“What’s Your Story?” Featuring Lisa Guckelberg

Colored Pencil Dog Portrait We are back with "What's Your Story?", Featuring artist and teacher Lisa Guckelberg.  I am blessed to know Lisa personally, as a friend and running partner, and am plain giddy to have her here at SBLC.  Lisa gifted me with the above work when I moved an hour away and we were no longer going to be running together daily.  She drew this beautiful portrait of my Jack Russell from a photo she pulled up on Facebook.  Is that amazing or what?!  I have not had the opportunity to take a class with her yet, but... yeah, I could learn a lot from her! Thank you for being here, Lisa! I hope you enjoy this insightful interview as much as I did.  If you are in the Indianapolis area, take advantage of your proximity and sign up for a class with Lisa.  Click here to go to her website (after you read the interview, of course). Where are you located? Greenwood, IN   How many years have you been teaching art? 27 years   What type of art do you teach? Pencil, colored pencil, watercolor, pen and ink, and acrylics.   How do your classes progress? I start my students with basic drawing techniques, then work into other mediums.   What ages do you teach? Ages 7 through adult.   When you are not teaching, what do you like to draw and paint? A favorite subject of mine has always been horses. If I am at will to choose my subject, that is usually what I end up doing. I also enjoy drawing other animals. I enjoy working in colored pencil, watercolor, and pen an ink.   What is your must have tool for creating? A quiet environment and a pencil, and I am happy.   When and why did you set up your website? I have had my website www.lisaguckelbergart.com for nearly two years now. It was important to get that up and running because the internet is a valuable business tool. It is the way that many people search for classes. I have watched my classes grow by leaps and bounds recently. Without it, I would be missing out on a lot of business.   Do you have any tips for beginning artists? Observation is key to rendering a realistic subject, and remember your drawing will never be perfect. You will increase your ability with every drawing or painting that you render. Take what you learn from each piece of artwork that you create and apply that to your next drawing or painting. The process of creating should be enjoyable and not filled with unrealistic expectations of perfection. If you have unrealistic expectations you are setting yourself up for failure.   Do your students show their work? I encourage my students to enter local contests, and fairs. I also sponsor an annual student art exhibit that is held on the first Friday in December at the Greenwood Community Center. It is open to the public. Every attendee recieves a ballot so they can place their votes for the people's choice awards. The event is usually attended by 500 people or more.   What good books have you read lately? I have read several great books recently! Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand. It is a story about Louis Zamperini, an olympic runner, and his incredible story of survival during the second world war. I just couldn't put this book down!! The Grace to Race, by Sister Madonna Buder with Karin Evans. The story of a running nun, who is still running, now in her 80's! Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss, by Dean Karnazas. The Long Run, by Matt Long with Charles Butler. This is a story of survival, and overcoming extreme injuries, and adversities to run a marathon.   Where was your last vacation? Paris, France. I went to the Louvre for the first time and I was completely overcome with emotion at the sight of some of the works of art that were on display there.   What is your favorite pastime outside of your artistic endeavors? I would have to say running. It is so cleansing, in so many ways. In addition, I love anything that involves being around horses. As Sir Winston Churchill said, "The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man." I also enjoy hiking, gardening, and reading.   Who is your favorite artist? I love the work of so many it is hard to choose. Monet, Davinci, and Dali, to name a few.

What’s Your Story? Featuring Artist Sara of "Spareflair"

I ran across these adorable, one of a kind embroidered pendants, and I just couldn't wait to share them with you.  Visit Spareflair on Etsy, here to see more cuteness.  Thanks for the great interview, Sara!






Where are you located?

I was born, raised, and still live in Chicago, Illinois. This area of the United States faces very severe seasons: sweltering summers, beautiful and crisp autumn, freezing winters, and very lush springs. I draw a lot of my inspiration from nature, so I am very happy that it is spring right now!

What do you create?

I create hand-embroidered pendants. I make up each image, embroider it completely by hand, and I then secure it in a metal pendant frame. I like the pendant frame because it is delicate, light, and beautifully frames the embroidered designs. I also provide a chain with each pendant, so each necklace is ready to wear. 

When and why did you set up your online shop?

I set up my online shop in March 2009 and initially sold my photographs. Then I decided that I wanted to do more in terms of "creating." I always liked to sew, so I taught myself how to embroider, practiced a LOT, and started making my pendants. I opened up my shop because I wanted to share what I created with the rest of the world. I love knowing that other people are enjoying what I made.

