Thursday, June 2, 2011

Who is.....

Are you ready for a chance to get to know a very friendly, fantastic lady?
Are you ready to see what inspires her?
Are you ready to find out who is the creative force behind Collections Rubber Stamps?

So without further ado let me introduce Julie Van Oosten
My part in the industry is designing and manufacturing for Collections Rubber Stamps which is a small business that has been trading since 1997.
I started with a range of 50 stamp images that have now grown to 400 images producing them here in Perth with 2 vulcanisers (stamp presses).
My designs have been manufactured under licence in the US since 2001. Currently I sell my product line which comprises of 10 different paper ranges, various transparencies die cuts and printed ephemera to Australian stores and internationally to more than 12 countries. 

Occasionally I get the opportunity to teach in classes in the ‘Collections’ style both here and overseas.

 What inspired you to start Collections?

It first started with a magazine called “The Rubber Gazette” back in 1996 and then it was followed by a range of rubber stamps in 1997 called Collections. Three years later I stated to incorporate papers and die cut shapes into the “Collections” range and Collections Elements was created. My inspiration came from old world vintage, French ephemeral photos, letterpress type and my love of fonts and old papers.

How long have you been scrapbooking?

I don’t really scrapbook 12 x 12 pages and put them into an album. I guess you might say that I am more an “off the page” creator and love to make mini-books and three dimensional items. I have been paper crafting since 1987, so I think I am a bit of a veteran!

When you scrapbook, what do you start with first?

I generally make lots of samples for Collections displays so I usually start out with some base product like chipboard books or frames and then work from there. Sometimes I do have photographs of my daughters and then I might start with those and perhaps do a page using a particular photograph.

Can you describe your style?

Antique Vintage, lots of typography mixed with old ephemera and a lot of detail, some distressing and dimensional layering. I adore anything miniature.

What are your favourite tools?

I love to sand/distress items, so the flexi sander is something I always have on hand. I also love to ink edges and so super sponges are always nearby with my stamp pads. Probably one of my most used tools is my guillotine. It’s a wooden based one that I purchased from office works. I don’t think I could do without it; I use it almost every day and even have a lightweight plastic based one that is full size that I picked up on a trip to the US. It is so great for taking to shows when you have to travel interstate and don’t have to room for a heavy wooden one. High on my list of cool tools is my big bite, this tool is something I also could not live without, and nothing else on the market is as good as this tool for punch through really thick board.

What do you wish that you knew when you were first starting out?

That you can do whatever you want, you can create a product with good design and people will buy it and enjoy using it, whether it is paper card or die cuts or rubber stamps. I think at the start of designing I was a bit afraid to put myself out there and not diversify as much as I could have.

What is the biggest challenge you face?

In this industry it must be the ability to design great quality products that everyone likes. Trying to design papers and die cuts that will meet the needs of the everyday scrapbooker and coordinating colours in the paper ranges that will be inspirational are my biggest challenges at present. However I do accept those challenges happily and meet them full on.

Do you create every day?

Not every day, as I am busy running Collections business side of things, but that doesn’t stop me thinking about creating and tons of ideas about product and how to put them together. When the need arises for a project I am in there creating and nothing stops me until I have something I am happy with.

Describe your perfect creative area?

A dedicated room with large desk, preferable the length of a room with lots of drawers below to house my huge collections of stamps, papers and embellishments. Most importantly great lighting as I love to work at night, that’s when I am most inspired to create. On the wall above the long desk an inspirational display of favourite objects like swatches of colours old ephemera like printers’ trays full of tiny objects. Large cupboards filled with trays of my most needed and used items like, stamp pads, metal objects, paints etc that are all within easy reach and also able to be stored out of site as I like a clean area in which to create. One of my must have’s is a really comfortable chair that is on wheels as I like to create for a few hours at a time. To set the mood - ambient music, from my ipod. That would for me be my perfect creative area.

Does that resemble where you actually create?

Sadly it does not. I have just recently moved house and I have not unpacked all my supplies and decided where my creating we live.  So for now it is to the left of my desk in the office of Collections.

Do you prefer to create in a group or by yourself?

Both, I love to get together with friends as I find it so rewarding to see others create and that also give me so much inspiration and ideas. Seeing the joy my friends get from creating is something that I love to see. Sometimes I do like working alone and I often “am on a mission” mindset when I am working on some new product that I am putting together for inspiration or perhaps a class project.

What do you think is the best time of day?

Definitely night time, it’s quiet, and there is a longer span of time without interruption. My most creativeness come late at night and I have far more concentration than in the morning. I am an owl not a lark!

Why is the past important?

Because it is about who you are and how you came to be and is just as much important as the future.

Can you finish this sentence: I am passionate about .... making and creating, it’s something I have always had in my life, ever since I was a small girl I loved stationery and making anything. My life has always had something creative in nature whether it was art, painting drawing, or my years spent at Perth Technical College in the eighties studying Jewellery Making, Printmaking, Drawing and Painting I have always had a passion for creating – it’s who I am.

Thank you Julie for such a great interview! I love the products that Julie comes up with and I can tell you if you get a chance to meet her or do one of her classes be sure to take the opportunity. Julie is so passionate about what she does that it will inspire you to create some magical projects :)

You can find Collections Elements at Joyful Scraps follow this link >>here.

Now if you are an Australian resident, Julie has put together this fantastic range of products as a prize just for you! 

All you need to do is leave a comment here on this post!

Good luck

Interested in seeing more of Julie's creations check here:


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