Friday, May 3, 2013

From Los Angeles California - A Mixed Media Artist that hand-crafts Journals!


              This week's interview is with a Mixed Media Artist                              

                    from the beautiful city of Los Angeles, CA



                                        Soaring to Success  

             This week's Interview is with a Mixed-Media artist                that creates beautiful hand-crafted journals.                    From the beautiful city of Los Angeles                                           

                                        Kristen Fairgrieve 

          1. Introduce yourself.  Name, City, State, Country  .. and describe what you do, what’s your passion?       
Artist: Kristen Fairgrieve

Hi Joan! I’m Kristen Fairgrieve, currently residing in Los Angeles, CA, USA. I design and create one-of-a-kind handcrafted journals. I use brown paper bags as the foundations for my journals, and I tend to give them sort of a vintage feel. I love using lots of tags and postage stamps and postcards, tons of fun embellishments.

2. When did you know you wanted to be an artist, or writer?

Well actually, I’ve always been crafting in some form or another, but when I was 5  I decided I was going to be a writer. I was going to write and publish a novel. I wrote and crafted simultaneously for many years, but writing was my true passion. After I left my 18-year career in the film entertainment industry back in 2010, I was free to pursue both my writing and crafting potential. I opened an Etsy shop (click link) in July, 2010, and also began feverishly writing my 3rd attempt at a novel [never finished the first 2]. Then late in 2011, I finished the first draft and put it away. While my novel was “stewing”, my journals in my Etsy shop started taking off! Orders for custom travel journals were coming in and I found that I absolutely loved creating them. This was something I hadn’t planned on – I was going to be a writer. But the journals brought me so much joy, and made my customers so happy, that I made the decision to set my writing aside and focus on my journals and my Etsy shop. And I’m so glad I did because I now love what I do! I love being an artist.

3. What are your fears?  How have you faced them?  Or your plans of how you plan to tackle your fears.

I guess my two biggest fears right now are:
1.        That people won’t like my work. I actually encountered this head-on recently when a customer sent me a scathing email ripping apart 2 custom journals I had created for her. It hurt of course, but also made me realize that was just one person’s opinion and I couldn’t let it stop me from doing what I do. And, once I took the time to think about her comments rationally, I realized she actually had some valid points. She could have been nicer about it, but we’re not all nice people.
2.        That I won’t make enough money “in time” and will have to pursue some other form of full-time employment. I’m learning to just give my money worries over to my Higher Power [this is an everyday practice], and just let it go. And believe that it will happen.

4. What makes you different…unique from others
I think I have a unique style of combining and layering papers and embellishments.  [includes my blog]
Twitter- @bagladyladyluluTwitter@bagladylulu

Family Recipes kept safe, look great  & ready to use!!!

5. Any secrets to reveal about the tools you use or your techniques?  Tips or tricks?   What makes your art  special? Are your supplies unusual?   

I use plain brown paper bags, slightly larger than standard lunch bag size, as the foundation for my journals. I love the crinkly sound they make!
I have 3 stones – rose quartz, amethyst and labradorite – in a heart-shaped bowl with the word “Create” printed on it. They sit on my workbench and I rub them for good luck and inspiration before I start a project.

6. What are your goals and inspirations?  Where will you hope to be in 2 years?  5 years?  10 years?

In 2 years, I’d like my business to be my sole source of income – no outside part-time work needed.
In 5 years, my shop will be my full time business. I’ll have a licensing contract or two. I’ll have a large studio in my home, with an assistant, and I’ll teach creative workshops once a week out of my home studio.
In 10 years…. Let’s get to 5 years first!

Biscuit the Bunny

7. Where is your creative space or studio?   (example: At home in an extra bedroom, kitchen table, a rented space for your craft.)

My creative workshop is in the 2nd bedroom of our 2-bedroom apartment. I do share the room with our bunny, Biscuit, but he doesn’t take up much space. I have 2 work benches, one for creating and one mainly for shipping. And I’m surrounded by my creative supplies – papers, embellishments, etc. My inspiration board hangs above my work bench so I always have something to look at and draw from.

Kristen's creative space

8.How much time do you devote to your work?  (Is it at same time everyday? Are you disciplined to go into your studio at 9:00am every morning?  Or do you wait until you are in a creative mood?)

I currently work part-time 3 days/week at a custom invitation/stationery store. Then 3 days I devote to my business: I’m up and ready to go by 7am, and spend the morning taking care of social media, promotions, checking emails, writing blog posts, doing “business” stuff. I’m in my workshop from 10am-4pm. Then the hubs comes home, and all chance for concentration and quiet fly out the window. I make sure to take one day a week and use it as my “weekend” day – spend time with friends, go on an artist’s date, or just relax. But since I am running my own business, I make sure I’m constantly in touch through emails, internet, etc. Since I am my own boss 4 days out of the week, if something comes up that throws off my business schedule, I don’t let it get me too crazy. I just make sure to make up my work hours elsewhere.