How do you promote your creations?


Spareflair on ETSY
Spareflair on Facebook


I am still working on mastering the art of promoting my work. I have posted ads on retail websites. I also try to gain exposure through Etsy.com by creating Treasury Lists, where you make a list of items from Etsy.com that are all in line with a particular theme, such as "purple flowers" or "wedding." While you cannot list your own things in your Treasury List, if you create a cool list that is visible to lots of Etsy users, your shop may get looked at more often. I also joined a "team" on Etsy, and my team focuses on needle arts. 

What inspires your work?

I make up all my designs, and I like to plan my designs by looking through pictures I have taken of flowers and plants. Sometimes I'll base a design off a plant in real life, but most of the time I will look at a plant and say, "Now what would make that look even more interesting, and more like a unique piece of art?" A lot of my designs are tweaked so that they are not "just another flower." I want each design to echo both the unknown and the familiar. 

Recently, I have also been making whimsical designs and fun images, like hearts and a little whale. I have a series of sailboats planned too. I would also like to expand into things bigger than necklaces, like wall art.

What is your must have tool for creating?

Definitely my three-inch embroidery hoop. It's a must-have for what I'm doing. Also, a good, strong light. I tried embroidering once without a strong light and my eyes were killing me!

Do you have any tips for others wanting to turn their art into a business?

I have a time-demanding day job and it's tough for me to find as much time as I would like to create my pendants. You have to treat creating like it is a second job if you want your business to be profitable. This means budgeting, schedules, spreadsheets, etc. There are a lot of wonderful business tutorials out there for crafters that I have been using. 

Extras:

What good books have you read or movies have you seen lately?

I love the Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin. If you're not familiar with the books, you may have heard of the Game of Thrones show on HBO, which is based on the Song of Fire and Ice series. It's amazing, go read it now! I also have started reading "Mistborn" by Brandon Sanderson, and it is great so far. I have been watching Mad Men through Netflix, so not a lot of movies recently!

Where was your last vacation?

I went to California for a friend's wedding. I went scuba diving by Catalina Island, which was a lot of fun. 

What is your favorite pastime outside of creating?

I love to read and I love to cook.

Who is your favorite designer/artist?

I love Takashi Murakami. His designs are so creative, and he has brilliantly toed the fine line between consumer product and art.

What’s Your Story? Featuring Artist Deborah Fagan "The Painted Thingamajig

So excited to bring you the unique mixed media artist I stumbled upon at The Painted Thingamajig!!  On with it...









About your work:

I've been creating as far as my memeory goes back.  My childhood was in the sixties, so I was healily influenced by that whole psychedelic, Yellow Submarine pop culture, even though my parents were very conservative, and our home was decorated with basic beige hues.  Maybe I was rebeling at an early age..ha ha.
I think that psychedelic color palette shows in my work.



Where are you located?

I was born and raised in California, but now make my home, and have a studio on an acre and a half in the desert of Arizona; with my husband of 19 years, my eighteen year old son, an intense German Shepherd named Karma, and two rambunctious Rough Collies named Mojo and Elvis.



What do you create?

Besides canvas and mural work, I like to create what I call functional art. Meaning, things you would use everyday- phones, clocks, etc..making the item into a piece of art. Life's too short to wake up every morning looking at some random alarm clock you bought at Walmart along with the rest of the masses. Why not wake up to to something that will put a smile on your face? I've been painting anything that didn't move, it seems like forever. One of the first big pieces I ever did was a refrigerator that my parents gave me when I first moved out from home. Somehow, it made the fridge my own, of course my conservative parents were just horrified! I also like creating with textiles as well. I love makeing art quilts, and have been known to make some pretty quirky art dolls. Oh, and now I've been working on a series called- 'Got Green?' recycled/repurposed art. Besides being a good thing to be green, it's kind of cool to think that all these diferent things had another purpose/life before coming together to make this objet d'art, of which now has a life of it's own. Working with found and recycled objects...kinda warms my mixed media heart. 


When and why did you set up your online shop?

I was teaching art at a private school, and selling my art at mainly festivals/fairs and one gallery, when one of my customers/collectors, decided to open a gallery/shop in the art district.  She asked me to be resident artist, and help run the gallery; which entailed being a curator to other up and coming artists, organizing and running our First Fridays, (so much fun!), as well as creating my own art in a studio I had in the back, and then selling it in the gallery. I must say, that was one of the best jobs I had ever had. Getting paid hourly to do what I would be doing anyway, which is to create, then selling my pieces in the gallery and getting a percentage, was fabulous. I was so sad when the owner had to close down because of personal reasons.  I then started selling on Ebay, just when it was becoming popular. I did quite well with Ebay, and sold pieces that went all over the world, which is kind of a cool feeling; to think, a part of me is living in different places everywhere.  Ebay started going in a direction that I wasn't to happy with..and a lot of other artists started moving to this brand new website called Etsy. So, I opened a shop on Etsy called The Cosmic Whim WhamStudio.  I closed that shop last year, because everyone kept telling me how hard it was to remember that name. I opened a shop on Artfire not too long ago, and then re-opened a shop on Etsy, called 'The Painted Thingamajig'. I hope that's easier to remember, I know I use the word thingamajig all the time..and I turn so many thingamajigs into art!



How do you promote your creations?

That, I'm still working on! I'm one of those artists that needs a secretary or assistant, of which I can't afford of course. Artfire is very good at promoting your site- which is one of the reasons I opened a store there. You've got to do some work too though. They have a very good tutorial there on how to succeed, in which they tell you to definitely do the social networking thing, and get as many items in your store as you can. They say the more things you have in your store, the more google will pick up on it.  I'm a little ADD, I gotta focus more. What with taking pictures of my pieces and editing, writing descriptions, listing...and now I gotta go be social? I end up seeing one of my projects in progress out the corner of my eye, and wander off to work on it...yeah, still working on the promoting thing. Maybe I should move my computer out of my studio.



What inspires your work?

Color, light, patterns and shapes. My surroundings. Found objects and things that can be thrown into the alchemy mix of my art.



What is your must have tool for creating?

Paintbrushes! I have hundreds, but seem to use my same three favorite brushes I've had for years now. I'll see a beautiful brush and buy it, bring it home and place it in the can with all my other brand new, untouched brushes...


Do you have any tips for others wanting to turn their art into a business?

Create things you love, not just the trend of the moment, and what all the other people are doing on Etsy and Artfire.  I think it shows when someone's just doing something because they think it will sell. Or, if you really like the trend, incorporate it into your art. Like the whole bottlecap and resin thing?
I thought that was kind of cool, so I used that technique for fish eyeballs on this recycled piece of art from my 'Got Green' series, called 'It's A Fish Eat Fish World. And read the Artfire 45 Day To Success Guide- http://www.artfire.com/users/45DayGuide/blog - you will learn sooo much!



Extras:

What good books have you read or movies have you seen lately?

Love the author Joe Hill-love love loved his book 'Heart Shaped Box', which is about an aging rock star that buys a ghost off Ebay. I'm currently reading Juliet Blackwell's- Art Lovers Mystery Series. Blackwell's an Art History major, so along with your mystery, you get all these interesting art history facts, along with a few paint recipes.

Where was your last vacation?

Being a California girl living in the desert, I must make my migrations to the ocean.  One of my favorite places is Laguna Beach, CA.

What is your favorite pastime outside of creating?

Reading, playing the guitar, songwriting, playing and walking my three big crazy dogs, combing antique shops and flea markets...oh, and did I say reading? I'm a voracious reader!

Who is your favorite designer/artist?

Okay, I know you don't have all day, so I'll just list the major ones I was influenced by- Peter Max, Niki De Saint-Phalle, Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Piero Fornasetti, Rene Magritte, and Mary Nohl. Mary Nohl seems like a kindred spirit to me. I see myself as an old lady hermit, with a couple of cats, making my whole house into a piece of art! I just ordered this book- Mary Nohl: Inside & Outside, off Amazon, I can't wait for it to arrive. She really was amazing, you ought to google her.

What’s Your Story? Featuring Artist "Remember Me Emily"

Visit Emily's Etsy Shophttp://RememberMeEmily.etsy.com

Visit Emily's ArtFire shophttp://RememberMeEmily.ArtFire.com







"What’s Your Story", Featuring Artist Ashley Connelly

This week I bring you Ashley from The Creative Place.  This website is full of wonderful, budget friendly tutorials using vintage supplies and paper.  I ran across Ashley's work when I very first began blogging and have followed along every since.  Graphic designer with a love for repurposing, has a gift for creating beautiful home decor with a warm, inviting vintage feel.


You will also find amazing recipes, tips, guest posts and inspiring tales of motherhood.


Ashley's Etsy store has vintage supplies, paper and more for you to add to your stash.


Here are some of my favorite things brought to us by The Creative Place...








About your work:

Where are you located? I live in Wake Forest, North Carolina (just north of Raleigh) with my amazing husband, 2 sweet boys (Jimmy, almost 4 and Joshua, 1 month) and a silly miniature schnauzer, Biz.

What do you create? I love to create art journals, mini albums, tags (designed on the computer). I also like to sew basic projects like pillows, quilts, and totes, and also like to incorporate sewn paper into my art journals.

When and why did you set up your online shop? I set up my etsy shop in May of 2008. I made a few embellished journaling tags and wanted to see what it would be like to have them in a shop and if they would sell. I didn't really keep up with my shop and work on it until last year (2010). Right now I am mostly selling "found paper" scrap packs for others to use in their creations. I have a few art journals in the pipeline, hopefully to debut soon!

How do you promote your creations? I don't really promote my creations for the shop, although I will announce on my blog (thecreativeplace.blogspot.com) if I have a new product(s) in the shop.

What inspires your work? I love to look through magazines, books, and blogs. Usually an idea will come to me that is inspired by what I see.

What is your must have tool for creating? I must have a cutting mat, metal ruler and rotary cutter- this is how I cut all of my paper.

Do you have any tips for others wanting to turn their art into a business? Just go for it! And enjoy it! It's most important to enjoy what you are doing. If you are stressed out about making new products, keeping up with your shop, etc. then you really aren't "doing what you love" anymore! I have found that I have to have a plan - a place where I keep ideas and inspiration, but also where I have the "business side" of what I am doing. Buy a journal or sketchbook. Map out what you want to sell in your shop. What the materials will be, how much they will cost, how much time it will take. Have a section for doodling, and a section for jotting down new ideas or inspiration. Create realistic expectations for yourself and your shop - have a deadline of getting one or two products in your shop and build from there. Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Enjoy what you are doing!!

Extras:

What good books have you read or movies have you seen lately? I am in the middle of reading "Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas. I am loving it! My hubby and I are into watching documentaries on Netflix. They are so informative and it's neat to learn about different things - we recently watched a National Geographic documentary on the Giant Redwood trees - amazing!

Where was your last vacation? Outer Banks, North Carolina (the beach!)

What is your favorite pastime outside of creating? I love, love, love spending time with my sweet family. I also love to go antiquing and to consignment shops with my hubby when we have "date time". You never know what you'll find 🙂

Who is your favorite designer/artist? Wow, there are so many, I don't think I have just one! I have several blogs I keep up with that are truly inspiring to me.

"What’s Your Story?" Featuring Artist Jill Brown and Things With Wings

When I first ran across the "Things with Wings" blog, it was hands down love at first sight.  This mixed media group - composed of a mother and her two daughters - create whimsical, inspiring pieces emphasizing faith and family, that are irresistable - BEAUTIFUL work amongst my very favorite.  Look at this, will you...
Lazy Susan by Connie Berends - for Things With Wings' new linewith DEMDACO called "This Thing Called Family" 


Artist: Laura McCarragher
Artist: Jill Brown


Artist: Jill Brown

Artist: Jill Brown

Artist: Jill Brown



About Your Work:
We are Things With Wings: a family (me, my sister and our mother) of mixed media artists
Jill Brown - Paper Prayers
Laura McCarragher - Green Girl Designs
Connie Berends - Creative Works

(We bring our complimentary work together for art festivals and call ourselves "Things With Wings").

Where are you located? 

Iowa City, Iowa

What do you create? 
Our mixed media work uses a combination of paint and patterned paper along with encouraging messages. Themes include faith, family and having fun! We also designed a line of wall art and home decor products for a nation-wide company called DEMDACO called "This Thing Called Family." thingswithwingsartjournal.blogspot.com/p/our-demdaco-line.html It debuted in January and is selling really well! You can find it in gift and specialty shops nationwide!

When and why did you set up your online shop?
My sister and I both set up our etsy shops about 2 years ago. The three of us have been selling our work much longer - about 10 years together -at art festivals around the midwest, and would often sell items that we featured on our blog, so it was time to set up 'shop' online as well!

How do you promote your creations? 

Facebook: facebook.com/thingswithwings, and our blog:thingswithwingsartjournal.blogspot.com we also send out occasional emails and postcards. Word of mouth is actually very powerful as well - we get a lot of personalized custom orders because someone sees something hanging in a friend's house and wants one for their own family! We also do a lot of festivals and shows, and that's a natural place to promote yourself! 

What inspires your work? 
Lots of things! We consider our talents to be God-given, so inspiration is really a gift from Him. We get inspired by listening to music, good quotes, fun color combinations and mix matching patterned paper. We also get inspiration from each other, brainstorming and collaborating is a lot of fun!

What is your must have tool for creating?
mod-podge. I buy it online in GALLON jugs because I go through it so fast!

Do you have any tips for others wanting to turn their art into a business?
Turning what I love to do in my spare time into a super successful business is not my motivation for doing this. I have three kids, my sister does as well. We try to maintain a balance as well as we can, and therefore just don't have the time or desire to turn this into a full time job. We've always looked at creating as a passion and a privilege: to do and to share. Everything we create has a purpose: to encourage someone, to celebrate family, or for ourselves - to remind us of who we are and how much God loves us. So our main motivation is to be a blessing to others and to be an encouragement to ourselves. THAT'S what we consider success! All the extras are icing on the cake!

Extras:

What good books have you read or movies have you seen lately? 

I'm terrible about remembering titles! I love a good mystery/suspenseful book, but find that movie genre too intense. For movies I love a good comedy or romance. 

Where was your last vacation? 

What's that? 

What is your favorite pastime outside of creating? 

Reading and blogging

Who is your favorite designer/artist? 

my sister and mother

"What’s Your Story?" Featuring Artist Parker Lanier

Today's featured artist is a cherished part of my family by marriage as well as my recovery family.  I love Parker's work because it is totally unique, insane, chaotic and makes complete sense to me.  He reminds me of where I have been, and is an living example of how God can turn a mess into a message.  I give you Parker Lanier...

About your work: 


When I got sober my AA sponsor suggested I keep a journal. I didn’t write anything but I did draw some of the other people at the meeting. I wasn’t really a doodler as a child so this was kind of weird. I quickly became “obsessed with” or had the “freedom inside” to create lots of drawings. My pictures are in the outsider vernacular mostly with the theme of recovery. What it was like, what happened and what its like now in my life, provide a lot of subject matter. I also draw strange whimsical do-nothing machines, lucha libre, wizards and old time country music stars.

Where are you located? 

I live in a tiny, art-filled, carriage house apartment on Lake Michigan. Holland actually. I do a lot of trading art with other recovery artists it has been great fun.

What do you create? 

They are genre scenes from the life of an insane, recovering, Blessed alcoholic. My pictures have been described as “Wheres Waldo on acid”. I see influences of R. Crumb, Ralph Stedman, Rube Goldberg and all of the original MAD Magazine artists. I draw on the back/whiteside of mat board. I cut a slightly smaller piece and glue it on a larger piece so the drawing is matted. I draw in roller ball pen and color with sharpies. No pencil sketches. Sometimes I will use stickers or glitter or other stuff.

When and why did you set up your online shop?
   
I started my blog http://www.alcoholicoutsiderartist.blogspot.com about 3 years ago. All of my art is on there along with other outsider and recovery artists friends of mine. I also have interviews with and profiles of other people in recovery that are writers, painters or musicians. I also have features on art behind bars, art of the insane and other artists in special situations. My traffic has taken hold exponentially now. I have no ads and sell nothing on this site. It is completely spam free.

I have sold nearly 500 pieces on ebay and done a good number of special commissions. My art is enjoyed and collected by other alkies and addicts but has a huge following in the folk-art, outsider art and art brut communities. I started selling because creating the stuff is what does me the “good”. It is cathartic. 

How do you promote your creations?

Whatever I post on my blog I immediately share it on twitter, google buzz, stumble upon, digg it and facebook. I also respond to any requests for my comments on art and addiction.

What inspires your work?

My life, recovery and the amazing change that has occurred in it only through God and AA.

What is your must have tool for creating?

Haha, Sharpies.....

Do you have any tips for others wanting to turn their art into a business?

There is a paradox in art just like there is in recovery. Don’t force yourself on people you will scare them away. Be true to yourself, do not give the truth away to make a work saleable. Be comfortable in your own artistic skin and people will be drawn to you and your work.

