Copy of Leia and Luna Designs
As mentioned in previous blog posts, I run a craft store, 'Rose Lily Plans'. As well as designing some products myself, I love supporting small artwork businesses, and there are so many out there that have such beautiful designs. One in particular I fell in love with the second I came across the artwork was an Etsy store run by an absolutely amazing lady, called 'Leia And Luna Designs'. I got in touch with Amanda, the artist behind the Etsy shop, and she was up for having a little chat about her work which was just amazing! Take a read to see what she has to say, take in the beauty of the artwork included in this blog post, and follow the links at the end of this post to visit and see more of the work Amanda has created!
My name is Amanda, I'm 28 years old and live in Brisbane Australia. I own a little art shop on Etsy calle Leia and Luna Designs which I can now happily and gratefully say is my full time job. Art has always been a hobby of mine and never in a million years would I ever have thought that I would be drawing for a living.
I honestly never saw myself as being an artist. Growing up I was always quite creative and I loved design but I thought that it was always just a hobby and would never lead me to a career as an artist.
In my store I sell digitally hand illustrated clipart and patterns that my customers can purchase for personal or commercial use. A lot of my customers purchase my illustrations for commercial use that they then use to sell on stationery goods such as stickers. I also provide custom art illustrations that I work closely with my clients on to bring their creative ideas to life.
My best selling item to date was a collection I created called “Enchanted Easter” . I loved creating this collection as I wanted to create something a little more whimsical than your standard Easter Illustrations.
My art style has definitely evolved over the years. When I was around 13 years old I started experimenting with graphite. I loved the way you could create shading and depth into an image so I started drawing celebrity portraits for fun and just kept them hidden away in my art book. I then stopped illustrating for a while because “life” got in the way, it wasn’t until I was 26 where I stumbled across digital art on social media, this art form intrigued me because of the way you could create any art style you like without having to shop around for different art mediums and products. I quickly then purchased an iPad and started practicing and found the convenience and possibilities quite exciting. I originally started playing around with watercolor effects and digital brushes as I loved the rawness that the watercolors gave to an art piece it was something about the drawings being imperfect that really attracted me to that style, this then slowing lead me into experimenting with a mix of digital brushes which ended up with the style I have now which is a cross between watercolour and a chalk/sketch effect.
Most of my inspiration comes from pinterest. I love creating mood boards and finding colour palettes as inspiration. I also will sometimes be out and about and either see something that inspires an idea or look at something with a unique pattern or colour that leads me to creating a new art piece.
A lot of my work consists of collections made up of objects, patterns, scenes and fashion illustrations. The most enjoyable pieces to draw are the fashion illustrations or what I call “Fashion Girls” I love the process of choosing what pose, hair colour, outfit, skin colour etc they will have. Out of all of the illustrations I create, the fashion girls are definitely my favorite.
When I left school I enrolled into a course at tafe for a Diploma of Graphic design. At the time I wasn’t too sure on what career path I wanted after I finished the course but I did know that I loved design so I had hopes that the course would lead me into the creative industries. After I finished the course I really struggled to find a job in design as a lot of job opportunities had a requirement of a minimum of 2 years work experience to be considered for the job roles which I just didn’t have as I had only just left school. I then decided to get a 9-5 job in administration and worked in the building industry for 10 years. I believe that studying art and completing the diploma was not essential in bringing me to where I am today however I do believe that it helped build up my confidence in knowing what style and type of art I enjoy the most.
My favourite piece I have created is the “Namaste” Collection. This was my very first collection to release in my Etsy store and I remember being so nervous about posting it for sale because I wasn’t sure if anyone would love it as much as I did. I still remember jumping up and down and telling my entire family about the first sale I made on the collection. It was a reassuring moment and it helped inspire me to keep creating what I love, because at the end of the day that’s all that matters.
I still have many days where I will redo an art collection multiple times because I will either start feeling like my work is not good enough or I will start comparing myself to other artists. When I go through stages like that I stop myself from scrolling through social media where I am bombarded with other artist work and I will light a candle and put on a Spotify playlist and just start drawing an illustration for fun. Draw something that you are not putting up for sale and just enjoy the process, doing this helps me refocus and then reignites the passion to start designing and creating again. Always remind yourself that other artists may be looking at your work and feeling the exact same as you do. We are all our own worst critics at times so we need to remind ourselves that there is no one art style that is the “right” way. Art is an expression of our creativity so you can never get it wrong.
My advice to other artists would be to find their own style. Don’t try to force yourself to draw like another artist if that isn’t enjoyable for you. Go ahead and try different techniques, it’s ok to be inspired by another artist's style so play around with similar techniques because along the way you will find your own unique style. It may be one standard style or it might be a mix of styles and that’s ok too. Another tip would be to try drawing challenges, you can find challenges on pinterest or instagram. I found a few artists doing a “Draw this in your style challenge” they will create an art piece and then you use that as inspiration to replicate that into your own art style. These challenges help you to explore new techniques and also step you out of your comfort zone.
A huge thank you to Amanda for taking the time out to have a chat with us, since we spoke Leia And Luna Designs now has a Patreon shop, where she shares exclusive artwork that will not be entering the Etsy shop! I've included the link to this along with her other Instagram and Etsy, so definitely take a look!