Thursday, August 11, 2011

{Featured Artist} Julie from Bohtieque Designs

It's {Featured Friday} here at Snuggly Monkey, and today we have the honor of chatting with Ms. Julie from Bohtieque Designs

Julie is a designer and illustrator of a wide assortment of gorgeous address labels, cards, favor tags and more. She opened her Etsy store in 2008, but has been involved in the craft of graphic design since her Commercial Art class in high school. Prior to opening her shop, she designed web graphics, identity packages and websites. This amazingly talented lady has a lot to share with us, so let's get started! 

How did you come up with your shop name?The short story is that it's a melding of my maiden name, Boh, with my married name, Tiedens.  It's an alternate spelling of the word b"outieque." The longer story is that right after I got married and changed my name, my high school newspaper students had been jokingly making fun of my most recent round of clothing purchases, and they'd started asking me if I'd gotten something new at the Boh-Tiedens Boutique.  It was about that time that I'd been trying to come up with a name for my business, and I knew I wanted something personal...and something that conveyed unique.  While I was mulling it over, I realized that I could smoosh all the words together and do just that.

How did you first get into graphic design/illustration?I suppose it probably started in high school, where I had the opportunity to take a class called Commercial Art. From there, I took a few design courses as part of my journalism program and kept practicing along the way. I was doing quite well with identity design, but I wasn't enjoying it as much as I wanted to because I wasn't as able to follow my own inclinations and paths. So, when I found Etsy, I decided to try something new--designing things that I loved and had fun with. At first, I started out with a few announcements, but when my sister asked about round address labels, I posted a few of them and they took off.  From there, I've been concentrating on labels and cards to match and I haven't looked back!

What is your favorite item to create?Round address labels--but I think that if you took a look into my shop, you'd figure that out fast!

What aspects of your Etsy business do you find challenging?  I really hate coming across reproductions of my designs.  Yes, we all are influenced by our culture, and we might have similar ideas--that's a given.  But when I find something that's practically a duplicate of what I've done, I get a little miffed. There's a cycle--first I get angry, then I get worried about it, and then I get fired up, go back to the drawing board and design something. Much of the time, the work that I do after a discovery like that is fantastic.

How do you advertise or promote your shop? 
This isn't my strong point.  I think promotion takes a lot of time, and since I have a full-time job that I put a great deal of energy into, time is a really scarce commodity during the school year. However, I'm working on a blog (which serves a dual purpose by giving me an outlet for my photography), and I do some giveaways and blog sponsorships. And then I Facebook. And Tweet a little. See, I say I'm not doing much, but look at that.  For those people who are REALLY connected, imagine the time involved in their marketing.

I agree marketing is VERY time consuming! How do you use Twitter and Facebook to your advantage?
I see Twitter differently than most--for me, it's a place to keep on top of current events, not to promote so much. I do put out a few things, but I try to make it useful for my followers.  Facebook, on the other hand, is a place to do some marketing.  I post new ideas, links to my blog entries...and, sometimes, talk with followers.

How did you set up your shop banner & avatar? 
I set it up myself, and it's the fifth or sixth version I've used.  Usually, I end up basing it on a label design that I've fallen in love for the last year or so, you can tell that Swallow on a Wash of Blue has been my favorite label :)

Do you photograph your own items? Any photography tips to share? Yes, I do--when I photograph.  Truthfully, small paper items like mine are an issue when it comes to photography.  I've had some nice shots, but after getting feedback and trying out several different ways to present my labels, I've fallen back to the old standard for listing shots--graphics, not photos. They're the most easily seen for my type of product.When I do photograph items for my blog, I think natural light gives the best results.  I have a light tent and lights, but they don't work as well as some nice light from one of my windows. 

What else do you do to keep your shop looking great?  
I don't know that it looks super, yet, but I can tell you that I constantly re-evaluate and experiment with better ways to present my work.  Right now, I'm working on changing the backgrounds at Etsy to make them more'll see that in the first few pages of my shop. With almost 200 listings, though, it takes a while to get the whole shop changed over!

