I have been trying to get more clues into what gives artists inspiration. What inspires you and what would make you open an Etsy shop? There are so many people that want to open a shop. They are creating along and someone says you should sell that! So I asked Leslie of StymiepieStudios a few questions a week or two ago. Here are her answers:
I find inspiration for my art in a random conversation, my mood. a song lyric, my childhood, my hopes and dreams. It can be something as simple as a color that gets my mind going toward a design..and then , somehow , what I see in my mind appears on the paper.
I started on Etsy without knowing I had opened a shop! LOL! My niece knew that I wanted to sell my handpainted kids items on my own for a long time. I was working in a retail store and constantly being told “You should have your own store”.But I was overwhelmed by the unexpected death of my husband and both of my sons leaving for college and it was all I could manage to go to work every day, and run my mural business, painting on nights and weekends. So she opened a shop for me with a few items and then “gave ” it to me as a surprise(.It’s so ironic now..back then, I could barely use the computer..now I live on it, running my businesses…).Then we worked on it together for days. which became Stymiepie Studios..and when I had my first sale..that was it..it was all I wanted to do. That was in 2009, and I opened my second shop, Rock and Roll Hart in 2011, to do the art I had been carrying around in my head and heart all of my life. I had met many of the musical artists that I caricature and it was fun to do my version of the people that I knew back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was a 60’s hippie just starting out.
I think the most important advice to someone starting out would be love what you do, cause you’ll work harder at this than any other job you’ve ever had. I work 7 days a week, and rarely take a sick day (my boss is a slave driver!) ..because I’m the one that commits to the customer, and it’s my work and reputation on the line. If I promise to get something done, it’s up to me to do it. I left my 9 to 5 in 2010 and make a full time living from my two shops.I value each customer..many come back over and over and I’m proud of that.
I sell on Artfire and to many online and brick and mortar shops. It’s exciting to see my work all over the country and it helps to have income from different sources. Right now, one of the people that found me here on Etsy, is helping me develop a greeting card line and T shirt line of my Rock and Roll Hart art, that we will be selling nationally..that might not have happened so easily, had i not been on Etsy.
I don’t do craft shows anymore..I don’t have the time. I used to love them, but as my business has grown, the Holidays are my busiest time and I spend most days painting to fill orders. Craft shows are a great way to expand your customer base and get the word out about your product to people that might not see you online. Consignment isn’t a good fit for me as my items are usually personalized and most consigment shops want items to sell at time of purchase.
These past 4 years have been extraordinary, filled with validation of my work and opportunities that I never imagined. Some of the best parts are the friendships and support I have found on Etsy, through the talented artisans I have met..an incredible group of people that aren’t afraid to risk taking a chance to create every day and make a living at it.
When you stop by Leslie’s shop or any of her links please say that you found them at Chocolatedogstudio! I trying to have an artist feature every Friday in an effort to give back to the artist community that has helped me so much.
The Etsy shop:TwoPaperAddicts is the brainchild of Rose and Cris, two etsy friends who became cross country best friends, and who both have a serious addiction to anything paper. Rose lives in Michigan and teaches high school literature, chemistry and biology full time. She has two young boys who keep her busy, and a husband. Cris lives in Colorado. She retired from Corporate America where she taught time management among other things and has forgotten everything she knew!! She has a husband and two yellow labs who try to tell her she is on Etsy too much.
Much of the above I borrowed directly from their shop profile on Etsy! :0) They are teammates of mine on the EASL team which stands for Etsy Artisans Success League. They both have separate shops of their own. They sell such lovely paper goodies.
These are just a few of their lovely items. Stop by and say hi and that you saw their wonderful paper goodies on Chocolate Dog Studio.
Snuggle Bug Kidz was born out of the desire to find good quality, fun clothing, and accessories for my kids. When I gave birth to my first daughter we didn’t know she was going to be a “preemie,” she weighed in at only a little over 4 pounds. I couldn’t find anything in the stores that would fit her. No retail outlet in our area even carried preemie clothing. This is where the beginning of Snuggle Bug Kidz took place. With no where else to turn, I began asking family and friends if they could help make some clothing for my daughter.
Almost exactly 4 years later my 2nd daughter was born. At birth she had a perfectly round head but over time she developed Plagiocephaly which is a cranial abnormality which causes your child’s head to be lopsided . With the help of our Dr. we were able to get her fitted for a CranioCap Orthosis to help correct the problem. While having a conversation with her Dr. I realized the huge need for a decorative hat for these orthosis. The CranioCap was a ugly plain white plastic helmet. I couldn’t believe there wasn’t anything to cover these things ! I began discussing with the Dr. about how we could cover these plastic helmets in a way that makes it fun for the kids and the parents. The Dr. had said many parents won’t go in public with the helmets on and therefore the children end up in them for much longer then they need to. This was my ” AH-HA moment”…
As time went on and the busyness of life took over I began to realize the huge need for not only preemie clothing, and CranioCap covers, but for the need to celebrate the FAMILY as a whole. We’re all different. We all come in different shapes and sizes, and we all have our funny quirks !
Being a young mom of 3 has it’s challenges and one of those challenges is to find good quality merchandise at a great price. As my kids have grown and their personalities began to shine I wanted to make accessories, and clothing, that matched who they were… FUN…ACTIVE..and PLAYFUL….this is where the Snuggle Bug Adventure began! . With the help of two great friends, Ashley and Rebekah, I believe we’ve created a brand of clothing and fun accessories that will truly bring a smile to anyone who wears them.