Friday, November 20, 2009

An Interview with the Blogger Behind Mer Mag!

One of our favorite, most recently discovered blogs is mer mag, a darling and lovely look into the life of a creative artist and mom. Full of home projects she does with her kids, examples of her own great illustration work and lots of great home and decor inspiration, we really love the simplicity and authenticity of this blog. We asked the blog's owner a few questions to get some insight in all the creative and inspiring things she does:

You describe yourself as an illustrator, painter and designer, and I see that you keep yourself quite busy outside of mer mag, with Tuesday Morning. Could talk a little bit about what you do?By day I'm a mom/crafter/creator/what have you. By nap time/bed time/down time I'm a professional illustrator specializing in children's and young adult fiction (but also enjoy working in other markets such as fashion, editorial and advertising).

You've found a lot of success in doing children's book cover art, how did you first get into that business. Did I read you have a few books in the works?
I sincerely love children/middle grade and young adult fiction and have wanted to work in this particular industry for as long as I can remember. After school I moved to NY where I met many wonderful people who helped introduce me to the world and business of illustration. I truly believe that if you "follow your bliss", things will genuinely work out for you.As for books, I'm currently in the middle of working on Princess Peepers 2 (Pam Calvert is so great! It's a darling follow up story that you'll love.). I also have a few other YA (young adult) covers/series that are in the works and should also be a lot of fun!

So when did you first start mer mag and why?
mer mag has seen quite an evolution and it's intended purpose has changed through the years along with me. I started the blog in February of 2007, when blogs were not as sophisticated or streamlined as they are today. Initially I just wanted a simple place to catalog what I was doing as well as what I was inspired by. I found that doing this really helped define my style and what I love. As my oldest, Little A, grew and after I had Baby O, I began to realize that it was time to start creating all of these things I'd been dreaming and drooling over before life passed me by. So naturally things changed a bit on my blog. I started to slow down and focus more on posting what I'm up to craft wise and mom wise. And in the future, as things change with me, I'm sure my blog will follow suit.

What has been the most surprising thing about running a blog?
I've been delighted by all the friends I've virtually met from all over the world. I have no idea how some have found mer mag but it's been a wonderful adventure and I truly appreciate all the comments and connections blogging has brought about.

Where do you find the ideas for your posts---is there anything you like posting about more than the rest?
I sort of feel like I have idea ADD at times. I have SO many ideas swarming around in my head, It's just a matter of finding time between the littles and illustration work to squeeze them in. I am of course inspired by other craft and design blogs as well as magazines, books etc. I also find that my children a huge design inspiration right now. There is so much I want to create for them that I can't find or afford elsewhere so naturally I must make it.

It seems like you have a very creative home; what are your favorite crafts and art to do with your kids?
We do indeed love to create at home. Little A see's me draw a lot as well as teach art to older kids art so he's keen to pick up a charcoal pencil and scribble away on large sketch pads. Currently he's obsessed with this book on the Getty museum (I'm totally surprised by this-I think it looks like Disneyland to him) and so I can't wait to take him there soon. The holidays of course always bring out fun little craft projects as well.

What advice do you have for parents looking to bring more creativity to their home; where do you suggest they start?
Definitely start with what you already have. Trying to reuse something is a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Anytime you think, "it would be so nice to have that", try to think..."Hmmm, what do I already have around the house that I could make/alter/re-purpose to fill that void?" I would also suggest thinking simple. You'd be surprised at how many simple creative projects/fixes there are. You really don't have to go crazy.

What's your favorite/best interior design advice?
I've read that your home should reflect who you are and then change with you. I love this and try to keep it in mind when I designing areas of my home.

And finally, what's in the future for you?
Hopefully a whole lot more crafty, creative fun! I love creating for my family and I hope to continue doing that. I also love the future, there are endless possibilities in it, and that is exciting. I can't wait to see what it holds either!

Thanks! Check out more great inspiration on the mer mag blog, her Etsy store and on her personal website.

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