I’m starting a new Artist Feature Fridays series here spotlighting artists and crafters who I really admire!
For the first installment of the series, I’m pleased to present Alison Kooney of AJK Artistry!
I’ve come to know Alison through online NJ craft groups, events. Not only are her creations fantastic, she is an awesome, funny and lovely person.
Some of my favorites include the Happy Squid card and the Birthday Pizza card. BIRTHDAY PIZZA, people! (Both are pictured below.)
So without further delay…. Heeeeeeeere’s Alison!
Name: Alison Kooney
Design Company: AJKArtistry
1. Tell me about yourself.
I’m a graphic designer by day, paper crafter/painter /web addict by night. I rarely sleep more than 4 hours a day. My favorite meal is baked ziti with garlic bread. I love all things music and movies and live up in the country with a little one, a hubby and two insane cats.
2. Tell me about what you create.
My item of the hour is greeting cards. I love creating cards that I haven’t seen anywhere else- for special occasions, cards with attitude-y sayings, even custom cards with personalized notes incorporated into them. I work with recycled papers and try to reuse and repurpose all kinds of scrapbooking embellishments to give my cards a unique, 3-D look. I also love to draw and paint, and have most recently created a fun collection of handpainted ceramics.
3. How long have you been making arts/ crafts?
Ever since I can remember! My mom’s been a crafter since I was little and I remember helping her a lot with her shows. I also took a big interest in art class in high school and did a lot of painting and drawing at that time. I got a little into scrapbooking, and thought it would be fun to create cards for friends with my leftover pieces… from that, AJKArtistry was born.
4. What made you decide to start selling?
I actually started creating and selling shortly after my daughter was born. I was on maternity leave for 3 months, after being used to working full-time and even with the addition of a little one, I found myself with a lot of down time! I discovered Etsy as a venue, started out with 10 cards and figured I’d give it a try… 4 years and more than 1000 sales (between my two shops) later, I haven’t looked back!
5. Care to share any tips you’ve learned along the way with other artists/ crafters?
My best tip: it’s nice to have your own website. I created mine so inexpensively, and with all of the shops, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc, that we all have in our signatures nowadays, it’s a good idea to have your stuff all one place (and it makes it a helluva lot cleaner on your business cards!). Another tip: do some craft shows! I thought it was kinda cheesy when I first started doing them (remembering some of the ones my mom did), but crafters these days are cool! Most of us have full-time jobs and families in the background, and crafting has become such a great creative and social outlet for my generation (the 30-somethings, lol) .
6. Share the love – who/ what are three of your favorite indie crafters/ items?
Wow, this is tough! I’m constantly on Etsy, ‘hearting’ items that I absolutely love… But right now, I’d have to say my current favorite jeweler is Foundling. I love her little dot rings. I own 3 of them! My second fave is Jersey gal Happiknits. I don’t own one of her pieces yet, but I absolutely LOVE the way her shop looks- her pictures are amazing, and I SO want someone to buy this capelet for me: My last pick is going to be purely on the likeability of this seller- Lollibomb Beauty I met Lollibomb’s owner at a Jersey City Craft Mafia show then again at one of their Destash meet ups. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, all of us crafties have gotten to know one another a little, and I’m constantly laughing when I see Luca’s posts… So props to her, for a owning great company with so much success!
Thank you so much, Alison, for being part of the Feature Friday series!