October 13, 2010


Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, and personal stuff). I'm Sarah, a Christian Wife and Mom to 2 wacky kiddos. I grew up in Oregon, but moved to Fort Worth 8 years ago, and now live on the north side. In addition to artsycraftynesses, I love to bargain shop for good junk to fix up, dig around in my organic garden, and go to local live art and music events.

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? I was always making stuff; but a fun, early memory is when my friend Barb and I had a pillow-making factory in the 1st grade. We'd use all my Mom's scrap fabric and quilt little pillows for all our dolls. I also would go door to door selling my drawings.

How and why did you make it?
I haven't really ever needed a reason to be creative, it just comes naturally. Instead of making something to fill a void, I tend to think of something that will inspire things around it, or to reinvent something that others no longer see potential in.

What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
I get asked this alot actually, or, more specifically, if I use models for my figures (which I do not). Creating is very organic for me, and usually pretty spontaneous. My ideas and inspirations come more from my moods and whims, rather than from seeing something else, if that makes sense. Basically, it's from my zany unique mind, lol.

What are your favorite materials?
Found papers and ephemera! Using miscellaneous pretty bits of papers and embedded them in my work is what helps to define my style. I especially adore postage stamps and sewing patterns, patterned tissue paper, and fortunes from fortune cookies. I also use acrylic paints, watercolors, and anything else I can get my hands on.

Any tips for selling handmade stuff?
Be UNIQUE! Unfortunately I see a lot of the same stuff out there; my biggest suggestion is to create something new, not duplicate what another successful entreprenuer is doing. Doing something original is what will bring the most satisfaction; otherwise, if you are just in it for the money, you'll end up getting burned out.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I have to pick just one? That's tough! I guess I'll have to go with the collaborative artwork that was made by my family at a family reunion 5 years ago. We put out a big piece of drawing paper and handfuls of colored pencils, and, over the course of 3 days, 40+ artists worked on it, ranging in age from 5 to 85! I have so many amazing things though, made with love by family and friends; that's a hard question!

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Don't count on your work being 'found'. Etsy is amazing, but it's easy to get lost there, so you'll need to build your own fan base, by interacting with other artists, teams, etc. Also, make your pictures the best they can be!

How do you promote your work?
I use social marketing sites and my newsletter, but mostly it's from getting the work out there! You can't count on 'fans' to actually be customers though; I see lots of twitter accounts who have thousands of fans, but aren't making any sales. Make sure you do the legwork! 95% of my sales are from live events, gallery shows, art festivals, etc.

Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
Usually I'll find an hour when no one is pulling at me, and just grab some canvases and begin to create! Sometimes I'll have a specific vision in mind, and other times it comes much more organicly, I just begin to layer paints and textures, and let the emerging forms define the vision of the piece. With 2 young children, I have to capture the moment when I have it, so I try to just get in and go for it: no sketching or careful planning required. I usually work on several pieces at one time, so that as one area needs a few moments to dry, I can work on another piece of art, taking turns. That eliminates any wait time. I have a home studio built on to the back of our home, so I can just make a big creative mess, and leave it to dry until I can return to it. It's a fantastic luxury.

What first made you want to become an artist? While I've always been creative, more of that energy was focused towards the theater while I was growing up. In college I took my first art class (2-d drawing) and my professor told me that I probably should look for another career, lol. Well, in 2003 after my daughter was born, I began painting again. At first it was just a hobby, but then others began asking me to create for them as well, and I turned it into a business. 7 years later, I have really come into my own defined style, just through practice and experimentation with different media. 2010 is the first year I really decided to put my work 'out there' and it has been really rewarding. Being unique, artistic, original and creative is wired into who I am, so I guess I've always been an artist at heart.

To meet Sarah Zamora and see her work in person, visit her at the Keller Art Walk tomorrow, Thursday Oct. 14th from 6-9pm at 1101 Bear Creek, Keller, 76248. Sarah is the featured artist for Main and Vine Gallery.

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/OriginalYouth

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