I am always looking for unique gifts for people. My mom’s birthday was in January I could not decide what to get her. Her favorite thing in the whole (besides her family) is her little dog Sugar. She sends me pictures of Sugar all the time. She sent me this one picture titled it “Sugar does the dishes.” It was so freakin’ cute I thought “that needs to be a painting.” I searched and searched and found Andie Freeman on Etsy. She was so easy to work with, super accommodating and did an amazing job.
I love featuring and learning more about women who are entrepreneurs. Because of this I wanted to share a little interview I did on her.
What is your background in the arts?
I have been into creating for as long as I can remember, and crafts were usually a great escape for me when I was bored. But when I got into high school, I started to move my creativity into graphic design. I was on the yearbook staff and took an internship during the summer with a local graphic designer. While in college, I majored in fine arts, studio painting to be specific and communications as a minor. After college, it was like, “ok.. so where is the job?” so once I realized I had no way to make money except waiting tables, I went back to school. I attended one of the best advertising arts colleges at the time, Portfolio Center, in Atlanta. It was a totally transforming experience. Critiques are tough there, but I loved the hustle and bustle of the deadline life. It was such a high to create constantly and I swore I would never stop! My husband, an old friend from high school, also went with me to PC and studied copywriting. After PC, I worked for Coca-Cola, Rich’s, and when we moved to St. Louis, I worked at Zipatoni creating awesomely fun promotional advertising and packaging. It was a total dream job. But I was young (and maybe a little stupid) so I quit my killer job and went with hubby across the country to LA with no job waiting for us!!!! Luckily I landed a job on Rodeo Drive working for the fashion designer, Bijon. It was, let’s say, an experience. So much so, that we left a year later and came back to our southern roots. While back in South Carolina, I started my own design company and won several awards for some really nice pieces. After our son was born, we both realized what an awesome little city we lived in (Columbia, SC) and that no one really knew how great it was for families. We got an in-depth business plan together and approached the banks for a loan for a family magazine. We started Palmetto Parent, a family magazine for the Midlands of South Carolina and served our neighbors together as editor and publisher for three years. Our readership was between 30-40,000 people per month, and creating the magazine was in incredible labor of love. It was our third child. It was a very tough business to keep going for a young family with now two children, and so we sold it to Gannett Publications. Since then, I have thrown myself back into entrepreneurship as an artist. I paint portraits in oils, illustrations in acrylics and watercolors and various artsy things for my Etsy shop, ScribblesAndNibs. Oh yeah, and I recently opened a second shop for my graphic design and digital photo cards, WowhouseDesign.
Where do you get your inspiration?
All around! Usually from whatever project I am working on. I am always thinking about what is appropriate for the client. My fine art is inspired by all sorts of things, music, stories, and I love to paint en plein aire in Hilton Head, my home.
What are your favorite mediums to work with?
I love working in oils, but they dry slowly and aren’t what I prefer for my bright illustrations. In that case, it’s watercolors or acrylics. I also love taking little pieces of ephemera like old photos and drawing on them.
How did you learn about Etsy?
A few years ago, I was selling paintings through Posh Tots and I was looking for another venue, but at that time, it seemed unlikely to me that I would make money. About six months ago, I kept reading posts on Wet Canvas about Etsy and thought, huh, might have to check it out again Since Nov. I have been an addict!
What is a fun fact about you?
I have brothers older than my husband’s parents and when I was born I was already an aunt. Also, I met my favorite rocker once in a somewhat quiet place. It was Robert Plant and he was getting ready to play tennis with his son at the tennis center my boyfriend worked at. Ahhhh, dreamy!
What is your favorite thing to do on a Friday night? or favorite show?
Friday night is movie night with the kids. We watch a movie and I usually make my awesome BBQ chicken pizza. I can’t get enough of it! My favorite show is Psych. I don’t watch anything really impressive on TV, sadly. It is purely for me to escape. I listen to movies while I work. My faves are O Brother Where Art Though? Something About Mary, You’ve Got Mail, Caddyshack and Big Labowski.