Designer Spotlight: The Spotted Olive

This week we bring you an insider’s look at the design process behind best-seller The Spotted Olive. We asked her to describe her typical day and how the inspiration she finds incorporates into her outstanding designs. 

Q : Take us through a typical day designing.

A : As my business has grown, there are fewer opportunities for full days of designing. Every day can be so different with some days where I am exclusively working on customer orders, product photography, administration tasks or a mix of projects. 
A typical day starts at about 7:30 am —thanks to my three dog alarm clock. Once I am up, I feed the dogs, grab a glass of lemon water and then head out with the dogs for a short half mile to mile walk (I usually take the opportunity to listen to a podcast or audio book while walking). After that I get cleaned up, grab some breakfast and an iced coffee and get ready to start my workday. My first course of business is checking and responding to customer emails and social media messages. Next, I work on getting out proofs, submitting files for printing and packaging orders for shipping. 
During the Summer months, I like to take little breaks throughout the day and sit outside on our deck… sometimes I’ll get out the watercolors and paint for a few minutes, practice hand lettering or just sit and enjoy the beautiful weather. Between 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm, my husband (he’s a solopreneur too) and I will often have lunch together, usually outside on our deck or if we need to get out of the house for a bit, we’ll head over to one of the local cafes to grab a bite. Once back in the office, depending on where I’m at with customer orders or administrative tasks, I’ll either continue working on those items or catch up on some of my favorite blogs. Between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm, it’s time to feed the dogs again and take them on another walk. 
If there is time in the day with an opportunity to design, I’ll check my Pinterest boards, my notes in Evernote, or one of my notebooks for ideas and inspirations that I’ve jotted down and start designing. I usually try to end my workday between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm but if I am on a roll and inspired to design, I could work much later into the night!

Q : How did you get interested in the stationery industry?

A : The majority of my career was spent as a corporate graphic designer. I was able to work on some great projects, even winning some awards for my work, but ultimately there wasn’t much variety in the projects. I started designing invitations and stationery as a creative outlet. Eventually, my creative outlet grew into a full-time business. I really love the diversity and fun of designing pretty paper for happy events. It’s really exciting and humbling to know that a customer has chosen one of my designs to be a part of their special celebration or milestone event. And of course, I absolutely adore stationery and paper goods, but who doesn’t!

Q : Where do you find inspiration for your designs

A : Inspiration is everywhere! I find inspiration for my designs in nature, in the city, in music, in fashion, in color, in people, even in my own backyard. I’ve recently started participating in some 30 day creative challenges which have been a great exercise for creativity and design inspiration. 

This design was inspired by the new beginnings of Spring, nature and the harmony of the soft pale pinks and peaches found in many flowers. Living in the mountains, we always have deer and their new fawns resting in our yard, so I thought it would be a cute element to incorporate into the design.
This design was inspired by the bold typography and weathered look of vintage boxing & circus posters.

Q : What trends are you loving right now?

A : The trends I’m currently crushing on are bold, dramatic colors, hand lettering & calligraphy, watercolor, metallics, wild urbanism and retro pastels. I also love the classics so fresh, colorful patterns of dots, stripes and florals will always be on trend with me.

Q : What are your favorite Independence Day traditions?

A : I really love the celebration that the 4th of July brings. My favorite traditions are having a cookout with family and friends, playing with sparklers and of course, watching the fireworks!

Q : What’s your favorite dish to bring to a summer BBQ?

A : As a vegetarian, I find that there often aren’t many main course options at a Summer BBQ so my favorite dish to bring is grilled halloumi. It’s so good and always a big hit with everyone.

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