"The FunUsual Suspects are cute, clever and fun characters. Our unique brand of snarky humor, super adorable designs, and high-quality merchandise delight customers from all over the world."
Her creations are so playful and cute they would be a hit in any household. With unique products such as magnetic bookmarks and air plant holders, to fun and snarky greeting cards, you are absolutely sure to find something you must have! You can check out Dani's website here, and her Etsy shop here for more fabulous handmade goods.
*Some of the amazing products you can find at FunUsual Suspects*
1.) I love the name of your business “FunUsual Suspects”. What inspired it, and how did that Flourish into a business?
I was showing my boyfriend (now husband and partner) a few of my early character sketches and notes and had them arranged on the dining room table. Hilariously, all together like that, they looked like a bunch of mugshots you might see in an old movie. "Round up the usual suspects!" he said, which is a line from the classic film Casablanca, and since we're both big movie nerds, it just stuck. It became FUN Usual Suspects because we liked the cute and punny play on words, and our focus is on bringing a little more joy to the world and making people smile.
It helped to have that thematic focus in having it flourish into an actual business. Having actual characters with interweaving backstories, relationships, and adventures all helped open me up creatively and made me even more excited to keep creating. It's also helped by keeping me on track and focused on what's really important to our brand and only getting into products or designs that really fulfill our core goals: making original, cute, and clever things that bring people joy.
2.) How do you find inspiration to make your adorable characters? Do you have a favorite?
I really admire the ability to create something filled with emotion, yet using very few lines and simple techniques. Using proportion, color, perspective, and negative space are subtle and, at least for me, take far more time and effort to perfect than just adding complexity. In the same way that I love music, or poetry or even puns and jokes, I want my art to be concise, full of meaning and emotion, and surprise. Anyone that sees my stuff knows that I'm a big kawaii, anime, and animation fan. I like things that are cute and cuddly, but with a little bit of sass and attitude! My pets are also a big inspiration for me.
It's hard for me to pick a favorite Suspect! It's usually whatever I'm currently working on, but I do have a soft spot in my heart for penguins, robots, and doggies. ;)
3.) When you need a musical muse, who do you turn up the volume too?
Oooo...that's a good question. Well, I have different playlists for different activities. When I'm in production mode, making my clay figures, for instance, I like to listen to Halsey, Sia or Florence & The Machine. When I'm sketching or working on computer graphics I might put some Snow Patrol on in the background. And when I've got a big morning of packaging and shipping to do, I get Alexa to crank up Robyn or The Weeknd to get me going.
4.) How has Flourish helped or inspired you?
There have been so many ways that Flourish has been just the push or pull that I needed. On days when I'm feeling tired or overwhelmed, I always seem to find a post or a comment where someone else has gone thru this and has seen better days on the other side. On days where I'm worried about my market or my shop or Etsy, or whatever, it's great to find people who are seeing the same things I am, and who may have that one little nugget of info that I was missing. When I feel stuck or stalled, there is always someone there that is absolutely killing it, and showing that there is a way, you just have to find it. I find that so inspiring! And the kind comments, critiques, encouragement and support I've gotten from the group have been truly invaluable. They've helped give me the courage to keep going and growing, both as an artist and as a business.
*Want to learn MORE about the amazing Flourish community? Click here*
5.) What are your future goals for “FunUsualSuspects”? Any new characters we can look forward to?
Oh yes! We've got lots of things planned for both the immediate and long term future. Our fall and winter are already consumed with the holidays and we've got a bunch of new products ready to roll out over the coming weeks. And yes, I have a new clay critter plant holder to release very soon! Stay tuned!
Our long term goals center more around our mission statement. We truly do want to create and send out a little more joy into the world. That means creating more cute stuff for people to share and use freely online (emojis, stickers, etc) and also finding ways to encourage and support those that want to help in our mission. Thank you, and your readers, so much for helping me be able to live a creative life where I get to make people smile.
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