Thursday, August 9, 2012

This Week's Featured Member - Nicole Bottles


An Interview with Nicole Bottles
Proud Saanich resident & the hands behind www.IVComfyCovers.com

Tell us about who you are and how you got started doing what you do. Did you gain formal training? Where? If not, how did you develop your art?
My name is Nicole Bottles and I design and knit IV Comfy Covers.  I was born in the beautiful Bay Area in California and lived there til I was 9. My favourite memories of California were far outside the concrete and busy life of the city, rather, in the beautiful national parks, by the water. I was always discovering new ways of expressing myself artistically in my childhood, from music & writing, to knitting & sewing. 

My parents were passionate about doing what you love. That kind of passion is infectious. My Grandmother Ede was an incredible artist & pianist, my other "Gramma", Thelma is an amazing seamstress & knitter. I learned so much about technique, color, and the value of dedication and patience from these two incredible women. I am so lucky to have such influences from a young age. 

All of my education in the arts happened in art class in school, summer camps, and observing artists at work and their art (whether in museums, art shows, or studios). I am a patient person, and when I saw a kind of art that I loved, say, knitting lace, I would experiment with the tools until I achieved the look I desired. As I got older, I began to check out every book about an art form I wanted to learn/master from the library. I credit much of my skill of knitting to the Greater Victoria Public Library's knitting section, my personal favorite haunt (Dewie decimal #746.432) :P.

Why do you sell IV Comfy Covers (and what are they anyhow!)?
IV ComfyCovers are a super comfy and stylish solution to an uncomfortable medical device.  I designed them originally for myself, after getting my 5th PICC line due to treatment for Chronic Lyme disease. (A PICC line is a kind of intravenous device, usually inserted into a vein in the inner side of your bicep. It is used for regular infusions of intra-venous medications or I.V. natural therapies.)  I wanted something that wasn't the burn gauze because I didn't like looking like I had just walked out of a hospital. So after knitting for over a decade (I'm 19, so for me that's a whole heck of a long time!) I decided to design something pretty and comfortable for myself seeing as the burn gauze I was given by the hospital was a constant reminder to myself and others that I was sick

I received so many compliments from strangers, friends and fellow PICC liners, that I knew I had so offer these 'comfy covers' to others! These happy colored IV Comfy Covers slip over your arm like a stretchy sock, and can be thrown in the wash.  All of my products are knit in a scent-free, pet-free, smoke-free, vegan home.

I have a PICC line now for ongoing therapy, and have had many lines over the course of my 4 years treatment for the disease.  I was diagnosed with this debilitating bacterial infection, spread by ticks, when I was 15, in 2008, after several years of vague flu-like and arthritic symptoms, and then much more serious problems developed, such as not being able to walk due to weakness, all-over body pain, and joint and memory issues. I currently use a wheelchair, but I'm rolling with the flow, and the power of positivity keeps me going. I write a blog about my journey with Lyme, at www.bitemeback.blogspot.com.

 
Who do you fundraise for?   
With each armband purchase, I donate $2.00 to CanLyme (www.CanLyme.com), a Canadian foundation dedicated to promoting research, education, diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and Associated Diseases. I have always wanted to fund-rasie for CanLyme, but until now was too sick to help out. It is so amazing to be able to offer support to this incredible organization!

What inspires your art?
For as long as I can remember, I loved the water. I have always lived on islands, and the ocean & forests are the most important inspirations in my work. Spider webs, foam on the waves, and plant veins, are some of the natural beauties that inspire lace designs. I love the sophistication and comfort of lace ribbing, which is why I use three of my favourites (the "LacyRib", "Twin Rib" and "Moss stitch Ribbing") so frequently in my IV Comfy Covers. I'm experimenting with incorporating more classic stitches into ribbing, like cables, and eyelets.

Tell us about your studio.
In the past, my studio has always been was always my bedroom floor, where I can spread out and have elbow room. I am in a wheelchair now from my Lyme Disease, and my workspace has happily become a pillow on my lap.  

Tell us about your processes. How do you work? Do you listen to music or need quiet? Is it sporadic or do you dedicate set hours to work?
Knitting is highly mobile; all you need are needles and a bag for yarn. I knit ALL the time. Actually, it shocks my family and friends when I take a break from "the needles". I knit in any spare moment that does not require my hands; in the car; in waiting rooms, chatting with friends, watching movies or listening to audiobooks. I have mastered knitting while reading a paperback book, which was the trickiest! It probably takes 4-6 hours to knit one of my armbands, about the size of the ribbing on a sock, so I try to use my time wisely by knitting in every free moment.

What challenges do you face in your work and what ways have you been able to address them (if you have)?
The hardest thing with knitting so much is that your wrists & fingers really start to hurt! I already have severe joint pain & problems due to Lyme disease, and so hours of knitting everyday doesn't help. After knitting for over a decade in the American" way (with the string in your right hand) my Gramma taught me, I decided I needed to switch to the more ergonomic "European" knitting style (with the string in your left hand). It took several weeks of focus to get it down, but now I can knit faster without discomfort!

What types of materials do you use? Why?
My art revolves around principles of reducing, reusing, and recycling. I use every last bit of yarn, and even save the tiny cuttings for spinning. For my IVComfy Covers, I have chosen to knit with cotton/elastic yarn, because it is the only yarn of natural fibers that wouldn't loose it's stretch and fall down your arm almost immediately. For a PICC line cover, it is very important that they stay up, just like a good pair of socks. The yarn is soft and machine washable, something that was both important to myself and to my customers. I am on the prowl for a way to make elasticized armbands out of organic, plant-based fiber. I am experimenting with an incredible hand-dyed sock yarn by a fellow Etsian, Heidi, from Quo Vadis Handspun (www.etsy.com/quovadishandspun), with the hope of knitting with using her wonderful yarns!


Where else do you sell your work?
I sell on Storenvy too (www.storenvy.com/IVComfyCovers).

Why would you recommend people buy handmade?
(Let me count the reasons!)
In a world of mass-produced, outsourced, assembly-line produced goods, which sacrifice ethics in the pursuit of the cheap & sellable, it is such a relief to come to places like Etsy, where you can find dedicated artisans practicing their craft. I imagine a beautiful future, where the necessary objects in our life are created with love and attention from natural products. Actually, that vision sounds a lot like the past! I love the creativity and variation of handmade goods. I buy handmade because I want all people to be treated fairly in their jobs. I love supporting creativity, and want to be inspired. I buy handmade, because I want to support small business & passionate people, the backbones of the world's real economy! Buying handmade can become a lifestyle choice, the way buying local, organic foods can be! Okay, stepping down off the proverbial podium, I simply love beautiful things that were created by people for PEOPLE :).

What goals do you have?
I love hand-spinning wild & curly art-yarns from local and 'happy sheep'. The fiber whispers to my hands what they want to become and my legs do the rest. I am in a wheelchair, and I figured that it would be great therapy for my legs to use a treadle. And of course, I'd be making yarn. A fellow Islander and spinner, Arleigh, generously gave me her beautiful Cowichan Spinner & treadle, and I spent hours mastering the treading process, before even beginning to create yarn. But now, my coordination and strength is improving, and with that more spinning! I would love to be able to sell my yarn creations, and hand-spun, hand-knit goodies such as hats, neck warmers, and fingerless gloves. Eventually I see myself creating my own yarn for my armbands. 

I would also love to find a way to get my IV Comfy Covers into the hospitals, particularly for the kids. Happiness is integral to health, and I think a brightly colored armband would make being sick a little less scary. Or selling the armbands at home nursing places would be pretty special too. I will probably need more hands to expand my business though, as I can barely keep up with my Etsy/Storenvy orders! 

What is your favorite style/color armband? Which ones do you wear?
Basically, all the colors I sell caught my eye. Each time I discover a new one, it's my favorite...it's very hard to choose!

