Yay! Let’s print away all day!

Artist we love: Betsy Petersen

This new addition to the stencil shop is a special one! We asked Betsy for not one, but four designs and they turned out soooo good! There are all kinds of fun designs, even a floral all over print! Like all our stencils they are available as digital download (to cut by hand or with your favorite cutting machine) or as pre-cut stencils. Next to this Betsy curated a limited edition of our water based eco screen print ink: rusty orange. This color is available as long as stock lasts. She also curated a fun ink set that’s perfect for this time of year: together with pastel pink and deep blue, this rusty oranges creates the ultimate color combo.

We worked with Betsy before, like here in our book aaaand she is one of our favorite artists! We asked her a couple of questions about her work and inspiration.

What is your favorite medium/material to work with?

I love paint! Painting murals is so much fun to me – mostly because of the way it transforms a space. I also love digital illustration because I can get the exact colors I have in mind – no creativity is lost on not being able to make the right colors.

What is your dream assignment? Who/what would you loooove to design for?

So many dreams. I’d love to cover every wall possible with murals, but I also love textile design – seeing my designs on socks, packaging, stickers, clothes, rugs. I’ve always wanted to create patterns for Hansel from Basel socks, the Australian clothing company Gorman, Crate & Kids – any company that makes FUN stuff!

Who are your favorite artists?

David Hockney, Henry Matisse, and Grandma Moses (a self-taught artist who began painting at age 78!).

Can you describe your work table/studio?
Always messy, but currently even messier than usual since we recently moved! I always love to paint a mural behind my work table – very excited for the one I will paint in my new space!

What skill(s) would you love to learn?
I’d love to learn how to make things out of wood (chairs, tiny figurines..) and I’d also love to make mini ceramic cups. Those are the fun things – in reality, most of the skills I learn these days relate to boring things like computer design programs. Boring to learn, but fun to use!

What inspires you?
Architecture, cities, Lake Michigan, colorful outfits of strangers, kids art.  Please describe an average work day for us. I usually begin with my biggest project of the day – the morning is the time when I am able to devote focused time to one thing, so I don’t even read any emails until later in the day. I work hard making something beautiful for someone else (custom patterns for clothes/wallpaper/etc., greeting cards, magazine illustrations, custom animated GIFs) and then I take a break and have lunch with my husband who also works from home. In the afternoon, I finish working on my project, maybe send some emails and take my dog for a walk before picking up my kids from school. I’ll also sneak in some instagram in the mix.

Please describe your perfect day for us.
Truly any day with a blue sky feels like a perfect day to me, no matter what my plans are. We recently moved to a small town on Lake Michigan, and whenever the sun is shining, it feels like we are the luckiest people on earth to get to see the sun and the sky and the lake, all together. My newest commandment is that every time I think of going down to the lake, I MUST do it!

I used Betsy’s designs to print aaaaaall kind of things already, including this wool mix that I turned into a jacked for my daughter. 

What is your life philosophy?
Mistakes are ok! In life, art – having a growth mindset will set us all up for success and happiness in life. So many of us are achievement focused and we derive our happiness in life from things that we accomplish. The only trouble with that is we are left never feeling happy – only in the pursuit of happiness. My goal is to find success and happiness in the process, not just in the final product.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned as an artist?
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned as an artist is to just start! A writing professor taught me this concept in college; if you’re going to write a paper, just write a bad one. You can go back and fix it, but just get the bad one out of the way. I think of it almost every time I am worried about beginning a project. So often, fear can keep us from expressing our most free and creative selves. The worst that can happen isn’t that we will make something bad – the worst thing that could happen is we never make anything at all.

What makes your creative heart tick?
COLORS! Just seeing two colors together makes me feel good inside. My current favorite color combos are poppy red and light peach.

You can find Betsy’s stencils here and the limited edition ink here!

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