Today I am interviewing Jessica of Jat*Art aka Tylerja on Etsy. Jessica is not only a fabulous artist, but also one of my top team leaders on STATTEAM, she initiated starting the STATTEAM spotlight and is a wonderful person who will go out of her way to help others. Thank you Jessica, you totally ROCK!!!
How long have you been an artist?
I’ve been creating since I was little…still not sure if I would consider myself an “artist” but I definitely enjoy embracing my creative side and exploring new creative techniques.
Tell us about your first attempts to be creative.
My mom still has fingerpaintings from when I was little. Since she was always painting and creating herself; I guess I followed in her footsteps and created my own little pieces of “art” at a very young age. Luckily there were always paints, crayons, pastels, fabrics, and trinkets around for me to express my creative side.
How many hours a day do you create?
I don’t always have the time to create daily…although I wish I did….I do a lot of my work in “cram sessions” where I’ll spend a good 5 – 8 hours working on several different pieces and then come back and add finishing details over the next few days until they are finished.
How does creating art make you feel?
Making something from nothing is one of the best feelings out there! I love when I can put what’s in my mind on a canvas and share it with others. It’s also great when someone else appreciates my creation and purchases the piece so that they can enjoy it in their home.
How did you pick your creative medium?
When I first started out I used acrylic paint because it was the cheapest 🙂 but I’ve just really enjoyed working with it ever since. Acrylic paint comes in so many colors and I really love watering it down to where it looks almost like watercolor. It’s very versatile. I also love adding little “found objects” or trinkets to my works to add a little funky flavor. And Sharpies are definitely my favorite ink pen…just love the bold black line they create!
What are your inspirations?
Music, nature, photography, flowers…pretty much anything! Sometimes I get inspired by a color combination or even a certain trinket and build a piece around it.
How do you recharge when your creativity hits the wall?
I love looking on etsy when I hit a roadblock. Seeing other people’s creations really gets my gears going…or sometimes I’ll go out and take pictures during a walk and get inspired that way….good music usually does the trick too 🙂
“What is Art?” is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
What gives you hope in the world?
Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder…so I’m THRILLED when someone else enjoys a piece that I’ve created. I know my art won’t always appeal to everyone and that’s totally fine…I know that some pieces will speak to certain individuals and that connects us! I just like to have fun with my work and I hope that others see that and can make the work their own.
What are your artistic goals?
I want to be able to create on a daily basis and really pump out some quality work. Etsy has been a great forum for me to display what I can do and I hope to grow from here!
What has been your most exciting moment as an artist?
My first big commissioned piece was very exciting for me! Since I’m usually just playing around and having fun; it’s so nice to get noticed for my work and have someone want a piece of original art in my personal style.
How have you handled the business side of being an artist?
It’s definitely been a bit of a challenge. Etsy is flooded with talented artists so getting noticed isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Most of my “business” in the past came from doing little art festivals and holiday bazaars or from commissioned work….basically people reaching out to me and not the opposite. It took a while for me to realize that I really had to promote my shop for it to get noticed.
What has your experience as an artist been like on Etsy?
I’ve definitely been able to reach a lot more people on etsy than I ever could have by doing small art shows. I love that about etsy! It’s full of like-minded people from all over the world. It’s nice to know there is a place that is supporting the arts and artists alike!
What advice can you give new artists on Etsy?
Get involved with teams! There’s a whole different side of etsy that I never knew as a “buyer”. Teams can really give you that extra boost that you need when first getting started. Great way to make friends, build a support group, and learn the ins and outs of the etsy world!
Where else on the internet can we find your work besides Etsy?