I love the soothing, natural tone of the Moss green. It is a very sophisticated color, especially when knit up in the Lacy Rib or Moss Stitch.  It was one of the 1st armbands I made for myself when I happened across the yarn while on a 'medical vacation', after getting in yet another PICC line. 

Anything purple is amazing, whether is an Iris, a firework, or a jewel. It's a very mystical color, and was only worn by Royals, once upon a time. It was tricky to produce, but now the secret is unlocked, and there is plenty of purple for all (thank goodness!). I'm crazy about this light shade of Periwinkle, and my special favorite, Plum.

PeacockGreen. Need I say more? Who can resist the magic & majesty of a iridescent peacock? It's a color that really just goes with everything, and looks sharp at any occasion. I created a 'Swirly Ribbing' to compliment this color, which curls around the arm in broad strips.

Any other place you will be that you would like us to know about?
Feel free to check out my Facebook page, where I love to post the backstory & inspiration for my latest armbands, adventure tales of knitting in public, updates about new colors,and general facts about Lyme Disease, and helpful PICC line tips. And of course, sales and specials, just for FB fans! www.facebook.com/IVComfyCovers





Friday, April 13, 2012

Vancouver Island Etsy Team On Pinterest


Our wonderfully creative and talented Vancouver Island Etsy Team now has a 'board' on Pinterest!  Check it out!  There are several treasuries there as well as individual items for sale from various Van Isle Etsy Team members. If we have missed any of you, or you are new on our team and want your shop to be included, get ahold of me (Micki) on Etsy at A2SeaCreations and I will remedy that! 

If you have created a Van Isle Etsy Treasury, let me know and we will post it on our board.  If you are on Pinterest, you can do the same and spread the love.  Good teamwork helps us all!  This is one way we can support our own artistic community.


Written and published by Micki Findlay - A Vancouver Island Etsy Team Leader.  (Micki's shops on Etsy are A2Sea Creations and A2Sea Photography)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This Week's Featured Member - Alison Spokes

 

Tell us about who you are and how you got started doing what you do. Did you gain formal training? Where? If not, how did you develop your art? My name is Alison Spokes and my artistic niche is painting fairies in digital media. I am completely self-taught.  My fascination with faeries began shortly after my first visit to Vancouver Island in 2002 when I purchased a deck of faerie oracle cards from a local bookstore.  My intentions, when I bought the cards, were for use rather than for the artwork, but the imagery in the cards became this rabbit hole into the Wonderland that is Faerie.  I have been collecting fairies and fantasy art ever since, which is where I get most of my inspiration.  I have always been able to draw well, but I never took it seriously as a career, let alone a hobby, until just a few years ago.  I had never considered using digital media until my sister started creating manga characters in Photoshop for her high-school art projects.  I saw some of the amazing things she could do, so I thought I might give it a try.  Unfortunately, I never got the feel for Photoshop.  I eventually found an art tutorial by fantasy artist, Nene Thomas that explained some techniques in Corel Painter.  That's when I discovered my medium!  I've been painting ever since.  

 • Tell us about your studio. Do you have a room or workshop especially dedicated to your art? Or is it the kitchen table or a corner in your child's playroom?  I wish I had a room solely dedicated to my art!  No.  I have a small room with a computer desk where I sit and do all my artwork.  I have to share the space with my partner, the gamer: he games while I paint.  


• Tell us about your processes. How do you work? Do you listen to music or need quiet? Is it sporadic or do you dedicate set hours to work?  I try to dedicate set hours to my painting.  My goal is 6 hours a week, but I probably only average 4 or 5.  I try to get in at least 30 mins a day of actual painting time with a few extra hours added on during the weekends.  I always listen to audio books while I paint.  My favorite stories are Young Adult fantasy novels.  Putting on headphones and hearing a story helps keep me focused.  I seem to get easily distracted otherwise.  

