interview and giveaway with katie daisy of the wheatfield!
Today is a good day. I am so excited to share an interview I recently had with Katie Lombardo of Katie Daisy! Katie is the mastermind behind Katie Daisy and her Etsy shop, the Wheatfield. Dabbling in watercolors, acrylics, and mixed media, Katie creates her own illustrations and typography in the form of posters, fabric patterns, note cards, and other prints.. many of them bearing bright messages to live by, all of them unique.
I grew up near Katie in Northern Illinois. We went to the same high school, which meant whenever the time came for a school art fair, I was lucky enough to catch Katie's talented creations. I didn't know at the time that she'd grow to be such a beautiful and wildly inspired artist, living and breathing art in her idyllic country home in North Carolina.
Hey Katie! Tell us a bit about who you are and what you create.
Hello! My name is Katie Daisy and I am an illustrator and daydreamer currently nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I am so happy to say that I make my living as an artist and love every second of it! My main goal in life is to make art that helps others realize their dreams and "soul" purposes. When I paint, I consciously put that message into each piece. I hope that this way, I'm sending a higher vibration to anyone who sees my work. Life is too short to put our dreams on hold... the time is now! Do what you love.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration in absolutely everything, but particularly nature. I could spend hours walking in open fields and hiking through the woods. I'm also greatly inspired by the ocean and all the little treasures it washes ashore. Apart from the natural world, I swoon over vintage linens, cookbooks and signage. I am in a state of bliss when sifting through antique stores.
How has your Illinois upbringing influenced your work? I know you recently moved to North Carolina.. any new Asheville influences?
I was raised on a farm in Lindenwood, Illinois, and have to give that little town pretty much full credit for all of the work I have created to this day. I believe that Lindenwood possesses some type of a magical atmosphere… there is truly no way to explain it. It's outside of space and time! The whole time I lived in Lindenwood, it felt like an afternoon-lit daydream ripe for creativity and imagination. I will forever hold that country town dear to my heart, and perhaps move back some day!
I just relocated to North Carolina two months ago, and this place possesses a very similar magic quality as my hometown. The landscape here is divine -- mountains, open fields, waterfalls… I found a lovely little home in the woods and now overlook wide open pastures and mountains when I paint!
The city of Asheville is so alive - everyone is so kind! I feel at home everywhere I go around here.
Tell us about the beginnings of the Wheatfield, and what pushed you to pursue an Etsy shop.
I believe it was my third year at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design when I started The Wheatfield. While in school, I had an epiphany (or rather, a "freak-out" moment) about what I would be doing after I graduated. I remember visiting Etsy and seeing other visual artists with over 1,000 sales… Instead of being intimidated, I thought - "Why can't I do that too?" Although I was swamped with school work, I was still committed to running a successful Etsy shop in preparation for "the real world."
Out of all of your lovely creations, do you have a favorite?
That's a tough one… my favorites change with the weather! I really enjoy my "Someday Cottage" painting. This piece was created from a dream house in my imagination. Perhaps someday I'll find it and live in it!
Any new art you've been dreaming up?
Yes! I'm also going to start doing more work with fabric and collage… stay tuned!
Do you have any words of wisdom you'd like to share with Etsy beginners?
Be kind to your customers… Really show your gratitude for their business. Send shipping confirmations, thank you notes… free goodies! I also spend a lot of time on my packaging. Some of my customers have said that receiving their purchase was like opening a gift! Nice packaging really does make a difference.
Also - know your market! As business operators, it is our job to market our products to the right folks. I advertise on numerous blogs that are geared toward my specific market. I also share my work on Facebook & Flickr. Exposure is very important!
Aside from creating for Katie Daisy and the Wheatfield, what do you enjoy doing?
Well, art really does take up most of my waking hours, but I also enjoy many other things! I think I've mentioned that I'm quite a nature fanatic. I love canoeing, hiking, camping, swimming, stargazing… I also enjoy browsing thrift and antique stores, finding new treasures that make my heart skip.
Where would you like to be in 10 years?
Honestly, I hope to be doing what I'm doing now. This has been the most joyful time of my life, and I want to seize this moment for as long as possible! At some point in the next 10 years, I would love to build a sweet little yurt near the sea… and perhaps a smaller yurt for a studio? :)
Because she's that awesome, Katie is offering everyone a chance at winning any 8x10 print in her shop! To enter the giveaway, simply comment on this post letting us know something that inspires you. The giveaway lasts until Thursday, August 19th, when I will choose a winner at random.
In the meantime, check out Katie's adorable store and website!