Thursday 17 September 2015

Craft Conversations with the Pros | Elina Strömberg

Today we go North to ask Elina Stromberg the Craft Questions. I met Elina last year and is another of those crafters that are really passionate about what they do. I really enjoy her work and her company!
Elina, when and how did you start in the industry?
I've been making different kinds of crafts as long as I can remember: Paper crafting, card making, drawing, knitting, crocheting, sewing, weaving, and many things more. I got to know scrapbooking in 2009, which got me more involved in paper crafts: I opened my blog, attended paper crafting and mixed media classes, and learned to use a larger variety of tools and techniques. Workshops and crops also introduced me to a growing group of paper craft in hobbyists, industry influencers, teachers and designers both locally and internationally.
I've been a member in several design teams since 2010: some of those teams have been inspiration/challenge blogs, some of them promoted a retail business, and in some teams I have supported an industry manufacturer. To some design teams I have applied myself, and some have contacted me directly with a cooperation proposal.

Was it full time? Part time?
Crafting and designing has never been a full-time work for me. My academic background is in business and IT, and work full time as IT manager.

What type of job at first? Did you started as a creative straight away?
How do you describe your job nowadays?
I still consider designing and creating my hobby, even if the related tasks do require a lot of time to be allocated. My day job ensures me financial stability, and even if I don't have as much time for crafting as I would like to have, I'm glad that there's no true financial pressure related to my creative work.

Is it hard to work full/part time in the craft industry? Can you name
your major challenges you face?
There are thousands and thousands of talented people in the industry, and there's a lot of competition. In addition, a successful creator/designer needs to be a true multi-talent: Not just a designer of projects that really stand out, but also a photographer, photo editor, writer, web designer, marketer, social media master, ... Despite of the value the design team is bringing only a few companies are paying for the services of their design teams. This is a generally accepted thing in the industry which makes it even more difficult for a part time crafter to become a full time professional creator.

Out of everything you do and have done, what is your favourite?
Together with my colleague I have already twice organised an international crafting / mixed media event in Finland. Our weekend long 'Creative Journey' event was sold out on both times, and the feedback from the event participants has been heartwarming positive.

Your proudest moment and achievement?
There have been times when I've been teaching scrapbooking or mixed media to people who had no prior experience in the subject. However, receiving enthusiastic feedback from those people after the class is always very encouraging; if someone has got a kick off to a new hobby from my class, that's something I consider an important achievement.
Being part of the core editor's team for a Finnish paper crafting magazine was really great, too. There were many people that thought our idea of a paper crafting print magazine was too ambitious. But that pushed us to really give our best, and seeing our first magazine in the local news stand was a memorable moment!

What is your favourite project type (mini albums, cards, layouts, home
decor...) and colour?
Scrapbooking and cards. I cannot pick just one favourite colour, as I like many bright colours a lot: Yellow, orange, gold, green, chocolate brown, ...

Where you go for inspiration?
Inspiration can be found everywhere i.e. in home decór magazines, blogs, DIY books etc. However, I think that the easiest way to find lot of inspiration is Pinterest.

What is next for you: (both what you are doing next and what you Would
like to do next)
I will continue my work in my current design teams, and hopefully many crafters will be inspired by my projects. I do have dreams and plans that hopefully someday will get real: Designing my own series of stamps and/or patterned papers would be a dream come true!

And finally, Do you remember when we first met? Any good/bad
I had been following your work pretty closely for some time, and I was so very happy when I finally got the opportunity to meet you face-to-face at Sizzix blogger's meeting a year ago. You are such a wonderful, warm hearted, lively, inspiring, and energetic person!
Paula's version: 
I remember seeing Elina's projects on the Sizzix blog for the first time and thinking wow, she is clever! And then i got to meet her in person and immidiately really liked her. Elina is a very friendly and grounded person, one that I could spend hours and hours cahtting and photographing!

You can find Elina Strömberg online here:

To read previous Craft Conversations, click here.

1 comment:

Rita Barakat said...

Elina has such beautiful work!

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