February 1, 2010


Today We Would Like To Introduce...

Andrea Schmid of

wife. mother. sister. friend. daughter. artist.

read on to find out more.

Tell us a bit about yourself
(name, location, affiliations, and personal stuff).
Hey! I'm Andrea Schmid, wife to an amazing bass-player & all around awesome guy, Jeremy, and I'm known as "Mama" to my 15-month-old Madeleine. Keller is our home right now, though we both are originally from New York. I miss the mountains back home, but I would take Texas over a New York winter anytime. We're still coming to grips with living in Texas. I try to avoid saying "y'all" at all costs. I'm a full-time writer and graphic designer, and that's what pays the bills. My life is full, but I love it.

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand?
Hmm.. I tried make a shirt on my mom's sewing machine out of orange polyester when I was 10 or so. I remember using gold fringe on the cuffs and hemlines. (Does that count as handmade?)

How and why did you make it?
You know, I have no idea why I made it. I would hope my mom supervised me, but there's no telling.

What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
As corny as it sounds, life inspires me. I tend to find inspiration from people's stories, music, what I witness and what I experience. It could be a friend's heartbreak, a trip I go on or a quote that speaks to me. I don't really have a standard mode of inspiration and I don't always see it coming. But when it hits, I know it.

What are your favorite materials?
Currently, acrylics, oil pastels and watercolors.

Any tips for selling handmade stuff?
Confidence. So far I'm realizing that if I believe in what I put out there, other people will believe in my confidence. There's plenty of critics and nay-sayers. The trick is to know who you are and what you love. Who cares what everyone else says. (unless they're commission...in which case, good luck.)

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I'm a wife, mom, writer, designer, musician, and wanna-be in a lot of other things. I really love any movie or show where people sing and dance... ideally at the same time. I'm really good at making my daughter smile. My faith shapes every piece of all those things. That is what defines me more than anything I "do".

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My mom is a quilter and she made me two quilts a few years ago. One of them is a scrap quilt with pieces of fabric from all different times of my life — childhood bedding, dresses, wedding dress, lace, etc. It's really one of a kind.
I have one painting that hangs in our dining room that I am really hesitant to ever part with. It was a piece that morphed with me during a really difficult season. It's of a ship on a really tempestuous sea, with an oversized moon. I called it "the moon and her muse" and it really captures a season of my life just perfectly. Every time I see it, I feel like I'm looking at a piece of my heart on canvas. I don't know that I could ever part with it.

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Take good photos. Create pieces that you love and would buy. Check in on your site every day. Showcase as much as you can. Just use it to its limits. It's designed (and improving) to serve your needs.

How do you promote your work?
Besides Etsy, I have a blog (theorganicbird.blogspot.com) and Facebook. Also I do shows and I rely on word of mouth and friends who can spread the word.

Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
Usually I start a piece after my little one goes to bed. Right now, I don't have a specific studio space, so I take over our living area with sheets and brushes, water canisters and paint. By the time I'm done, I'm covered. I always tell my husband, "You know I love a piece when I drop the brushes and get my hands in the paint." I love color... finding the right hues and mixing is really fun for me. I don't usually have a full concept before my brush hits the canvas. Sometimes it hits me right away and I'm done in an hour. Other times, it takes weeks before I can stand back and say "There it is."I'm realizing that the GREATEST skill in any creative work is editing... editing, editing and more editing. My best pieces are the ones when I can realize that one more brush stroke will ruin the whole thing.

What first made you want to become an artist?
I kinda feel like it's just who I am. I don't know that I ever really had a choice. Creativity is how I survive this world, so the fact that I'm currently expressing through paint was inevitable I suppose.

Andrea it was a lot of fun getting to know you more.
Thanks for taking the time from your busy schedule to interview with us.

" I love the fact that you can go into her shop and purchase original pieces of work, or prints. Offering that option is one thing I feel a lot of etsy artist strive to do. The works of Andrea to me seem confident and bold. Her use of colors help make the simple subject matter appear realistic and three-dimensional. Some pieces stand out as very dramatic while others dance on the line of whimsical. All in all, the pieces are positive and inspiring. I enjoy each with different emotions."
Danica Gowan of FlowerBedHead.com

Shop Here: aglschmid.etsy.com
Follow Blog Here: http://theorganicbird.blogspot.com/

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