• What are the toughest challenges you find in keeping consistent hours?  What other challenges do you face in your work and what ways have you been able to address them (if you have)?   One of the biggest challenges I've faced is simply my choice of medium.  Trying to enter art shows as a digital artist is challenging.  Often, they have no category for digital art, so I don't qualify.  Most art shows require original pieces.  As a digital artist, my originals are bits and bites, which do not display well.  Prints are my only option.  Lastly, access to electricity is necessary if events require you to demonstrate your work; not all shows are able to provide that necessity.  It can be tough, but I try not to let it discourage me.  

When it comes to finding time, my biggest challenge is that I work part-time, and the rest of the week I am on call.  My schedule changes from week to week, and sometimes I have to drop what I am doing to go into work if I get the call.  Another distraction, I'll confess: I have a bit of an Internet addiction.  Since I am already on the computer when I am working on my art, it is so easy to stop and check emails or messages from my social networks.  At least I am easy to get in touch with!  I am always online!  

The Gardener - Fantasy Fine Art Print 

 

 • What types of materials do you use? A computer, Corel Painter software, and my Wacom tablet.  
• Where else do you sell your work?   At this moment, I have two retailers that sell my work: 
Lobelia's Lair
in Nanaimo and the Victoria Bug Zoo in Victoria.  Besides Etsy, I also sell my work from my own website as well as Zazzle.
I've also licensed my work to a couple of companies: Abracraftdabra Designs is a Canadian company that sells cross-stitch patterns of my work and Kat's Magical Patches sells my art on fabric patches.  Both of these companies also have Etsy Shops. 

 • Why do you think people should buy handmade?  I believe in buying local where ever you can for both economic and ecologic reasons.  I also believe that buying local and handmade items builds a strong sense of community.  I think people should get out there and know what skills and abilities lie in their own communities, be it local communities or online communities in some cases.  Supporting people in your community also fosters positive energy, and that can never be bad.  
 

• What goals do you have?   My long-term dream would be to be self-employed as an artist!  Isn't that every artists' dream?  My short-term goals, however, are to try out a few new events this year.  I'd like to complete my Enchanted Insects collection.  Right now I have 6 completed; I would like to finish 6 more before I call it done.  I've also started a new series called Moonlight Masquerade.  I'd like to get a couple pieces from that collection completed by the end of the year.  

 

• What are three items in your shop that you are particularly proud of?  

• Will you be at any art/craft fairs this year? Any other place you will be this year that you would like us to know about?
 
 Yes!  I will be at the Sidney SummerMarket every Thursday night starting in June.
The Market at Bastion Square every Sunday starting in May.
June 9-10, I will part of the Saanich Peninsula Art Studio Tour.
I will also be at VCON: Vancouver'sSci-Fi & Fantasy Convention this fall.

There are a few other events I plan on attending, but nothing has been made official yet.  You can check the events page on my website.
Follow me on Twitter
or Follow me on Facebook

I will post new events as they become official.  



I also have an online event going on right now.  I encourage everyone to drop by my blog and enter my giveaway for a chance to win $25 in merchandise from my store.
 
Alison Spokes
Ethereal Earth Fantasy Art

 

(Interview conducted and published by Micki Findlay - A Vancouver Island Etsy Team Leader.  Micki's shops on Etsy are A2Sea Creations and A2Sea Photography )