Extras:
What good books have you read or movies have you seen lately?

I don’t have a TV. I am a magazine freak. I have read a good number of addicts and alcoholics memoirs lately before I review them on my blog. I also like old cowboy books like Louis L’Amour. The last movie I saw was Men Who Stare at Goats (?) with George Clooney. It was fabulous.

Where was your last vacation?

I travel for work last year I spent a week each in Pagosa Springs ColoradoWinnipeg, ManitobaBend, Oregon and Oklahoma City.

What is your favorite pastime outside of creating?

Thrift stores, antique malls and flea marketsAA meetings and work too. I have recently opened http://www.lakeshoreartandantiques.com as a venue to sell some of my accumulated hoard of weird stuff.

Who is your favorite designer/artist?

R. Crumb.

"What’s Your Story?" Featuring Artist Jo Morphett


I ran into Jo's work while browsing Artfire, and had to find out more about her! Vintage, comics, collage, birds, monograms... all unique with a pop that leaves you wanting to snatch them all up. Here are some of my very favorites, you can find in Jo's Artfire store, Peaceofpi Studio.







Time to hear from Jo herself! Thanks for taking the time to get up close with SBLC, Jo...

About your work:

Where are you located?

Vancouver, Canada




What do you create?
I create paintings and collage with three main areas of interest: Colorful abstract paintings with lots of texture and linear elements, bird themed art with a focus on blackbirds & crows, and collage and typography pieces created from recycled & reimagined comics.



When and why did you set up your online shop?
I opened a shop on Etsy (http://peaceofpi.etsy.com) in early 2008. The prospect of having my work available on a global scale directly from me to the customer was an exciting opportunity. I found a niche on Etsy and my shop specializes in custom comic typography & painted monograms.
In October 2010 I opened my Artfire shop (http://peaceofpi.artfire.com) which features my paintings, collages, and recycled comic art. Artfire is a newer kid on the handmade marketplace block with an impressive focus on helping shops effectively promote their creations all over the internet.


How do you promote your creations?
Admittedly, I’m not a big self-promoter and I’ve had to find a comfortable balance when it comes to creating vs. marketing. I have a blog (http://pistudio.blogspot.com/) that focuses on happenings in my studio and a pro account at flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/peaceofpi/) where several customers have found my work. I also tweet http://twitter.com/peaceofpi
In 2010 I launched my website (http://jomobimo.com) This can be a daunting step for artisans but when you’re ready it’s well worth the time and effort to create and own your personal artisan hub.


What inspires your work?
I feel a connection to the imperfect things in life, and this is an underlying theme in my work.
To me birds are endlessly inspiring because they symbolize the commonplace and the mysterious. They are also a powerful symbol of freedom from the materialism of consumerist culture.
My passion to create using vintage comics stems from both nostalgia and the good vs. evil themes. The idea of having extraordinary abilities, courage and endless adventure is exciting and it sparks real life creativity. Strong women and men acting with courage and strength inspires me about possibilities, what if''''''''''''''''s, and maybes.


What is your must have tool for creating?
I think it would have to be tie between matte medium (my favorite collage glue) and palette knives (my favorite tool for painting). Both of these tools are invaluable in the work I do. I actually think I might get a bit twitchy if I felt my glue supply was running low, and I’d start bending up my kitchen utensils if my palette knives disappeared!

Do you have any tips for others wanting to turn their art into a business?
Be yourself. Find your unique spin. Think about what defines success for you and constantly return to this definition. Figure out what you don’t know and find books, blogs & other resources to fill in your knowledge gaps. Set goals. Don’t compare yourself to others. Create what you enjoy creating. Be kind.


Extras:

What good books have you read or movies have you seen lately?

I like biographies. Recent reads are Triumph by Carolyn Jessop (a follow up to her book Escape) & Up Till Now by William Shatner (which almost goes in tandem with this Trekkie fave Star Trek Memories).
I love a good movie. My recent faves are The King’s Speech & foreign film Run Lola Run.


Where was your last vacation?
I’m a fan of the staycation. I love where I live and being a tourist in my hometown is a riot.


What is your favorite pastime outside of creating?

Indoors I love cooking up a storm. Adapting a recipe is definitely a favorite pastime.
Outdoors hiking and dog walking are all-weather activities I enjoy.


