Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Thank you very much Letha for taking the time to answer a few questions about your etsy business: ...pursuit of happiness.
Q. How did you hear about Etsy?
A. I heard about Etsy through Apartment Therapy one of the many blogs I read (it’s obscene how many blogs I pop into everyday).
Q. What made you decide to sell on Etsy?
A. Well, quite a combination of things really. I’ve always made art, but I just gave it away and had never really focused on it as something of value that could be shared with the general public. Recently I’ve gone through some kind of ‘life change’ (which sounds so corny and serious, but isn’t really. It’s been wonderful!) which has brought about an explosion of creativity in my life that has resulted in a huge amount of output in the last year or so. I had really great response the first time I sold publicly and it felt very natural to begin to explore building a business around my art. Etsy was already a part of my life as a shopper, it was really only a matter of time before I became a seller. I chose Etsy over all the other options because I feel it’s really got the best user experience of all the handcrafted sites out there. Plus it’s an amazing resource of knowledge for a seller. Have a question? Search the forums or start a thread. You’ll have great answers and opinions from others who are in the know or have had the same experience in no time. There’s a very generous spirit on Etsy and I want to support that kind of thing whenever I can.
Q. How did you originally get into Mixed Media?
A. I am a mixed media artist mostly because I love contrast so much. I love putting paper and metal and watch parts together and seeing what happens. And because I love giving everyday and old things that people don’t give a second though to another life in a whole new context. But I think the real answer, the root of why I am a mixed media artist is because I LOVE cutting things up into pieces. And then reassembling it into something new.
Q. Which materials do you use to create your Mixed Media pieces?
A. My main material is paper. And a lot of it is various types of decorative paper that I find in paper shops, at garage sales, flea markets and yes even on Etsy… I use old sheet music and post cards frequently as well. I also use rusty metal quite a bit --- old washers, aged copper strips, hardware. And I have a huge fascination with watch parts --- gears, assemblies and hands. But really I’ll use anything that strikes my fancy and feels ‘right.’ My favorite piece in my shop is called ‘Any moment now…’ and its main focal point is a sort of wad of metal wire with metal beads randomly strung through it. It looks like a birds nest and I fell in love with it because of the high contrast of something so hard and brittle being so reminiscent of something so organic and sheltering.
Q. What motivates you to create?
A. I’ve never not created --- when I was a kid dug up clay in my yard and made bowls, sewed clothes for my stuffed animals and drew and cut out my own paper dolls. Now as an adult I think the primary reason that I create other than just having an innate motivation to do so is my day job. I work full time in architecture as a designer. And while there is a lovely part of architecture that is VERY creative it often ends up being a very small percentage of the over-all day, or week, or even month. And no matter how freely creative one is on the job, there is always budget and client expectations that can hem in a true artistic effort. Making my own art is a wonderful way to balance out the craving for creative freedom!
Q. What do you like most about being a seller?
A. The satisfaction of seeing my work out there --- waiting for someone to fall in love with it and take it home.
Thank you very much, Letha.