Saturday, March 28, 2009

Meet Kristen from Kristen's Custom Creations!

Happy Saturday Everyone!

Today, we have a unique opportunity to get to know Kristen from
Kristen's Custom Creations! Kristen creates beautiful silver jewelry ... and if you have a something special that you'd like to express, Kristen can help you and create a custom piece for you that's just for you... and you alone! Here is an example of what you'll find at Kristen's Etsy shop:

This is probably my favorite piece in Kristen's shop, because it makes me smile! My youngest daughter and I often "argue" about who loves who more! Such a sweet little piece... I just might have to get this for her upcoming birthday! I recently interviewed Kristen... please read on to learn a little bit more about this artist!

How long have you been creating your art?

I have been ma
king jewelry for 12 years but metalwork for just over 2 years.

Where do you sell your art?


http://klacustomcreations.etsy.com - Kristen's Custom Creations

How do you market/advertise your store?


Most of my business is from referrals but I do market my business on my two blogs http://kristenandrewsonline.blogspot.com and http://ladulcevitaandfriends.blogspot.com I really do not spend much on advertising and don't feel you need to.

At what point did you decide to sell your art?

I started giving my handstamped jewelry as gifts and then by word of mouth had people contact me to purchase items and when I kept being asked if I had a website I decided it was time to open up a shop on Etsy.

What advice would you give someone who is just starting out?


Don't expect the business to just come to you, you have to market your business and even if you only blog that is enough to get you started. Don't under price your items, I see many artists really under price their items. Regardless of what your competition is doing price your items so that you feel you are making a fair amount. Always under promise but over deliver to your customers and they will come back.


What inspires you?


I am inspired by so much around me but my biggest inspiration is my son, many of my pieces are sayings that we say to each other or from books we love. I like to create pieces that hold special meaning.



Every artist experiences "creative block" -- a creative dry spell -- how do you deal with creative block?

Here's how I handle this, I keep a sketch book of designs, so when it pops in my head I draw it and save it for a time when I'm ready to create. So when I get in a dry spell I just pull out my sketch book and I'm refreshed, some days I have 3 - 4 ideas for new pieces and I am just too busy to create new items.


How did you choose the medium you work with?


I really prefer to work with sterling silver since I love sterling but I am starting to work with some other metals. At heart, I am a Silver Girl!


How do you wish to be remembered?


The best part about creating custom pieces is the keepsake pieces that hold special meaning and when a customer tells me that the piece I created touched someone, that is how I want to be remembered, as an artist that made an impact through a piece of jewelry.

Who are your favorite artists (living and deceased)?


I love Monet and many of the artists in the impressionist period.


What blogs do you visit on a regular basis?


I actually have a few favorites and they aren't fellow artists,
http://www.jiggetyjigg.com/ and http://a-nut-in-a-nutshell.blogspot.com/ they both make me laugh and are so real.

For anyone who might be reading, what shops would you recommend that they visit right now?


http://www.bebesniklefritz.com/ has fab headbands, I personally own 6 custom headbands and I love http://mudhutt.etsy.com for really adorable little pottery pieces that are stamped, love them! I also love your tea, it is my daily afternoon treat when I am working on orders.

Thank you Kristen, for this opportunity to get to know you a little better!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Last Tip-In

Jeri chose Vintage Ladies with Umbrellas as her theme for the tip-in swap. This is the tip in I created for her...


The scan doesn't really show it very well, but there are quite a few layers to this piece. And of course, the scan doesn't show the sparkle of the rhinestones in the center of the silk flowers either... I am really happy with the way this tip-in turned out, although for some reason, I was a bit intimidated by the theme (which I don't really understand why, as much of my artwork tends to be more vintage-y, so this should have been right up my alley!)

Anyway, I hope that Jeri likes the tip-in. I had so much fun with this swap, although it's a bit uncomfortable to step outside of your comfort zone -- and tip-ins were a step outside that comfort zone since I've never made one before! -- it's also a lot of fun to challenge oneself to create something with which they're unfamiliar.

Thanks for reading!
~Anne

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Meet Brandy from Broken Hallelujah!