What better way to save your photos & fun memories?

9. What are your “whispers” or callings begging you to do?  (Paint, write a book, sell your items on-line)  What made you decide to take this e-course with Kelly Rae Roberts? What do you want to achieve?

A friend of mine told me about the KRR course and when I read the description I got chills. I knew I had to take it. And I am so glad I did. Aside from the immense amount of incredibly helpful information she provided, I got to meet and connect with a wonderful group of women – my Fly Sisters!

Creative way to save those keepsakes!!!

 10. Do you keep a daily journal or sketchbook, or write in a diary? 

I’ve been writing in a journal pretty much every day since I was 5. Sometimes it’s just stream of consciousness to get the “gunk” out before I start my day. But my journal has always been a safe place where I can speak my mind openly and honestly about absolutely anything.

11. How do you market yourself? How do you plan to get “the word” out there??  (web-site, blog, etsy, galleries, boutiques, on-line selling, do you advertise?)  Is it working?   Are you selling?

I try to keep my web site current, blog and post on FB; tweet; interact with other artists and pay it forward. I have to say that Etsy search ads have increased my sales a lot, and are a great investment.

12. What type of music (if any) do you listen to when you create?

I like quiet when I create, no music. It helps me hear the whispers better.

13. Who is your favorite artist, photographer, author? …  In other words, who do you admire, and look up to?

I don’t have a favorite, but I will say that Sandy Grason’s book “Journalution” is what gave me the inspiration to start creating journals in the first place. I was going through a rough patch, and the exercises in her book helped me reconnect with myself. And it just clicked – I wanted to create journals for other people!

14. Are you encouraged to follow your creative path by your family or friends?

Absolutely. I will say that my husband has been my biggest supporter in this. Back in 2010, when I was in the throes of the grueling film entertainment business [working 20 hour days, weekends, dealing with stress-related health issues], he’s the one who suggested I quit my job and pursue what I love. It meant giving up our wonderful house, paring down our belongings, and moving into a tiny apartment. But almost 3 years later, he’s still cheering me on.

Perfect  way to hold all those favorite recipes ..and so creative!!

15. Do you work on one project at a time ..or have several going on at a time?

I usually have one project spread out on my workbench at a time. But, the
minute I get a custom order, I start thinking about what supplies I’m going to use for it and will pull some and set them aside. Sometimes when I’m working on one, an inspiration for another will hit me and I’ll get caught up in pulling supplies for it and laying things out, and I’ll have to remind myself to focus on the other one!

**There's a special one waiting for you.. or Kristen will make one for you!  A Journal for a special trip, graduation, new baby, Mother's Day gift?..  maybe for recipes or maybe a creative one as your daily journal!!  ORDER yours today!!  Thank you!!!   Etsy Shop  (click this link )

Thank you, Kristen.. 
Kristen Fairgrieve

for sharing your artistic path with all of us!!!   Your journals look so yummy and inviting …who wouldn’t want to fill that wonderfully decorated book full of their own photos, notes and fond memories of their life?!? It is such a special way to contain photographs of each of life's  celebrated moments.  To leaf through each creative page would be such a joy!
I am so happy you agreed to do this interview, so I can get to know you better and you can share with the world what you love to create. It is so interesting that mixed media, journaling and collaging all take a seat into your creations!  Best of Luck to you with your endeavor...


** If you are an artist or writer and would like to be featured on my Making Waves Blog, please contact me at

  **I owned an art school in Charlotte, NC for 16 years before moving to Jacksonville, FL., so it  thrills me when a classroom full of students, given one assignment, produces such a variety of ideas. …We are all unique, we are all special.  We all have a different path, a different way of approaching our art. That is exactly why I want to do these interviews, to celebrate what makes us, US!      Thank you for participating : ) 
          Joan Carver       (e)       904-230-6155



The Creative Beast said...

What a wonderful interview! Kristen is a wonderful artist and sweet soul and I am so grateful I had a chance to meet her as a fellow vendor during a craft fair. I own a custom journal she made for me and I love love LOVE using it and looking at it. I plan to have her make me other journals in the future even though I am a book binder myself! Kristen's journals are lovely to look at and fun to write in - I highly recommend them!
This was a great interview - I'll be looking for previous interviews in your series to see what other inspiration I can find here. Thank you for hosting this series Joan! I'm glad to have found you =-)

Mirela Kasimovic said...

Hai Kristen,
First of all i want to give the complement to your blog, the background beach is really realistic and coming to your post awesome craft creation with innovative quotations.
Thank you for posting this. Awaiting for these type of interesting posts.

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