Interview with Vanessa Cengic, Graphic Artist, Jewelry Designer, Baker
Posted Jun 07 2009 10:41pm
This week I'm happy to interview Vanessa Cengic, whose many talents are a tribute to God's generosity with his grace and gifts.
Kelley: How would you describe your childhood, and what about your childhood played the biggest part in your life as a creative person?
Vanessa: The parts I like to reflect on best were the times spent with my great grandfather in his kitchen. I would spend the night with him on weekends and in the morning he would make me whatever I liked for breakfast. Always from scratch! I would stand waist high next to him and watch him prepare pancakes, waffles, crepes, etc. You name it, he would make it. He also made wonderful breads and pastries and would always pick off a little piece of dough for me to work with. I also like to remember the time I built my own house. Out of a refrigerator box of course!
Kelley:Your relationship with your grandfather explains your baking business! Tell us more about your family.
Vanessa: My family has always been very supportive of my endeavors, which is a huge blessing. I don't think anyone (including me) really thought it would get me as far as it has. I am happy to say that with the Lord's help we were all wrong! Faith as small as a mustard seed is right!
Kelley: How does your relationship with God help you express yourself creatively?
Vanessa: My relationship with the Lord is the number one reason I am where I am today. Without Him showing me all of the talents He provided me with I would still be stuck in a dead-end job making everyone else money. I always seek his opinion in my business practices. I pray before I start each project, as I know I cannot do anything without Him. He is my inspiration. I sometimes find myself waking up in the middle of the night with ideas. I'm glad He sees so much potential in such a cracked pot!
Kelley:What would you say is the most difficult part of the creative process for you?
Vanessa: I sometimes get something kind of like writer's block, but maybe you would call it designer's slump. It stinks, but I find that is a great time to take a small vacation or get into prayer for more inspiration. It's always nice to come back refreshed and ready to create. In graphic design sometimes I have a job come in that I don't think I can do, but the Lord always proves me wrong and provides me with the skills and patience to complete the task.
Kelley:What part of the creative process do you enjoy the most?
Vanessa: I love everything about the creative process. In my graphics business, I love creating the layout, design and working with all of that color. Oh, and fonts. I love fonts! In my bakery business I love creating tasty new combinations and coming up with new recipes to try out on my wonderful family. Sometimes they are a hit, and sometimes they are a miss, but it sure is fun and tasty trying. For my jewelry I love laying out the stones and chain to come up with the best combination before I start putting everything together.
Kelley:How did you come to selling your work?
Vanessa: I like to joke with my hubby that I started my online business with twenty cents, which is true, for the most part. I was up late looking for sites I could list my jewelry on. I checked out eBay, but then I thought my creations would be lost in the land of eBay. So I stumbled upon Etsy! I'm so glad I did. I was shocked it was only twenty cents to list an item. So I listed my first item, and 15 days later I had my first sale! Fast forward to June 2009 and I now have three businesses on Etsy: jewelry, graphic design, and baking. I LOVE creating graphics, as there is no cap on your creativity. I love baking as it brings so many people joy and it gives me a chance to come up with great new recipes and try them on my guinea pig. Oops, I mean my hubby. I still love creating jewelry and plan to add new items in the future, as I have learned so much since I started.
Kelley:What is the best piece of advice you can give other creative people?
Vanessa: STEP OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE! Nothing great will come of your wonderful creations if you stay inside your little box. Come on out and play! The world needs to see your products. Provide excellent customer service, be reliable, and always think outside the box. Treat your customers exactly the way you would like to be treated. Always have a great business card and carry them with you everywhere. People hold on to business cards most of the time and it will help to refresh their memory when they are looking for gifts or services in the future.
Kelley:What scripture do you find particularly inspirational?
Vanessa: Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose."
This is one of my favorite scriptures. Why? I know it to be fact. Not long ago I was working for someone else making them lots of money, and I was not happy in my job. Now I am working for myself. I'm not making a ton of money, but I'm doing what I love to do. God is awesome and He always does what is best for us.
Kelley:Thank you, Vanessa! Readers, here's where you'll find Vanessa's work: