Frankly, The Folksy Magazine

Meet the Maker – Angie Freese, Of Life and Lemons

by Emily. Average Reading Time: about 6 minutes.

Angie Freese coffee

Angie Freese of Folksy store Of Life and Lemons creates prints with a vintage feel. Phrases and images come together to form witty affirmations for life. After all, given enough tea, we could rule the world right?

How long have you been selling on Folksy?

I have been selling on Folksy since December 2011 so nearly 6 months.

Tell us about your work and the process you use?

My work consists of humorous and inspirational quotes with a vintage twist. I have always loved collecting vintage items and it combines my passion for vintage imagery and the humour found in everyday life.

What’s your favourite piece of work?

My favourite work is definitely the first coffee piece I did, brought about by my love of Mid Century design and the fact that I’d just had a baby and the sentiment rang true! It was the first print that I felt succeeded in looking exactly the way I wanted it to. I also did the illustration myself rather than using a vintage image, I was still learning the computer programs so it felt like a small victory. Plus it seemed to really hit a nerve and was featured on lots of blogs and Tumblr sites; this was the first one that brought a considerable volume of traffic to my site.

Angie Freese Coffee PrintWhen did it all begin for you?
I have always loved art and from a young age was determined to work in the industry in some way. I did a fine art degree during which I mainly painted portraits. When I left I got a job in art publishing as a researcher, sourcing imagery and artists to be published on wall art products and greeting cards. It was during this time my taste and certainly my own artwork changed, I think the idea of a commercial image became ingrained in me and I was interested in what people wanted to put on their walls. Suddenly I was painting decorative abstracts but with a retro twist. I was wondering how to move these on when I came across a number of websites featuring vintage imagery and my current range grew from there.

Tell us about your work space?

My workspace really just consists of my desk! As I have a child it is easier for me to be downstairs in the thick of things rather than tucked away in a work room so I can try and get a few bits done while still keeping an eye on him. I searched for a long time to find a 50’s style desk that would fit the space and I love it.

How do you keep your work unique?

I try to put as much detail as possible into my prints, for example my ‘Sewing Forever, Housework Whenever’ piece where alongside the vintage sewing machine image, the text is embroidery based and there are lots of different stitches used to frame it. If I’m going to do a piece about a certain subject I try and find as many images or decorative elements based on this subject to include in it. I also try and think about what hobbies people have, what interests them and where each print could be placed in the home.

Sewing Forever, housework whenever

Describe your day as a maker? Are you disciplined?

I don’t tend to ever get a whole day to be creative and for this reason I can’t really be described as organised! I tend to have to grab any time I can while my son is napping or in the evenings so it can be quite sporadic. I’m quite disciplined once I get going and I have a tendency to become quite obsessive, if I start something and it’s going well I can’t stop until it’s finished so it sometimes means a late night!

What gets the creative juices flowing when creativity is stifled?

I like to scroll through blogs, especially art and design and interior blogs. Quite often I can see something as simple as a colour that will give me an idea for a background and the rest will grow from there. Alternatively I’ll look through some vintage imagery or quote sights and see if anything takes my fancy. There is no rule as to what comes first, the quote or the image – as long as I have one or the other.

Are you inspired by any artists ?

I am inspired by lots of different artists on a daily basis but quite often just one image and I don’t make a note of their name. Scrolling through sites such as Pinterest I am exposed to so much great imagery by such a vast range of artists, some of who aren’t even referenced. I think I’m far more inspired by what images people are taking the time to feature on sites such as Pinterest; is there a trend for example? A certain colour or subject that is prevalent that week? But I do also love artists who use the Mid Century look and make it their own such as Jenn Ski and Jane Foster who makes lovely cushions and homewares as well as artworks.

How do you know when a piece is done?

Quite often I don’t! I’ve been known to tinker for far too long with something I should have left well alone. I only know when I revert to an earlier saved version and realise my additions haven’t, in fact added anything.

Work to ride print

What do you love most about being a maker?

That feeling of satisfaction when you finish something and you’re pleased with it. Sometimes I finish something and I’m still frustrated by it as I just can’t seem to mirror what’s in my head on the paper. Also when somebody actually purchases a print is such a good feeling. It validates what you’re doing and makes it all worthwhile to know that somebody likes it enough to give it as a gift or to put it on their wall

Where would you like to be in 5 years time?

When I started this it was more of a design exercise in order to learn the programs than a business plan. I never imagined that I would set up a shop and people would actually BUY them! I’ve been trading for less than a year and some of the achievements I’ve had in that time have astounded me and it’s made me dare to dream a little bigger. I am in the process of getting some of the designs printed at a larger 30×40 size and I would love to continue developing the range as my design skills evolve. I have thought about the prospect of printing them onto mugs, bags etc and these are all things I would like to explore. Ultimately I would love for this to be the way I make my living but I’m a long way off that yet!

What would you say to any makers starting out?

Don’t limit yourself, think big. Also join all the social networking sites, I’m still confused by Twitter on a daily basis but some great things have come from it and it opens the doors to many contacts and similarly minded people.

Angie’s full range can be found on Folksy, Of Life and Lemons.