Friday, March 16, 2012

This Week's Featured Members - Michelle & Caron


 Tell us about who you are and how you got started doing what you do. Did you gain formal training? Where? If not, how did you develop your art?  We are Two Blooms Design Studio and are celebrating our tenth year.  We started our business by refusing to pay $15.00 for an imported bar of soap. As two sisters we had a background in the arts/education field so immersed ourselves in researching every detail needed to create superior products.  With formal training in art and graphics and with our strong work ethic we created and experimented until we had the best possible product.  One of us is a natural alchemist and the other excels in marketing and social media so it was a winning combination.  We have travelled extensively and work well together always percolating with new ideas.
 • Tell us about your studio. Do you have a room or workshop especially dedicated to your art? Or is it the kitchen table or a corner in your child's playroom? We are blessed to have the room to have a specific studio space dedicated to our handcrafted art and are always expanding our range.  Like everything else, we always want more room!  
• Tell us about your processes. How do you work? Do you listen to music or need quiet? Is it sporadic or do you dedicate set hours to work?  Because we’re sisters, we have our own style of working.  One likes to listen to music, the other needs silence.  We have work hours that we try to adhere to but when inspiration strikes we can go until late at night or through the weekend.  
• What are the toughest challenges you find in keeping consistent hours?  What other challenges do you face in your work and what ways have you been able to address them (if you have)?  It’s a discipline to be consistent in your production hours and we sometimes let the creative side take over and get lax, meaning we have been known to procrastinate before a showcase.  One of the biggest challenges is competition.  Seems like everyone is getting into soaping these days.  We’re in a small town but it is still glutted.  We are always keeping one step in front of our competitors which plays well with our creativity.
 
 • What types of materials do you use? Why?  We make EVERYTHING we sell, we don’t use pre-made bases at all.  Buying local is our priority and if it’s organic that’s a consideration.  We listened to our customers and brought out a vegan line of beauty products.   Our ingredients are as natural as possible and we’re very careful with preservatives.
We’re selling at numerous farmers markets through the season, check our blog for updates: 
http://www.twobloomsdesignstudio.blogspot.com 
or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TwoBlooms
  
• Why do you think people should buy handmade?  Who wouldn’t want to have an original, one of a kind item? Why buy mass produced?  I LOVE when I know the person who grows my veggies or knit my hat or made my soap.  It’s about relationships and making community.
 • What goals do you have?  Our goal is to be able to support ourselves and expand Two Blooms Design Studio.
 • What are three items in your shop that you are particularly proud of? Our Rose Soap is a favourite with our customers...
 


This year we are harvesting our own sea salts from the ocean and adding them to our wildly popular bath salts and scrubs.


Our lip balms have grown in popularity and this year our Chai Tea and Metro Lip Balms are winning fans!

Finally, our Hot Beverage cozies are becoming runaway best sellers because there’s no need to waste trees on plain brown sleeves and they make their own fashion statement.




 Above is a photo of our showcase at the Victoria Tea Festival.
This year we’ll be at 5 weekly markets and dozens of Christmas markets.  Some of the markets we are at this year are Moss Street Market: http://www.mossstreetmarket.com/
Oak Bay night market and the Sunday downtown market. Check our blog or Facebook for details.
Our Social Media Links:
  

(Interview conducted and published by Micki Findlay - A Vancouver Island Etsy Team Leader.  Micki's shops on Etsy are A2Sea Creations and A2Sea Photography )

Thursday, March 8, 2012

This Week's Featured Member - Chelsea Friedt


Tell us about who you are and how you got started doing what you do. Did
you gain formal training? Where? If not, how did you develop your art?
I love to sew. I have no formal training. My mom could kind of sew. My grandma could actually sew very well but lives about 20 hours away. So apart from home ec class I kind of taught myself to sew. I gained some help from youtube videos, blogs and here we are. I started making bibs for myself when my first little guy was 7 months old. I had so many garbage store bought bibs thoughtfully given to me as shower gifts and in all honesty I may as well have not used any bibs at all. They shrunk up weird in the wash and the plastic backed ones melted in the dryer. They were too small, too thin, and sometimes unattractive. I finally got fed up and realized I could make my own and be much happier with the results!

• Tell us about your studio. Do you have a room or workshop especially
dedicated to your art? Or is it the kitchen table or a corner in your child's
playroom?
My "studio" is half of my husband and my shared walk in closet :) I can fit a table in and a shelf for all my fabric and supplies. Its nice and cozy and quiet. I work a lot in the evenings since we have 3 little kids, it can be a little bit crazy during the day. So being on the same floor as them in case someone is crying is quite helpful.


 

• Tell us about your processes. How do you work? Do you listen to music or
need quiet? Is it sporadic or do you dedicate set hours to work?
I use a lot of my spare time to work. I often work in stages. One evening I will cut oodles of fabric, the next I will sew like a mad woman and then often I attach snaps while the kids are playing near me. To keep a little sanity I often watch tv shows on my laptop, while cutting fabric. A little gossip girl never hurt anybody ;)

• What are the toughest challenges you find in keeping consistent hours?
What other challenges do you face in your work and what ways have you
been able to address them (if you have)?
Having 3 children under 4 can make a person go bananas and consistency for them is always at the forefront of my mind. So there are definitely times when I struggle to keep consistency in my creative process. Some evenings are eaten up by needy children. Many people tell me I have my hands full. I prefer to think of them as "full of good things".

 

 • What types of materials do you use? Why?
I use a lot of quilting cotton, its thick and it is easy to find beautiful or cute fabric. My shop is geared towards moms, babes, and gifts for them, so cute or beautiful is pretty important. My favorite bibs are backed with terry cloth. It's absorbent and duals as a towel for cleaning up sticky faces, hands and trays when lunch time is over. Many people like chenille or minky backing for smaller bibs. So I make a smaller sized bib for babies 4mo - 1 year backed with those fabrics. It isn't as absorbent but it certainly is soft and very pretty.

• Why do you think people should buy handmade?
Some things are better handmade because a little more time and effort goes into the thought process of each individual item. In my situation I found that it is hard to find bibs that are made with the actual needs of babes involved. Most storebought bibs say something cute on them but that's about the distance of their functionality. I want something that someone has sat down and thought "this is not working, how can I make this better?"

• What goals do you have?
I would love to have 100 items in my shop by Christmas 2012. It would be a real dream to become busy enough to be doing this as a secondary income in our family but for now it's mostly a hobby, with a bit of extra spending money.

• What are three items in your shop that you are particularly proud of? (Include
their links)
www.etsy.com/listing/94196776/organic-toddler-bib-cars

www.etsy.com/listing/91424520/baby-girl-bib-minky-bib-orange-striped

www.etsy.com/listing/88950320/owl-baby-bib-minky-bib

www.etsy.com/listing/80345753/large-bib-red-hippo-baby-toddler-bib

 

 
• Will you be at any art/craft fairs this year? Any other place you will be that you
would like us to know about? (Include links to these places if possible.)
I am hoping to be a part of the Westshore Wonderland Craft Sale this year. I had seriously hoped to do a craft fair this past fall, but we had just had our sweet baby girl and it just wasn't do-able. I would also like to start in a local farmers market eventually.
www.earthlygoods.ca/westshore-wonderland-craft-fair.html

goldstreamstationmarket.ca/

Chelsea Friedt 


(Interview conducted and published by Micki Findlay - A Vancouver Island Etsy Team Leader.  Micki's shops on Etsy are A2Sea Creations and A2Sea Photography )

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This Week's Featured Member - Julia Di Sano

 
• Tell us about who you are and how you got started doing what you do. Did
you gain formal training? Where? If not, how did you develop your art?
 Well, I was born and raised in Ontario, Canada and lived there with my family until about 2007, when I started moving around for university and travel abroad. I suppose Id always been a bit of a homebody and enjoyed quiet time alone, even as a child. Haha Maybe I was a bit of a loner...But I liked it that way, and it allowed me to really develop the creative side of who I am.
 
Anyways, I always turned to art to express myself. And I attended a specialty school of the arts in Ontario for high school for formal training, going through numerous auditions and creating a hefty portfolio of my work to be considered. That really forced me to take my work seriously, as something more than just self-expression and fun. I started to see it as a powerful mode of conversing with onlookers, and wanted to learn as much as I could about every kind of art. I worked with many different techniques and materials at the school, including all sorts of paints, wire materials, ceramics, etc. For a while, watercolour paint was my passion, but I started to branch out again a few years later- and that’s when I fell for acrylic. And that’s been my passion ever since.
 
