Shelby McFadden is the founder of no less than two Art Magazines Candy Floss and Pickchur, the designer for Create Magazine and on top of that manages to carry on with her own artistic path.
Her “passion is to inspire others and help emerging artists, creatives, and makers by promoting their art.” She has build a great community of artists, supporting thousands of them through her different platforms. Her artwork is inspired by quiet, peaceful places or moments that she recreates in a delicate pastel palette.
She kindly shares about her work, inspiration and tips to artists to be published in her magazines and how to do it all!
You combine several roles between artist, graphic designer and entrepreneur. What are your tips to do it all?
I highly suggest having a schedule. As a full-time mom during the day, I have to break up my workload throughout the week and tackle everything after my son goes to bed. Before my son was born, I started work at 8:30 a.m. and ended around 5:30 p.m. — sometimes later. Even Then, I always had a schedule. If I didn’t have my weeks planned out, I don’t know what I would do, because there’s no-doubt things would slip through the cracks. Staying organized with a schedule is the only way to manage so many things!
Also, being upfront with clients and deadlines. Don’t push yourself too thin by promising fast turnaround times. If you can make them work, that’s awesome… but you don’t want to overwork yourself either or you will burn yourself out. Remember to take time for yourself and stop working on the weekends if you can!
You are collaborating with Ekaterina Popova, founder of Create Magazine and have now founded 2 publications on your own: Candy Floss and Pickchur Magazine. Can you describe the different personalities of these magazines?
I always felt like there were “two sides” to myself — my girly side and my weird side. Maybe it’s because I am a Libra, but I embrace both of these sides to give me that “balance” I need.
PIKCHUR Magazine I launched with Ekaterina as my mentor. The content of the magazine was inspired by my “weird side,” or what I like to call it. It’s the side that surprises people. I wear makeup, dye my hair blonde, wear pink, and I also listen to Deftones, read tarot cards, horror movies and ghost shows, and I love Halloween — that sort of “shock factor.” PIKCHUR Magazine was a way for me to embrace the eclectic side of myself and create an art community that shared similar interests.
CandyFloss Magazine has a softer side than PIKCHUR Magazine. I wanted to create a publication that embraces all creative mediums; art, design, photography, culinary art, etc. I love the idea of creating a community by bringing together creative and artistic people from around the world who use their talent, imagination, and creativity to make something — and that “art” lifestyle we are all inspired by.
Why did you create these 2 publications?
I think as a designer, I love helping someone’s business succeed through beautiful branding, graphics, etc. Having a beautiful online/offline brand presence is so important when starting your own business.
So, I kind of carry that same goal with our publications. I wanted to use my design background to create a beautifully-designed platform for artists and creators to help promote their work. Because PIKCHUR and CandyFloss Magazine have two completely different markets, it didn’t make sense to merge them together and I created two publications for that reason. It is awesome and our little team is growing!
How do you select the artists featured in the magazines? Any tips for artists who would like to submit?
I have a small team that works with me on PIKCHUR Magazine and CandyFloss Magazine and we are slowly working on expanding our team as we grow. Once our call for art is closed, we vote on the submissions.
Both publications have a particular “aesthetic,” so something that might have been accepted into PIKCHUR Magazine might not work for CandyFloss or vice versa.
My advice is to submit work that looks cohesive stylistically or one series only. This allows us to get a good understanding of who you are and what your artwork represents. Also, have a strong written submission. We want to know who an artist is we are promoting, so by submitting a good bio. and artist statement, that’s a great start!
About your artwork, when did you start to paint and what medium do you practice?
I love to paint and draw, but my time is so limited these days, that I’ve been getting any art time on my tablet. My most recent work is all digital painting, with special brushes and textures in Procreate. It sounds easy, but it has taken a really long time to develop these new techniques, I am quite proud! Once life slows down a little (hopefully) I will break out the paints and pastels!
Can you share about your inspiration?
Maybe it’s because my life is so crazy hectic sometimes, my inspiration comes from quiet, peaceful places or moments. I also love details, so I like to create pieces that “zoom in” on a moment that we might overlook in our days or travel.
What are your current projects?
I am currently working on building my Etsy shop and my new online blog. So far it has been an enjoyable process!
What is your dream project?
My dream project would be to create artwork that could be featured on some Anthropologie packaging or maybe even packaging for a makeup/cosmetic line. Honestly, any sort of packaging would be exciting.