We have had some wonderful creative businesses enrol on our online course and come along to our Pinterest Workshops. We have so enjoyed connecting with them online and in person and thought it would be great to share our creative chats with you here on our blog!
We have reached out to these artists and makers to share their small business story with us. Details of their creative process, where they find inspiration and the highs and lows of running their own business.
Our 5th Creative Chat is with botanical art photographer Kriss MacDonald:
Do you have a favourite creation, one that you’re most proud of?
My passion is creating botanical art compositions with real flowers and nature finds which I photograph. They’re seasonal stories with flowers from my garden or foraged from the countryside. I’m also creating textile patterns based on my floral and nature photography. I’m currently most proud of a pattern I’ve designed called ‘Snake’s Head Fritillary Garden.” I spent so many hours ‘masking’ every single flower, tiny petal and leaf in Photoshop so that I can choose any colour background I want. I’m in midst of ordering samples in different fabrics to see which ones work best with the design and various colours.
What’s in your creation toolbox?
My key tools are my cameras – I have a couple of Sony Alphas – with a variety of lenses. I use Lightroom for editing my raw pictures and Photoshop for creating patterns.
Of course I need flowers! Last year we moved from West Sussex to the Algarve in Portugal which means I’m dependent on flowers I grow in our garden. I’m also often out foraging for wild flowers on walks, from our field and even our garden. There are baskets and boxes in my studio of dried flowers and nature bits and bobs which I often use too.
Tell us about running your business, the ups & downs?
I’ve set up a business in Portugal which primarily will be offering prints, textiles and home accessories based on my botanical art photography.
The fun part is taking the photos and creating. The hard part is working on the business plan and financing. My goal will be to find stockists but I also want to have an online shop.
I’m still in midst of updating my website with a new design and layout, although I’m keeping many of the blog posts which focused on nature and outdoor adventures with kids.
Can you tell us about your creative process and where you find your inspiration?
I use natural light when I create my botanical art photos, either using a canvas, a table or one of my homemade backgrounds. If I’m shooting wild flowers I head out at dawn or sunset otherwise the Algarve light is too harsh. I prefer the softer morning light but some flowers don’t open until the sun is shining!
I’m inspired by the colours and shapes of the changing seasons and different natural habitats. I’m either out on walks or in the garden observing what nature is offering at different times of the year. Sometimes I get ideas from looking at vintage floral fabrics and wallpapers – many which I find on Pinterest!
Do you work on your own and where from?
I have a studio at our home which is an old Portuguese farmhouse compound in the Algarve countryside. My husband’s office is in another annexe off the courtyard and my mother lives in a cottage in our garden. It’s never quiet here as we have ‘tween’ twins, a dog who never leaves my side and a mischievous rescue kitten. I’m also in midst of fixing up and redecorating the house.
Do you have any work in progress you’re excited about and you like to share with us?
I’ve just finished creating a pattern – ‘Wild Little Garden’ – from one of my floral creations which I want to first test as a duvet cover for my daughter.
Passions and interests?
I’m rather wild about wild flowers. I have a huge collection of books to help me identify and learn about them. In the future I hope to organise wild flower walks here.
My favourite sport is scuba diving but it’s been a few years since I’ve been able to go on a diving holiday. I’m planning to get underwater again since we now live somewhere where I can dive locally.
What was the biggest take away from doing our Pinterest course?
Because of my blog I started using Pinterest years ago. What amazes me is that even though I hardly posted in the last couple of years I still get daily traffic from it. So I knew that I had to understand Pinterest better if I’m launching a creative business. This course was exactly what I needed! The advice and tips are brilliant in helping me refocus, reorganise and start new boards. I now have the confidence and insight on how to use Pinterest as part of promoting my business and website.
Would you like to learn more about how to use Pinterest to grow your creative business? Check out the following: