Chris Durnan is considered one of the top cutting file designers working in the industry today. She is almost as well known for her marketing savvy as her signature clean elegant design style. Chris is Quilling Patch’s featured designer in current “Designer Profile” Series and has generously offered one of her files to for readers download and enjoy. I know Chris and I would be thrilled if you could post project you completed using her file!
Name: Chris Durnan
Location :Tucson, Arizona
Where can people buy your cutting files and designs : at my Store
1) How did you get started cutting and then designing files?
After a history in graphic design and my hubby begged me to buy a Craft Robo (only so I would stop talking about it.. he was totally wrong now I talk about files all the time.), I started offering one free file a day on my blog, but I needed to support my family to. So I had the ability to take an addiction to cutter files and make it into something that supports my family and my crafting habit. Both Designing smooth files and Cutting has become a passion. I am neurotic about nodes. The best compliments I have ever gotten were that my files “cut like butter”.
2) What kind of craft projects do you like to work on?
Wow, to pin it down would be so hard. This past weekend I worked with rhinestones, vinyl, carveable pumpkin, cut some of my files for some cards and downloaded a digi-scrap kit to put together some pages for my son as I try to catch up and now have a hybrid scrapbook. So if it looks interesting and fun I will do it. And if I can include my little ones help I will do that one first. And I am always working on my QMC. The Quarterly Membership Club is so much fun. I work off topic lists put forth by members and throw in a few of my own spices. It is a project for sure, but one I love. Every quarter with new files makes it the best one yet for me. I have members that come back every quarter. It is the best creative “project” I have and outlet.
3) What was your first machine?
4) What machines do you have now?
This is embarrassing… A Craft ROBO
, 15 inch Klik-n-kut, and a Cricut Expression… I can be found perusing a good deal on other machines as well. I like to tinker and see how they work.. So if you hear of any .. let me know .
5) If you could only have ONE cutter- what would it be?
I sell cutter files and not cutters so I am not addicted to any particular machine I like each of them for their own purposes. My craft robo was a good start, but I grew out of it quickly, my Klik-n-kut is so nice to have room to just stick a 12×12 piece of paper in there and I find myself cutting handmade papers on it and different items that I would worry about with the other machines. My Cricut is so easy to pull out and go. My son loves to use it which makes me happy to see as well.
6) If someone new to cutting was looking at buying their first digital cutter what entry level digital cutter what would you recommend and why?
For me they all have their perks. Just depends on what perks you need. Not many may agree with me, but I think big priority when looking at machines is software. I recommend often for folks to find the tutorials & videos for the software and see how it works. If you can’t function the software then you are gonna be frustrated and not like your machine. Just like every person thinks of things differently, the softwares vary greatly and from one user to the next may not intuitively work the same. Then from their choose your machine that goes with that software. Many of the softwares crossover to multiple machines. And big priority is help. If you buy a program or machine that has nothing out there to help you it can also be another big frustration. All I can say is buy one and put it on a counter that you have access to. If it is out you will use. And if you use it. You will love it and come up with more and more reasons to use it. If you store it in a cupboard you won’t familiarize yourself with it as much.
7) What software do you use to design and cut?
I create in Adobe Illustrator and then move out from there to all the cutter programs. I find I can get the smoothes cuts this way. And I usually cut from the KNK software or Sure Cuts A Lot. It depends on if I am in the dining room where the Cricut is conveniently hidden or in the craft room where the Klik-n-kut has its home.
8) What project are you working on right now?
I am working on Holiday gifts. I am hoping for a Handmade holiday. So I have a bunch of little projects going. I have etched a vase for my Mother in Law that says “collecting seashells with grandma”, a baby book for a close friends grandson, a decorated fall pumpkin, and an acrylic album for my niece. So lots going on . Thank goodness I have a craft room where I can leave it messy and never have to put a project away before it’s finished.
9) Do you have a favourite file or design? Why?
I have over 500 files. This is a totally unfair question.. hmmm.. . I really realize how much I love a file when a Creative Team member or a user sends me a picture of it in use. Then I just fall in love with a file. You never know if anyone will like a file as much as you do, but to see that someone took something I put together and used it on their projects for their family members and as a part of their history. That is phenomenal. I really enjoy working on Jumbles and figuring out how to cut it in one piece with lots of detail, but I really like elements and flourishes and pretty frames the most. I will add them often into a file just for extra oomph. Like this Cowgirl file,
the extra flourish in the background could be used for anything, but I really like it. I definitely am not into just silhouette images. I have to have titles and pieces and extras. And multiple uses. I have this file.. Joy Love Peace and Happiness. And I thought well it could work for a wedding or an ornament. Then I posted a weekly challenge in the forum and asked for something hanging and Lisa outdid herself and made it into an ornament. SO SO Awesome. That is what makes a file my favorite. Seeing someone else’s take on it.
10) What are your three favourite scrapbooking/papercrafting tools? (Aside from your cutter )
My three favorite tools… Something I use regularly was posted in the forum by my Creative Team Member Angie. It is a project sheet. One where I can jot an idea down or the verbage for a scrapbook layout or card. I keep a binder with clear slip covers in it and when I get pieces I just slip them in behind the project sheet. When I have all the items together I can do a few pages at once. I love it. I have extras printed waiting to be filled in. Next would be my Glue Glider I love it for quick sticking. I hate glue. Drives me crazy to have it on my fingers. I always takes recommendations and try them because I am looking for a better glue always. And then beside my cutter is.. The Paper Gator
.. it is another form of cutter I guess. I use it on everything. I love rounded corners. I use it when I cut down mats and don’t want pokey edges. It sits on my bench and gets used often.
Free Sled Cutting File
Download of the free sled file in AI, SCUT , GSD, SVG, WPC and KNK from Chris Durnan was a limited offer and no longer available.
Thank you to Lisa for spotlighting me in her designer series. I really love to create cutter files and have a lot of fun doing it. I have gained some great friendships along the way. If you are looking for ideas or things to get your “cutting instead of collecting”, visit the forum. We have a monthly Sketch Challenge with die cut files approved by Becky Fleck of pagemaps, and a weekly challenge hosted by different designers from the “more” team in our store. So lots to do!