From a crafter to a graphic designer, Shannon Keyser has successfully built her career through various digital marketplaces, including TheHungryJPEG. Throughout her times with THJ, Shannon creates more than 500 designs with affordable prices.
Browsing through OldMarket Designs will make you feel like a traveler who’s looking for endearing souvenirs to bring home. Shannon’s magical touch will make you miss those places even though you’ve never been there before. Check out more on our interview session;
Could you tell us about yourself?
Hi! I’m Shannon from OldMarket Designs. I’m originally from Utah but currently living in North Carolina. I’m married and have 3 kids, a dog and a cat. In my spare time, I love to travel, read and play the piano.
I started designing about 10 years ago when we moved to Denmark so that my husband could do his PhD there, while I needed to find something that I could do at home to help bring in a little extra income. Previous to our move, I made and sold Scrabble Tile Pendants on Etsy. I would purchase designs from other designers to use in my products.
Realizing that I wouldn’t be able to continue making and shipping jewelry from Europe, I decided to try my hand at making designs for other sellers. I quickly realized there was a lot of opportunity for digital designing, so I watched hours of Youtube videos, learned Illustrator and Photoshop, and moved into creating digital papers, clip arts, printable photobooth props and even a few add-on programs for Photoshop.
Now, I primarily design cut files for use with Silhouette or Cricut cutting machines. It’s been an amazing experience to watch my business change and grow over time. And now, I can help in supporting our family as a full-time designer while at the same time, I can be with the kids when they’re home. It’s been a wonderful experience!
How long have you been in this industry?
I have been in this industry for 5 years and above.
When did you know you wanted to pursue designing and start selling it?
I really kind of fell into it. I had always been more into creating physical items, such as blankets and jewelry. But after moving overseas, I wasn’t able to continue selling those types of items. I had been buying collage sheets and digital papers online to make my jewelry, so I thought I would just give it a try to design my own.
What inspires you the most? Where do you get your inspiration?
I get inspiration from a lot of different places, but Pinterest is right at the top. I will often get ideas while I’m reading, shopping, being with my kids, spending time outside, traveling to different places, and etc.
Are you a traditional or digital artist? What are your preferred mediums to create your designs and graphics?
Digital. Typically, I’ll use a mixture of Illustrator, Photoshop and Procreate apps to make my designs. I do have a few projects where I created textures through paint, and then scanned them to create digital-finished projects.
Could you describe your design style?
That’s a tough one. I think I will get bored designing the same type of thing, so I like to switch things up. Sometimes, my designs are more cutesy, sometimes into vintage, while other times I would do something classic. And I love floral mandalas! It really just depends on my mood.
What is your favorite part of the designing process?
More often than not, I struggle to find motivation or inspiration, but at times, I get an idea and everything just seems to come together to create something beautiful. Occasionally, I’ll find myself working for hours and not even knowing the time has passed. I really enjoy designing the initial layout. Once I get everything all in place, the tedious part is getting them ready to sell.
Have you ever experienced creative blocks before? How did you handle it?
Yes, all the time! I have gone months at a time, struggling to come up with ideas or even the motivation to sit down and work. It can be very frustrating. During this time, I will do a lot of brainstorming. I seem to eventually find an idea and that will help me to get out of my funk. I also find that I seem to have seasonal creative blocks. I will have a harder time from about April to July. Then the holiday season starts, my kids go back to school, and I usually find myself back in the swing of things.
Top Pick from OldMarket Designs
Do you have any advice or tips for future graphic designers out there?
Be patient and consistent. My business didn’t happen overnight, I have been working at growing it for over 14 years. I have had a lot of failures, learned a lot of what not to do, and I don’t even feel close to being done. There is so much more I want to try.
Be organized. It’s helpful when your files are organized, nicely named, etc. If you are just starting, get on social media! Start an instagram page, a facebook group, email list, etc. I’m just working on getting some of these things going and I definitely wish I had started them sooner. Use Pinterest because it’s an amazing advertising tool! But above all, believe in yourself and stick with it! Sometimes, it won’t feel worth it, but if you stick with it, try new things, and be consistent, it will pay off in the end!
Craft Ideas by Shannon
Let the creative juices flow and try these craft ideas from OldMarket Designs. You won’t be disappointed!
Visit OldMarket Designs now for a variety of craft ideas and products. Shannon has created a wide range of design types in her store, and you’ll be surprised at how she makes things a lot easier for you and your next projects.
Add your favorites into the cart and receive 20% OFF if you use “BYESUMMER” before checking out. Valid until September 1st, 11:59PM (PDT). Happy shopping, till then!