How did you get started with printmaking?
I started with printmaking as part of my studio arts minor. At this point I was a senior in college, and I really wanted to get into a photography which was full. It ended up being a great choice artistically because I was at a point where the faculty knew who I was, so I could really interpret the assignments to fit my artistic sensibilities, but I didn’t need to go into the kind of detailed explanations that were required of the people who had committed to the major. It was a class of 4 people, so I got a ton of attention. I felt like it was one of the first classes where everything seemed to gel- it was what I went to school for, the community, for learning and for the expression of ideas. I have always leaned heavily on more abstract imagery, but it was one of the first times that I really felt that the process began to influence what I created. Now I find myself drawn to process as a way to push myself creatively, that limits and focuses my attention.
What do you like most about having your own creative business? What do you find most challenging?
I love the fact that my art now reaches a larger audience. Even when I am getting views and no sales, it makes me happy that people are even willing to look at what I create, but my favorite moment is when people who I have no relation to purchases something of mine. The most challenging part is that I don’t have the time to really devote to my store. I know what I would do if I did have the time and energy, but with a full time job, I have to keep in mind that for now this is part time and so I have to prioritize what is most important.
What inspires you to create?
I’m not sure if I could really pinpoint what inspires me to create- I honestly haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about it. I would say that I have always been creating and making things, whether it is visual or through writing. In that same light, it is hard to pin point exactly where my ideas come from- I find that I get my best ideas when I am riding on the T. I think the sort of between space that it creates gives my brain a break. Of course, like everyone else I also get those great ideas right before you fall asleep, so maybe that falls under the same concept.
What do you think motivates others to buy handmade?
I think there is a certain amount of care that is associated with handmade items. There is a specific person on the other end of that object, who has put time and energy into creating something that is now yours. Whether or not they had you in mind can add to it (as in, a personalized handmade object) but it is that element of care that we look for now, especially since a lot of our lives are so un-personal.
What is your favorite handmade item you have bought or received?
Now that my brother and I are out of the house, my parents have been doing a lot of traveling and most recently they came back from Peru. For Christmas they brought me this amazing hand made scarf, that if you squish in the edge so you can wear it as a hat. It took over 80 hours to make and it is so beautiful and warm.
What is something people might not know about you?
I’ve had a couple people surprised to find out I was left handed, which always struck me as odd. It was never something that I try to hide but when they notice, it always seems to be a big deal to them.
What is one piece of advice you would offer to others with their own creative business?
Be patient and use social media to your advantage. There are so many different avenues online to connect with other creative people and with buyers, so try them out! It was hard for me to self-promote at first but people are really willing to support you if you are doing something you love.
Thanks for joining me on my blog, Jenny, and me sure to check out her shop!