Some time ago we promised you a series of blog interviews with artists from Etsy. Things got in the way, and some time has passed. It happens 😉
Ok, enough blabbering, let’s go straight to the questions! 🙂
– First off, would you like to introduce yourself, your life, where do you live, a little about your background let’s say ?
I’m Christina, and I live in Baltimore. I’m 27. I have a wonderful husband and three crazy kitties.
– What inspires you ?
As a Pagan, I’ve long been inspired by nature: the change of the seasons, the colors of the outdoors, the magic of the moon. I also love fantasy themes, and find myself drawn to the magic of faery– the glitter, the whimsy, the iridescence.
– When did you first begin creating jewelry ?
I believe I made my first necklace when I was ten or eleven, after my aunt took me into one of the local beading stores. After college, I needed a creative outlet, so I turned again to jewelry making. I started with bead stringing, then got into wirework, resin, and PMC in order to realize the designs in my brain!
– Have you tried other crafts or arts before jewelry ?
I am a trained singer, and I began singing at a young age. I studied opera in high school and college, before realizing that while being nurtured in such a creative environment gave me a wonderful community, I wanted more artistic freedom. I turned to swing and ballroom dancing, then became totally absorbed by the magic of ATS (American Tribal Style) bellydance right about the same time I became a jewelry artist.
– Any tips on selling handmade items, and art in particular ?
Treat your customers like gold! My wonderful repeat customers are the bread and butter of my business. They are the reason I have food in my fridge. Always say thank you, always be grateful for them. Promotions come and go, but it will be the positive word of mouth from your previous customers that will allow your business to truly flourish. Aside from that– never settle for something you’re not quite happy with. When you sell art, you’re selling your own creative vision, and that’s what needs to come through and connect with potential customers. Always find ways to improve and sharpen your craft so that you are at your best, and sales will follow!
– Why should people buy handmade ?
When you buy handmade, you are buying something that an artisan personally crafted from inception to finished product. That piece is loved, and imbued with all of that awesome mojo. It allows you to bring some of the magic of the world into your own home– I know for a fact that my studio is cozier for having been filled with trinkets, art, and tools crafted by other artisans. Also– when you support an artist by buying handmade, you are directly impacting that artist’s life, and enabling them to bring more art into the world. I’ll take handmade, quality craftsmanship over mass-produced, profit-oriented wares any day of the week!
– Do you have any other interest apart from creating wonderful jewelry (or maybe I should say art :)) ?
Does tea count as an interest? I am a total tea addict. Coconut chai, jasmine, market spice… I probably drink about five cups of tea a day. It’s kind of an obsession!
– Now, something a little less craft related… Do you like reading ? Watching movies ? What books have you read lately, and what movies have you watched ?
I’m a sucker for period pieces and costume dramas! My Netflix queue is filled to bursting with movies set in the Renaissance through the Regency. I’m a bit of an Austen nerd. 🙂 Aside from that, my favorite movie is Practical Magic.
I’m currently reading ‘Faery Tale’ by Signe Pike, which is a skeptic’s exploration into the world of Faery beliefs, with lots of interviews with artists who, like myself, are inspired by faery themes. It’s refreshing and thoroughly enchanting!
– Would you like to add something else, links, thoughts, anything ?
If you’re on the East coast and interested in finding some awesome ATS bellydance, check out one of my troupes, Transcendence Tribal: http://www.facebook.com/#!/TranscendenceTribal
– Would you like to offer some kind of promotion to our readers ?
Sure! Use the coupon code BUTTERFLIES11 in my shop until the end of July to receive free standard shipping, domestic or international! 🙂
So, I hope you enjoyed reading the interview, and now go check out Christina’s amazing creations on Etsy! And if you buy something, don’t forget to tell her you found her via us! 😉
Have a wonderful day, Silvia.