In the Spotlight: Evelyn Morocho
Valentine's Day is almost here, and I'm delighted to take this opportunity to introduce you to Evelyn Morocho, the creator and designer of “NJ Creative Cards”. Evelyn features creative cards for any occasion, and specializes in personalized, customized requests, including the language of your choice.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Evelyn Morocho, born in Canada with Cuban and Costa Rican roots. I’m a stay-home mom of two kids. In my very little spare time I like to draw in my sketch book. I’m currently taking a correspondence course called Desktop Publishing and Design. I also like to watch movies with my kids. The name NJ was created from the first initials of my two sons.
When did you first discover handmade creations?
I first discovered making cards when I was in grade school. Since I was very young I have made cards for family and friends. Little by little as I grew I became more creative and new ideas came about. When ideas would come, I drew my ideas to make one day.
Where do you find your inspiration?
First, thanks to my husband who inspired me to open my own small home-based business.
Once I started investing in materials and equipment my dad was on board in helping me and teaching me techniques to make my cards more creative.
My creative inspiration comes from within. I envision an idea and I draw it and then I put the pieces together. Sometimes I go to Pinterest to get ideas and then go from there, making them my own. One of my favourites is the YouTube video tutorial channel called “Stamp TV”. She teaches so many techniques that you can use to make your own creations.
What was your first-ever creation?
Do you have an art background or other formal training?
I have taken a few courses in the past, from drawing classes when I was young to Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. I’ve almost completed a two-year correspondence course, “Desktop Publishing and Design”. The Desktop Publishing and Design course has helped ground me with the basic foundations of design. Hopefully in September I’ll be in the Advertising and Graphic Design course at Humber College.
How would you describe your style? What makes your work unique?
I believe my style has a unique way to express the buyer’s personality, making my cards truly one of a kind. I work closely with my buyers to make their cards to their liking, whether it’s changing color, text or adding extra material.
What are the steps in your creative process?
Every design I’ve ever done I first draw in my sketch book and then I plan what materials I will use. After that I figure out the sizing of the card and once that is settled, I work with the background and then finish with the top layers and add any extra material if needed. With every product ,I take pictures and send them to the buyer to get full approval before the actual creation is sent out, so there’s no surprises.
How do you keep all your design elements and materials organized?
I’m an organizer. I have bookshelves with bins dividing all the materials and card stock by colour and size. I have a compartment for everything.
Who do you like creating for the most?
I don’t have a preference to create for certain groups.I’ve done a wide range, from kid's invitations to birthday cards for women and men. I have not yet made cards for pets but will be making some creative cards in the near future for animal lovers.
What has been your favorite work so far and why? Do you find it hard to part with your creations?
I have to say my favorite work so far has to be the Flower Bed Card. This card was inspired by a dream. I dreamt of this exact design and at first I didn't think it could be done but with the help of Cricut (a personal electronic cutting machine, I got the flowers all the same size to make them as I imagined. I made this particular card for my mom for her birthday and then when I posted it on the site I got a few personal sales for Mother’s day cards for this same design.
It can be a bit hard to part with my creations, but to see that someone special is receiving a card that I personally made I feel honored that everyone gets to see my talent.
Do you have any general advice for artists just getting started?
My advice for artists just getting started is believe in yourself, and never give up. If you truly have a passion, go for it. Everything is about taking baby steps. My motto is slow and steady wins the race. I say this to myself when times get tough.
My creations are featured and reviewed on the blog “Non Perfect Parenting”. Photos of my cards and enthusiastic comments on them have also been featured on Instagram, in 'mrsdownton_' and 'nm_flores'.
How do you market your art?
Online I market my products with icraftgifts.com, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and recently opened a shop in etsy.com. Offline it's been word of mouth from friends and family. I also include my business card with every purchase.
How has the internet helped your business?
The internet has played a big role in my home-based business. It has made it easier to promote my creations worldwide. You can connect with long distance buyers, all in the comfort of your home. I’m very grateful for the internet. I post in seconds and in minutes anyone can see my creations.
The advice I give when getting started with selling homemade is plan everything out. From materials, equipment, to how to promote yourself. Continually keep improving yourself. I did a lot of investigating on my own before I started, . calculated how I’ll price my work and so forth.
Can you suggest any books, tutorials or videos that will help the beginner breaking into the craft business?
I suggest Pinterest and YouTube tutorials. They are an awesome way to teach yourself by shadowing how others work.
Where are you going next? Future plans?
My plan for the future is to grow my business and expand my card making into calendars , notebooks, and agendas. All personalized and custom-made.
Evelyn, thank your for sharing your creative process and inspirations with us. All the best for future success!