February 18, 2007

Interview: Ellen Hutson - Part Two

Here is Part 2 of my interview with papercrafter/artist/storeowner Ellen Hutson and a few more samples of her work. I edited this post to include this drop dead gorgeous card that Ellen just posted on her blog Simple Dreams. It highlights the use of a paper trimmer called Create A Cut, which Ellen sells in her store. I'm dying to get my hands on that paper trimmer! Look at those scalloped edges! Later in the story you will also see two more of her designs -- a lovely Christmas card and a very clever shoe! Enjoy! Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Ellen Hutson? Arriving at college, I began taking courses that would lead me to a medical career. Quickly I realized that I just didn’t have the ability to be around all the “gore” and I wondered if my heart could take the “loss” that goes along with a medical career. So I concluded that I should be a teacher. I love children and decided that I would be more suited for the Elementary grades, so off I went on that course. My true passion has always been art. From a very young age I would draw and rearrange furniture. I took photography and art classes, and decided to add an interior design degree to my Elementary Education degree. I studied all aspects of interior design, adding in business courses along the way. To my horror I discovered in my senior year that the state would not certify me with interior design as my minor and so I flipped a switch, going full-gear into completing my four year education, fleshing it out with ALL the courses needed to switch my minor of interior design to a major in Home Economics. Out of college I began teaching third and fourth graders. It was extremely fulfilling, but very stressful! I was so glad that I had a second major to fall back on. It was during this time that I met my future husband, who is a graduate of Duke University and a law-school graduate of the University of Michigan. He now practices insurance litigation. It was at that time I began to pursue my interior design career. I worked a very short time for someone else, and then resolved that I wanted to treat my clients differently than the way I was expected to treat them while working for these individuals. It was all about the sale, and my true love is about the educational process. As I started my business I also worked for a temporary agency. I was able to learn so much about different areas of business by going from company to company and filling all sorts of different needs. I worked as a purchasing agent, in accounting departments, I even worked in the human resources department of Microsoft (I really wonder where I would be now if I have accepted that position full-time – LOL!) But good fortune smiled upon me as an independent interior designer and I was able to become a spokesperson for the local design society as their vice-president, as well as asked to design a home for a very well-known showcase of high-end homes here in Seattle called the “Seattle Street of Dreams”. Being honored with awards across the board for this event totally jump started my business like no other marketing opportunity ever could have. I was engaged by the Seattle Design Center to speak about trends, kitchen design, and other topics consumers were highly interested in. My clientele had amazingly beautiful homes and I felt fortunate to be able to help fill them with love, comfort and good design. It was with some trepidation that I choose to set aside my career to become a mother. It is a choice I will never regret!! My girls mean the world to me!!! Now I don’t need to wonder if I’ll be old and all by myself, surrounded by beautiful things. I know that instead I will have the love of my family, the “things” don’t matter one whit! After having my second daughter I was still practicing interior design part-time until I injured myself. Then it all came to a screeching halt. I just couldn’t endure the pain and “keep up”. After two hip surgeries I still struggle with the everyday pain of living, but I am able to tolerate it. This injury led my life down a whole new path – the path of paper crafting. I use all those same elements and principles of design from my interior design education and translate them into the paper crafting world. What are your personal style preferences? I am all over the board, but if I had to characterize my work with one word, it would be “elegance.” The interiors I would create always seemed to have that quality to them as well. I am always drawn to classic elegance. It would be of great interest to me to have others tell me what it is that they see in my work! I am told that most people can spot one of my creations from a distance – LOL! My current work is a reflection of the product I am working with. I feel that most of what I do is meant to show off the lines of the Lockhart Stamp product. I try and design around the images to compliment those images. Any thoughts on the future of stamping, trends, etc. I am a huge trend watcher! Being a trained interior designer we are taught to learn how to spot trends. There is so much information shared on the internet that allows you to be able to see what is coming. Look at events that are occurring in the world, art shows that are on exhibit, runway fashions; look to the color forecasting group for the up and coming colors. If something is really hot right now, then add a new twist to it and see if you can create a new look for tomorrow. At CHA this year I noticed several things – clear stamps EVERYWHERE, black and white EVERYWHERE, doodling EVERYWHERE, chipboard EVERYWHERE. Key words in addition to the above that come to mind are: chandeliers, mushrooms, octagons, texture; black and white or cream with red; coordinating everything (i.e. paper, ribbon, buttons, on and on). There are SO many paper lines that it is mind-boggling, but many are starting to have a very similar look to them. I’m a bit of an off the beaten path kind of gal and so I love to see what is happening and then add my own twist to it. Hopefully you will see some of the ubber cool (not so hot stuff) coming out on my blog and in my store soon. I believe that if you have the right tools and base products your creativity will soar. These simple products will allow you to put yourself into your projects.

4 comments:

  1. OH, I love the story of her career path education. Every teen ager shoud read it or hear her speak about it, as a few years ago, it was stated that there would be an average of 5 to 7 career changes in a lifetime. Her story is very interesting. I love her work.

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  2. Thank you, Joan for the interview with Ellen. It was such a joy to learn so much about her. I was sorry to read that She has chronic pain with her hips. I too, live with chronic pain and had to give up my work 10 years ago. But I found stamping and scrapbooking and I am blessed to be able to do it. I love Ellens work. Her love of elegance comes through in every thing that she make. Thans agai. It is fun getting to know about other bloggers and women from SCS.

    MAry

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  3. Oh my goodness! Thanks for sharing this interview. I love that Stunning purple card!

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  4. Really enjoyed this! Thank you so much for an interesting read; one can see the "teacher" in all Ellen shares. What a privilege to read and absorb. Thanks, Joan and Ellen!

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