This week’s Indie Artist Fixx is with Liz Wong of ArtGhost.com and LizWongIllustration.com. I first discovered Liz when I went looking for an illustrator for my logo on Tickle Fancy. I instantly fell in love with Liz’s illustration work and knew that she would be able to create the logo I envisioned…I was right. I am so pleased with her work that I decided to use her on yet another project that I am working on. I love her dreamy and playful style of illustration and I am just a huge fan of all her work.
In addition to her illustration work, Liz runs ArtGhost with her husband, Eric Adler, who is also a pretty cool artist. The pair offer paintings & drawings, handbags and greeting cards in their pop art and retro fifties style of art & design. Stuff like Liz’s Hey DJ bag and Eric’s witty & snarky paintings, which may even make you laugh out loud.
Here’s my interview with Liz.
1. What’s the name of your business and what do create and sell?
2. How and why did you get your start?
We started ArtGhost in 2002; it just sort of grew organically from our very basic web skills and our desire to focus more on our art, and less on our sucky day jobs. It started out as a very primitive website that just had pictures of our paintings. We gradually developed our product line as we began doing craft fairs, and the website went through a few redesigns. About a year ago I decided it was time to have a separate website dedicated solely to marketing my illustration.
3. Is there anything you can share with other indie business owners who are just taking the plunge with their own business?
Make sure you spend time (and money) on marketing. You won’t sell anything if no one knows you exist.
4. What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst?
I love the moment when you are in the middle of a creative project, and you are so focused that you just forget about everything else. The worst is accounting and paperwork, although I am trying to get better.
5. Tell us one funny/goofy/silly thing about yourself.
Currently I am obsessed with Wizard Rock, which are bands that play songs about Harry Potter.
6. Do you have any future plans for your business that you would like to share?
One day the Girls’ Revolutionary Army will rise up and take over the world, and then we shall enter a glorious new age. But seriously, right now I am working on promoting my illustration so that one day I will be a mega-famous illustrator and people will give me lots of money to sit around and draw all day
7. What blogs and mags do you read and what shops do you shop at? List as many as you want.
Shops: I love Bluebottle, Velouria, Schmancy, Nancy, and Fancy Pants here in Seattle. Also, the Giant Robot stores in LA. Online: boygirlparty, My Paper Crane, Thea Starr’s amazing hair accessories; I also have some wonderful earrings from Tilting Swiftly!
8. Were you an artsy craftsy kid? If so, what kinds of things did you do?
Yes, I was fortunate to have a mom who always encouraged me to make art, and enrolled me in summer art programs. In first grade I decided that I was going to be an artist when I grew up. I drew and painted a lot – I have some pretty sweet unicorn drawings from my childhood. My sister and I also made a lot of tiny accessories for our Barbie dolls, then would pose them in scenes and take photos.
9. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Cookie Dough. Or maybe chocolate-vanilla-strawberry, because you get three in one!
10. What does indie mean to you? You can give a literal definition, choose to be a little esoteric or a combination of both. 😉
Indie to me means the opposite of big business, usually hand crafted, made with care and in fairly limited runs. Indie is generally more unique, is well designed, and there’s also the satisfaction of knowing that a real person is behind it.
11. What are your inspirations?
I love going to the fabric store and just looking at everything. And art supplies – I love pens, ink, and paper. Oh, and super cute Japanese products!
12. What you are doing new that you want everyone to know about?
Gosh, well, I’m working right now on some illustrations for Indie Fixx! We’re also working on a new series of paintings for a show in February at Redux in Portland.