Sandi Falconer

The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?

Sandi Falconer: Sandi Falconer, 35, freelance illustrator, owner of my stationery & goods company Tough Luck

TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?

SF: I recently moved from a big city to a small town, so all my usual routines have been shaken up. It's a good feeling! I used to play softball before the move. I like to swim. I watch a lot of TV. Even though it's my job, I like drawing for fun as well. Every now and then I read. I love exploring & getting to know my new town. Getting outside to clear my mind is always helpful. It's hard to be inspired when you feel too anxious, and taking a step back always helps reset my brain. I tend to come up with ideas when I'm walking around or away from my desk.

TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?

SF: Personal work always takes a backseat to work that pays the bills, and that's OK with me. I screen print all my cards, so printing takes up a really big chunk of my time. Because I get to make anything I want for Tough Luck, it feels like I'm constantly creating personal work/things that reflect my personality. I also feel like every illustration job I get helps me become a better illustrator, which leads to doing better personal work. One thing feeds the other. 

TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?

SF: Lately I feel most creative at night, but I'm most productive in the afternoon/evening. I could work all the time if I wanted to, and sometimes it's hard to stop, so taking things slow in the morning is becoming a really great ritual.

TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?

SF: To keep challenging my printing skills, to make things I'm proud of, to become a better more focused illustrator. I'd love to draw/write a book and design a line of patterned clothing as well, but those are big dreams. 

TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?

SF: I'm trying to work on some drawings about my family and growing up. I really respect when people are vulnerable, but I'm a fairly private person so it will be a challenge. Right now it's a lot of notes, gathering some reference pics, trying to figure out where to go with it and how to begin.

TCU: What scares you?

SF: Horror movies, retirement plans.

TCU: What does success mean to you?

SF: I'd love to be a bit more financially stable, but at the end of the day this job presents me with so many satisfying challenges, and I get to put myself into my work in a way that would be really hard to replicate elsewhere! Having a career that allows me to be flexible with my location is a major bonus. While I have ambition, I don't have aspirations to take over the world - success to me means being able to get by doing something I'm passionate about.


If you want to learn more about Sandi and Tough Luck head on over to, and follow along on Instagram @sandifalconer, @toughluckco.

Meghan HoleComment