1. What’s your name and title/business name? Where are you located, city, state, country location?
Hey! My name is Beth Rufener, and I run Creatifolio Design Studio (which includes my digital shop, Ornaments of Grace). I live with my husband and two children in Orrville, Ohio- which you might know better as the hometown of Smucker’s jam.
2. What’s your educational and professional background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?
After getting my Associates degree in Digital arts from North Central State College, I interned as a graphic and web designer at a car dealership, then worked as a designer at a local sign shop doing signs, illustration, and vehicle graphics. After doing freelance graphic design for a few years, I realized my dream of selling design assets online when I happily opened up a shop on Creative Market, where I still sell fonts, digital textures, and Illustrator brushes. After finding a home in the creativecommunity there, a daily lettering challenge encouraged me to start hand-lettering in 2014. Though I’d always been interested in typography, I hadn’t actually drawn letters extensively, aside from dabbling in font development. Hand-lettering quickly graduated from its first halting steps to become a very satisfying hobby. Now, I work on the Creative Market Support Team, supporting customers and helping Shop Owners on the marketplace- who are creators just like me- succeed! Hand-lettering is a hobby I do for the sheer joy of it, along with the occasional commission and product release for my online shops.
3. Preferred tool(s) and medium?
I enjoy the graceful rusticity of pencil and chalk, but I sincerely enjoy the flexibility of my iPad Pro / Apple Pencil / Procreate App setup. My iPad really helps me streamline the creative process from layout to concept sketch to final, but I usually Dropbox the files over to Photoshop for final tweaking and color work. My greatest challenge in any creative project is, strangely enough, choosing colors. I find it much easier to come up with compositions! Lately, it’s been a personal challenge of mine to strengthen that “color theory muscle” by exploring a wider variety of color schemes.
4. Where or how do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?
I consider my career in Customer Support at Creative Market surprisingly complementary to my artistic endeavors: when I’m not using my Right-brain during a design project, it gets to rest while my Left-brain gets a workout helping customers! When I get off work, I’m usually eager to start creating something, and when my creative battery is low, my career helps me recharge.
I also recharge by simply looking at a lot of letters every day. Of course, Instagram and Pinterest always provide a wealth of inspiration! My happy place is sketching on my iPad, listening to baroque music or a good Jane Austen novel, while peeping at some floral pattern or illuminated manuscript for inspiration.
Most importantly, a huge source of creative inspiration comes from the Bible itself: my Bible app is filled with highlighted verses- and I want to letter them all! The poetry and light of God’s Word never fails to refresh and spark my creative muse.
5. Tell us something about you that might surprise or delight us.
Though I’ve been an artist for as long as I could remember, I planned my high school classes around a career path towards Radiologic Technology, filling up spare elective credits with art classes only just for fun. In theory, becoming an X-Ray tech was a practical plan… until I learned during college orientation that there would be a 5-year waiting list to start clinicals! I decided to switch to a business major in Digital Arts instead- which had been my back-up plan- and I’m so glad I did!