The Sweetest Fern | Maker Spotlight

"It is really tough to put yourself out there and make mistakes and sometimes make art you end up not liking, but I am practicing being ok with that."

The world is full of wonderful makers and creators. There are individuals that are taking risks, making moves, and doing something that not many people will do. We really want to celebrate those people, and help them spread their work and mission. It's through our Maker Spotlights that we will be showcasing awesome people and giving them a fun platform to share themselves, their creations, and their voice!

Now, onto the good stuff. We asked stamp magician, Jillian, from The Sweetest Fern a handful of questions to get a full understanding of her craft. Things like: what makes her passionate about her work, what she's excited for, and also, you know, what her favorite food is...normal stuff (we are totally with her on the taco love, hehe).

We cannot thank Jillian enough for being our first spotlight post! Her stamps are so gorgeous and we are beyond thrilled to feature her! We hope you enjoy today's Maker Spotlight with The Sweetest Fern!

About Your Work

Favorite Recent Project: #TinyStampTuesday

What inspired you to make this?  #TinyStampTuesday is inspired by the desire to use my scraps creatively. I try to create the smallest amount of waste possible when carving my blocks, but small carving scraps are always inevitable. I began collecting my scraps and I decided to create tiny stamps out of them each week and showcase them on my instagram.

What was challenging? Sticking to any prompt each week is challenging, but so far so good! I have accidentally forgot or was too busy a few times, so #TinyStampTuesday would then become #WeeStampWednesday ! Another challenge is getting others to join in. I would love if other printmakers who did block printing would join in with me and use the hashtag. It would be fun to see what other people create!

Were there any surprises during this project? Honestly, I was surprised that I have stuck to it for so long! I’ve been at it for over 5 months now and I’ ve created 23 itty bitty stamps!

What makes you happiest about it? I am happiest about how much I’ve honed my skills at carving small details by practicing on these tiny stamps each week! I also love just creating cute little stamps and not feeling so much pressure about the outcome. It’s fun to just let loose and be silly!

Tell Us About Yourself!

What got you into creating/crafting? My mom was an art teacher and a very talented artist.  She always let my sister and I tag along to art shows and play around with whatever materials she was using at the time.  My love for art and creating definitely comes from her.

Outside of creating, what is something you love to do? I love hiking and being in nature, especially by creeks and in the mountains.  

Speed date round: What’s your favorite color, food, and animal? 

Color: Changes seasonally or depending on my mood, right now it's pale, jade green

Food: Tacos and guac! My husband and I make tacos every Tuesday! (Clearly Tuesday is my favorite day of the week!)

Animal: Meerkats and prairie dogs.

Anything else you want people to know? My art is a work in progress. I feel like I am still finding my favorite techniques and developing my skills and style.  It is really tough to put yourself out there and make mistakes and sometimes make art you end up not liking, but I am practicing being ok with that. I hope to keep learning and eventually make creating art my full time job!

How can people follow you?

Website:  The Sweetest Fern Shop

Instagram: @thesweetestfern

Facebook: The Sweetest Fern

Meet the Authors

Besides photography, I have a few different hobbies. I really enjoy listening to audiobooks and occasionally lending my voice to some. My husband, Shawn, and I love playing D&D and discovering new interesting food spots! Oh and I'm obsessed with our dog, Pony.
When Marlayna isn't diving into BaM projects, she's also a wedding photographer, and the photographer at UMBC! When she's not photographing, she loves to kick back and relax with her husband Adam and their two cats Zoe and Annie! And when they're not at home, they love to travel and try new beers, cocktails, and of course, delicious food!
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