Greetings! Today we are going to explore the art of Brandy from Broken Hallelujah, who creates unique crocheted accessories such as this beautiful "Time for Tea" hat ...
I wish I could crochet like that! Brandy's work is fabulous, and inspiring, and I'm so thrilled that she gave me this opportunity to get to know her better... so, everyone, please take a moment and meet my new friend, Brandy!

How long have you been creating your art?

I have been crocheting and selling my products online for almost 4 years. It'll be 4 years in July.

Where do you sell your art?

Artfire and Etsy

How do you market/advertise your stores?

I have a blog that I try to keep relatively up to date with new items. I also spend time on the Artfire forums, on Plurk (brokenhallelujah), twitter (bhallelujah), flickr, and kaboodle.


Photo from Brandy's Artfire Studio


At what point did you decide to sell your art?

When I couldn't afford to go out and buy yarn because I was spending too much and my crafts were starting to pile up after I'd already made something for everyone I knew.


What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?

It's hard; it takes a lot of time; and you probably won't see an immediate return on your efforts. The hardest part is having the patience to wait for customers to find you. Take great pictures, get your name out there, network, and keep to it and you'll finally get there.

What inspires you?

Creativity. When I see great new designs that I admire, it pushes me to another level.

Every artist experiences "creative block" - a creative dry spell - how do you deal with creative block?

Take a break. If you try to push it you'll just get even more frustrated with yourself. Just chill out and let it come to you.

How did you choose the medium you work with?


I crocheted when I was young, and so it when I was looking for a hobby to fill some time I had, I felt it would be easier for me to pick up since I had previous knowledge of it.

Photo from Brandy's Artfire Studio

How do you wish to be remembered?

Creative, fun, whimsical.

Who are your favorite artists (living and deceased)?

I'm really not a big art buff. I don't think I could name a favorite artist really. I enjoy old Renaissance paintings, but I'm much more in to movies and tv.

What blogs do you visit on a regular basis?

This is when having your RSS feed emailed to you bits you in the bum because I don't know any of the blogs URLs! I love Tracy at Pink Purl and a Year from Oak Cottage provides great recipes every day. Those are two I love that I remember off the top of my head.

For anyone who might be reading, what shops would you recommend that they visit right now?

http://pegasussoaps.etsy.com, http://3zArt.artfire.com, http://soapylove.etsy.com, http://auntifranni.artfire.com

Any final thoughts?

Thanks so much for this opportunity!

And... thank you Brandy!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fairy House Tip In!

Hello Everyone!

Well, I sent these off the other day, but, I didn't get around to formatting the photos until this afternoon... so I thought I'd share with you one the final two tip-ins that I made for the swap... this one is Carole's "House" tip in...


Carole wanted "Houses" to be her theme for her tip ins... at first, I thought I'd make a 'tea house' but my oldest daughter told me "everything you do is tea... do something different" and she is right, it is my most common theme! What can I say... I love tea!

So I decided instead I'd create a fairy house layout for Carole. The door opens to reveal a little baby fairy. This piece is very dimensional, as all of the leaves and many of the flowers are silk...

I hope Carole likes it!

~Anne

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Meet Elizabeth at ElizaArt!

Hello Everyone!

I guess it's no real secret that I love art. It's one of my greatest passions in life. And that passion extends from my own canvas to the work of others... I find great inspiration from other artists, their process, their journey. My soul comes to life when I see the artwork of another. There is a restless stirring within me that needs to capture that exhilaration that I feel when I am experiencing another person's art... as well as my own.

To that end, I have decided that I'd use this blog to not only chronicle my own artistic journey, but also to learn about other artists by interviewing them, and publishing that interview, along with some of my favorites of their work, right here... I hope you enjoy this new feature as well!

My first interview is with Elizabeth from ElizaArt. Elizabeth is a painter, and creates stunning works of art such as this.......

Photo from ElizaArt.com

Amazing, huh? Well, that's just a sample of what you'll find in the gallery of her website. Please, read on, and learn a little more about Elizabeth!

How long have you been creating your art?

