“Live with art. Absolutely, positively, yes-sir-ree.”
I can’t think of a better slogan to celebrate the one year anniversary of Etsy’s Twitter Artist Series. In case you’re just tuning in (oh, hello!), we’ve had an emerging designer take over our Twitter background for each of the past twelve months. We’ve also made the design available as a free desktop and mobile download. It’s been a great marriage of a few of our favorite things — good design, creativity and social media.
In honor of our one year anniversary, we’re super excited to feature German-based graphic designer Catharina Bruns. Catharina is the mastermind behind workisnotajob, a concept and design studio dedicated to inspiring people to live a more creative life and create a paradigm shift in the definition of work. Her work creates that “OMG, this is exactly how I feel!” inspiration, and I wanted to understand where all this positive motivation comes from. Check out our chat below, along with links to grab your free download of Catharina’s exclusive design. And don’t forget to check out Catharina’s Etsy shop — it’s perfect for art lovers and dream catchers around the world!
At what point did you decide to invest in what you love?
I don’t remember having one of those famous “a ha!” moments, but I do remember having a lot of “what am I doing here?” moments. And at some stage, I simply stopped resisting and started to create. I was still at my old job when I started a blog to post my artwork and have a creative outlet to share my personal work. Little did I know that people from all over the world would soon email me asking for products I didn’t even think about at that point. It was such a revelation! Within a few months, I quit my job to start my own studio.
As an entrepreneur in today’s economic climate, how are you promoting and marketing your business?
The most important thing is to focus on producing artwork and spreading the love — in my experience, if you share your work and send your message, the right people will receive it and amazing things can happen. I promote my work all over over the internet, use social media and actually get a lot of international inquiries and collaborations though Twitter. But workisnotajob is a lifestyle, an approach to work and life, and I live this philosophy with all my heart.
Your work is so uplifting. Where does it all come from and what’s inspiring you right now?
I am inspired by everything. Just look at this crazy, beautiful world we live in! But honestly, all of my designs are inspired by my own experience and the things I observe. I want to encourage everyone to work on what they love and to realize how important it is to contribute to the world by recognizing individual talents. I rarely hear that anywhere and I feel it needs to be said more. We’re in this together, so let’s all get to work and make dreams happen.
According to workisnotajob’s mantra, there is little distinction between work and play. How does one get to that point in their career?
Listen to your heart and do the work you were born to do. Whatever it is, do everything with love and you’ll understand how important it is to do something unique. I’ve come to a new, positive definition of work by creating a lifestyle for myself that reflects this approach and spirit.
In relation to small business and sustainability, what’s the best advice you’ve received?
Do your work and share it with the world. Collaborate! If you work, it will lead to something.
You’re based in Berlin, Germany and I’m heading out there in a few weeks for Hello Etsy and Social Media Week. What are three recommendations that I absolutely must do?
Berlin is such a cool place! I am from Hamburg originally, but play in Berlin a lot. You must:
- Go on a Spreefahrt (boat cruise on Berlin’s river Spree).
- Eat the original currywurst at “Konnopke’s” under the rail bridge at train station Eberswalder Str. in Prenzlauer Berg.
- Rent a bike and cruise the city, see all the famous sites, cross the Oberbaum Brücke and feel like a local! This is the best way to explore this very international and vibrant city.
Finally, can you tell us a bit about your design for Etsy’s Twitter Artist Series?
“Live your art” is an essential motto I promote with workisnotajob. What you make is important, people, so please go work on what you love. The world needs your contribution.
Free Desktop + Mobile Wallpaper!
1. Pick your device above and save the image to your computer.
2. Sync your device and click the photo tab to include your pretty new wallpaper.
3. After syncing, view the photo and click the lower left button to use as wallpaper.
4. That’s it! Now show off and tell all your tweeps to follow @Etsy, @EtsyFR, @EtsyUK, @EtsyDE, @EtsyNL, @EtsyAU and @EtsyJP.