One of the new names starting to make headway in both the art of typography and the crafting circles is Black Rabbit Arts, which boasts a fine selection of cards and other designed material for your personal needs. Today we chat with artist Kartina
Flores about starting up the new business and her work behind the art. (All pictures courtesy of Black Rabbit Arts.
Black Rabbit Arts on Facebook
Gavin: Hey Katrina, first off, tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a 22-year-old artisan living in Tooele County with my Artisan husband, Hudson, and my dog. I graduated from Salt Lake Community College in December of 2014 with an Associates degree in Illustration and another in Graphic Design. I have always had a great love for art and design, and it is a large part of my everyday life. I was lucky enough to marry a like-minded artisan to share my work with, and we have been together for three great years. In addition to running Black Rabbit Arts, I have become an art teacher for a great new studio called Kendali
Studios. I teach Basic Drawing and Portrait painting, and it's great helping others learn to speak through their artwork. It also inspires me to teach other the ways of artwork.
Gavin: What first got you interested in art, specifically in illustration?
I have loved art
of all kinds my whole life. My interest in illustration was sparked by my desire to communicate with art and make people feel certain emotions when they look at my work. I also knew that I needed to do something that involved always working with my hands. I've never been able to sit still for too long without my sketchbook.
Gavin: What would you say were the biggest inspirations to your style?
I have always admired the style of hand-rendered artwork and typography. All of my work starts out as pencil on paper before I even touch the computer. Making little imperfections beautiful is what inspires my style.
Gavin: As you mentioned, you received two Associates from SLCC. What made you choose SLCC, and how was their program for you?
Salt Lake Community College is great! I wanted to stay close to my family while attending college, so SLCC was my choice. SLCC has a very impressive art program and I had the opportunity to learn from many greatly skilled teachers who helped me get my double major in Illustration and Graphic Design. SLCC is a great place to earn your degree and network with other artisans in the Salt Lake Valley.
Gavin: What caught your interest about print works and letterpress?
Typography is what really caught my eye when it came to print works and letterpress. I love beautiful lettering, and even though I'm not a master typographer, I like turning lettering into artwork.
Gavin: What made you decide to start up Black Rabbit Arts?
I decided to start up Black Rabbit Arts after I did some research on Etsy. I wanted something that would allow me to share my work from home, and Etsy helps me to do just that. People can shop my store online, and my business has helped me become a participating vendor at craft fairs and festivals.
Gavin: What would you say was the influence behind the woodland creature look you have over most of your pieces?
I like to use lots of earth tones and floral accents in my note cards and artwork. I don't think that everything has to look computer-generated, and I try to keep an earthy style in my work.
Gavin: What’s the process like for you when choosing something new to create, from the design to the final product?
As I mentioned earlier, I always start a project with pencil and paper no matter what medium the final project will be made with. I feel that thumbnails and brainstorming are essential to a good, completed project. Research is also a big part of my creative process. After I have decided on paper what I want to create, I take it one step further by making a highly detailed drawing of exactly what I want it to be. From there I take that work to the computer or the canvas, depending on what medium I will be working with.
Gavin: What kind detail do you put into each card to make sure each one is just a little unique from the others?
I like to keep a consistent style within all of my note cards [while] making each card unique. I am always trying new techniques and working with different mediums to make each card feel a little more special. I'm always trying to learn new things to accommodate my need for new unique ideas. I do now and then get artist's block, which can make finding new ideas difficult, but I find that once I break through that wall I can come up with some great new designs.
Gavin: Beyond the cards, I’ve seen your work on mugs and pillows. Are there any other areas you’ve been experimenting with?
Other than designing note cards, I like creating artwork that can be used in a decorative way. I have made pillows with my Black Rabbit Arts logo on them. I also create hand-painted illustrations on chipboard material that can be used as shelf or wall art. Fine art is also a big part of my artisan lifestyle. I love painting with oils to stay in touch with my illustrative side.
Gavin: What was it like for you to get into the festival circuits and start selling pieces in person?
This August was my first year as a vendor for the Craft Lake City Festival, and also my first time selling my work outside of Etsy. It was a great experience, and I will definitely apply for next year's festival again. Selling in person is great because it gives your buyers the opportunity to put a face to the artwork. I knew that getting into the craft fair circuits would be a great way to network and spread the word about Black Rabbit Arts. It was really worth all of the hours of unpaid work to participate at Craft Lake City.
Gavin: Do you do commissioned work for people? And if so, how can they get in touch with you?
I do commission work for people looking for a unique piece. I do fine art and design commission projects such as listed on my Etsy shop. And I'm always looking for a new challenge. People can contact me at Blackrabbitarts@outlook.com
or by calling me at 801-651-4056. They can also check out my website
and send me a message through my contact page or send me a message from my shop on Etsy
. Black Rabbit Arts can also be found on Facebook, Twitter
Gavin: Where do you hope to take this business over the next few years?
Being an at-home seller is not easy. Sometimes It's feast or famine. But I plan to keep running Black Rabbit Arts, and I plan to continue adding new items to my Etsy shop. I also plan to keep participating in future craft fairs and festivals. Running Black Rabbit Arts keeps me in a constant state of creative thinking and that alone is a valuable reward. As an artisan, it's never okay to just give something up, especially if you have a great love for your work. I believe with hard work and creative determination Black Rabbit Arts will continue to grow. So you can plan on seeing me at festivals and online for much more time to come!
Gavin: What can we expect from you and Black Rabbit Arts over the rest of this year?
The holidays are well on their way, so you can expect to be seeing some new stuff in my shop pretty soon. I'm going to spread the holiday cheer with new seasonal items that will be great for gift-giving. Stay in touch with Black Rabbit Arts on social media as well, because I plan to be posting some customer coupons for holiday discounts on items in my shop! People can check out the studio I teach for at KendaliStudios.com