Julia Linsteadt started cutting paper as a young mom, which morphed into doing silhouettes, and the “traditional craft route” with craft booths and an Etsy shop — the whole shebang.
Then she started doing classes, teaching craft techniques that parents could do with their kids.
Now she’s come to terms with the fact that papercutting is hers, and creative development and youth development of creativity is her business.
It was after she met her business partner, Megan Lingo, that the idea for her current business, KidArtLit — art kit meets storytime subscription box — emerged.
But KidArtLit didn’t spring fully-formed, like Athena from the head of Zeus!
Julia and Megan tried out several ideas before landing on the subscription box model. They write on their website:
Our deliveries about about your time, your connection with your kids, and your parenting magic. They are expertly designed, only contain books and art materials that will stand up to use and reuse, and are made to be interpreted instead of had.
Some of the other things we talked about include:
On Doing the Papercuts for Pay
Julia’s papercut jobs were all custom orders. She’s very clear to say that it’s okay to make your living that way, but it is also okay to say no to that kind of work.
“There was one month when I had so many orders to fill that I felt like all I was doing was giving and giving and giving… I remember feeling like there was no joy in this anymore.”
It’s important to “work from the overflow,” as one of her mentors put it. “You are the product, in a lot of ways.”
Julia now says she has to get Creative Sandbox time several times a month in order to be successful. After all, “Creativity isn’t on a timeline. It shows up when it shows up.”
Collaboration feels like the essential second piece for Julia. So many artists fear collaboration, but since working with her business partner, she’s discovered how important it is to have someone to bounce ideas around with.
Creativity & Money
“By not making creativity a main part of my life, I was not happy.”
Julia had been told all her life that artists and creatives can’t make money. But as she started looking around (thank you, internet!), she realized this isn’t true!
She also realized that she gets to like creating, and she gets to like business!
Introversion as a Strength
An introvert at heart, in the last several years, the more that Julia has embraced, “this is who I am,” her introversion has started leading the way.
“I’ve always been very surprised at how many doors start to open when I say ‘this is who I am, and I’m okay with however you feel about it.'”
“We choose our emotions, let’s choose something else. We choose how we are going to respond to something — we have that power!”
And more! Listen to the podcast for the whole shebang.
A long time artist and early childhood educator in the SF Bay Area. She co-own’s KidArtLit, a subscription box company that delivers story time and art kits to young families worldwide.
Julia loves assisting families discover their own creativity, and make it easier to raise creative and curious children. She and her husband have two children and a dog, named Ernie, who is still wishing he had a brother named Bert.
You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth (aff link, or click here for a non-aff link), by Jen Sincero
Why do I love Neuland markers so much? They’re refillable. They have replaceable nibs. The outliners are water-based, so they don’t make me dizzy with awful, stinky fumes.
Yeah, they’re awesome. Worth the crazy expensive shipping from Germany (just wait until you have a big order to place!)
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