Erin has some really good advice for other makers out there. She jumped right in to the maker world, and is here to share her story with you. Meet Erin!
Please introduce yourself.
I’m Erin Vaughan, a freelance illustrator and etsy shop owner. I grew up in the Orange/ Los Angeles County area, and currently live near Fullerton, CA. I have been pursuing my illustration business since I graduated with my BFA in studio arts from Biola University in May, 2012.
I create a variety of nature inspired/ handmade products out of my illustrations, including Calendars, Art Prints, Postcards and Stickers.
Where can we find your creations?
In my etsy shop here- https://www.etsy.com/shop/ErinVaughan
How long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?
I’ve been working as an illustrator for about 4 years now. It is my full-time job. I decided to just go for it as soon as a graduated, knowing it would probably take some time to start making a living from it. So it meant some financial sacrifices and discipline to pursue it.
When you’re not making things, what do you do?
I try to do things that lend as inspiration to my art practice. So for me that’s, spending time outdoors, traveling when I can, reading, and going to concerts.
What obstacles have you had to overcome to lead a creative life?
I think the hardest thing has been managing all the business side of things with still keeping up and producing new artwork. Everything up until this point has been trial and error. Learning by doing. I’ve learned how important time management and discipline are in the career. Additionally, facing the fears of putting my work out there, and marketing myself has been something I’ve had to overcome (it’s still really hard).
Did someone in your family, a friend or teacher introduce you to your creative side or have they helped you along the way?
I’ve had a lot of support from friends and family over the years that has helped give me the confidence to pursue this career. I really don’t think I could have done this without them. Additionally, my professors from college also played a huge role in encouraging me specifically in illustration and pursuing it after college. They helped me hone my style and create good habits for my art practice.
Where do you find inspiration?
Most of my inspiration is found from spending time outdoors. So hikes, camping, and going on road trips. I spent much of my childhood doing that, and continue to find inspiration doing those same things.
What would be your perfect day off?
It would entail spending some time outdoors with friends, my pup, listening to folk music and enjoying a good cup of coffee.
What inspiring advice would you give to other creatives be they established or just starting out?
Make a lot of work. Spend time in your studio. Get your work out there and participate in events. Know you have to spend money to make money, but those financial sacrifices early are worth it if you can then eventually do what you love for a career. Also, finding a balance between work and a life is important so you don’t burn yourself out. The lists are always going to be there the next day whether you work overtime or not. Give yourself a break sometimes.