Portland is a fantastic creative city to live in. The overall speed and vibe of the city is a bit slower and patient than other major cities, I like that. I felt at home the first time I visited, I moved here with only visiting the one time. Lots of green trees, rain, coffee shops, beer breweries, art galleries, boutiques, book stores, bicycles, great bands. The only thing that I hate is it’s far away from any of my family.
-Tell me about your new spring brooch collection.
This is a five piece collection of little autobiographical creatures. Each one is one of a kind, illustrated with pencil and painted on ceramic, then sealed. I love creating these little storybook characters that are a piece of wearable art. I go through phases with certain colors, animals, houses, where that’s all I draw for a few weeks. Right now I’m crazy for mustard yellow in my art and orange in my house. I spend a lot of time mixing that perfect mustard yellow paint.
-You also have a small work affordable art series, which I love. What role does art play in your other projects?
Thank you, offering original art for affordable prices is fun for me. A project that I can sit down, get out my paints, put on a movie and create a few pieces in an afternoon that other people can hang on their walls is both spontaneous and satisfying. As for music I’ve always written with a visual in mind, whether it’s a painting, drawing or movie. I have a reproduction of The Approach of Winter by Robert Wood hanging in my house, it was my muse for a song of the same name which will be on the next record. I did drop out of college to pursue music, I majored in art, so things have come full circle and I’ve found a good balance in my creativity. My vision is to have numerous products and useful household items that I’ve designed and illustrated and be putting out records, a full busy artistic life.
-As you just mentioned, in addition to your craftyFOLK line, you are also in a band, The Battle of Land and Sea. I am guessing you are the singer and guitar player from visiting the website. And if that is the case, you have an absolutely beautiful voice. How do you juggle a band, your art, and a part-time job? Any tips for staying organized and keeping it all together?
Why thank you, yes I’m the singer and guitar player. Juggling all three is something that I’m always trying to improve on, the part-time job is quite new, but I find that I value my creative time much more when there are boundaries and schedules involved. With the band, it’s either very full on with recording or touring, then a huge chunk of time off, so that’s been great for my art. I have a craft fair coming up in June, where I’ll be selling my craftyFOLK wares and playing music, the organizer is a fan of the band and saw that I sell on Etsy, so she invited me to do both. I’d like to incorporate both more often. As for staying organized, I’ve tried a few different computer programs, what I’m using now is called Things. It’s quite interactive and is helpful for even a casual user, which I like. I have peaks and valleys of being totally overwhelmed or feeling on top of things, I try to focus my ideas into tangible steps to realize them, which can be frustrating when time or funds are limited. The more I simplify things, the better I feel.
-How do you promote your work? Any advice for newbies?
I have a blog where I show what’s new with my work and myself. I sell on Etsy– since mine are one of a kind items this is my only online shop. I’ll be adding some fun new items in the next few months that will allow me to quantify my collection a bit and expand into other online venues and brick and mortar stores with more ease.
I have a Flickr and Twitter. My advice for newbies: Consistency and persistence, it’ll pay off, perhaps not in a ton of sales right away but your work will benefit tremendously. I try not to get caught up in measuring my work success by how many sales I’m making, which is hard not to do I admit. Brainstorming and making goal lists is helpful, especially to look back and see your progress over the months.
Put yourself out there, follow blogs for inspiration, make great looking business cards and leave a trail, just keep working. I think with persistence, good things come.
Grandma Moses http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandma_Moses
Shinzi Katoh http://www.shinzikatoh.com/english/
Jacob Golden http://www.jacobgolden.com – My husband, the hardest working and most talented person I know.