When we’re having a rough day, few things can put a smile on our faces quite like BECKY SIMPSON'S art. Becky founded CHIPPER THINGS in 2016 as a collection of giftable goodies tattooed with her quirky illustrations which celebrate the simple things in life through a cheerful lens. Below Becky fills us in on exactly how she stays inspired and so dang chipper!
Did you always want to be an artist, even in childhood?
Yes! For as long as I can remember. After my kindergarten teacher read us The Very Hungry Caterpillar, I said I wanted to write and illustrate books when I'm older. And I've done that! My dad tried to get me to start a greeting card line when I was like 8, but I was too embarrassed. It's fun looking back and seeing these dreams—dreams I didn't even dare to dream at some points—come true.
What is your favorite medium to create with?
Right now, and for the past few years, I just need a good old fashioned V5 pen or Sharpie (or if I'm getting fancy…a Micron or Tombow pen). I also like crayons a lot. These mediums feel the most accessible and playful and therefore FUN to me.
What inspires you?
I'm inspired by human quirks and oddities! Ideas tend to come to me when I'm in the shower, driving or meditating.
Do you ever get “creative block”? If so, how do you combat it?
Yes yes yes. I try to be proactive and avoid doing creative things last minute so I'm not doubling down the stress with last-minute pressure. I think you just have to keep making things in order to work through it. I mean, the answer is definitely not to just stop and hope it comes to you (though I'm a big fan of breaks or even seasons of chilling out, but I do see that intentional step back as different from shrinking to your fears).
At this point, much of what I do is a process. So for a client project for example, I'm usually not blocked entirely because I'm setting out to solve a problem. The tough thing is coming up with new material for Chipper Things because I'm creating something out of nothing. The constraints I heed are: 1) What I think sells; 2) What the world needs to hear (even if it's silly and light); and 3) What I want to create.
I have an idea journal, which I've recently not been so good at keeping up with. But it really is magical because it creates this subconscious home for your ideas. Ideation is a practice—the more we do it, the more ideas we'll have. So I suggest starting there. My best sellers have come from me doodling something without expectation, then I post it for fun and THEN I realize it really connects with other people too.
What would your dream job be (other than what you are doing now)?
Work where I'm paid well and appreciated for it. MORE SPECIFICALLY… A talk show host!
What do you enjoy doing in your “free time?”
I meditate a lot these days. I went on a retreat a few months ago and I'm proud to say that I take my practice very seriously. I'm currently into taking it a step further and I'm most recently trying to practice mindfulness in every facet of life. I've been aware of that "be where you are" thing, but I'm exploring it deeper now (reading The Miracle of Mindfulness). Besides that kind of stuff, I love hanging out with my husband and our pals. We're rewatching The Office and it is still so, so good. Oh, and we're board game people (favorites are Scattergories and Ticket to Ride). Hello, 30!
We hear you are working on a great new collection. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Yes! I'm working on my Summer 2018 Collection right now. It's actually going to be 90% apparel. Keep an eye out late May. I'm pumped about it!