Meet Gary, the owner of Etsy shop MyButtonMonster, who makes fun buttons and key chains.
When did you first start creating?
I first started creating at a very young age. I always liked design work and my background is in illustration. It's pretty cool because it has trickled down onto our kids and it's very awesome to see what they come up with now as well.
What made you decide on buttons?
One of my good friends had suggested it. He is also a seller on etsy (he did buttons"white-space: pre-wrap;"> for 2 years before going to T-Shirts). He simply asked, you like making graphics and creating right? I responded and he suggested opening a button business.
How did you discover your talent?
I always loved to draw. Drawing for me was a passion and still is to this day. It transitioned to design work on the computer and lead us to making buttons. I do all the design work and my wife does all the cutting for the buttons. It's a good team because she is more precise and I do all the creating; although she does give me a ton of ideas for the button sets).
How did mybuttonmonster come about?
I can honestly say I don't know =) It just kind of came out of nowhere and it stuck. We wanted to make something "personal" ...hence the "my" and something fun that included what we did in the name (make buttons). It's a fun name and states what we do.
How do you get inspired?
Inspiration for me comes from everywhere. I know that may sound a bit cliche BUT I honestly believe it. Anything could be inspiring if you just open your eyes. I always love to peruse the internet and look at different artists but inspiration can be found anywhere.
What are your favorite items?
Some of my favorite items that we have in the store are the bubble tea buttons (my personal drink of choice), all the different nursing buttons because they seem to connect with people and the video game merchandise.
What environment do you like to work in?
Well right now we just do our business out of our house. We have a small desk with our laser printer right in our room so I typically listen to podcasts while I create the button sets. Sometimes, if any of the kiddos come in, I put them to work by separating the button parts or cutting the card stock. They are always eager to help which is nice too.
Why do you think people should continue to make things by hand?
It's just nice to reflect on what you did by making items with your own hands. We really do take pride in our work and really try to make a good product for our customers. There's a certain quality that goes into something that's handmade that you can't find anywhere else. People may not completely think about this but it is nice to see the final product go into the mail once it's made.
Who are some of your biggest influences, artistically or personally?
The people in our church have always been amazing to us. God has provided what is needed and has been our source of hope. We have the support of our family as well so that's a HUGE plus.
Are you an artist full-time or part-time?
Part-Time but the passion is always there. It's part time by default as we would always welcome more business. I would love to one day illustrate children's books as well as do the button business.
What are you currently working on?
Anything we could get our hands on! Hahaha. We currently had our 6th child so we are working on being the best parents we can be. We want to put out more key-chains this year and want to get a lot of new button sets out as well.
What are your plans for the near future?
For this year, we are really hoping to try and grow the button business. It's hard to get your name out there and I am really hoping we can deliver some more buttons this year. It has been a lot of fun and we believe in our product. I would also like to open a mobile game studio in the near future but I need to find a "backer".
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Honestly it took until college to receive the advice. I had one teacher that I didn't particularly like but one day she looked at me and said- "You need to find your style" . She was a very hard teacher but made a lot of sense... She took one look army sketch book and said, "this is what you need to be doing"... She really liked my everyday work and made me try and focus on making art like that.
Who would play you in the movie version of your life?
Ha!!! This is a good question.... The brady bunch I guess right?!
What are you doing when you’re not creating?
Trying to run our crazy lives! We have 6 children, a dog and a very small house. It gets pretty crazy around here!
Thanks again! We are honored to be featured on the website.
Follow Gary on Social Media and visit his Etsy shop here: