Introduce us to you and your brand!
Well, I'm Arantza, and I moved to lovely Edinburgh from Alicante (Spain) to try to be a self-employed artist. My brand reflects myself, my values and my view of the world. That's why I don't have a fancy name; just my little penguin, named Hvit, because I love it and it talks about Nature.
I decided to call my space an ArtStudio, because even though my main artwork is watercolour illustration, I also work on graphic design, branding and product creation. I'm a wee business working to be carbon neutral, and that's why I offset the carbon footprint of my sales and orders; also in my personal life. In my artwork I try to reflect that love I have for Nature and the outdoors, to inspire people to live in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
"My style has evolve and I found a way to combine illustration/design with helping out on issues I find most important: climate change and social equality."
How has your brand/work developed since you began?
I started doing commissions for friends, family... illustrating just whatever I wanted to and being afraid of drawing portraits! And now my clients order them a lot haha! I learnt different techniques: acrylic, digital, pastels... until I found watercolour and it enchanted me. I learnt a lot over the years, not only on a drawing level but also regarding business. My style has evolved and I found a way to combine illustration/design with helping out on issues I find most important: climate change and social equality. I like to think I get people closer to Nature through my artwork, giving them wee moment to daydream.
What are your main inspirations?
Nature and travel. Wildlife, adventure, the boost of motivation and inspiration we get outdoors.
What do you consider to be your most popular product? Why do you think it resonates with people?
My EcoCalendar. A product sustainably made, with original and unique illustrations with a theme that changes every year (I've done it for 4 years already). Also, with this product, I donate 20% of the benefits from the sales to a non-profit organisation working on environmental or social projects.
What piece are you the proudest of?
I love the illustration "Hugs and all that jazz". Because it tells a story. An invisible, distant hug that sometimes comes in the form of a song, a quote, a picture that someone you love sent to you 'cause it reminded them of you. When you are abroad, and also during the pandemic, sometimes those were the only hugs you got, but they felt huge.
What would you consider to be the most challenging aspect about being a working artist/designer?
To find balance between work and personal life. To be able to meet your goals without burning out and being true to your values and what you have to say as an artist.
Do you have any past accomplishments you wish to share?
Moving abroad to be a self-employed creative, and achieving that.
How did you find out about SDX? And what made you apply to sell with us?
I saw your sign in George Street, and thought "Why don't I give it a go?" I thought it was a great way to get people from Edinburgh to know my work in a respected and well known place. Also, for me to get to be among other amazing artists (woah!)
What have you found to be the most challenging aspect to your business since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020?
Well, I started my business in 2020, so to speak! Beginnings are never easy, right? So imagine jumping into self-employment during the pandemic. But I must confess, being honest, I think it went fine. I also work on branding and graphic design, so I had the chance to work with many entrepreneurs on their new small business' visual identity.
What do you hope to gain from working with SDX going forward?
I'd love to learn more about my customers and what they like about my work, specially here in Edinburgh. Also, being a part of a community of artists based in Scotland has huge value. You can always learn something new from other artists!
If you could share just one piece of advice to aspiring artists/designers who want to make a living from their creative talents, what would you tell them?
Come what may, just keep working hard. You are worth it. Stay true to your values and goals, and even though there will be ups and lows, keep swimming to find your current again.
"Also, being a part of a community of artists based in Scotland has huge value. You can always learn something new from other artists!"
And finally, help share some motivation with your favourite inspirational advise or quote!
"Each day you are being presented with a choice: evolve or remain."
Thank you to Arantza Belmonte Baeza for participating in our Meet The Maker blog. You can find their products at our Edinburgh, George Street shop