Sunday, January 18, 2009

getting to know you #2

Hello All. Today I'm lucky to get to introduce you to Leah of cricisis, a rather talented artist who like chairs and books (I think we could be friends.)

please tell us who you are, and a bit about your business/art.
My name is Leah Ammerman, and my business is cricicis design. I produce graphic design, illustration and paper-goods out of Boston, Massachusetts. cricicis design started mainly as a simple portfolio of freelance design work I do out of my studio at home, but when I began selling the paper goods on almost two years ago, it turned into more of a business idea...with goals! I had so many scraps of paper and leftover illustrations and ideas from jobs I was working on, I began turning those leftovers into note cards and bookplates. So a lot of the items I sell on etsy are recycled, in every sense of the word.
I specialize in note cards, boxes, hand-bound notebooks and journals, and custom bookplates. Each of these items feature clean, bright illustrations, which are drawn by hand or in illustrator. In my free time I’m trying to learn how to bind books, and print with a letterpress. I appreciate the simplicity of minimalism, penpals, mail in general, handwriting, photocopiers, drawing, painstaking repetitive tasks, and good humor.

describe your creative/creating process.
My creative process starts with a nice workspace, and naturally having lots of paper laying around everywhere I look. Many of my illustrations are of actual objects you might find in my workspace, like cats and airport chairs. I’m very influenced by my immediate surroundings. Also, like I mentioned, a lot of my note card, bookplate and notebook illustrations are often leftover sketches from other jobs that I couldn’t bear to toss. I’m glad that sometimes other people also find them charming enough to want to stick them in all their books, or carry them around in their pocket in the form of a notebook.

what are your favorite places to shop (both on and off etsy)?
Business-wise, I mainly shop at the Papersource and, and non-business-wise, my favorite is the supermarket.

how do you describe your personal style?
Clean, bright, minimal, small-scale with a big attention to detail.

what is your top piece of advice for someone trying to run their own business?

I am definitely still learning, and need more advice than I can give on running a business, so I’ll give advice that I feel applies to anyone in any circumstance: pay attention to the details. Be really organized.

name five things that are a constant in your daily routine.
I check my etsy account every day. I brush my teeth every day. I ride the 66 bus almost everyday. I try to go for a walk every day. I’m stretching it- I really don’t have many constants.

what is your ideal day?
I definitely don’t have an ideal day. My schedule is pretty flexible. When I have a lot of work to do, my ideal day is to stay at my desk, uninterrupted, all day. When I don’t have a lot of work to do, my ideal day is to goof off, go for a hike, go out for a drink, or see a band play. I appreciate days where I work incessantly because then the next day I might be able to enjoy a little more freedom and goof off. The balance between the two is really what I want…not one ideal day where a little of everything happens. It feels pretty luxurious to have such a flexible schedule…I definitely appreciate this.

tell us something about yourself that we might find surprising.
cricicis is pronounced CRICK-a-sis, and comes from a drawing I made when I was about four. It’s of my backyard and the surrounding woods. At the top I tried to write “I like to listen to the crickets” but I couldn’t spell well. The above pronunciation is my best interpretation of the word cricicis, which I think is a more interesting word than cricket.

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