Who is your favorite designer/artist?
I particularly like the work of Kurt Schwitters but I have to give a shout out to the simplicity and pathos of Charles Schulz. There I go again, jumping between art & comics!

"What’s Your Story?" Featuring Artist Nancy Fallon

I am thrilled to bring you Nancy Fallon as the debut artist in SBLC's new segment "What's Your Story". It won't be hard to see why I had to know more about this artist. Her versatility and style hooked me. From mixed media pieces to knit coin purses to pendants and beautiful note cards... here are some items I found in her Etsy shop, followed by a detailed interview. Enjoy!






About your work:
Where are you located?

I currently live in Baltimore City, Md.

What do you create?

I have a bit of a.d.d. when it comes to (well, anything) creating, so my products range. I most fully concentrate on my knitwear during the winter season- a line of knit scarves which I've just discontinued (attempting to streamline a bit), and a line of knit purses including- coin purses, clutches, medium sized shoulder strap purses, and totes.

During the spring and summer I concentrate on my inventory of miniature card and envelope sets, jewelry, and my mixed media art pieces.



When and why did you set up your online shop?


Back in the summer of 2008, a friend introduced me to etsy and I fell in love with it's potential. Any artist understands what a renegade thought it is to have the chance to quit your day job and make money doing what you truly love- making things. I was hooked, and in early September I just had to open a shop to see where it could take me.


How do you promote your creations?


This year I've actually quit my full time teaching job to allow me to focus solely on my handmades business. I am determined to make it bigger, so this is an area I'm starting to concentrate on. In the past two years, I've maintained a blog (http://nfallondesignstudio.blogspot.com), grown my followers through give aways, constant blog reading and commenting, and entrecard. I've advertised with project wonderful, done internal promoting on etsy (treasuries, showcases-when you could, forums), and created a facebook fan page.

I'm dreaming bigger this year, currently researching rates on the bigger design blogs and planing to drop a few bones pretty soon in order to hopefully draw in more traffic.


What inspires your work?

I've written a few blog posts about what inspires my fine art and my jewelry designs here (http://nfallondesignstudio.blogspot.com/2009/04/inspiration-for-my-contained-series.html)

and here (http://nfallondesignstudio.blogspot.com/2008/10/growth-series-drawings.html)

For my knits and card sets, I'm really inspired by color. I love bright, really saturated colors, and I love finding unexpected combinations that work with one another in oddly attractive ways. For the designs, I just work out something I think I'd love to have or something that would function well with my things. My designs tend to be simple and utilitarian so they don't fight with the sometimes tastefully outrageous things I have going on in color and texture with them.


What is your must have tool for creating?


Even though I'm admittedly addicted to many different supplies, I have to say my go to supplies are knitting needles. I enjoy knitting most out of everything I make. It's a repetitive, relaxing activity, with a range of difficulty and potential. Almost every night of the week you will find me settled on the couch, knitting needles in hand.


Do you have any tips for others wanting to turn their art into a business?


You just have to be bold. It's not an easy thing- you are your only everything- promotor, grunt work doer, maker, graphic designer, writer- you name it, you have to be good at it. Most of us start out knowing next to nothing about on side or the other so it involves a lot of research, patience, and persistence.


Extras:


What good books have you read or movies have you seen lately?


Movies/ shows- We just came to the netflix party, so I've been catching up, saw: 500 Days of Summer, Freaks and Geeks (AMAZING!), Brothers, About a Boy, Dexter

Books- Currently Reading- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; Recently read- Wicked, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (series),

Where was your last vacation?


I had the amazing (and unusual for me) opportunity to go to Greece and Italy this past summer. A friend from college is now a high school latin teacher, and asked me to go along as a chaperone. Of course I said yes- it was a LOT of hard work- but an unforgettable, incredible trip.


What is your favorite pastime outside of creating?


I'm a big nature buff. I love hiking and camping, just being in the woods or the country side. I go at least twice a month, 3 seasons of the year. Although, it's tradition for one of my college buddies and I to go torture ourselves trekking through the snow and ice the first snow of every year...


Who is your favorite designer/artist?


I don't know if I can say just one. My college degree is in Studio Art, concentration in Sculpture, so I'm largely influenced by modern and contemporary artists including: Eva Hesse, Jessica Stockholder, Anne Wilson, Rachel Whiteread, Do Ho Suh, Tara Donovan, so many others...