Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Etsy Around the World: raspberrykidz

This week the Etsy Around the World features takes us to the Windy City to visit with an artist who adds a magical touch to the drawings that children create. She works with both artwork from her children and those you provide for a custom piece.

Who are you?
My name is Rachel Switall and my shop name is RaspberryKidz.

Why did you choose your shop name?
I chose RaspberryKidz because a “raspberry” refers to that loud kiss people give their babies (usually on their tummies) to make them laugh. It’s a gesture of love that usuallly leads to the giggles. I thought it was appropriate for my shop.

Where are you located?
Chicago, IL

What do you create?
I create 3-D computer generated prints inspired by children’s drawings. I love doing custom orders based on kids’ art. I also sell already printed pieces based on my own children’s drawings. And I make personalized pictures for the nursery, which include the child’s or baby’s name and birthdate.

Have you ever visited North Carolina (if so, what was your favorite part of that trip)?
I think I was only in North Carolina once. My sister (Maybeads) was on our town’s travelling softball team, and they had a tournament. Not necessarily my favorite part, but definitely the one I remember, was catching my mom smoking in the bleachers when she had “quit” awhile before. I think she might have just had a puff from someone else, but she was still busted.

What is your favorite place to visit in your hometown?
I love going downtown—whether it be to Millennium Park or Michigan Avenue. I love the hustle and bustle and the diversity in the city.

What inspires you?
Obviously kids’ drawings have always inspired me. I love the work of James Rizzi because it reminds me of kids’ drawings.

Where do you create?
I have a small loft off my bedroom, but I do most of my work at the kitchen counter. Since I work on my laptop, I can take it just about anywhere. I do the actual printing, cutting and taping in the loft at my drafting table.

What is the most time consuming part of your craft?
The most time-consuming part of my craft is probably creating the initial outline. I take a picture of the child’s drawing, upload it onto the computer and do the outlining in Illustrator. I want to enhance the picture and clean up some “rough spots,” but I’m always sure to keep it close enough to the original so it still has that child’s style. Sometimes it’s a balancing act—using both our styles so they complement each other and work well together. After I’m happy with that, I then work on cleaning up all the lines, but not too much. Part of what I love about kids’ art is that it’s not perfectly straight and neat.

What is your favorite place to sell your items?
I probably prefer in person. It helps for people to see the pictures in person. Because the 3-D quality is so subtle, it doesn’t always come across well online. I like to see people discover it and take a second look. That being said, I really do love the online community and all the people I’ve met.

Below is a before/after sample of some artwork from raspberrykidz...

--Find more of Rachel's art on her website and blog.

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