Monday, September 21, 2009

Bra Queen Interviews Pep+Coddle

Bra Queen's Comments-I LOVE Skye's answer to Number 7, so well said. Let me tell you Skye's work IS really amazing, so clever, so creative and so different to anything you have seen. Literally so personalized that when she makes a baby card it has name, weight and DOB on the cover they are truly divine! Skye is going to personlise a writing set to one LUCKY WINNER in the Love Your Life Challenge, You'll love it.

1. Tell us about you & your business-

My passion is Oil Painting, but I also have a soft spot for Printmaking and Photography. I love analysing artworks and advertisements, and I pick them to pieces in my mind trying to figure out how it was made layer by layer. I am an Artist who teaches for a living, with a personal passion on the side. I have 2 beautiful children – Jamieson 3 years and Tyler 5 months.

PEP+CODDLE is inspired by the beauty of contrast, creating paper artworks as greeting cards. As I have always done with my own artworks, each piece is arranged with the elements and principles of design in mind. I try to keep everything aesthetically balanced and harmonious while pushing the boundaries by mixing it up a bit… such as spots and stripes or dark and light, hard and soft, bold and subtle etc. The name came about as I was trying to find a label that encompassed the different mini-personalities that we all have inside of us. Each of us is usually known by one or two ordinary, stereotypical personalities, but on occasion we feel like being the exact opposite to what is expected of us. One day we feel valiant and energetic (pep) and the very next day we could be calm and content (coddle) – more contrasts! I love them!

2. Why did you decide to start your business?

Having been teaching others in Visual Art, selfishly I needed my own “time- realistic” creative outlet. It’s not a financial thing, as making/selling artwork never is! I’ve stopped painting since having 2 small children, as it is not practical for me to get into the garage and make oil paintings. Almost out of nowhere, maybe instinctively, I found a love for making personalised cards just as much, and my friends and family loved receiving them. When I tried to find another company that might make personalised cards, all I found was a heap of Computer Generated Images where you type in some text and it was inserted into a generic template – the very opposite to personalised I thought! That’s where PEP+CODDLE comes in.

3. What are some of the exciting things that are happening in your business?
Currently, I am looking for a range of quality handmade papers that don’t look like all the other papers that you can find in any newsagent or office supplies store. This is proving to be a challenge, since many of the handmade papers just remind me of the paper that we all made in primary school using the recycled paper from the staffroom rubbish bin! I’m looking for a supplier with a modern take on an old-fashioned process.

4. What do you do to keep yourself motivated?

The smile on my children’s faces when I see them first thing in the morning is enough to get this not-a-morning-person out of bed! Otherwise, when I need motivation to get work done for PEP+CODDLE, I try to remember that warm fuzzy feeling I get when I receive mail (that’s not a bill) with a handwritten address, knowing that someone special has made an effort to find the right card, took the time to actually handwrite something and then to physically get themselves to a post office to buy a stamp and to post the envelope! I also try to remember that I am not the only person who still values the thoughtfulness of a handwritten letter or even an invitation as opposed to the easy option of email.

5. What do you think is the secret to happiness?
The secret is to be honest with ourselves. Honest in what we really think as individuals and not getting caught up in what society expects us to think. Honesty with ourselves about what it is that we really love, what’s important to us, even the things that we honestly do not like. Then we can be truly confident in the decisions and paths that we choose. Once we are honest with ourselves it’s easier to discover that one thing inside of us that we know we were put on this earth for - our “reason” – and soon everything seems clearer and just simple.

6. You know when life gets “challenging” what have you done in the past to pick yourself back up again?
Usually my life gets chaotic when I lose perspective, so I make an attempt to get it back by cleansing the system and getting back to basics… start with a blank canvas, so to speak (says the artist). Its easier for me to put things into perspective when there’s nothing around to cloud the mind. There’s usually loud sing-along music, a vacuuming dance, and a house decluttering involved in this process!

7. What do you think are the most important attributes a person should have?

Perspective and Passion. When we keep things in perspective, there is no need for assumptions, no offence taken or hard feelings, and the world might be a brighter place. Passionate people are attractive. To be passionate about at least one thing means that we all have the opportunity to really know ourselves and be happy with what we each have to offer. Passion can foster motivation and ingenuity, and eventually satisfaction.

8. What is your favourite quote?

I am a true believer of “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

But I also love the theory behind Mark Twain’s: “Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like its heaven on earth.”

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