A few days ago, you asked some questions, and today I have some answers! This is a bit long, so we'll jump into it, and I'll throw in a few random pics of mine, just for good measure...
Q: What got you into graphics?
When I was in high school, my dad needed some signs made for work. Even though he worked for a large company, it was easier to just do it himself (he has an art background), but he needed software help. I ended up working on those, and subsequent projects, and learned a lot from the experience. When it came time to choose a work path, it took some time for me to realize it, but eventually I settled on graphic design. I really enjoyed my education, and have used it in lots of ways.
Q: When did you start Wild Olive?
The blog started in 2004 as a means of inspiring myself to do fun things, other than just work. The focus has sort changed over time, but it is still something that keeps me inspired to make, do and create new things. My shop just sort of flowed out of that and started in 2008.
Q: I was not home schooled but I'm thinking more and more that I'd love to offer that to my (future) kids. I've also already started looking into adoption and if you're interesting in elaborating on any of that part of your story I'd love to hear more about your experience.
This could probably be a post of its own (or two!), and I may do that. But the brief answer:
Homeschool: We have done things different ways at different times, but there has always been a fair amount of "unschooling" at our house. This basically means that you learn without usual formal, traditional curriculum. It gives the chance to learn at your own pace, and in lots of different ways. Growing up, I often felt that I wasn't learning things, and would crave things like "real grades". Oh, and when I was 12, I would have done anything to have a school locker! When I went to college, I discovered how much I had learned, and that beyond book knowledge, home education had done an excellent job of preparing me for life. I didn't just learn facts and figures, I learn how to be a better person, how to serve God with my life, and how to have a heart for my family.
Adoption: For me, this has been an amazing experience. My parents have always told me how unselfish my birth mother was (is!), and how could she not be? What an incredible gift she gave me and my family. The short story here is that my mom's doctor called to ask if my parents would be interested in adopting a baby. They excitedly said yes, and he tried to calm them down, asking if they wanted to know anything about the baby. They said they didn't care if it was a boy, a girl, black, white or polka dots...they wanted me! I was 4 days old when I joined our family. My siblings and I all have very different adoption stories, including working with an agency, meeting birth parents, and doing foster care leading to adoption (oh, and my littlest sister was born on a train!), but everything in my adoption was VERY private and sealed up somewhere. Seeing and being part of the adoption process, I can tell you, it isn't always easy. In fact, it can be quite challenging. But it is soooo worth it.
Q: What kind of music do you listen to? Do you listen while your designing?
I love music, and lots of it! When I'm working, I often listen to Pandora. My favorite stations that I've created are ones for Sufjan Stevens, She and Him, Badly Drawn Boy, The Decemberists, and lately Sondre Lerche. I really enjoy lots of indie music, and often don't even know/care who I'm listening to because I just like the sound. Is that terrible? Other favorites are Jars of Clay, Chris Tomlin, The Welcome Wagon...I could go on...
Q: What are some of your favorite books or TV shows?
This was a difficult one. I really love to read, but haven't done much reading lately. Boo. But favorite books are Pride and Prejudice, The Pirate Books (by Gideon DeFoe), and Jesus for President. And, we don't have cable or such, so I'm always behind with my TV shows (I watch on DVD). But I really like Big Bang Theory, Bones, and Friends.
Q: Do you have any pets?
We have a rabbit and a crazy, cross-eyed cat.
Q: Where have you traveled/would you like to go to?
Mainly I've traveled in the Midwest, plus regular trips to Atlanta and Orlando. The farthest I've traveled was to San Diego. And wow, there are a lot of places that I'd like to visit. Portland, Seattle, Boston, London, Italy, Sweden or Norway. But, well, I also like staying around here...
Q: I've been trying to convince my sister to open up her own etsy shop for ages. She's scared that people won't like what she puts out there...Did you have the same sort of trepidation? Were you afraid that you wouldn't be making something that people were interested in? And if so, how did you manage to overcome that fear?
I think that everyone has some of that fear. And actually, it was my sister who convinced me to get over it. But if you don't try it, you'll never succeed, right? I think that when I realized that I had very little to lose (other than pride!), it made sense to go for it. And the other thing that I have come to see is that if something you make doesn't work, or doesn't sell, or people just don't "get it", it's not the end of the world. I feel like I've done really well so far, and I still make things that don't sell. But I've enjoyed making them. And if you are creating things that you like, selling them is just icing on the cake.
Q: What creative thing do you do that's just for you? Meaning, not for the shop or business...
A lot of these things have sort of blended together for me. The patterns and illustrations that I make are ultimately for me. I would be doing this anyway. The shop part is what inspires the quantity of what I create. But I would also so that the crafty things that I share here are for me. And the sketching in my composition books. Truly, the things that are just for me, are the brainstorming of all of the above. I find that just coming up with ideas (even ones that never come to anything) is so relaxing for me. I love it!
Q: ...and top 3 "desert island" movies?
Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth version, obviously), America's Sweethearts, and My Neighbor Totoro.