betsy skagen canvas corp brands creative crew interview

Crew Interview – Betsy Skagen

It’s time for another post in our 2017 Canvas Corp Crew Interviews. We are extremely privileged to be able to work with a group of over a 100 of amazing designers from around the world. They have all come together to create, share ideas, support each other, let us know what we can do better and remind us of what we are doing well.  Our Crew members contribute projects to our blog, design with our products on their blogs, create models for our trade shows, packaging and other fun little projects.  We love to hear what they have to say, to be inspired by their work and to learn new things everyday.
Today, we get to know Betsy Skagen.

betsy skagen canvas corp brands creative crew interview

Where do you reside?
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A., here we have the most beautiful summers and the winters that almost never end.

Describe your design style…
It is hard to describe other than saying, “eclectic”. I loved vintage and grungy looking design long before it was popular; I remember going to Archivers and all the women around me were creating ultra frilly layouts filled with teddy bears and lace. I am sure they looked at my layouts like something was wrong with me. I did professional graphic design for years and had a definitive style. But as a crafter, my voice has not solidified. Sometimes I wonder if it ever will. I love so many different styles that I keep trying new things.

Who or what do you give credit to inspiring your creativity?
There have definitely been a lot of creative people in my family. My father was an architect, who before opening his own firm, worked for the world famous architect Eero Saarinen. My mother is a homemaker. She was a wonderful cook and creative hostess and was the first person with whom I made crafts. My siblings are all highly successful and show creativity in their own ways. But I really think the inspiration comes from my own inner need to create. I am just a happier person when I am being creative.

What inspires you today?
Again, my inner drive to create. Also, seeing the talent of my peers pushes me to always want to learn more and do better. I know myself well enough to realize that I am somewhat insecure and thus am always noticing what others do better than me. I use that to push myself to always learn more and continue improving. I am also influenced by the graphics in mid-century children’s school books. I have a growing collection of these books.

What is your favorite Canvas Corp Brand Product? and why? Just one please!!!
This is the hardest question on here! I would have to say it is the Architextures 8×8 paper pad (or really any of the 7gypsies 8×8 paper pads). I return to it again and again for my projects.

We asked Betsy to choose her favorite project she has created using CCB Products.

Why is it your favorite project?
So much of the crafting one sees out there on the internet looks alike – especially with whatever trend is hot at the moment, e.g. fairy wings on vintage photos to the umbrella man. I think this piece is utterly original.

Do you teach and if so tell us a bit about what you teach, where you go and some of your favorite places?
Yes, although not at the moment. I plan to begin again this fall.

I am the happiest doing…
Hanging out with my husband, two kids and two dogs on a sunny days with a lake or ocean in front of me and endless craft supplies on hand.

My favorite place to be creative…
Usually, it is in my studio on the third floor of my home. But in the summertime, sometimes I fill my minivan with “a whole lotta” art supplies and bring them up to our lakeside cottage.

Tell us one cool detail about your studio or craft space…
The storage cabinets numbered 1-4 originally came from my father’s architecture firm. He passed away in 2015, so they mean a lot to me. They also hold stacks of 12 x 12 paper bins perfectly. Inspired by another artist Wendy Addison, I filled the cigar boxes on the bins with different treasures to discover and delight in.
I made the FUN sign myself and I just found the Yogi bear game that is hanging on the wall at an estate sale a week ago. I turned antique wooden cheese boxes and crates into shelves and filled them with vintage goodies ranging from a parking meter to a ceramic elephant to an adding machine to a toy typewriter to a paper calliope that I made in honor of my company’s name.

Tell us one thing fun about you we might not know…
My dream is to some day be picked up by a major paper manufacturer (hello Canvas Corp!). In the meantime, I just opened my own online shop of highly original digital images (sometimes accompanied by a little bit naughty humor).

Share with us anything about your creative life that you feel would inspire others…
Life can be hard. Really, really, life-sucking, soul-crushing hard. Unfair as it is, some people have it a hell of a lot harder than others. Allowing time in your life for creativity and hopefully a little humor can go a long, long way in healing or even making a bad time bearable. Unlike what pop mythology might have you believe, you don’t have to suffer to be an artist. However, if you do happen to be suffering, that in itself most likely cannot stop your artistry and may even enhance it. Because those who have suffered greatly, so seem to have some extra windows into the soul of the world.

You can see Betsy’s projects on her blog, InstagramFacebook page and of course here, our blog.

Thank you for stopping by! Have a great day!


Canvas Corp Brands is the home of Tattered Angels, 7Gypsies and Canvas Corp (Canvas Home Basics). We are a manufacturer of surfaces, paint and vintage reproductions coming to you from Springdale, Arkansas.

'Crew Interview – Betsy Skagen' have 2 comments

  1. November 13, 2017 @ 6:40 am Jean marmo

    I just love these crew interviews!! Betsy has wonderful projects!


  2. November 13, 2017 @ 1:16 pm Michelle Wells

    I am an “eclectic” crafter too Betsy! Great bio & shares 🙂


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This blog is a compilation of inspiration from the Canvas Corp Brands family including Canvas Corp, Tattered Angels and 7Gypsies.