I have been creating art ever since I was little and could draw with a crayon. I actually remember using nailpolish and painting in a coloring book when I was around 4 years old. It wasn't until I became a florist at 16 years old, and that is when I became more passionate about creating art. I was raised with a creative family where my brothers sang opera and my Mom was always into crafts, so it fascinated me to want to venture into art. Working as a florist for over 8 years taught me the importance of line, color, texture and the passion to create even more. I had always painted and drawn on the side, but it wasn’t until I grew in my paintings throughout the years, that I knew I could do something really great with my gift. I started letting people know that I could do commissioned paintings and that is when my art began to sell. I created my website last summer in the hopes that viewers could see what I could do and then commission me to paint something unique for them.


Photo from ElizaArt.com


Where do you sell your art?

I sell my art through a few online websites: Or should I say promote my art. I am new at promoting. I guess you could say I am not the pushing type to make people buy my art, so it has been hard to try and promote myself, but it is a good experience. I definitely would love for more people to see what I can do and purchase my art and prints!

www.ElizaArt.com Is my official website where a lot of my art can be viewed and you can learn more about me. www.ElizaArt.Etsy.com is where I just created my “ElizaArtshop” almost a month ago. I don’t have any sales, bu t I am hopeful!! Right now I am selling my art, prints of my art and my mini art pendants. www.handmade.me is a place where I can also market some of my work.
I also sell my art through word of mouth and at my hometown Veterinarian Clinic where I offer to create custom Pet Portraits.

How do you market/advertise your store?

Well, lately I have been trying to visit forums throughout Etsy and Handmade.me, because that is how you gain more exposure, and I have been adding new items to my store every week.
I also created a “mini art video” on “Youtube” where some of my art is shown. www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsT6CcRfe70

I just started a blogging website where I have some of my art listed on www.ElizaArt.Blogspot.com
I am fairly new to the blogging world, so if you visit my blog, be one of the first to follow me! I would love to make new friends and learn more about all the artisans out there!


At what point did you decide to sell your art?


I actually decided to start selling my work, when I couldn’t possibly cover any more of my walls at home with my art….lol. It was last year that I really took my art to a new level and felt driven to create even more and to give people art that they can have in their homes or as gifts. I have worked for Fleer Corporation and designed game playing cards, but I knew that my style was more about landscapes, pet portraits and home d├ęcor art. I think finding out what my speciality was, made it easier for me to focus on the types of paintings I was best at. From then on, my paintings had a certain theme and that is when I began staying true to that theme and selling my art.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?


I would tell them never to give up on something they love to do. I was always and still am a dreamer with big dreams. Everyday I keep motivated and pushing myself to do more. I would tell someone starting out to continually strive to do better. I still have a lot more to learn and can’t wait to see how I’ve progressed when I look back in 60 years!

What inspires you?


Really good music inspires me! I love to paint to all sorts of great music. I also have to wake up and have that creative feeling for the day. Some days I have it and some days I don’t, but when I do, that is when I turn up the music and paint away!


Photo from ElizaArt.com


Every artist experiences “creative block” – a creative dry spell – how do you deal with creative block?

I tend to step away from what I am creating for a couple of days until I feel motivated to come back to it again. It doesn’t do any good to work on something if you are not “feeling it.” The creativity will flow, but there has to be breaks in between where you spend time doing something else and rejuvenating your soul. I often take a look at my work and after hours of working on it, I don’t see it with fresh eyes anymore, so I have to walk away from it and come back to it with a new mind.

How did you choose the medium you work with?

I actually work with oils, acrylics, watercolors, oil pastels and just about any type of medium you can think of. I like to say the medium chooses me, but sometimes I go back and forth with the mediums I use. I will use oil for a couple days on a painting and then use acrylics on a new painting. I think I am one of those artist that likes to mix it up a bit….no pun intended ;)
 
How do you wish to be remembered?

I wish to be remembered as someone that was super creative, talented, warm, passionate about my work, loving, persistent and was a hard worker!

Who are your favorite artists (living and deceased)?

Monet, is one of my all-time favorites, for the way he captured light so well in his paintings. One of my other favorites is an artist named Marty Stanley who captured the California Delta sunsets and landscapes so beautifully through his paintings. I love his work not only for the way he mastered water colors, but also because he was a local artist.

