Leila of Illustrated Ink loves creating one-of-a-kind pieces that convey the beauty of traditional tattoo design and dark folk art. Her pieces are influenced by a mix of old school tattoos, "Dia de los Muertos", Catholic imagery, and myth.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft, Leila.
I've always created art, but 3 years ago, I decided to dedicate myself to it full-time. With the development of more venues for artists to sell their creations on-line, I felt it was the right time to be true to myself and give my art a chance. I quit my day job and became completely focused on getting my business off the ground. I haven't looked back since!
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Wow, so many things....one of my favs is going to the carnival at night and looking at the bright lights of the city from the ferris wheel. I love the rough and tumble energy at the carnival, the yummy food, loud music, games, and fun rides. It's just magic to me. My Mom took me every year as a kid, and now my boyfriend takes me!
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Being a one woman show! You've got to juggle e-mails, keep your on-line store updated, ship, create new pieces, prepare for shows, order supplies, and keep track of your financial numbers. Meanwhile, you still have to fit in your life and time for those that are most important to you. You definitely need to be organized, or things will start slipping through the cracks.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
Lol, an artist! I always wanted to be one, isn't that crazy?
What item in your collection would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
I would most like to receive my "Sephina's Secret" print
It reminds me of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, and I've loved children's book illustrations for as long as I can remember.
What other artists out there do you love?
I adore Carolee Clark of King of Mice Studios
Her work is so whimsical and magic!
I also love Linsey Carr of Little Robot
Her work is so amazing and incredibly inspiring to me. It's a mix of victorian, fairy tales, and classic illustration.
[See the SCS interview with Little Robot here - Ed.]
What does your future hold?
I'd like for Illustrated Ink to continue to grow, and to still be enjoying selling my work!
Hmm, hopefully my future will hold sipping coffee in Paris and roaming the hills of Ireland?