Artist Spotlight: Bloomwolf Studio
We don’t often have the chance to meet our artist partners in person because they live all over the country, or in different countries. But this month we stumbled upon our featured artist in the most unexpected way... via Airbnb!
Betsy and Luis of Bloomwolf Studio stayed with us in our humble abode when they came to Chicago to sling their paper goods at Markets For Makers. The craft fair was just down the block from our place, so they chose our Airbnb for the convenient location (and it’s cuteness, I presume).
Betsy and Luis didn’t come right out with their business name – actually they were super modest – so of course I immediately researched the Markets for Makers website to see which stationery companies were in the lineup. Low and behold, there was Bloomwolf Studio, right at the top of the list, with an impressive selection of greeting cards!
We made quick friends with Betsy and Luis (they are genuinely the greatest!) and we are SO excited to bring their beautiful paper goods to ya’ll.
Tell us about the birth of Bloomwolf Studio!
Bloomwolf Studio began in 2015, about a year and a half after I graduated from college. Having received a Bachelors of Art in Psychology and a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Sciences, my initial plans after graduating were to take some time off to apply to medical school, and continue pursuing my goal of becoming a doctor. During this time off, I also took a job as a middle school science teacher. I quickly started looking for an escape from the pressures of teaching, and began drawing and illustrating again, after not doing so for almost ten years. Because one of my passions has always been art, I felt as though I had found my true purpose. From my illustrations, I started developing a line of illustrated greeting cards and art prints and with the help of my husband Luis, decided that I wanted to start my own creative business. This ultimately lead to the formation of Bloomwolf Studio.
Did you always want to be an artist, even in childhood?
I remember always having a passion for drawing and illustration, but it wasn’t until middle school that I started to develop my skills and learn new techniques and art forms. At the time, I was attending a charter school that greatly infused art instruction into their curriculum, and because of this I was able to take classes like painting, fiber crafts, and graphic design. I took a special interest in graphic design and took several classes during my youth.
Because of the expectations of my parents, art and graphic design took a back seat after middle school and I began focusing more on academics and becoming a doctor. Being the daughter of Mexican immigrants, art was never considered a career growing up. Now, I am happy to say that the notion has changed, and my parents are proud of the art I create and the business I have developed!
What is your favorite medium to create with? Describe your process.
All of my illustrations are hand-drawn in Photoshop using my Wacom tablet. This is by far my favorite method of creating art.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration in nature, my Mexican culture, relationships, and in issues that are important to me.
What's your solution for combating “creative block” and maintaining productivity?
Typically, I find that my creativity and productivity – when it comes to illustrating – comes in waves. Once I'm inspired, I like to take full advantage of my time, and set aside a fews days or even a week or two to create. If I do find myself with creative block, I step away from whatever project I'm working on. I’ll work on other parts of the business or do something unrelated, and return to the creative project once my mind feels more relaxed.
What does a typical day at your studio look like? How do you manage your time?
Because running a business requires wearing many hats, a large portion of my day is dedicated to performing a lot of administrative work, order fulfillment, marketing, and content creation for our website and social media pages. I also spend time answering emails and communicating with our retail and wholesale customers, and working with my team to ensure that our business goals are being met. Once most of the business/operational items are completed, I am able to spend some time on product development and illustrating.
What do you enjoy doing in your “free time?”
Whenever I do have free time, I enjoy watching lots of movies and tv shows. I LOVE watching movies at the theater, and hope to have some sort of job in the movie industry come my next life. I also love to eat and enjoy exploring different cuisines. And last but definitely not least, I love spending time with my husband Luis, who always pushes me to try new things.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced to get to where you are now?
I would say that some of the biggest challenges we have faced have dealt with finding production partners to help streamline our business. From the start, we have always made it our goal to have the best quality products for our customers. Because most of my time is spent running our business and designing, we work with local print shops to print our cards, art prints, notepads, and notebooks. In order to find the right print shops for the job, Luis and I have had to invest time and money in visiting facilities, placing orders, and working closely with these businesses to get our products just right. And even after all of this, we still have mishaps happen sometimes. Luckily, we have been able to learn from the mistakes made, and now know exactly what to look for with each print run. We've also found great local businesses that are willing to work with us to achieve the quality we desire for each product.
How does the culture of your city contribute to the development of your independent business?
The culture of Orlando has been so supportive, not only of our business, but of other small businesses as well. This continued support has definitely helped us grow and we are thrilled whenever we get the opportunity to pop-up around town.
We hear you are working on adding calendars to your line for 2020. Tell us more!
We have several new products in the works for 2020, and are very excited to be introducing wall calendars to our shop! I especially love working on the calendars because it gives me the opportunity to work on a collection of illustrations based around the same theme. I have a few themes that I am working on, but you'll have to wait and see which one makes the cut!