How did you start designing?
Ok, this is going to show my age a bit. When I was 14 I discovered Sailor Moon. My family had a new computer and the big new thing – AOL! I fondly remember the sound of the modem dialing up to connect me to the world wide web (Webcrawler was my search engine of choice). I started to look up Sailor Moon websites! From there, I wanted to build my own website. I begged my parents to buy me Paint Shop Pro 6. They gave in (thankfully), and my “hobby” of designing came into being. Moving onward from there, I was introduced to digital scrapbooking by an online friend who had mentioned it on a message board we both frequented. This was in 2005 or so. I never looked back. Suddenly this hobby of design slowly morphed into a jobby-job (what my dad calls a REAL job) and I wouldn’t change it for anything!
What equipment do you use to design?
Currently I use Photoshop and Illustrator. I’m in love with both of them. This is big for me to say… but I honestly think I love Photoshop more than chocolate.
Do you design full time?
Yes. Back in February of 2011, I decided I wanted to take the plunge and really devote myself to design. I’m so happy I did! I absolutely love what I do. There is a special kind of EPIC WIN when you wake up in the morning looking forward to work… and for me, I get to be in my pj’s!
What do you do when you’re not designing?
Nurse a baby. I have a new baby girl, Savannah, and she is exclusively nursed so I take frequent (every two hours) breaks from work to nurse her. When I “clock out” around five, she is in the “I-hate-life-and-everyone-but-mommy-get-away-from-me” mode. My older daughter (she is 10) usually needs homework help, too, so we try to juggle all of that. I *used* to play the piano as an escape (music education with a piano emphasis was my major in college) and hopefully I will get back to that soon-ish.
How long does it take you to design, and where do you do it?
It really depends on the kit. Sometimes I am just inspired and a kit takes form quickly and easily. Other times I think I have a clear idea and it just struggles to move along. I design in the dungeon (AKA – the basement). I plan kits in tiny little notebooks littered around the house. Every now and then, I find one and I’m like, “Oh, I totally forgot about this!”
Do you prefer peace or background noise while you design? If you like noise, what type?
So yeah… that isn’t a choice. I’d prefer a LOT of things… angel choirs singing in the background as I was divinely inspired to create a kit complete with an endless supply of smooth dark chocolate… but with a four month old, it’s not happening. That being said, the sound of her cooing is pretty cute. The sound of “You-are-going-down-with-me-if-you-don’t-do-what-I-want” crying… not so much.
Do you listen to music while you design? What do you listen to?
Oh heck yeah! I have an 80′s playlist that I LOVE! It starts with the Safety Dance! Do you wanna check it out? Here is my playlist I made up on youtube. Remember… you can dance if you want to. You can leave your friends behind. ‘Cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance… well, they’re no friends of mine!
Which kit are you most proud of, and why?
I’d have to go with Hipster Holiday. I really wanted to make a kit that would be diverse enough for anyone to use, no matter their religion. The kit actually has three separate element themes: Winter, Hanukkah and Christmas. I LURVE it (lurve is what Celine Dion sings about). Plus, any kit that I can insert some of my geekiness into is always fun. Remember… Winter is Coming.
Where do you get most of your inspiration?
Most? I’m going to go with magazines. Fashion magazines are a constant inspiration of color trends and color then inspires kits. Recently an iPhone case from J. Crew inspired a kit! See…
How would you describe your style?
Clean-ish, Vintage-ish sometimes, Retro-ish… um… Mommy-ish! Definitely a bit comical. I tend to like to include my special (weird) brand of quirkiness into kits. I suppose that is why I am enjoying my new project Real Life in Pockets so much… I get to let my weirdness shine! I mean, in how many kits could you put “Ain’t Nobody Got Time for that” on a journal card?
What style do you love/admire but can’t pull off?
Super clean modern design. I love the look of it. Great examples of this for me are Anita & Sabrina. I love the clean/graphic feel of their kits.
Gosling or Reynolds?
Um… hm. Neither? How about Ryan Tedder? He is the front man for OneRepublic. Sexy Voice > Sexy Face any day!
So, are you a fan of Mommyish? Comment here and tell us your favorite product by Leah, and you could win a $5 Gift Certificate to her shop. (One winner will be chosen randomly. Contest ends at 11:59 PM MT Thursday, March 13th.)