it has been one of my most popular prints (and has also been copied and sold at markets in Bangkok and China and sold all over the world on t-shirts unfortunately).

In my last year at the university, I did an internship at a web agency that had this amazing illustrator working there, and he kind of became my mentor. He was tough but fair, and he forced me to learn how to draw digitally with a Wacom tablet. At first I hated it, but I'm so grateful that he made me do it anyway, because now digital paintings has become my main style when I do commission work from companies!

The Slightly Strange illustration was made around that time, and has also been a big favourite among my customers. 
In the end on my last year I started A Grape Design, and opened up a webshop where I sold some art prints, and also tried to get commission work doing illustrations for companies. I got some jobs doing mascots and stuff like that, it was really fun. As you can see in my shop, my favourite thing ever is drawing characters!

It took a few years of being poor before the business started going better, and I'm SO grateful that my boyfriend endured that time and took care of most of the bills so that I could focus on getting my business rolling! 

I don't think it would have worked if I had to work at a 9-5 job at the same time. 
Last year, I tried to add some other stuff in my shop that wasn't prints, just for fun! 

For example I made coloring books and paper dolls by hand. 
My latest illustrations are these little yoga cats!

Business is going pretty good now, but I can never really relax and I'm constantly thinking about new ideas for the shop and my work. But I'm so grateful and happy that I can work with what I love, and everyday I think about how lucky I am to be working with this (even when I do the boring bookkeeping stuff).

Instagram: @agrapedesign
I am hoping to add some more of her prints into my collection very, very soon and I cannot wait to see what Anna will continue to come up with. This one is perfect for me and I think would go side by side with the Slightly Strange Illustration. I love this and this. An awesome polar bear print and a deal of the week!! Thank you so much to Anna who came on the Maker Series and gave us a peek into her  world. Go find her on her instagram and send her some love!!

If you would like to be a part of the Maker Series or if you know of someone who you think should be showing of their talents, please email me at knottedhome (at) hotmail (dot) come. The Maker Series  is a place of inspiration, encouragement, and support to those who want to craft, create, or live a homemade lifestyle. This series is all about creating a comfortable and inspirational place in which Makers can share their talents and inspire those who have ever dreamed of living a life supported by what they love to do. Creating. 

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