Monday, March 15, 2010
The Beginning of Etsy
I've been doing art since I was very young. Everyone always said I should do something with it. I would shrug these people off and continue plugging along with my art on the side. In this fashion I managed to receive the arts award from my high school (an award I never physically showed up to receive). I managed to take most my college courses in literature, but ended up with more skill in art and administration work. There are some classes I took while in school that I give credit to teaching me a bit about what I know. The majority of my art knowledge has come from working hands on in the makeshift studios I've had over the years, and the four years I spent working in a small art store.
The art store was my only full time paid art gig. All other work was administrative. Even today I sit at a desk for a road construction company from 8-5 and do contract administration work.
Since I began to do art I've always done freelance on the side, I just never realized it. From the ninja turtle buttons and friendship bracelets in grade school to the hemp jewelery and custom designed t-shirts for the sports teams in high school. There were posters, props for plays, and painted stools for teachers, cloth pouches for sunglasses, coloring book pages and random sales of stuff I created in the art room. I was even paid in credit for the murals I painted in the halls of the high school. All of this was marketing that I wasn't aware of, I was just making an extra buck to go along with my fast food, and lawn mowing jobs.
In college I continued to find side work for myself. Commission paintings, coloring books for non-profit groups, logos, decorative furniture painting, design for builders,batik banners, teaching the random person who was interested, and other things of the sort.
Since being out of school I haven't done much for side work. Every now and then someone will come wandering through my studio and see something they like so I sell it to them. I've done a few custom frame jobs but that's about it. I guess I was busy filling in the other parts of my life.
Just this last year I finally put together a show that I had been dabbling with for these few years between college and now. I framed up all my pieces in a colorful pleasing fashion. I got my hands on a prime space for the Arts Walk here in Olympia. It was an empty store front my bosses own. I recruited a few other artist friends to help me fill the space, it was way too big for just one person. We showed in Spring and the Fall Arts Walk. We were even featured in the local news paper. It was a huge success.
The response I got from the public and my artist peers was enough to floor me. I knew I wasn't the kid in high school anymore shrugging off everyone's suggestions to develop my talent and do something with it. Sure I have more developing to do, who doesn't, but I have come a long ways already. The response I got from people was glowing, radiant, oozing with positive feedback. I can't tell you how many people stood in front of my pieces and said "that's exactly how I feel". I sold every original I was willing to sell in that series. I sold all my book marks and greeting cards and prints. It was a revelation, I always felt I had something to say, but now I knew people wanted to hear it.
Since that show I have become dissatisfied with plugging away on the side. I have stepped into the studio more and more. I have cut down on kayaking every weekend and biking everyday after work. I have a few friends who have done a wonderful job with Etsy and decided it was time for me to try.
I thought long and hard about all the different art I've done in my young life. The list is pretty expansive. 2-D art dominates, but I'm not a huge fan because it piles up (my studio says it all). I've always loved fun and unusual clocks, I've been collecting since I was a kid. My favorite that I still use is an alarm clock shaped like a toaster.
I decided to use my 2-D art and turn it into functional art, clocks. I'll still continue to paint on canvas and do printmaking. These are two mediums I have fallen very hard for, but the idea of clocks as artwork has taken my fancy for right now. I have about a dozen clock in different states of creation covering my studio. Stay tuned to my Etsy store as they become complete and ready for show.