Lorena Siminovich is a San Francisco based artist, and illustrator. She owns Petit Collage, a company offering affordable modern art for children. With a background in graphic design, and an extensive career as an art director, she became interested in design for children when she moved from Buenos Aires to New York. Lorena has also written and illustrated several children’s books. Her illustrations clients include Citibank, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, Gymboree and Ikea, among others.

Websites: Lorena Siminovich & Petit Collage

What do you do and how did you start?
I own a company called Petit Collage that sells handmade modern wall decor. I license…I also have a career as an illustrator.

How old were you when you realized you wanted to do and how old were you when you actually began?
I always thought I wanted to be a graphic designer. I started very young during high school, taking classes after school. I later obtained my BA, and opened a Design firm in downtown Buenos Aires. In 2001, when I was 25, I moved to NY. I worked as an art director in the gift publishing industry, and slowly started to build my illustration career on the side. In 2006, I moved to San Francisco and decided to spend more time doing artwork, and less time in the corporate world. Soon after I started my Petit Collage line and dedicated more time to
illustration.

What steps did you take to create your own business?
I set up websites pretty early in the game, which was the best decision ever. I feel that a site is the best tool to let people know what you do, but also it is a good way to invent yourself. As you make decisions on website contents, you make decisions in what you have to offer, and you define yourself. It’s a good exercise.

[infobox bg=”orange” color=”black” opacity=”on” subtitle=”Lorena Siminovich”]Truly believe in what you do, and don’t undersell yourself,[/infobox]

What kind of formal education, training or experience do you have that applies to what you do?
I have a bachelor degree i graphic design. Business wise, my father who is a marketing consultant was a great inspiration and help through the years. Owning my design firm back in Argentina taught me methods of organization and managing that I now apply in my business. Working for Mudpuppy/Galison for 5 years in NY was a huge experience is understanding the American market, I also learned a lot about publishing, licensing and manufacturing. As an art director hiring talent I was lucky to be in the other side of the negotiating table.

How did you first begin to sell/market your work?
I made a couple of collages for a baby shower, and realized that the idea had potential. I had an upcoming trip to NY, and took a couple of pieces to stores in Brooklyn, and got orders right away.

What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do? The most frustrating?
The most rewarding is my everyday life in the studio, doing what I love. Also when see my books printed, my art in stores like Anthropologie, I get very excited. The most frustrating fluctuates, sometimes is cash flow, sometimes is legal worries, but mostly is lack
of time.

Do you have any fears about what you do, and if so, how do you deal with them?
I have fears related with the liabilities, that come with owning your own business, but in general I’m a wishful thinker borderline in denial, so I just plunge ahead.

How do you deal with creative blocks?
I sit down for hours with a cup of tea and look and my many vintage books, and voila! inspired again.

What has been your biggest struggle(s)/challenge(s) with your creative career?
Right now I’m wondering if I should move to a bigger space, to expand my line, which will imply a much bigger rent, and possibly not a walking commute. Tough decisions!

What kind of work environment do you have? 
I work in a sunny studio in the mission district in San Francisco, it overlooks a garden, it is ten blocks from my home, and i love it.

Have you encountered any financial obstacles, and if so, how did you overcome them?
I was lucky to have a smooth transition from part time employment. My business is new and doing well so far.

What is your definition of success?
It will have to be a cheesy “doing what you love” answer. Personally i would like to separate myself more from what I do, because I could be working 7 days a week and be happy, but my loved ones don’t seem to think that’s such a good idea.

Who or what are your inspirations? 
Mid century designers including Girard, Eames, Nelson. Scandinavian patterns. Japanese everything. American and French vintage children’s books. Graphic magazines from the seventies.

Words of advice for those pursuing their creative goals:
Be original. Don’t procrastinate. Set goals. Make a website. Tell others. Ask for help. Truly believe in what you do, and don’t undersell yourself, even if you are just starting. Ah, and the most important one, which I’m still working on: Learn to say no.

Do you know any helpful/inspirational books, websites, organisations etc.? 
Be original. Don’t procrastinate. Set goals. Make a website. Tell others. Ask for help. Truly believe in what you do, and don’t undersell yourself, even if you are just starting. Ah, and the most important one, which I’m still working on: Learn to say no.

Lorena’s Latest Instagrams:

  • At home with our founder Lorena  check out herhellip
  • StyleSmallers little artiste at workand our advent calendar making ahellip
  • We teamed up with HandmadeCharlotte to make DIY gift wraphellip
  • To all our friends lighting the first candle tonight Happyhellip
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