Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Erin and I am the illustrator behind Wandersketch. I grew up in a small town near New Orleans. After I graduated from college and spent some time in the real world, I decided to leave Louisiana for Denver. It was a great change in so many ways, especially as I found a place here on Etsy.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I have a bachelor’s degree in architecture and am currently pursuing a master of science in historic preservation. As long as I can remember I have wanted to be an architect, and the unique built environment of New Orleans and exposure to its history inspired me to study historic preservation. I love to cook, might be obsessed with food blogs, and think cooking shows are great background noise. I love riding my bike around Denver. Being in a new place, especially near the mountains, is amazing.
What’s the most important thing a couple should ask their wedding vendor?
Ask anything and everything! Details should not be spared. I think it is important that any client or couple isn’t afraid to communicate exactly what they want from the end product. I am always inspired by clients who ask for an illustration or quote or something unique. In a few cases, a question was interpreted and evolved into a new design for my shop!
What’s the most memorable custom item you’ve created for a wedding?
Someone once sent an illustration of the bride and groom that was done for their wedding invitations and asked if I could paint it on a mug for them. I loved combining my initial mugs with these caricatures. Requests for quotes or inside jokes are always interesting when you have no idea what it means but hope the person receiving the gift will love it.
What would be the title of your memoir?
I’ll stick with Wandersketch. Deciding on a shop name was one of the hardest and weirdest decisions. I have a severe case of wanderlust and my last name is Sketchler. People have made jokes about it being appropriate for an artist or architect. I like to walk and wander. The play on words here could go on and on. Wandersketch basically summarizes me.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I’m pretty much inspired by everyone on Etsy. There is a reason you get lost on here for hours. Curating treasuries and being involved with a team is a great way to stay informed and inspired. I also have to give credit to the future brides or friends of a couple who are not afraid to request creative ideas!
What does handmade mean to you?
The passion behind a handmade piece is inescapable! Sorry technology, but the craft and time dedicated towards a handmade piece cannot be replicated.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
My poppa is one of the most influential and inspirational people in my life. When I was growing up, he had a workshop and studio in his backyard. He would make my sister and I benches with colorful paintings on them, and we would watch him paint scenes with watercolors. I still have the image in my mind of his watercolor palette and the globs of paint outlining it. He definitely planted the creative seed in me, and my parents and talented art teachers continued to nourish it by encouraging and challenging me as I grew up.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
If you asked my grandma, she knew I was an artist when I was three. I drew a picture of a chicken with a speech bubble coming from its beak that said “BOCK.” When I was in first grade, I would build homes out of notebook paper in the cubby hole of my desk for my finger goblins to live in (the early sign of an architect?). Creativity has been extremely consistent and important throughout my life.
How would you describe your creative process?
Finding blank mugs is the first step in my process. I love finding vintage tea cups with a subtle floral detail or worn gold leaf edges, but a nice sturdy coffee mug is always necessary. I check out the requests made for each order and sketch, transfer, and paint the names or illustrations individually by hand so every piece is consistent yet unique.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Martha Stewart! From her recipes to her dinnerware and kitchen gadgets, I am in such awe of her creative talents. There are a number of architects’ studios that I’d love to see, filled with hand-drawn sketches and plans, like Frank Lloyd Wright or Louis Sullivan. And any time spent in a great art museum reminds me of the insane capabilities of artists from around the world – Pablo Picasso, Gustav Klimt, and Claude Monet.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I have my poppa’s watercolors framed throughout our home, and they are so special to me. Now when I go home to visit, I always take a few paintings back with me. Our walls are covered with the art and creations of our friends and family. We’d have it no other way.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
I think if I get into a rut it means that I’m feeling a school and work overload. Listening to records, taking a nap, eating pizza rolls, or watching TV might individually or collectively be the cure. Finding the right balance between work and relaxation is tough, but it is so important.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
I hope to be living in an old home back in New Orleans, restored by me and my husband, with a bunch of pets and maybe a few new humans. I’d like to be a licensed architect focusing on the sustainability and value in restoring or reusing historic places. As far as Wandersketch goes, I hope for nothing but growth and expansion for the future!