When I was surfing online checking on Etsy store to find great designers to share their story, and I found Little Paper Clouds, and just couldn't take my eyes off them, each piece had so much detail and emotion inside, I really could tell how hard this designer had been working to mak these amazing projects! I'm so glad and happy that Amanda Burnett's agreed to share her story with us today…..

Q: Would you share with us how you started to create your art work? 

I was always very imaginative, and believed in mythical creatures such as mermaids and gnomes well in to my teens! I still want to believe that there are things out there we can’t explain, and I just love to create little scenes based on what I imagine little creatures get up to when the humans aren’t looking! I grew up exploring and having adventures in the Australian Bush where I would imagine little folk lived. I would often leave little notes for them, or draw guides showing what they did what they ate and looked like! When I look at what inspired me then, it is so funny that it still inspires me to this day!

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Q: What's the story behind your brand?

I created my brand in my last year at University.

I had a unit called Design for the Future, which was all about building your brand to communicate to others what your all about.

I knew what I wanted people to think and feel when they saw my branding, and although it changes slightly year to year as I grow and develop as an illustrator, the core values remain the same, as I want it to have a friendly, whimsical and happy vibe.

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Q: Can you want to share your work place ?

My husband took me to Ikea where we purchased the shelves, bookcase and adjustable desk, and we spent a few days putting it all together, and hanging shelves.

I finally have a dedicated space to work in my home, and it has helped me immensely with my productivity. I no longer feel embarrassed when visitors come over, as my dining room is now clear free from all my mess!

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Q: What is your working schedule like?  

I don’t have a strict working schedule, as with children and a husband that works shift work, my days are always a little unpredictable!  An ideal day is when I can drop my kids at the school bus, take a relaxing walk on the beach with my little dog, and then be home at about 8am, ready to start!

I love to listen to interesting podcast’s while I work, usually to do with illustration, or growing your business (I feel like I’m multitasking!) Or if I just want to zone out, Ill pop on some music.

I am definitely a morning person,(after  a coffee or two!) I find it really hard to sleep in, and so morning is probably when I do my best work. On the days when I don’t work in the morning, I do a bit straight after dinner, and leave it set up so I can just get straight back in to it in the next day.

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Q: Which type of material do you like to use the most and why?

My ‘go to’ materials are my Schmincke watercolours and good thick 600gsm watercolour paper, there is something so lovely about the possibilities with these materials, and they are definitely my favs.

I also own far too many staedtler 2B pencils and Micron 005 pens.

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Q: Which piece is your favorite or sells the best? 

My favorite piece at the moment is these two dancing mice…my favorite piece is usually always the last piece I painted, because you learn so much, and you can see your progress as well. 

The Dancing Mice

Q: Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration is children’s books. I collect them constantly! I love the bright colours, the ideas and the humor. I cannot walk past a vintage store without going in to check out the book section! I also adore current illustrators like Isabelle Arsenaults, Sophie Blackall, Kate Knapp, Lisbeth Zwerger, and Emily Hughes…just to name a few!

Q: Do you remember when you sold your first item and how you felt?

I broke out in to a very cool (my family would debate the word cool) first Etsy sale dance!

Still exciting even now to think that people will hand over their hard earned money for a piece of art that I made, that is still the best feeling for me!

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Q: What's the hardest part of your design career?

I would say it is the self-doubt. It is a lonely career path, but I am sure most illustrators out there would agree they quite like the solitude!

It is sometimes very reassuring to participate in a craft fair and meet other creatives, and just see what pieces people respond to, it is sometimes surprising!

I think another difficult aspect is putting aside time just for you. This is a career fuelled by passion for what you do, and it is so hard not to think about it 24 hours a day. I actually feel extremely guilty if I don’t do something every day, especially if I don’t draw for a day or two, I start to feel really anxious.

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Q: Which part of working do you enjoy the most?

When a piece is finished! Sometimes it can feel like a piece is never going to get there, and then all of a sudden, voila! I also really love when I get a great new idea and start hatching it out, I love sketching out on to a fresh crisp sheet, and placing the first colours down…it really is fun!

Q: What it your next project?

I am always working on my portfolio so I like to have a few pieces on the go at any time.  I have about three book ideas I need to tie up loose ends on, and I would love to get an agent this year as well…so if there are any agents out there reading this…please do get in touch!

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Q: What kind of books do you like to read, and what kind of music do you like?

I love to read!

The Collector by John Fowles, The Harry Potter series, classics like Jane Eyre, they are the books I return to again and again!

I am always on the hunt for a good book, as it’s the only way I can get to sleep at night, I just find it is such a great way to relax and switch off.

I have also started Jazz/hip hop dancing classes this year, which is really fun, I used to dance in high school, and although the old body doesn’t quite leap like it used to, it is still a great excuse for me to get out and about.

I listen to a lot of music, my fav is Katy Perry, I am just a huge fan of hers, but overall I like a bit of anything, just depends on my mood! 

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Q: If you were not a designer, what do you think you would be?

I would definitely have studied something scientific. I love the idea of forensic science, or Psychology, it is so fascinating to me, I love research and learning new things.

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Q:.If young people want to follow the same path as you, what would you suggest?

I would suggest that they draw and draw and draw some more! That is without a doubt the most important thing to do. It is such a competitive field, and there are so many amazing young talents out there that are just so dedicated to their work.

The other piece of advice is DON’T give up! Don’t let anyone crush your dreams. If you work hard enough to be the best you can be, then why shouldn’t it be you that makes it? You will cop a lot of flak for being in this field, a lot of people just don’t understand it. But I think if that is what your good at, you owe it to yourself to at least give it your best shot…NO REGRETS!

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Author: Ruby