T.E.S.T. interview: thunderpeep

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 27th in our series with Michelle of thunderpeep.

Tell me about your creative/design background.

When I was 4 I got one of those Crayola Carousels from Santa and it changed my life. I would doodle on anything and everything. I got into a lot of trouble, especially after I decided that the brand new frilly pink sheet set my mom bought was just too plain and needed some of my creative input. Doodling shapes and patterns stayed with me as I found a more structured career in Graphic Design, mostly working in Editorial design, but when I started to get creatively frustrated with work I just started doing my own thing to blow off steam.

Your designs seem to draw from clean/crisp elements, what inspires your "look"?

My biggest influences and inspirations are drawn from Scandinavian designers. They are known for their use of colour and functionalism. I love to escape to magical places, and the really crisp clean 2D work lends itself well to the folk stories that tend to inspire the stories in my art .

If you were an animal, what would you be?

Polar Bear. I love Polar bears! I love the cold, the snow, the arctic. And looks can be deceiving ;) I can't believe I don't have any polar bears anywhere in any of my pieces……

How did you come about starting your Etsy shop?

A friend of mine turned me onto the site, purely as a shopper (and I was fully addicted). About a year later I started up my shop, but it took me awhile to really take it seriously, find my place and really invest in it. For me now, it's this amazing and supportive community, kind of like my big ol' crafty family as well as a place to sell my work :)

Tell me about the people that inspire you.

I am attracted to people who don't fit the mold. I'm a total nerd, and I'm ok with that. I don't care if you're laughing at me or with me, as long as you're having a good time. Although if you're laughing with me, you really are my kinda peep! I am inspired by people who aren't afraid to just be who they are, without worrying about what everyone else thinks.

I think they are the most successful people, and I like to be around people who challenge me to push myself.

I am also inspired by people who make me think in different and more interesting ways, that's party why I love meeting people from different places. We have so much to learn from each other.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not creating?

I used to spend a lot of time getting lost in the woods when I lived in Vancouver. I don't find that same escape here, so I'm trying to find more industrial ways to get lost. I am a walker (and not in the Walking Dead kind of way) I don't have a car and am a bit too claustrophobic to deal with transit so I tend to walk everywhere I can. I like to walk off the main streets and just wander through neighbourhoods. Luckily Toronto has a ton of interesting neighbourhoods to get lost in, and it'll take me awhile to adventure through them all. But when the opportunity arises to get the heck out of the city…. SEE YA!! I also love watching movies, I watch an insane amount of them. I love foreign and horror, especially the 2 together!

You can find more of Michelle's work in the thunderpeep Etsy shop, on her blog, or on the thunderpeep Facebook or you can follow thunderpeep on Twitter and be sure to visit Michelle's website: Thunderpeep Designs.

Interviewed in April and May, 2012 by Rob of RobertRatPrints.

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