One day I found THE best mug and just had to see where it came from. The mug said "I like my sugar with coffee and cream." You might not know that I am a HUGE Beastie Boys fan and they were the soundtrack to my early high school years! So that mug is perfect!
Gnarly Ink over on Etsy creates rad pop-culture mugs and gifts for nerds like us! I have had them on my #FF list for a while now and even featured them on my Christmas wish list this past year. I had to know how creator Maggie comes up with such fun and unique ideas, luckily she was up for it too!
The Nerdy Girlie: I love the simplicity of the Gnarly Ink style. How did your style come about and why start an Etsy shop?
Maggie: I had two other shops on Etsy, but I was itching to do something different…something a little more light-hearted and fun. Around the same time, I was trying to convince my good friend Sarah to do more with her art work because she’s amazing! One late afternoon while sitting around sipping lattes, talking all things artsy and Etsy, I convinced her to partner up with me to launch Gnarly Ink. I’m a one-man band now, but Sarah continues to submit new artwork and contribute to Gnarly Ink from time to time. We still have coffee talks and enjoy hatching new ideas :)
The Nerdy Girlie: Ok so I NEED to know how you come up with such perfect ideas. Example my favorite, The Beastie Boys mug!
Maggie: The Beastie Boys Mug is Sarah’s baby, but in general, we follow the trends and try to give our fellow pop-culture nerds what they want, social media, especially. Twitter and Pinterest really help to keep us in tune with what people are into. There’s also been some amazing TV series that have developed cult followings and provided us with some great material to work with. Shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and Arrested Development, just to name a few.
Then of course there are the ever popular films, both classic and current, that everyone seems to love: Jaws, Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, Pulp Fiction, Anchorman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mary Poppins. The Big Lebowski, Clerks etc. Really, we’re just building on concepts that already sell by giving them our own personal flare and style. The things we enjoy and what we gravitate towards, says a lot about who we are. Personally, I’d rather drink my coffee out of a mug with Heisenberg telling the world “I AM THE ONE WHO KNOCKS” then some plain ol’ boring mug! :)
The Nerdy Girlie: I'm going to keep gushing here, don't mind me. Are ALL your creations awesome or are you a harsh critic of your own work?
Maggie: I love everything Sarah does, but I’m a super harsh critic of my own designs. I’m never happy with anything until it starts selling. Then I breathe a sigh of relief because to me that’s the very best stamp of approval there is. Making money is great n’ all, but as an artist, I think deep down at the end of the day, it’s all about getting that “thumbs up” and knowing people like our products.
The Nerdy Girlie: Sometimes I find it hard to get inspired and need a break! Are you constantly creating, do you have a notebook full of ideas or do they just pop into your head and it is time to create?
Maggie: You have no idea! I have three notebooks! What I’m finding is that there’s just never enough time to create everything I want to create. It’s frustrating actually. Handmade can be challenging like that, especially since I run Gnarly Ink entirely by myself. Production, shipping, dealing with suppliers, social media & advertising takes up a large majority of my time, so it’s really difficult to carve out the time it takes to create new products. Not a bad problem to have, but still… I need more time or more hands!
The Nerdy Girlie: As a fellow nerd, what are the things you nerd out for the most?!
Maggie: Well, I’m about to confess something that I don’t usually share with too many of my peeps for fear of the ribbing I’ll get…even other nerds make fun of me! haha :D I love all things - VAMPIRE. Sarah, makes fun of me because I’m a closet- twilight freak. I guess there’s no hiding it now :) I also have a very deep-rooted love for the Narnia (books and movies) and The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series( books and movies) that goes back to my childhood…oh and I cannot sign off without mentioning my most current love, Game of Thrones.
PLEASE had over to the Gnarly Ink Etsy shop and check out Maggie's complete fun and original designs! She as also graciously offered to do a giveaway with us! Check back here on the blog on Saturday October 18th for your chance to win! Don't worry I'll remind you!