I am so honored to have Rachel Nanfelt of Alethea & Ruth with us today! Rachel has such a stellar design sense and a charming aesthetic. I love her use of color, her handwritten typography, and, most of all, her super sensible, inspiring, and encouraging perspective on creative entrepreneurship.
I had the honor of asking Rachel some questions about her process and her inspirations …and I kind of think you’re going to totally love her replies.
Hello Rachel! Why don’t you start start by tell us a little about yourself and what you do. How did you begin your career as an artist & designer?
After college I started working for a company that makes scrapbooking materials. It was a great place to develop my illustration and pattern making skills. I was always being challenged to draw and design in different styles and for a wide range of categories. I actually still work for them and do freelance designing on the side.
What does your typical day look like? I work from home, so my days vary a bit – but I always start out with coffee and some Internet perusing time. I’ll work for a few hours before taking a lunch break, usually doing something that takes me out of my apartment, running an errand, or just taking my lunch over to the park next door. I think some time away from desk during the workday keeps my energy up and creative ideas flowing. I’ll get a few more hours of work in before my husband comes home. We’ll often go for a run, make dinner and then a few nights a week, I’ll do my freelance designing for a few hours in the evening. I honestly feel most creative late at night!
You have been a Minted Designer for several years now (which is so awesome!), what do you love most about being a Minted artist and designer?
I really love the community Minted has created. There are a crazy amount of talented artist and designers on Minted, and the opportunity Minted challenges give everyone to critique one another’s work and help perfect a design is amazing – it’s almost like art school classroom critiques online. It’s an impressive pool of talent and knowledge, and when everyone is helping each other to spot things they could tweak or improve, you get some really great final designs. It’s really helped me grow as a designer.
When you need a little inspiration, what do you do?
I shop! Really, getting out away from my computer and desk is the first step. But I really do find shopping to be a source of inspiration – from the patterns on textiles to the store displays and color trends of different seasons. Also, because I tend to do a lot of floral illustrations, I’ve taken to snapping pictures of any nature form I find interesting when I’m running through neighborhoods and parks. When I’m drawing or doodling out ideas, I’ll refer back to my photos for inspiration.
Any advice for creative just starting out?
Just create whatever you find interesting, and create a lot of it. I think whatever you are interested in and have passion for will be the most authentic thing you can make, and it doesn’t matter if it follows current trends or is like what ‘does well’ out there already. The more you create, the more your craft will improve and your style will be refined.
Thank you so much for sharing your time and pearls of wisdom with us, Rachel! Your amazing.
I am love watching her designs go from such lovely and organic drawings, paintings, and then to the final product that we can find on Minted. Perfect & as it should be! It’s so nice to see the roots of these beautiful designs.
Guys, check out Rachel Nanfelt’s collection, Alethea & Ruth, on Minted pronto! It is so full of goodness.
Check back this afternoon for our third Minted Artist interview! ((Aren’t these ladies ah-mazing?!?!)