Insider Spotlight - Hollie McKeeth
This is our first in an upcoming series featuring Crafty Croc Insiders in the "Insider Spotlight"! Here we'll feature one of our friends and showcase their talents for you to enjoy and learn about them. Soon, Hollie will be joining us for a "Facebook Live" "how to" session teaching one of her skills. If you want to be notified when that's happening just click here and we'll alert you in Facebook Messenger.
1. What’s your name, where are you from, and what do you like about where you live?
Answer: Hi there! I’m Hollie McKeeth and I’m from Ogden, Utah (that’s about 35 miles north of Salt Lake City) I love Ogden and Utah for lots of reasons! First, almost all family is here. Second, there is so much to enjoy, including all four seasons. We live minutes from the mountains and it’s amazing biking and hiking trails. We have a reservoir and river close to enjoy boating and kayaks. I dislike being cold and the winter weather but there are beautiful ski resorts close to keep others happy. Usually, my kids can even talk me into taking them sledding. Third, the community! There are also so many creative events to explore, there is a lot of diversity in the people and the food. I’m part of a local art collective and it helps all my creative dreams come true. Come visit anytime
2. What’s your morning beverage of choice? Food of choice?
Answer: Honestly, water but I love infusing my water with fruit. Food? Vegetables! Almost all of them! I particularly love brussel sprouts, asparagus, squash, potatoes, give me all the veggies! I love to cook and experiment with recipes. Don’t hate and rest assured I won’t turn down a well-made cinnamon roll or my own triple chocolate cheesecake.
3. What type of art/creation work do you specialize in?
Answer: My main art is hand lettering and laser engraving/cutting. I belong to a local art shop called The Local Artisan Collective. There I use my beloved Crafty Croc chalk markers to decorate the shop windows with different designs each month. I also teach classes including Intro to hand lettering, art camps/classes for homeschool to pre-K to high school students. Any class I want to create I can! I often work digitally on my iPad and then transfer those designs to prints, cards, and clothes. I also laser engrave my designs on to cutting boards and wooden plates. I love experimenting with new skills (always learning), creating and collaborating with other artists. I’m an advocate of creating and giving back more than I consume.
4. Is this a full-time business for you, or a passion hobby?
Answer: It’s well on its way to becoming full time but right now my humble start has been born from passion and the need for fulfillment through creating. First and foremost I am a wife and mother. My family is my “main squeeze” and I am passionate about being the best wife and mother I can for my hubby and kids. With that, my daughter is my partner in creativity and we often work on projects together.
5. How did you get started, do you have any formal training?
Answer: I have been a creative thinker and creating my entire life. I am the oldest of 8 kids and growing up with very little money taught us to be resourceful at a young age to be able to have and do the things we wanted. I started babysitting for other families when I was eight and started my first business at 10 making and selling scrunchies and hair bows. I have an Associates Degree in Applied Science and a little formal art training. I LOVE learning and I take classes/courses any time I can. I am interested in so many things. There is so much to learn and try and do!
6. Who are your favorite leaders to follow in your space? What do you admire about them / their work?
Answer: Teela Cunningham of Every-Tuesday. She is a Graphic Designer, Hand Letterer, and amazing teacher. She was one of the first I found to take a class from on hand lettering. She gives so much to the creative community. I admire her because she is a detailed teacher and you can tell she is genuine and kind and loves sharing her knowledge, you can hear her smile. She is supportive of each person’s efforts and their positive contributions. Any time I can take a class or learn from her is a treat! She is a great example.
7. What is your most important “artistic tool”? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio/workspace?
Answer: Snacks? Haha, really I LOVE my iPad pro because I can take it anywhere and it’s so versatile. I also love me some good tunes to create to. But let’s be honest, you can do a lot with just a pencil.
8. Is there a piece of creation that you are most proud of? Why?
Answer: I am proud of my food pun cutting boards. I love functional art, creating, food and a good laugh. They are the perfect combination of all those things! I am proud of these creations because it’s a variation I hadn’t seen before and it’s always so much fun to see my ideas come to life and across multiple mediums.
9. When you find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get out of it?
Answer: There are a couple of things I do to break out of a rut.
- One: take a break. I allow the time to let my creative muscles and juices recover from my production mill workout. Sometimes it’s minutes to walk away and regroup or get a snack and other times, I take days off and get back to it when it feels right.
- Two: I surround myself with other creatives. We try new things, try to figure out a problem or challenge each other to try something difficult or different. Having a tribe of other creatives can really get things going in a fun direction.
Ultimately the drive to create keeps me coming back over and over. I remember how fulfilled I am when I take the time to connect with myself and what a great self-care activity it is for my soul to learn and progress and process life.
10. If you were to imagine your creative work and business two years from now, what would it look like?
Answer: I am excited for the ride! I can only hope that I can create an encouraging space for others to try new things, connect with themselves and share a love for all things creative. There are so many things on my creative bucket list to knock out. I’m excited to keep progressing to be my best self in all the versions.
11. What advice would you give to another person looking to get creative?
Answer: Welcome to And-land! What do I mean by that? A lot of times we get into black and white thinking and tell ourselves we “want to do (fill in the blank) but ….. (fill in the obstacle)” Example: I want to learn how to hand letter but I’m a mom and I have no time. I want to own a business but I have no idea all the steps I need to do. I want to get stronger muscles but I have no idea what to do.
Well I say you can do/be/have both things! You can learn new skills AND can carve out little snippets of time for learning. You can be a creator AND homemaker. You can have a business AND a family! You can offer your creative services AND not know it all, yet. Don’t limit yourself to just one avenue. You can have cake AND eat it too! You can fail AND learn from the experience. You can do a lot AND you can ask for help.
I love AND need reminders to encourage me to continue to reach my goals. So I have ampersand symbols (&) all around my studio and creative space to remind me that I live in And-land and to not limit myself.
12. Where can we find you to connect?
Answer: You can visit me on Instagram: @hollie.mckeeth.designs , Facebook page: Hollie.McKeeth.Designs and my website www.holliemckeeth.com or if you are local to Northern Utah, come visit me at the Local Artisan Collective in downtown Ogden! Let’s be friends!
13. Anything new things you are working on that we should keep our eyes on?
Answer: Yes! You now know that I’m always working on new things but some behind the scenes sneak peeks I’m working on are: turning my hand lettering into a typeable font, DIY card kits, a jewelry line, a coloring book, macrame classes, new class curriculum and collaborations with other artists. So much creating! Just you wait, patiently, please. Sometimes, these awesome things take some time.
Online portfolio: www.instagram.com/hollie.mckeeth.designsHere are a few of Hollie's favorite works!