• Tell us about your studio. Do you have a room or workshop especially
dedicated to your art? Or is it the kitchen table or a corner in your child's
playroom?
 
 About 6 years ago, I met my fiance in Japan and have lived in Vancouver, BC with him since then. Unfortunately, the housing costs here are much higher than in Ontario, so I’ve had to get creative with utilizing our tiny home space for multiple functions in each room. I’m currently annexing our dining table as my painting area, and once all my work has dried, I move those paintings to our guest room for storage until they’re sold. Eventually, I’d like to have a room set up entirely for my art, but am happy with my make-shift space until then.

• Tell us about your processes. How do you work? Do you listen to music or
need quiet? Is it sporadic or do you dedicate set hours to work?
 This is something that changes regularly...I work whenever I have time and the mood strikes me. I tell my fiance I need to paint whenever “my fingers are tingling.” And he’s always happy to leave me to my devices, listening to some Mariana’s Trench CDs or watching home decor shows out of the corner of my eye while I work. Other days, I work in total silence. It really depends. But if it were up to me and money were no object, I would create art and work on Etsy every day, all day.


 

• What are the toughest challenges you find in keeping consistent hours?
What other challenges do you face in your work and what ways have you
been able to address them (if you have)?
 Well, I’ve been working on and off with various day job contracts for the last few years, and that has been a bit unpredictable. Currently, I’ve managed to push my all my contracted hours into 3 weekdays each week, and dedicate the other days to my art. It’s a challenge to find balance between the two, but I’m always looking to improve my efficiency and productivity. It helps that I’m a list-addict and have a habit of micro-managing my days that way. But sometimes I want to throw away the schedules and lists and just let the paint flow until it pleases, you know? Well, like I said, I’m still working on that.

• What types of materials do you use? Why?
 I really love working with acrylics on stretched canvas and canvas board. And use varnish like it’s going out of style. Hehe. I love the glossy finish it provides on all my works, and knowing that they will be protected, at least to some degree, from the elements. I also enjoy playing around with glitter paint, every now and again. Who says kids need to grow up, right?

• Where else do you sell your work?
 While I attended art school in Ontario, I used to sell my works at their functions and in local galleries. But since, then, I have mainly just produced pieces for family and friends, maintaining my artsy side and making handmade works from the heart for loved ones. And now, having decided to sell my work again, Etsy is my venue of choice. But, I might venture out to other places, eventually.

• Why do you think people should buy handmade?
I think that anyone who loves handmade goods already knows the answer to that question: Something handmade is unique and created with love. Any piece that is “handmade” is not reproduced and sold by the masses, and is not without soul or human imperfection – Rather, it IS crafted over time, is one of a kind, and is perfectly flawed. It’s something that, thankfully, is not made by machines in this mechanized world. And for those very reasons, holding on to the craft and skill that makes humanity so wonderful, people should buy handmade.

• What goals do you have?
Hmmm, that’s a tough one. I have so many goals at any given time. But I think, in terms of my work future, I would love to build my online presence and grow my Etsy business to the point that I am able to live entirely off my art. If that came to fruition, I would get to do what I love every day- and that would be a miracle. A true joy. I cannot imagine being luckier than that.

• What are three items in your shop that you are particularly proud of?
I am particularly fond of the following 3 paintings in my shop. I just sold one of my favourites last week, actually (and hence, it isn’t on this list). But I really like these ones, too. 

 


• Will you be at any art/craft fairs this year? Any other place you will be that you
would like us to know about?
I haven’t planned anything, just yet. As I’m not from Vancouver originally, I am not really familiar with the local Craft scene here. That’s something I would love to explore and look into partaking in one of these days, though. 

Julia Di Sano
Ebi Emporium on Etsy

(Interview conducted and published by Micki Findlay - A Vancouver Island Etsy Team Leader.  Micki's shops on Etsy are A2Sea Creations and A2Sea Photography )