Meet Sienne Josselin, the L.A. artist and educator behind siennejosselin.com! After a career in the public sector, Sienne went solo to concentrate on sharing her love of art through her breathtaking designs and devotion to teaching. Her site showcases her artisanal goods and freelance work in illustration, painting, photography, and printmaking. You can also check out her monthly philanthropic efforts. She recently spoke with us to discuss inspiration, art, and the importance of learning to breathe.
Keep reading for more on Sienne’s work.
Tell us about yourself!
Hey all, I'm Sienne! I'm an illustrator and an educator in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. I design and make a variety of illustrated Earth-friendly handmade goods and teach art classes in my home studio, at fairs and festivals, and anywhere that I can spread the love of art!
How did you get started?
Art and education have been two passions of mine for as long as I can remember, but until recently education has been getting most of my time and energy. Not too long ago, in the wake of a major surgery and a few other unexpected circumstances, I finally stepped away from my job as a Director of After-School Programs for a non-profit organization and dove headfirst into the art world.
When I went to work in my art studio I was simply making and creating like a maniac, adding more and more work, with no thought of "starting a business." Eventually I combined my love of art and my appreciation for quality handmade goods with my passion for teaching, and suddenly I saw a path in front of me that I knew I had to pursue with all my heart.
What's inspiring you right now?
Humanity. Observing and reflecting upon the people around me. Their words, their stories, their journeys, and the exchange between people and their environment.
Nature is another source of inspirational eye candy. I could spend all day (and sometimes I do!) photographing and drawing elements of my surroundings. I'm usually the one trailing behind or wandering off the beaten path as I'm easily enchanted by nature's beauty.
Yoga. I practice almost daily for so many reasons. Sometimes yoga is the best way to get re-energized. Sometimes it helps me to meditate and focus, calming me into my art-making flow. And it always stretches and massages my muscles after a long, hard day in the studio. I feel so much better inside and out after a yoga session.
Music. Indulging in my love of music gives me insane amounts of energy and helps keep me going throughout the day. Singing while I work or listening to another artist inspires me to put a little more love into my artwork and handmade goodies.
Any advice for those starting out in the handmade industry?
Take an idea and run with it. Really do something with it. It's a great tragedy that so many ideas remain just that, ideas. So many of them have the potential to be amazing and bear fruit, to really be something that expresses yourself and inspires others.
Do it if you love it. Not everybody is going to appreciate your work, but some people will. And when someone does love your work and wants more, be ready to put that unique creativity of yours on repeat.
Exercise other skill sets. Broadening your experiences can shape what you already have within you into something never done before. It also keeps you fresh and energized and contributes to your overall happiness. (I don't know if that's fact, but I sure am happy when I'm learning new things and exercising new muscles instead of doing the same thing all the time!)
Know your worth. Think about how much research, labor, travel, materials, design, and your very own originality it took to create something that only you can make. Respect yourself as a Maker!
Breathe. Putting your creativity out into the world and all the marketing/promotion/collaboration/learning/failing/fixing/learning/succeeding and creatingcreatingcreating can be overwhelming sometimes! Always…remember…to...breathe. And enjoy every step of your journey!
All photos courtesy of Sienne Josselin.