Images courtesy of Pamela Bates. You can find this print here.
I’m switching things up today and presenting to you another artist interview with the lovely and very talented Pamela Bates of Bates Mercantile Co. Pam and I connected some time in the past year. I started out by reading her blog, where she shares her day-to-day life in New Hampshire (including photographs from her backyard that tempt me to move out of the city), inspiration to get you going, and some of the incredible graphic design work she does.
In addition to her many artistic talents, Pam is a very warm and caring soul, as demonstrated in her writing and her recent campaign to support Jeff Bauman, one of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. For a week, all proceeds from her Grow Love print (which I have proudly displayed in my house) went to Bucks for Bauman.
Tell us a little bit about your art and how you got started doing it.
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t creating something. I’ve owned my own ADV/PR/MARKETING business for 19 years this June, and that’s involved a lot of creating from graphic design to writing. When I stumbled upon Etsy, I knew I wanted to open a shop so I could have another creative outlet that was strictly about creating. Sometimes in my ‘dayjob’ I am creating, but by the time we get to an end result, things had gone through so many revisions that it didn’t resemble anything I had envisioned anymore. Bates Mercantile Co. allows me to create for the sake of creating, especially my illustrations and photographs which I sell as archival prints. I’ve also been adding logo and graphic design to the shop which allows me to expand what I’ve been doing for 19 years and reach people in a new way, all while still having an outlet just to create.
What do you like most about having your own creative business? What do you find most challenging
Well, this may be redundant, but creating. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I get up every morning and know I’ll have the chance to get lost in something I’m creating. The freedom to create whatever is calling me at the moment and selling to people all around the world really makes me happy. It’s a hoot knowing my artwork is in homes and offices from the East Coast to the West Coast, to Canada, to Europe and Australia. The most challenging thing would be finding time to create just for the sake of it, and focusing on the business end of things when I’d rather be creating.
Logo can be found online here
So many things. Sometimes it’s nature. Something I’ve seen. A mood I’m feeling. A color. Music I’m listening to. Something I’m reading. People who I admire. I’m never at a loss for inspiration.
What do you think motivates others to buy handmade?
I hope that it’s because they know that they will get something that was made with heart and soul, that they are supporting independent artists and that their investment in us really does mean a lot to us.
Print can be found online here
What is your favorite handmade item you have bought or received?
I’ve been very lucky to have received many handmade items over the years. My granny square afghan my mom made me when I was a teenager is a favorite and resides on my couch to this day. My Dad is quite the woodworker and has made me some beautiful pieces from our living room cocktail table to the hutch in my kitchen. Favorite that I’ve bought? A beautiful murano glass necklace and sterling bracelet I bought for myself in Rome and the gorgeous painting my husband and I bought from an artist named Nicola while were there. His art was amazing and he was lovely to talk to every day when we strolled through Piazza Navona. I wake up every morning to the view he painted. Beautiful.
When you are not creating art, what do you like to do with your time?
I love cooking and spending time with the people I love. This often includes singing and dancing. When the weather is warm, I am in our pool as much as possible………..a real fish in water. My husband and really enjoy campfires in the firepit out back. Beyond that, we love to travel and try to do it as often as we can, which isn’t often enough. When we do we are most likely visiting our family and friends in Dublin or NYC. Other things on the list………walking the hound in the field across the street, enjoying the beach where I grew up and I’m only 10 minutes away from, and I love eating out when we get the chance. I find it thoroughly enjoyable to have some prepare a meal, a cocktail and serve it to me. Such a treat.
Print can be found online here
What is something people might not know about you?
I constantly question myself and always think I could do better and I have crooked middle fingers that curve towards each other on both hands. The came from my Gram. And I can’t whistle worth a dime. It’s pretty pathetic.
What is one piece of advice you would offer to others with their own creative business?
There are people all around you in your life with different skill-sets. Recognize what each of them can offer you and build a team of people you can go to for advice and support.
Thanks for joining me on my blog, Pam, and check out her blog where I am making a guest appearance!