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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Artist Feature + Giveaway: The Dreamy Giraffe

The winner of last week's adorable Owl Clutch giveaway from Cuore is......#237 out of a whopping 241! Congratulations Shanti! Look out for an e-mail from Mika!

This week's feature + giveaway is really special. The Dreamy Giraffe is a shop that I noticed a long time ago when I first started my Etsy shop. I remember "hearting" the shop because I fell in love with the prints of sweet, big-eyed girls that were just....dreamy. Kathy, the artist behind The Dreamy Giraffe, gave an informative interview with some great advice for artists who dream of being as successful as her.


Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Kathy Jeffords and I go by both Kathy and KJ (a nickname from an old job that stuck). I'm 34 years old (though no one believes me when I tell them that, yay!) and have lived in South Carolina my whole life. I grew up wanting to be a writer and sort of became an artist by accident.

You have had an Etsy shop since 2006! What have you done to have continued success?
To tell you the truth...I've pretty much done everything wrong! Don't misunderstand -- I'm overjoyed with what I've been able to accomplish so far, but I've also been very, very fortunate that I've been able to make the sales I've made running my business the way I was.

For the longest time, my business plan was "do whatever I can do today to get a sale" -- and there are lots of ways you can do that -- but they're quick fixes...and ultimately, that method will leave you constantly hustling and struggling to make that next sale. You need a business plan and it can't be about today. You can't be concerned with what money you've got coming in right now...you have to set things up so you'll have CONTINUED and CONSISTENT sales in the future.




Many artists struggle to find a style of their own, but yours if very recognizable. How did you develop a style that worked for you?
To be honest? It just came very naturally and organically. This sounds a bit hokey, but: Just do what you love, what's in your heart, and your style will just come. I just sat down and painted what I felt like painting (which was always big eyed people) and it just evolved over time. I'm branching out a bit now but I think as long as you're true to yourself the "you"ness will shine through in whatever you do.

How did you make the leap from painting as a hobby to painting as a full-time-job?
I even started out backwards, actually. I had a "real job" where I was totally miserable. One day I just couldn't take it anymore and I was chatting with my boss and he said, "Do you have anything else you'd like to add?" And I said, "I quit". It was a bizarre move for me because I am someone who likes to think things out to the point of overthinking! I like to talk things over with my loved ones. NO ONE -- not my mom, not my best friend -- had any inkling that I was going to quit that day. Not even me! I just got to my breaking point.

It was a timing thing. My sister, who lived two and a half hours away, was very pregnant with my first niece. After I worked my two weeks notice, I decided that I wouldn't start looking for another job until after the baby was born, so I could travel to be there whenever that happened. I was very blessed in that I had been saving up, squirreling away every spare penny for a down payment on a house, so I had a pretty nice nest egg saved up and had the luxury of being able to take that break. I still felt weird not having ANY money coming in (as I was single -- and still am, so if you know any cute and sweet eligible dudes...hee hee) so I started putting up some original ACEOs on eBay. ACEOs were HOT back then. And to my surprise, they sold! I'd said I'd start looking for a job in a month, but I was making money, so I put it off another month, then another month and here we are in 2011, and my niece is now five and a half years old and my resume is still sitting dusty on a disk somewhere, never having been sent out.



Kathy is offering one lucky reader any 8.5 x 11 print of their choice from her shop! Be sure to check her out on Twitter and Facebook too! I'm a fan and follower myself.

To enter to win:
1. Leave a comment below with your e-mail address.

Extra credit: (leave an additional comment for each for a better chance to win!)
1. Follow this blog.
2. Comment with your favorite item from Kathy's shop.
3. Share this giveaway on Twitter/Facebook using the share buttons below.
4. Follow Kathy's blog.
5. Grab one of my buttons in the left column and share it on your blog.

I will announce the winner here on May 30th (or 31st, as I will be on a plane home from San Francisco on the 30th!). Good luck! xo, Julie

83 comments:

  1. heinzmom at hotmail dot com, beautiful art, really fun!

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  2. gfc follower. heinzmom at hotmail dot com

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  3. I love her orange octopus art print! heinzmom at hotmail dot com

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  4. Great guveaway!

    anna_k67 at yahoo dot com

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  5. blog follower via GFC


    anna_k67 at yahoo dot com

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  6. like Finding Wonderland


    anna_k67 at yahoo dot com

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  7. I love this shop!

    totshop728 at yahoo dot com

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  8. I follow your blog via gfc


    totshop728 at yahoo dot com

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  9. I love the You Are My Sunshine print. I sing that to my daughter all the time!


    totshop728 at yahoo dot com

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  10. Shared on Twitter (@Tutusteaparties)


    totshop728 at yahoo dot com

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  11. Love her work!
    clairey.williams@gmail.com

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  12. I follow through Google

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  13. I love the misfit mermaid print!
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/65662979/the-misfit-mermaid-art-print

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  14. Kathy is so talented! I love how cute and playful her style is :)
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. I follow your blog publicly with google friend connect
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

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  16. My favorite item from Kathy's shop is the Bookworms print
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

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  17. I tweeted, I'm @AmberGoo: http://twitter.com/#!/AmberGoo/status/72679959470153728
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. Patience8:54 AM

    I love this shop! I have given her art as gifts and never bought one for me!

    bartunp@aol.com

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  19. Patience8:55 AM

    My favorite print (at the moment) is the bookworms print!

    bartunp@aol.com

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  20. Images are very sweet and girly!

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  21. sophia.komninou at gmail.com

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  22. I like Starlight 8.5 x 11 Art Print

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  23. I follow you blog.

