We had the good fortune of connecting with Chelsea Andersson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chelsea, how do you think about risk?
Putting your art out into the world, or starting any business really, takes so much courage. Being courageous and being a risk taker aren’t necessarily synonymous. I want to be courageous and share my work, but I am admittedly a risk-averse person. I always have been! Leaving my desk job to pursue creative passions fulltime just never felt like an option for me. It was too big a risk. Instead, I’ve taken small scale courageous steps that have helped me get closer to my goal. I spend my free time learning what I can and growing slowly so that when I’m finally ready to take the leap I’ll be well prepared.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have always loved miniatures. I spent all of my spare time as a kid making tiny things for my dolls and stuffed animals. But I never would have imagined that I could make a career out of miniatures.
I’m not a risk taker. In High School, when I was considering art school and a creative career path, my guidance counselor flat out laughed at me. In his mind, it wasn’t a stable, safe, or smart choice. I’ll never forget how that made me feel. I was humiliated, and I took it to heart. His reaction made me reconsider my career path entirely. Ultimately, I studied landscape architecture. It felt like a safe, somewhat creative path that I could find stability in.
In my studies, and later in my career – I found myself often needing to create models of our sites and designs. I fell in LOVE with the process, and was reminded of how much I loved miniatures.
I started making miniatures again in my free time and I just couldn’t stop. I wanted to share the joy of making miniatures with others, and soon launched a line of easy, modern dollhouse and furniture kits. “Simplekits” became my mainstay, and it was so fun to share my love of miniatures with other creatives who wanted to get into making dollhouses, but needed a starting point.
From there, I started also making bespoke miniatures. Often as props for stop motion videos, or brand campaigns, these custom items gave me a chance to stretch my creative muscles. I started saying yes to things I didn’t know how to do, with the knowledge that this was a paid chance to figure it out.
For me, continuing my career in Landscape Architecture while launching my creative career has given me freedom. I’ve been able to take on projects that give me a chance to learn and grow without constantly being worried about the bottom line. This slow growth isn’t for everyone. For me, taking intentional projects, and allowing myself to make things just for the sake of making them has been the perfect balance. The more passion projects I put out into the world, the more paid work seems to return. I have a friend who always says, “Tell everyone what you do.” This applies to social media too. Put the work you like doing out for the world to see. The right people will see it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m up in the Bay Area. For me, this place is ALL about it’s proximity to nature. Here in Marin County we’ve got some amazing hikes that are just footsteps from the city. My go-to hikes are in Tennessee Valley, Muir Woods, and Point Reyes. Big trees and ocean breezes make every day a dream come true. We’d definitely fuel up at Equator Coffees and grab lunch at Sol Food. If time allows, we’d even go on a hunt to find all of the miniature highway signs that have *magically* appeared throughout town.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My biggest shoutout goes to Colette Peri (Coletteperi.com). When I first reached out to Coco to hire her for stop motion content of my work – she saw something I couldn’t see; a career path in creativity that she felt was completely attainable to me. She has mentored me and guided me, and most of all, been a constant cheerleader in all my creative endeavors. Our friendship has led to collaborations of miniatures and stop motion which have encouraged me to stretch my skillset and grow as a creative. She’s a champion of sharing what she knows and helping others learn the skills of stop motion and photography.