Meet the winner of the STATTEAM Saturday Treasury Challenge, Melissa Lang from Wyldangelz on Etsy
2) What inspired you to open your shop? I got a new job and was working part time. I needed another source of income to fill in the gaps during weeks I wasn’t scheduled to work many hours. I had recently learned how to decoupage light switch covers and a co-worker told me I should sell them. Then one day at work a bunch of us were admiring a patient’s necklace. We asked her where she got it and she told us all about Etsy. I opened my shop during my lunch hour that day.
3) Besides designing & creating things, what do you do? I am a nurse in an OB/GYN office. Definitely something I never pictured myself doing, but I love, love, LOVE my job!
4) Where, who or what does your influence come from? My grandmother was always very supportive of my artistic aspirations. When I was a child, I drew her a new picture every week and she would hang it on her wall. After a few years, her walls were completely covered. She passed away in 2008. Actually today would have been her birthday. She would have been 97 today. A part of her is in everything I create. I am influenced by a lot of things around me as well. The Impressionists have had a lot of influence on my painting style. I really love trying new things.
5) What inspires you to be creative? There are a lot of things that inspire me. Nature, sunsets, Autumn leaves, animals, babies and children mostly. Sometimes, something just stands out and grabs me. It is weird. A lot of the time I don’t go looking for inspiration. I could be anywhere and something will just hit me and I will know what I want to do with it and what medium I want to use.
6) How do you get out of a creative rut? I simply wait. I have learned that trying to force something when I’m not feeling the creative energy will just turn out to be a disaster, so I just wait until something inspires me. Then it is like the flood gates open.
7) When did you first discover that you were or wanted to be an artist? I have enjoyed creating art ever since I was a small child. I used to get frustrated when I was very little, because I couldn’t draw as well as adults, or paint like Bob Ross on TV. It didn’t stop me from trying though, because I loved it. It was probably sometime around 3rd grade when I discovered that I could draw cartoon characters, so that was where I started. I believe Snoopy was my first.
8) Can you describe your creative process for us? It depends on what it is I’m making. It all starts with inspiration. Something that grabs me. For instance a photo a friend took of her 4 year old daughter hugging a co-worker’s 4 year old on a hayride. I decided to do it in ink and watercolor. So then it is just a matter of printing the photo for reference, finding the time, turning on some great music (preferably Bob Seger or Martina McBride) and getting down to business.
Same with my light switch and outlet covers. I find a pattern that people have been requesting or that I find interesting. Then on my day off or on the weekend, I’ll turn the TV on to some Lifetime movies or the Investigation Discovery channel and just do my thing.
9) Where do you see or want your shop to be this time next year? I am hoping to see some more consistency with my sales. Right now, it is like a roller coaster. One month, will be good with sales and then for about a month or two, nothing. However I have had several orders outside of Etsy since I did a craft show in August. I would just like to see a more steady flow with my shop. Not sure if that is a realistic goal or not, but it is a nice idea. lol
10) What is your best advice to newbie Etesian’s just opening their shops? Connect with people and make friends. One of the best ways to connect with people is through making treasuries. Make treasuries and make friends.
11) Which of your artwork pieces is your favorite? My favorite piece in my shop at the moment is my Guinness paining on a vinyl record closely followed by my poppy painted on a vinyl record. I love the bright colors.
12) Is there an artist you relate to? I have always been big on the style of the impressionists. Monet, VanGogh, and Mary Cassatt are my absolute favorites. Although a lot of my paintings tend to be very detailed, I usually end up incorporating their style somehow in there.
13) What would you call your style? I think I incorporate a lot of different styles in my work depending on what I make. Usually when I paint, most of the time it is a bit impressionistic. However, I enjoy trying new techniques and styles.
14) How do you feel when people interpret your artwork differently? I am always fascinated by other people’s interpretations of my work. I feel that art is open to interpretation and everyone is going to see something different in it and that is okay. I always love hearing what different people see in my work. Sometimes I have a particular message I want to portray, but I love listening to everyone’s different visions.
Even if they find my work creepy like in the strollerderby blog last year. blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/2010/09/01/the-creepiest-ultrasound-image… I can’t lie, I sort of agree with them on some levels. I knew an idea like that wouldn’t be for everybody, so I found the blog to be quite entertaining.
15) What is the most challenging part of being a shop owner on Etsy? I would have to say it would be time management. I work a lot more now, but I love having an Etsy shop and connecting with people. I just find it difficult sometimes to find the time to manage the shop, make treasuries, make items and still have a life. I wouldn’t change it for the world though. I love it.
16) What advice do you have for aspiring artists? Just do it! Whatever it is that you are considering doing, just go for it. Don’t worry about the “what if’s,” the possibility of failure, or whether or not you are properly trained. If you are inspired and want to give something a try, just go for it. Life is short. If you want to draw, draw. If you want to paint, paint. Go for it and don’t hold back.
17) Where else can we find you on the internet besides Etsy?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wyldangelz/ I don’t have much on there yet, and forgot my password, but there is some of my work on there.
You can find me on facebook:
Here is my blog:
You can also follow me on Twitter:
You can also find me on Google +
18) Do you have any specials or coupon codes for your Etsy shop?
Currently I have coupons for repeat customers. Once they make a purchase, I send them a code for 10% off.
Facebook friends also get 10% off.
Also, I will soon be doing a very nice “Hunter’s special” coming up for deer season. It worked out well last year, so I plan on doing it again.