If you’ve been to our San Francisco Fair before but haven’t met Kristina Micotti, make sure you put that at the top of your list. Not only is she always a delight to talk to, but she can paint you a custom pet portrait over the weekend! Some of us here at RCF have taken advantage of that awesome service. We hope you’re able to see Kristina’s work in person November 21+22!
Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?
Kristina Micotti is my maiden name. My sister and I were the last ones with the Micotti surname in our family so I thought it would be nice to keep it going in some way. Its also been beneficial to keep my professional and personal life separated.
Have you always been passionate about design?
Yes, I have. I have been drawing since I was little and been encouraged to be creative by my parents and teachers. I have always appreciated good design, whether it was a beetle on the sidewalk or the Golden Gate Bridge. We are surrounded by such beautiful design and I love taking the time to appreciate it.
When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
Illustration kinda fell into my lap. I went to school for Graphic Design and I used my illustrations to set my portfolio apart from the other design students. I ended up winning Best Illustration for the AIGA portfolio review and got my first illustration job that day. I have been illustrating ever since.
What do you think sets your designs apart from others?
My sense of humor comes through in my illustrations in that they don’t take themselves too seriously. I draw and paint whatever makes me laugh, whether it is a dog in glasses or a sloth in a hat. Also, a majority of my designs are one of kind such as my india ink paintings and my hand painted totes which makes them stand out against reproductions.
Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?
Yes, I most certainly have learned a lot over the past 4 years. Its important to not beat yourself up over failures but instead view them as an opportunity to learn and grow. It can be extremely hard at times but ultimately I know its going to be okay. I’ve also learned to say no. Its important to know your worth and to value your time and not over commit.
Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?
I sacrificed the perks of 9 to 5 job – specifically the days when someone bring donuts for the entire office. Its just me (and my dog Buster) and at times it can be isolating but I have no regrets. I do it because I love it and it is such a fulfilling and beautiful experience.
>What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
My favorite moment since creating my business is participating in RCF! I get to actually meet my customers and see their unfiltered reactions to my work. RCF is such a great way to make that personal connection with customers that you wouldn’t have otherwise if they bought something from you online or in a store.
What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?
I started my business with my illustration skills and I’ve learned the rest along the way!
What are some inspirations for your work?
I am inspired by other illustrators/artists such as Charley Harper and Vera Nuemann. I love both of their styles and how observant their work is. I am also inspired by the cartoons Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson and The Far Side by Gary Larson. Watterson’s work is absolutely beautiful and always blows me away and I love Larson’s sense of humor.
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
The advice that I would give to other makers is to be honest with yourself and to keep on making.