Turn The Tables Series – Question 3

Hello friends! Kristen here! I am thrilled to bring you the third installment of my “Turn The Tables” series. If you haven’t had a chance to read why I decided to do this series, click on over HERE. I am thrilled at the people I am hosting at my “dinner table” this week! I always love hearing other creative's design tools. I have several. I love the space I create when I am working on new product ideas. I am actually in the middle of that process right now so it is very fresh on my brain. I transform my dining room into a crazy, colorful, creation room! There's paint on the table, pieces of paper as far as the eye can see and paint brushes sprouting up like weeds amongst the containers of ink, acrylic paint and gouache. I do this twice a year. When I first started the business I had days like that all the time. I sat and created all night after my full time job. I didn't quit my full time job until I was 1.5 years into Thimblepress®. I would leave work and just go home and create. It was amazing. As we have grown, which I am beyond thankful for, my creative time has gone from 50% creating and painting to around 20% on a good day. I spend the majority of my day running the business or balancing that with printing products on our press. We recently brought on someone to help us with printing, which has helped us a ton! My colorful creation room is my favorite design tool by far. Even better, it is filled with all my other design tools inside of it! I can't wait to get into there this evening! With that being said, I am going to shut up and start this dinner party of answers! I hope you enjoy and find some real gems of inspiration! - Kristen

Here are some links to my favorite tools for creating my artwork:

Holbein Artists Gouache Set of 12, 5ml tubes Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen, Includes 2 Black Ink Refills (GFKP3BPA) Yasutomo Black Sumi Ink (Bokuju) 12 oz. Zebra Comic G Model Chrome Pen Nib, Pack of 10 (PG-6C-C-K) Speedball Oblique Pen Point Holder (ANH9455) Liquitex Professional Acrylic INK! Essential 6-Piece Set Clearprint 10001410 Design Vellum Paper, 16lb, White, 8-1/2 x 11, 50 Sheets/Pad (CHA10001410) Canson Multi Media Paper Pad, XL Series 60 Pages, 7inch x 10inch Sennelier Oil Pastel Intro Set Of 12 Liquitex Soft Body Professional Artist Acrylic Colors fluorescent pink 2 oz.


What is your number one, go-to tool for design and why? If you made it yourself, please do tell!


"I 100% have no clue about how to design anything graphic related, so I source all of these things out. You have to know your strengths and weakness. Computers are my weakness and time is money. I can tell them what I want, but I don’t know how to create it." -Erin

CONNECT WITH ERIN: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


My go to is pen and paper hands down. My computer is a great, and necessary, tool for the process, but everything always starts with my pen. Whether that's me doodling a quick sketch, or making a list (I'm a huge list maker), I need the weight of that pen in my hand to start any project.” -Meg

CONNECT WITH MEG: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


I'm pretty simple - a good pen and a good notebook. Right now I'm using a Sharpie Pen that I bought from Urbanic and "The Standard Notebook" from the Shorthand collection by Iron Curtain Press. (And then I go to Adobe Illustrator or hand-set wood & lead type or a wood engraving or a linoleum block...but it all starts with pen & paper.)” -Sara

CONNECT WITH SARA: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


Everyday tools I use to design for Cotton & Flax: Photoshop, sumi ink, little pocket sketchbooks, and Tombow brush pens.” -Erin

CONNECT WITH ERIN: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


I’m boring. I just use Illustrator for my cards.” -Kristina

CONNECT WITH KRISTINA: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


Illustrator and giant white posterboards. I tape posterboards all over my walls. I really don’t know why - but seeing everything large and right in front of me in a tangible way really helps get my creative wheels turning.” -Emily

CONNECT WITH EMILY: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


Gosh, this is hard. This sounds crazy, but Pinterest or other design books I've accumulated in design school. I also keep an inspiration journal full of designs and quotes that I like to use for brainstorming when creating new designs. Jen and I even keep a running tally of thoughts, quotes or ideas on our phones, that we've heard or seen out of context to see if there is a way we can spin them into a fun card or product. (Sorry that's not just ONE go to tool)” – Lisa

CONNECT WITH LISA: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


I don't really do any "design." However, I can say that for social media I love editing my photos with Afterlight and VSCO Cam. They make any photo look more beautiful.” -Taylor (Photo by Delbarr Moradi)

CONNECT WITH TAYLOR: website | glitter guide’s instagram | taylor’s instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


"A pen and paper! All my ideas start out there before I head into Illustrator to create the final design." -Rosanna

CONNECT WITH ROSANNA: website | instagram | facebook


I love my Microns from Sakura of America! They've been my go-to tool since I was a young artist and they've proven to stand the test of time! I prefer the 08 size in black because it translates best for letterpress.” -Arley-Rose

CONNECT WITH ARLEY-ROSE: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


"I don’t have much to add to this as I do everything in Sharpie, scan it into Photoshop, and manipulate it in Illustrator." -Adam

CONNECT WITH ADAM: website | instagram | facebook | tumblr


We shoot everything on our website and feed on a Cannon Rebel. I call it my weapon because I'm always armed with it and we use a lot of different apps to edit images from InDesign to SnapSeed. Download SnapSeed here and rock your Instagram world. It's a little tricky to use at first, but totally worth it if you're looking for vibrant or super colorful images.” -Jordan

CONNECT WITH JORDAN: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


My Creative team: High Dive Design Ashley Batz Lifestyle Photography Caroline Rooney Stylist Larkin Small Product Photography Ramnati Web Development Because my corporate experience lies in having a vision and merchandising collections. I can’t actually execute an idea from the creative side to save my life.” -Jillian

CONNECT WITH JILLIAN: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


My TP Canvas Collection.” -Tiffany

CONNECT WITH TIFFANY: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


Adobe Cloud, without a doubt. I’m in Illustrator ALL. THE. TIME. Although I’m excited to play with Adobe Shape more. It converts pictures you take on your phone to vector images you can use in other Adobe products. Adobe Shape is a free app you can download through your app store. The Cloud is a monthly service for access to the latest & greatest Adobe software. ” -Katie

CONNECT WITH KATIE: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


High tech C .25 pen for drawing and writing.” -Susan

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: website | instagram | facebook | pinterest


A wacom tablet.” -Kelly

CONNECT WITH KELLY: website | kelly’s instagram | brand instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest

Thanks again friends for following along on our new Turn The Tables series, and I truly hope you enjoyed it! Catch question 4, next Wednesday! NEXT WEEK'S QUESTION: Favorite business book and why. If you don’t have a business book , give us a book that inspired you!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.