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.
My name is Wendy and I’m a jewelry designer in Choctaw, Oklahoma. I’m a critical care nurse by trade and even though I’ve never had any formal art training that’s never stopped me from creating. I have always enjoyed crafting with various mediums such as painting, doll making, quilting, soap/candle making, pottery and cake decorating.
About five years ago I wandered into a local bead store and it was love at first sight. I began making jewelry for family and friends; progressed to selling my designs in a very hip salon and spa in Missouri and then opened my Etsy shop, WillowCreek Jewelry Studio, in August of 2009. I especially enjoy working with natural semi-precious gemstones, unique glass and oxidized metals. I like to create one-of-a-kind pieces however; I will recreate similar pieces as special orders. To keep my designs fresh, I continue to take classes in different jewelry techniques as time permits. I currently offer free shipping within the USA and all of my designs arrive in a ribbon tied gift box with a free polishing cloth. Watch for special offers during the upcoming Christmas season and a special discount for my Facebook fans; http://www.facebook.com/willowcreekjewelrystudio
In January of 2010 I was published in Bead Trends Magazine and continue to be a regular contributor to this wonderful publication; they have amazing photography. Although I haven’t participated in local art shows, in the future I would like to partake in a couple of wonderful shows here in Oklahoma City; An Affair of The Heart and the Paseo Art Festival. In the future I see my business growing on Etsy, contributing to other jewelry publications, perhaps a web site and ultimately publishing my own book on jewelry design and techniques.
Doesn’t Wendy have such beautiful jewelry. These are my personal favorites!