    Sophia Komninou

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  24. Awww, the prints are really cute and beautiful! Thanks for this lovely giveaway!!

    danaan at gmx dot at

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  25. Blog follower on GFC!

    danaan at gmx dot at

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  26. I adore the Bookworms print!

    danaan at gmx dot at

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  27. Cute giveaway!

    gogunia3(at)wp(dot)pl

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  28. GFC follower of your blog (Goga)

    gogunia3(at)wp(dot)pl

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  29. My favorite is the MOST Days Require Chocolate Art Print

    gogunia3(at)wp(dot)pl

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  30. I would love to win!
    e_kathleen25 at hotmail dot com

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  31. I'm following your blog
    e_kathleen25 at hotmail dot com

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  32. Wonderful interview! i just love the honesty and how evident fate plays a role in our lives!

    folklureboutique@gmail.com

    -Amanda

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  33. i'm a follower of your blog :)

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  34. i would LOVE the 'knitting is love' print for my craft room....er, corner -_-

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  35. Okay, I'm trying to pick a favorite, but i can't. So here are my favoriteS:
    Why We Read
    The Sweetest Dream (blonde)
    Ice Cream Is Necessary

    e_kathleen25 at hotmail dot com

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  36. I like the dogs are people too print.

    unforgetable_dreamer_always (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  37. I found your blog through the Etsy Blogging Buddies Team and so glad I did - wow, I love it!! Great write up and you introduced me to a wonderful shop!!

    snugglymonkey{at}gmail{dot}com

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  38. Following your blog now :)

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  39. It is hard to pick one favorite she has so many great prints! If I had to pick one though, I think I'd have to pick:

    Pirate Superhero Fairy Ballerina Mermaid Redhead Art Print

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  40. These prints are just lovely, my daughter would LOVE them, she is Six and all about girls right now - expecially mermaids LOL!
    tracyschultz@yahoo.com

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  41. I follow you on GFC as Tracy Taylor
    tracyschultz@yahoo.com

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  42. Pirate Superhero Fairy Ballerina
    Oh My Word - that is my daughter LOL, she is a littler dancer, so into pirates it is not even funny and adores mermaides and Wee Folk LOL, could not be a better print anywhere on the internet! This rocks!
    tracyschultz@yahoo.com

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  43. THanks for the intro to her shop. I will so be "hearting" her shortly.

    molly_dye(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  44. My favorite print is the brunette sitting on the pincushion. Love it for my sewing room. Great stuff!

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  45. awesome!

    faked_sugartone at hotmail

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  46. blog follower

    faked_sugartone at hotmail

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  47. fave is Frankenstein's Family LARGE Art Print

    faked_sugartone at hotmail

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  48. http://twitter.com/#!/StopDropandRead/status/72762633027198977

    faked_sugartone at hotmail

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  49. Crystal2:02 PM

    So cute!!! i enjoyed checking out every cute print,i love the mermaids and of course the fairies :)

    cyclona66 at aol dot com

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  50. Crystal2:03 PM

    i like the postcards and the 'How Sweet It Is' print

    cyclona66 at aol dot com

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  51. Anonymous2:20 PM

    cute prints!

    jcwga@hotmail.com

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  52. Great work, I really like the Mae On School Picture Day Art Print!

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  53. Beautiful! Great giveaway!!

    reneelasater(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  54. I'm following your blog!

    reneelasater(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  55. I love the If I Were A Fairy print!

    reneelasater(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  56. Her art is gorgeous.

    beautybriteblog at yahoo dot com

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  57. Follow on GFC
    Beautybriteblog at yahoo dot com

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  58. Favorite Item: Have a nice day art print
    Beautybriteblog at yahoo dot com

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  59. Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/beautybrite/status/72871177344925696

    Beautybriteblog at yahoo dot com

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  60. florentina7:31 AM

    hello from chicago!

    florentina.tase@gmail.com

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  61. Very cute work! This would look great in my daughters room, I know she'd love them :)

    Nury77 at live dot ca

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  62. I like the She Made Ordinary Things Extraordinary Art Print, too cute :)

    Nury77 at live dot ca

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  63. I tweeted:
    http://twitter.com/#!/daer0n/status/73099957904736256

    Nury77 at live dot ca

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  64. Ooh! I'd like a chance!

    hrfarley at gmail dot com

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  65. I love the Knitting is Love print, but I might change my mind if I win, they are all so cute and my daughter kept wanting to look at them all!

    hrfarley at gmail dot com

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  66. thanks for the giveaway

    kscratch82 at gmail dot com

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  67. i am a blog follower :)

    kscratch82 at gmail dot com

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  68. i love the Extra Crafty Art Print girl so cute

    kscratch82 at gmail dot com

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  69. My fave print is the Green Octopus Art Print 8.5 X 11 Limited Edition.
    fastkat at gmail dot com

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  70. My favorite is the climbing high print.

    pd6914 at gmail dot com

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  71. My contact email is womobomo[at]gmail.com

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  72. I love the Angelic Art 8.5 x 11 Print the most! womobomo[at]gmail.com

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  73. I'm a GFC follower by the name Cean.

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  74. Like pic
    lusizova at gmail.com

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  75. gfc follower Lyudmila
    lusizova at gmail.com

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  76. lacquerlipstick[at]gmail[dot]com

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  77. Following your blog!
    lacquerlipstick[at]gmail[dot]com

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  78. Posted link on FB (Juliana Beatty)/Twitter (lacquerlipstick)

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  79. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  80. This comment has been removed by the author.

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Thanks for the comment! I read them all and reply when I can. Please be sure your blogger account is linked to your e-mail so I can do so! (Tutorial on how to do that here: http://tinyurl.com/c6gh9fk) xo JA

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