December 12, 2009

Featured Artist SPOTLIGHT...

Jennifer Williams
from bLUeSKYsunburn

Jennifer really needs no introduction around the Fort Worth Etsy Team,
as she is our founder and most gracious leader.

But for those of you who have not had the pleasure to meet her, here is a bit about her.
I suggest you follow her blog she is a hoot and a fountain of information.

Trial and Error Blog

So with out any further delay, I give you an interview with Jennifer Williams...

Tell us a bit about yourself
(name, location, affiliations, and personal stuff).

My name is Jennifer Williams. I’m 29 years old and I’ve lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex all my life. I’ve been happily married for close to five years now and we have a spoiled 5 year old cat and a rambunctious 7 month old puppy.

I work full time in mortgage law but in my spare time I create artwork for Blueskysunburn Creations out of my little studio in the back of my house.

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand?
How and why did you make it?
Hmmm…that’s a tough one! I’ve been making things for as long as I can remember and many of my early memories get jumbled into one another. I remember crafting Christmas ornaments with my family out of pompoms and googly eyes and being disappointed when my first attempt at making a pin wheel from a paper pattern failed.

What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
Anything and everything! My mind tends to bounce around quite a bit. I could get an idea from something someone said, something I saw on the way to work, a song playing on the radio…

I tend to doodle a lot – at work, while I’m watching movies/tv, when I’m angry or upset. My ideas come mainly when I’m not focusing on the ideas themselves.

What are your favorite materials?

Anything that makes a great TEXTURE! My materials vary anywhere from artist texture mediums to sand mixed into paint. I love being able to run my hands over a finished project and FEEL the work put into it. I also enjoy working with paints (acrylic and watercolor) and colored pencil.

Any tips for selling handmade stuff?

Marketing, marketing and marketing! No one will know anything about you or your company unless you put it out there for others to see. Be yourself, enjoy what you do and it will shine through in your work.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I enjoy spending time with my family, reading books, baking and taking art classes to learn new techniques.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?

That would have to be this plaster plaque I have that my older brother painted when he was a boy. It is one of those paint it yourself type deals you get at the craft store. This one has some sort of vintage car on it.

The painting itself it a plain mess but it brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?

Not to get discouraged. Many new artists think they will be able to jump on Etsy and instantly make a bunch of money selling items online when that’s not necessarily the case. Just keep trying and you’ll find what works for you.
Jennifer's Etsy Shop:

How do you promote your work?
My website, my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, …I give business cards out whenever I can. I’m thinking about running a few ads online.


In ten years I'd like to be...

Making a living off my art full time.

Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.

My process is that there isn’t one. I have paintings lining my walls that have been started and stopped at least a dozen times. The majority of my paintings stem from doodles I created and pasted inside my art journal. The other ones, well, they usually stem from being angry or upset at something.

I normally create first thing in the morning or last thing at night before I go to bed. In the middle of the day I’m too restless to focus on anything long enough.

When I’m in the mood to create materials don’t really matter to me. I tend to paint or draw on whatever random piece of paper, wood, napkin, canvas I happen to set my eyes on. It doesn’t always come out too pretty but that’s the way it works.

What first made you want to become an artist?

I didn’t decide I wanted to be an artist until a couple of years ago. One day I had been working on a painting for a couple of hours and it dawned on me that I was completely content. I hadn’t noticed how much time had passed.

I started paying attention to how I felt when I was creating and noticed I had that same feeling of contentment. After that there wasn’t a decision to make. I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Now, I just have to get there.

"When I see these paintings, especially the ones of faces, I see a story in their eyes. Each one tells me a different saga, a new tale. Some tell me that they are ready to come live with me because there is so much to say it would take a life time to chat about. Others look at me like' " What, you tell me, I am the one that need help here!" Point being that each one of Jennifer's pieces of art come to life in their own ways. If a piece is speaking to you, it might be time to just go ahead and bring it to its new home.

I think soon collecting Jennifer's pieces will not be such an easy task as logging on to ETSY and purchasing your favorites! Why settle for a print, when you can own the original? "

Thank you Jennifer for your time.
It's really nice to get to know the person behind the "Faces " of blueskysunburn.

Trial and Error Blog
Jennifer's Etsy Shop


kaden.oshields said...

Great write up, congrats Jennifer :0)

Michael said...

Hey, do you think you could mention to your readers about my website that allows users to promote their Etsy shops for free. I need members if I am going to keep things going. You can see my site here


Sketch Customs said...

Great interview! Yay for our leader LOL

ArtSnark said...

great interview with a fun & talented artist