This week we have a fashionable, talented and stunningly beautiful blogger and artist, Stephanie Jean from Lulu & Drew visiting!
Beautiful mom to three and a local blogger/artist, I met Stephanie Jean this past spring. I had admired her artwork for quite some time and it was fabulous to finally meet the talent behind her one-of-a-kind art. Stephanie Jean, has to be one of the sweetest and fashionable gals out there. Incredibly modest and humble about her talents and beauty, she is truly a gem. Stephanie Jean not only pens her blog but has an Etsy shop with the same name where she sells her original artwork. Anyone would be lucky to have her art grace their walls, a perfect addition to a stylish home.
And that isn't all she does, she uses her keen eye for design to work on a few styling projects! She helped style Monika Hibb's, the lifestyle and fashion blogger from The Doctor's Closet, home for a photo shoot that was featured in The Glitter Guide.
Tell us a bit about yourself, describe your journey into the world of design/art? Were you always creative? Did you take any schooling in art or design?
I come from a very artistic family. One of my earliest memories is working on a large mural with my grandfather that we would add to every time we were together - it turned into quite the masterpiece; I only wish I still had it! My dad was a general contractor/finish carpenter so we spent many afternoons at his works sites; although this was not always the highlight of my day, I know now that his amazing talent and work ethic have played a large role in the way that I create and work. For many years I invested my time into another outlet of creativity as I pursued a career in singing. At the same time I worked as a legal assistant; not exactly furthering my artistic side but it taught me about the world of business.
What made you decide to delve into the world of blogging? How long have you had your blog? What is the story behind the name?
I love to read blogs. I only wish I had more time to keep up with all the amazing, talented and creative bloggers out there! After I opened my Etsy shop I was encouraged by a close friend to start my own blog as a place to network and have a landing place for people to learn more about my artwork and the things that I love. I launched my blog, lulu&drew, at the beginning of January 2012. The name lulu&drew comes from my two daughters' nicknames combined.
You also have an Esty shop by the same name? What made you decide to open an Etsy shop? Any ups and downs?
Although art was always an outlet for me, I started doing paintings for myself when we moved into our first house over ten years ago. I could envision the kind of art that I wanted and decided that the best way to get it was to do it myself! Seeing the artwork in my home, people would request their own paintings and it kind of went from there. I knew I wanted to take the next step and have a business of my own. I'm so thankful for a place like Etsy where an artist can create and sell work where there is already an established community and is easily attainable for anyone even in the beginning phases. So far my experience with Etsy has only been great. Of course, I look forward to growing my business, but I'm so grateful each time a customer purchases my art. I'm always humbled and encouraged that someone likes what I've created enough to display it in their home; there is no better feeling than that for an artist.
Any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking about opening an Etsy shop?
Just do it! I understand how vulnerable it feels to put your art “out there”. I'm so happy I went for it, even if it meant doing it afraid in the beginning. There was one quote I kept hearing at the time that pushed me to take the leap: “A year from now you will wish you had started today”. I can definitely say, I'm so happy I started when I did!
What inspires your art?
I am inspired by all the beautiful colours and patterns in home decorating and fashion as well. In decorating I like to stick with neutrals for big purchases, I love white kitchens, linen couches, grey walls, etc. At the same time, I love incorporating colour and pattern and I think artwork is a great way to add something fresh to a space. In my own home, I tend to change my mind on what colours I want to accent with frequently – painting a new piece can be a great solution!
Where do you hope to see yourself/ your Etsy shop/ your blog in the future?
This is a big question with an answer that is unfolding daily. Being a mother of three children keeps me busy and (at the risk of sounding cliche) is ultimately my first and most rewarding job. With that said, I've always known that I want to have a career that enables me to express my creative side. Currently, I am in the process of searching for classes that would benefit my business and reflect the way I want to further myself in the interior design world. I have been fortunate to have my friends and family trust me with their spaces and have had the opportunity to work with other designers which has and is giving me amazing hands-on experience. I hope to continue to grow as an artist and create new artwork that customers would love to display in their homes. To see my Etsy shop and blog grow is absolutely a goal of mine.
How would you describe your design style?
Although I truly appreciate a well-done space in any style, my eye is always drawn to classic design. I'm a believer in the “rule” that every home should have a little black (and white of course:). I love hamptons beach style. I love open, airy, clean spaces that feel fresh and comfortable.
What are your go-to sources for anything design related?
I absolutely love The Cross Decor & Design, Peridot and Liberty here in Vancouver, West Elm and Restoration Hardware - there are so many! Craigslist can be a great place to go to look for “diamonds in the rough”; you never know what's waiting to be given a facelift and a new home.
Who/what inspires you? Any design idols?
I have always admired Sarah Richardson and am a fan of Tommy Smythe and the two of them as a team. Kelly Deck creates beautiful spaces as well. Of course with all the amazing design magazines and blogs, inspiration is literally at our fingertips! When I start on a room often my first points of inspiration are fabric and lighting. There's nothing like finding that perfect pattern or most spectacular light fixture to get the creative juices flowing.
Thinking back to my childhood home that was complete with wallpaper, beautiful millwork and custom drapery I can see that I grew up surrounded by the beauty of design and have been influenced and inspired from a very young age.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us!
Years ago, while pursuing my music career, I had a few of my songs played on the radio.
What are your views on the role Canadian design plays in the world design scene? Do you feel that Canadians have a unique sense of style and design, and if so, what is it that you think sets us apart?
Canada is home to many talented designers. With media at a whole new level I think Canada is making a huge impact in the world design scene. There are such diverse cultures and climates here which translates into our design and I think that is a big part of what makes us unique.
Stephanie, you are not only gorgeous on the outside but truly glow with sweetness. Your art is fabulous and anyone would be lucky to have your art grace their walls!