Hello, Hello! Today I am very proud to be bringing you an interview with an amazing, talented man who has been scrapbooking since I was in diapers. I will have all of his social media accounts linked down at the end of this post so make sure you check him out.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is RJ. I was born in Compton and now live in Los Angeles, California.
What type of crafts or art forms do you do?
Card making is my first love but I also enjoy doing mixed media like ATC cards and Memorydex cards as well as creating keepsakes such as mini albums, folios, scrapbooks, etc.
What do you enjoy most about card making?
I enjoy the looks on the faces and the responses of the people who recieve a handmade item from me. I love that my family and friends cherish the cards I’ve made for them.
How did you get started with card making?
First and foremost I am and always will be a scrapbooker as that is what I started out doing. I am a big Prince fan and I started from there. One day I was watching one of the home shopping networks and saw the Cricut Machine. Now I own almost every die cutting machine out there.
Have you always been creative?
No, not really. I was looking for something to do in my free time. I started doing a bit of research and went from not being particularly creative to now having an actual social media account devoted to my crafts.
Card making is considered by some to be a hobby in which only females participate. Have you ever experienced any judgement or discrimination based on this outdated stereotype?
Honestly? Yes, I have. I remember one time back in 2005 when I was invited into some of these social groups. Some of them were really welcoming. Others, though; let’s just say as the only guy in the group some of the ladies weren’t feeling it. I was like wow. I mean Tim Holtz was a guy I had always admired and I saw that the ladies loved him. So why was my being there such a big deal?
As time moved on I still get invites often but I can’t always accept them.
What has been the highlight of your card making journey thus far?
I would have to say that the wonderful crafting community has been an awesome journey for me. I know you have to take the good with the bad but at the end of the day I like what I do and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
What changes, if any, would you like to see happen in the card making industry?
Great question. I would like to see more male crafters. My concern is that there are a lot of talented males out there being overlooked. The design teams need to be reaching out to them.
What is the best thing about being a male card maker? What is the most challenging?
The best part about being a male crafter? It’s having a male’s perspective. My goal is to challenge female crafters to think about more than female things when they’re crafting on social media. I know most guy crafters could whip up a girly card faster than the ladies could make a masculine one. It’s been over ten years and still nothing has changed.
How would you describe your creative style?
My style is simple with a bit of classic and corky. I like to push the envelope from time to time as well.
What is something that you struggle with in terms of creativity?
The visual aspects of it. I struggle with the whole idea that everything has to be perfect and in its proper place.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from everywhere including my subbies, Pinterest, and other crafters I know.
What words of encouragement or wisdom do you have for crafty guys or anyone else?
Enjoy what you do and don’t let anyone take that away from you.
RJ, thank you so much for the absolute honor of taking part in this series. I feel a bit like I’m interviewing royalty because you’ve been papercrafting for such a long time. You’ve seen the rise and fall and rise again of this entire industry. I am grateful to have had you here to share a bit of yourself with us.
If you’d like to see more of RJ’s work (and you definitely will!) you can find him:
On his blog
Until next time,