1) Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed as an artist in the Melange Team on Etsy group. To start off, why don't you give us a little background information about yourself. When was it you discovered you wanted to be an artist?
I was one of those people who always wanted to be an artist, but tamped down the thought because I thought I needed to be “practical.” I thought I could take care of the artistic bent I had by becoming an interior designer and started college with that in mind. Unfortunately, my mother died during my second year and what with working full time, trying to take care of the family, and coping with my own loss, I had to quit school. Life just got in the way and I never went back. Then, in 1989, I made a pair of earrings at a bead store and a few months later someone asked me to make them a pair. I went back to the store, bought $40 in supplies and voila! A jewelry business was born. I sold jewelry at small craft fairs, in local boutiques, and - literally - out of my purse for the next 15 years. I used to have little impromptu jewelry trunk shows in bars while I was out with my friends! In 2000, while talking with my future husband and another friend we all decided that we wanted to take a painting class. We did, and I’ve never looked back. Painting is my first, and biggest, love. I take painting classes whenever I can.
2) What would you say has been one of your biggest influences on yourself as an artist. How has that changed you, and what you do?
I studied Interior Design - in school and out - from the time I was about 15 years old. I have a huge collection of interior design magazines, books about architecture and design, and I’ve freelanced as an interior design consultant infrequently over the years. I think the knowledge and visual input that I’ve absorbed over the years has left me with an innate sense for the principles of design and a love for simple shapes.
This can lead to a fairly simple, clean-lined pieces.
More recently, I’ve been hugely influenced by the people I’ve met online. I love the bold colors and inventive compositions of Suzan Buckner, the beautiful texture and depth that Pam Carriker creates, the whimsy of Kelley Rae Roberts, and the stunning imagery and symbolism achieved by both Judy Wilkenfeld and Michael DeMeng.
These people? Not so much into the simple and clean-lined. I’m learning to embrace texture, pattern, and symbolism. Scary stuff for a literal-minded control freak!
I’m constantly learning and experimenting. I thought I was still trying to find “my” style, but I think now that what I’m really doing is learning my “process.” What is it that motivates me not only to begin a piece, but to finish it? I have found that if I’m not being true to what I like and what my message is, then I am unable to finish the work. If I start thinking too much about what will “sell,” then I am unable to finish the work…”Be true to yourself.” is the best advice ever given.
3) What made you decide to start selling your work on Etsy? Can you give us any tips as far as what works well for you as far as selling online and getting your artwork "out there".
I decided to start selling on Etsy when I realized that all my sales on eBay were to other artists - so why not go to the marketplace where other artists hand out? As others have found, I think I am most successful on Etsy when I put myself out there on the forums and other social networking groups (ning.com, face book, flickr, etc.).
Right now I’m trying to work on my photography skills. I can nearly sell out my booth in a couple days at an art festival. I’m trying to capture whatever it is that people see in person that doesn’t translate into my photos.
4) Where do you see yourself in 5 years? How do you plan on getting there?
In 5 years I would like to be working in both very large and small sizes. When I paint in oil, I love a super big canvas. I would like to do mixed media work on a large scale as well. I would like to be published more. I would like to find “my” niche. That thing that no one else does, so that I can begin teaching. I love interacting with people and I would love to do it in the art world. I would also like to enter and be active in my local art scene.
5) Enquiring minds want to know, what art supplies are on your studio table right now?
Are there any you can not live without?
Many tubes and bottles of acrylic paint, a big bottle of black gesso, and 3 containers of brushes. I can’t live without a medium sized filbert paintbrush.
6) If you could do anything artistically and you knew you would not fail, what would that be?
I would paint gigantic canvases; like, 6’ x 4’ - or larger!
Links to mixed media work on Etsy:
My Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/loudlife/
A work in progress: http://www.flickr.com/photos/loudlife/3664038983/
Interview by Jodi Ohl
posted by Glenda
Posted by Glenda-TwoCoolTexans at 9:55 PM