What blogs to do you visit on a regular basis?

Blogging is new to me, but the blogs I have been following are:
Soap Deli News
pursesbagsandsewmuchmore

For anyone who might be reading, what shops would you recommend that they visit right now?

I love browsing the shops that offer delicious looking soaps, like the shop
www.Adorationsoap.Etsy.com. The other shop I enjoy looking at is www.Hodakapottery.Etsy.com. Everyday I discover a great place!

Oh and make sure you add them to your favorite list! It’s nice to see who likes your shop if you are an Etsy member.
Any final thoughts?

Persistence, following your passion and getting yourself out there, whether you are a person like me who is not so keen to being noticed….sometimes you have to make yourself be! Oh, and don't forget to have fun during your creative journey!

You can learn more about Elizabeth at her website: http://www.ElizaArt.com

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Another Tip-In...

Hello Again everyone!

Well, I finished everyone's tip-ins for this swap last weekend, and I got them all scanned, I just haven't finished editing the scans (this is my least favorite thing to do). I hopefully will finish editing the scans and post all the pics to my flickr within the next day or two, and then I'll post them to my blog as I have time to sit down and write a bit about them.

This is Patti's Tip-In page...


Patti's chosen theme is Victorian Women. There is a lot of layering on this page, layers of papers, gesso, gel medium, images, and more gesso... I finished the page with a couple of vintage buttons, and some crocheted lace, which makes the span of the page a bit larger than the 10" it's supposed to be.

I hope Patti likes it!

~Anne

Friday, March 6, 2009

More Postcards!

Hello Again...

Here are more of my altered postcards from the Spring Postcard Swap...


sorry about that harsh black line next to the above postcard...

I really like how the colorful background contrasts with the bright white butterfly. This one started out as my least favorite, but developed into my favorite of the series of seven. I just kept layering ... and layering ... until I finally was satisfied.

That's all of the postcards... a series of seven. (for the first 3, please scroll down to my previous post)

Tomorrow (if I remember to post!) I will share with you another Tip-in page!

~Anne

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Postcard Art

Hello Everyone!

I have been working hard on several swaps... I finished most of this stuff last week, but I didn't sit down and sort through my scanned material until now... so, I thought I'd share with you a few of the postcards I made for the Spring Postcard Swap.

In all, I made 7 postcards. Yeah, I made the postcards, rather than altering existing postcards. The way I saw it, I could either alter some of the vintage and antique postcards I have in my stash, or I could go out and buy some new postcards, or, I could use some of my card stock and some of the piles of patterned paper I have in my stash... so I chose to go with what I already had on hand.

The theme of the swap was to be "Spring" and since Spring is a pretty broad theme that can be interpreted a number of ways, I decided to go with my own interpretation... and what I think about when I think about Spring... and that would be the Cherry Blossoms of Washington DC. Yeah, other things come to mind too, not just Cherry Blossoms... however, I've visited Washington DC twice, and both times were amazing... but one thing that I missed both times was the showy display of the cherry blossom trees along the Tidal Basin.

So these postcards are a celebration of the beauty of Cherry Blossoms. Only the first 2 postcards are Asian inspired. The one connective link between the seven cards in this series is the set of 3 cherry blossoms with rhinestone center...

Here's one more with a more vintage look...

I'll post the final four cards tomorrow!

~Anne

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hotlist Hotties!

Hello Everyone!

Well, I do have some new artwork to show off, I finished my postcards last week, and I also have a couple more tip-ins to show, but it has occurred to me that it's been a while since the last time I shared some of my Artfire Hotlist items with you... so I thought I'd post that before I posted new artwork... perhaps tomorrow (if I remember!) I will post!

Now that byhand.me has their spotlight feature, I decided to share my hotlist hotties in that format! It makes it a lot easier!





I know... awesome right? You can click directly onto the photos to be taken to the listing.

Some truly amazing artists and their artwork can be found at artfire... have you shopped artfire lately? What are you waiting for? Support the arts and buy handmade ... direct from the artist!

~Anne