Creative Business Interview - Mrs Bertimus

It's always lovely how happy all the amazing creative businesses I approach are to take the time to answer my questions and be featured on the blog.  This month I have the amazingly imaginative Letitia who runs her business called Mrs Bertimus, and has also recently launched her own vlog on YouTube - read on to find out more about her and her beautiful illustration. 

 Tell us a bit about your business - what do you do? 

Thanks for inviting me to have a chat Fiona, please let me introduce myself…my name is Letitia and I run a creative business called Mrs Bertimus. I create artwork and stories and use them to decorate items that will hopefully make the everyday a little more magical.

I have always painted and drawn since childhood and then I studied fashion design at St Martins School of Art from 1989-1992. I‘ve always found it difficult to stick to one discipline and so I enjoy painting, drawing, collaging, stitching, and more recently, digital art (although I have a lot to learn!)

I opened an Etsy shop in 2012 and it was then that I became interested in running a small creative business alongside my part-time teaching job.

It felt like a huge leap because I didn’t feel confident in sharing my work publicly, but I had previously started a blog and made some really supportive internet friends – the creative online community really inspire me.

What is your typical work day like and where do you do your design work?

Like many creative businesses, no two days are the same. I like to clear away any jobs that need to be done, such as admin, before I can begin anything creative like painting. I also have to get any housework chores out of the way before I can get out the brushes (which is really annoying!) If I don’t do that though it will keep nagging me in the back of my mind and I won’t be able to concentrate.

My tiny studio is at home and I’m very lucky to have a room of my own to make art in, however, I do feel as though I’ve outgrown the space and I have a Pinterest board full of those perfect white studios overlooking the sea…well, a girl can dream!

How do you create your designs and illustrations - do you have a favourite tool? 

I love working in mixed media and I often work with acrylic paints and crayons on primed wooden panels. However, I do enjoy combining pencil drawing with collage made from vintage papers (this gives me the perfect excuse for one of my favourite past-times: charity shopping!). I have started to learn how to use Procreate on my iPad (thanks to my very patient daughter) and I really enjoy scanning in my original artwork and then ‘collaging’ them digitally or experimenting with all the different types of brushes. This has really helped me to create new designs for my products and has even allowed me to add doodles and text on the vlogs that I make for my You Tube channel.

What’s the best thing about being a creative business owner?

I love the freedom that running my creative business has given me, sometimes if an idea pops into my head I just have to do it!  The online community is just amazing, I would never have met so many like-minded souls, sometimes it can feel a bit isolating, but I am so grateful for my online friends. I really don’t know what I would do without them.

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?

I belong to an incredibly supportive creative business community called Indie Roller and whenever I feel overwhelmed it really helps to just think about taking one small step at a time towards your goal.

What advice would you give other creative business starting out?

I still have a long way to go with my business, but if I were to offer a piece of advice it would be to try and keep your paperwork organised, it can save a lot of headaches further down the line! (Plus it gives you a great excuse to buy some lovely new stationery!)

Do you have any exciting plans for your business in the future?

My newest venture for Mrs Bertimus has been to start a You Tube channel. I have wanted to share my behind-the-scenes day-to-day shenanigans and creative process for ages. I also want to start selling my original artwork on a more regular basis and the vlogs show how the piece develops and the story behind it. The vlogging has also been great company (and it has made me tidy up my studio a little more than usual!)

Where can people find out more about you?

My shop, newsletter sign-up and social media links can be found on my website: MY WORK

It would be lovely if you popped over and said hello!