Interview: Drix Productions

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Drix Productions have an Etsy shop selling enamel pins, stickers and keyrings. I was lucky enough to interview Drix Productions about their business.

Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?

Hello! I’m ok thank you, a bit tired!

Tell us a little bit about your background.

Well, I started out doing what many people do, going to school, college and uni close to my home in Nottingham – but I ended up dropping out of uni and I started tattooing not long afterwards. I had an apprenticeship at a local shop where I worked for a few years before striking out on my own. My health got quite in the way of things as it had been worsening over time so I went back into employment – working for the NHS for several years. When we decided to move to Devon, it seemed like the right time for me to try going full time with my business.

I adore your business. What made you decide to set up Drix Productions? 

I’ve always been really crafty and have tried my hand at many different things so I had to try and sell my creations – they were taking over the house! 

Why did you call your shop Drix Productions?

I named the business after a character in a book I planned to write. His name was Nathaldrix though most people in the book just called him ‘Drix. I guess I poured a lot of myself into his character and when it came to naming the business, it just seemed like the natural choice. A lot of people even call me Drix online and when they meet me at conventions!

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How has your creative process changed since the start?

It’s changed a lot! I used to make mainly jewellery though I’ve always been an artist – I’d import charms from all over the world and make bright, fun pieces. But I realised that a lot of people were also doing the same thing so I started making my own designs into charms to make them a little more unique. I eventually expanded a little into stickers and badges since they were easier to make and great for selling at conventions. I’ve stopped making jewellery almost totally now and have focused on paper products in the past few years – though my selection of enamel pins is growing slowly as well!

How did you manage to learn and hone your craft?

I guess mainly by myself and practice – I still have a long way to go and new things to try though, crafting and art is a never ending process!

Have you always been into craft and design?

Oh yes, I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. Art was always a big part of my life and has slowly become the focus of my existence!

If there were no resource restraints, what would be your dream project?

Wow, I don’t know! I guess going back into jewellery making with laser cut and printed acrylics – how amazing would that be? 

What equipment do you use for your work?

I have a Wacom Cintiq for drawing, a silhouette cutter, badge press, sketch books and my own two hands!

What tools or materials could you not live without?

The cutter, it’s been a life saver. I used to cut all my stickers by hand but it got to a point where I literally couldn’t cope making them. It often cuts wrong for no reason and sometimes won’t work because it’s decided it’s having the day off but I couldn’t carry on without it! Oh and my tablet! I work almost totally digitally now and it’s been great for turning my sketches into finished designs. 

Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?

 It’s connected me to a lot of people who otherwise wouldn’t have been part of my life. And I don’t just mean business wise – I’ve made good friends thorough Facebook after they have found my shop and have taken a real interest in my work. They tell me what they would like to see from me and I can talk to people so personally – we also talk about dogs and all kinds of fun things!

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Who inspires your work?

My customers – is that cheesy? When people tell me they love whichever design or just adore my whole shop, it really makes me motivated to carry on. It’s very easy to get burned out working creatively so those comments literally mean so much to me. 

Do you have any favourite pieces of work that you adore at the moment from your shop?

I tend not to like my own work that much if I’m totally honest – I’ll enjoy creating something and then look and think it’s awful and needs to go! I expect most artists feel like that though. However, I do kinda like my alien and ufo design. There is something about those dot eyes and smile. He’s cute and really looks like he is ready for a big journey through space!

What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram and your work?

Hopefully a little more personal work, more stories and maybe I’ll do some kind of “live” video or something!

What are you currently working on?

Mainly expanding my range of designs. I love working on the cute and “kawaii” style but I want to add more alternative designs. I also want to add some more empowerment and feminist designs. I am disabled myself so I really want to do some designs based around feeling good about yourself.  

What’s your typical working day?

I usually get up, walk the dog and then start making any orders from the previous afternoon/night. That can take 1-4 hours sometimes and then I walk to the post office to get them all shipped asap! The afternoons are usually spent replying to messages, sorting custom orders, making new designs/drawing, taking photos of stock and uploading to Etsy. I generally finish at about 5pm but then often work after tea and at the weekends as well. 

What’s been the biggest struggle in getting your business off the ground?

It’s still a struggle, ha ha! I don’t feel like I’m very far off the ground though I’ve come further than I even thought possible. I guess money is always an issue because I’ve always found I don’t have enough for what I want to do! Ha ha! Social media also doesn’t help either. Reach on Facebook and Instagram is at an all-time low and it’s so frustrating to have almost 1,000 likes but only reach 90 people. How can people ever be made aware of new designs and products if they aren’t allowed to see them?

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Do you have any exciting plans for this year?

Yes. Hopefully. Spoilers? I really want to do an advent calendar this year for Christmas! 

What are your career plans with your online shop?

I take everything day to day because I can’t think long term (I’m autistic so it’s very hard for me to look at a bigger picture). I’m hoping things will carry on as they are, just to do the same thing on a slightly bigger sale and maybe wholesale a bit more!

What advice would you give to people looking to define their own style?

Don’t be afraid to try everything and don’t feel like you have to settle or be restricted. I have two very different sides to my artwork which are at odds with each other and that’s ok. Styles change over time and that’s also ok! Don’t feel like you HAVE to do anything, it’s your work and as long as you are having fun, that’s what matters most. 

Do you have any advice for anyone starting their own online shop?

I have a lot (most of which I wish I listened to myself!) but mainly I guess it would be to relax. If you are anything like me, you will be whittling about how great other people are, how it seems to be taking years to make just one sale and all that jazz. But take it one day at a time. Focus on you and your own work. 

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What’s next for Drix Productions?

Expanding hopefully -a new enamel pin design each month. I also want to do another washi tape design and maybe a desk planner as well!

What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?

Probably from my old boss, the guy who taught me how to tattoo. He was incredibly old school and swore a lot but he had the best advice. He told me that tattooing is a process which you have to constantly work at. The day you think you know it all is the day you may as well give up. I apply the same to my work now, there is so much to learn and so much to improve upon, I can’t ever really say my creative journey is over. That’s incredibly daunting but also wonderfully exciting.  

You can find Drix Productions on Etsy ‘https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Drixproductions’ and Instagram ‘https://www.instagram.com/drixproductions’.

Rhiannon BrittenComment