During March I was taking part in #marchmeetthemaker on Instagram, a challenge for all Makers. Same as last year, I came across some wonderful people. Including this lovely lady, Lissie from The Print Bee. I absolutely love Lissie's work and have thoroughly enjoyed finding out more about her and her business, I hope you do too.
Where do you get your Inspiration?
I am such an animal lover, so I have taken so much inspiration from wildlife I see in my local countryside in Oxfordshire as well as other magnificent beasts I have had the pleasure of seeing on my travels around the world, from the humble Hedgehog to the majestic Elephant. They all feature heavily in my work, I mean who doesn't love a greetings card with a trio of penguins or their favourite breed of dog?
I do love creating prints based on British animals especially, Badgers, hedgehogs and Hares as well as Insects. Bee’s are a real favourite of mine which Is where the name of my business ‘The Print Bee’ came from.
What do you create?
I turn my original drawings and designs into rubber stamps by hand carving them into Linoleum. Once my stamps are made I print them onto cotton bags, t-shirts, greetings cards as well as stuffed Plushie cushions and many other characterful creations. These are all printed by hand or with a small printing press in my studio.
I like to experiment with different materials and Inks, I use a few different types of fabric inks to produce my textile gifts and various colours too.
How did you become an Independent Maker?
Back in 2014 I was working in a creative job as a ceramic painter (very intricate and precise work) Although I loved tuning my painting skills and met some lovely people too, I wasn't happy. I wasn't happy working for someone else and not being able to create my own artwork. So I made the decision to leave and go travelling around the world for 7 months (What an adventure that was).
I think that this experience really gave me the change to think about what I really wanted and although the ‘What’ still eluded me at the time I did know that I wanted to work for myself. When I came home by chance I started to revisit Printmaking. Creating gifts for family and custom orders for friends, I made my own gift wrap and greetings cards. Then I realised I could make it into a business. I started an Etsy shop and my designs started to evolve and The Print Bee was formed.
Why do you do this?
I have always been such a creative and artistic person, my childhood was spent painting, drawing and making things whenever I could. So It has always been a dream for me to run my own business and create my own artwork that people want to buy. I do this because being a maker to me means freedom, freedom of expression as well as freedom of time. I love seeing my products in far away places across the world as well as nearby, Theres no better feeling than making others happy with your handmade gifts. I could not imagine doing anything else.
Best piece of advice for other crafters?
Have patience when starting out, I have been building my business mindfully and I think this is the best way to succeed. Sometimes it can be hard to stick with something when you aren't seeing quick results but over the last couple of years my work has changed and adapted as well as my knowledge of business and social media. “A little progress each day adds up to big results.
There is such a large community out there for makers with endless help and support. so I would definitely encourage reaching out to fellow crafters on Instagram or Facebook groups etc. Taking part in social media challenges to push you outside of your safety box can open lots of doors too. Don't give up!
To see more of Lissie's unique products and print work please check out the links below.