Today we’re chatting to Marceline Smith, aka ‘Asking for Trouble’ from Scotland. Inspired by her travels to Japan, her cute Kawaii can’t fail to make you smile. Her range of products includes everything from happy planets to pandas to pancakes!
Tell us a bit about yourself! Where are you from?
I’m from Lossiemouth, a small seaside town in the north east of Scotland, and I now live on the west coast in Helensburgh. I love to go for walks along the seafront and relax at home with a good book. I also collect small items of interest for my type drawer of tiny things.
Tell us about the space where you do your work. Do you have an official studio or have your carved out a nook for designing in your home?
I’m lucky to have a big airy flat all to myself with a studio in the tiny spare room. It’s incredibly sunny in the afternoons and I’ve filled it with colourful textiles, cute plush and a pinboard full of happy memories.
What is your background in art and design? What got you started creating?
I’ve been drawing and making crafts since I was tiny, thanks to my creative parents and grandparents. I studied printmaking at art school and then fell into web design. After being diagnosed with RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) around ten year ago, I returned to drawing and making things by hand and was able to quit my job to create cute things full time from home. These days I split my time between designing characters and patterns, writing about kawaii and Japan, and some freelance work.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
My biggest inspiration is Japan and I keep going back! I love how kawaii characters are a part of everyday life there and how it makes everything feel more positive and fun. I also love to draw food and figure out how to turn something into a cute character with a personality.
When do you feel your most creative? Your least?
I find it comes and goes and it’s best not to force it. Being full-time self-employed means there’s always a big to-do list so I wait until inspiration strikes. If I’m stuck on what to do next, a walk always clears my head.
What are your favourite products to design on Zazzle?
I love the partyware (paper cups, plates, napkins) and anything that shows off my repeat patterns, especially wrapping paper.
If you could wish for one new product on Zazzle, what would it be?
Everything I thought of turned out to already be on Zazzle so I guess I need to start designing for some new products! If I could really have anything, how about pool inflatables?
What was the very first Zazzle product that you sold?
It was a t-shirt featuring my very first original character, Cakeify the happy cupcake, nine years ago.
Do you have any advice for new Zazzle Designers?
Buy your own products. Not only do get to see how they look in real life, but it’s great advertising. I buy my characters on t-shirts, pouches and bags so I can use them every day and share photos online.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?
I think that everything is better with a happy face and I hope my characters make you smile.