As a fan of Inside the Actor's Studio with James Lipton, I've always enjoyed his final 10 questions that he asks all his guests. So, inspired by the questionaries of Mr. Lipton, Bernard Pivo (Lipton's inspiration) and Marcel Proust here are a few final questions for Julie...

What sound or noise do you love? Summer--the tree frogs, birds and insects singing outside my open windows.

What sound or noise do you hate? That ambient city-road noise I get to enjoy when I visit friends or family who live in cities

If you were reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be? A well-loved springer spaniel--their personalities match my own!

What natural gift would you most like to possess? I'd love to have better leadership and team skills.  I'm a do-it-on-my-own kind of person, and I'd love have more natural ability to inspire a good team culture.

What would you like to be when you grow up? Me.

What makes you smile? My four-year-old and my husband, cuddled together on the couch and talking through the day's plans.

Thank you so much Julie for giving us a peek into your shop world today! Be sure to keep in touch with Julie by stopping by her shop, Facebook page or blog and saying Hello!

Great News!! Julie has ever so kindly offered to sponsor a FANTASTIC Giveaway for Snuggly Monkey followers!! The winner of this giveaway will receive....

a $25 Gift Certificate to Bohtieque Designs!

The winner can choose his/her favorite designs from the extensive selection available in Julie's shop. Please be sure to check back in tomorrow (Saturday, August 13, 2011) for full details on how to Enter to Win! 

Did you feature another great Etsian on your blog recently? Were you featured on a blog this week? Would you like to meet some more great artists and learn about their craft? Then join the party and add your link to our  Featured Fridays Linky!

Joining the party is easy! Just add your link to the bottom of this post and leave a comment for Lindsay. You can also grab the "Featured Friday" button from the sidebar and put it on your post to let folks know you joined the party!


Dita Maulani said...

I love seeing Etsy artist featured another Etsy fellow. It is really a true support! Off to check Bohtique now. Fun interview to read!

♥ dita

Duni said...

Great interview! I like how she came up with the name for her shop!
The stickers in her shop are adorable!

Designed By Dee said...

Nice feature - love mix - info, tips, etc!

Lesley said...

gorgeous shop....and such a fun interview! can't wait to hear about the giveaway! Happy SITS day!

Trina (Trina's Clay Creations) said...

Great feature! On my way to visit her shop now. I enjoy your Etsy Featured Artists posts!!

Thank you for the opportunity to post my 'Etsy Finds Friday' today! :)


Pixel Berry Pie Designs said...

Great link-up you have here! Thanks for posting a comment on my blog!

alena said...

Great feature! On my way to visit her shop now. I enjoy your Etsy Featured Artists posts!!

alena said...

Great feature! On my way to visit her shop now. I enjoy your Etsy Featured Artists posts!!

Janet said...

Fun interview and talented designer! My daughter is crazy for elephants and would love the return address labels!

jollyvi said...

wow! you've been in it since highschool and u manage to keep your ideas fresh? that's great! keep it up! =)

Kimberly W said...

Great interview, I love reading these features and seeing what inspires each artist!!
halochanel at gmail dot com

Beth said...

I love that Julie's favorite sound is "summer'. That's why I don't use an iPod when I'm working in the yard. I, too, love those summery sounds.

wordygirl at earthlink dot net

Beth said...

I love that Julie's favorite sound is "summer'. That's why I don't use an iPod when I'm working in the yard. I, too, love those summery sounds.

wordygirl at earthlink dot net

Beth said...

My favorite items in her shop are the personalized love tweets cards.

wordygirl at earthlink dot net

Beth said...

Something that makes me smile is our dog Teddy. He is a big, goofy boy, and brightens every day.

wordygirl at earthlink dot net

Beth said...

I'm one of your email subscribers.

wordygirl at earthlink dot net

Beth said...

If I were to be reincarnated, I'd hope to come back as a house cat.

wordygirl at earthlink dot net

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