TAG Treasury Team

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Shop of the Week: Dragonflight Dreams

Today I welcome Amanda of Dragonflight Dreams as our feature of the week.
Amanda was an Army brat and as a youngster grew up living all over.  She has 3 sister and each of them were born in different states.  They eventually landed in Ohio where she did most of her growing up.  Currently she is "Technically Single" but lives with her partner of 5 years and their dog in a suburb of Austin, Texas.  She said she loves living in Round Rock.
Black Dragon
Gold Clover
 After attending Marietta College and obtaining her BFA in graphic design she became a freelance graphic designer.  Being self employed she works from home handling all aspects of her business from bidding to design to invoicing and all the steps between.  Her weekdays are filled with her work and some small breaks for errands and appointments.
Green Ivy
Of course as with all of us she has time on the weekends to enjoy life with her partner.  She also likes to read, play with the dog, cook, watch Netflix and visit things around Austin. Along with that she also manages her Etsy shop and blog on her days off. 

White Dragonfly
I asked Amanda how she got started on Etsy.  She responded by telling me about how dabbling in screen printing quickly came to the point where if she kept going she would have more T-shirts than she could wear.  That drove her to decide on opening a shop.  Later she would add the art prints to her products.  Her biggest inspiration is stories of mythology and of course nature.  She is passionate about good storytelling in all its forms, good design and being fully self-employed.

Although it was hard for Amanda to choose favorites the photos you see were some of those she likes best.  They demonstrate some of her talents.  Specifically her color sense, style and her ability to design to show a unique blend of influences.
Gold Feather

She uses many social media tools including a blog with the same name as her shop that is quite active.  She also uses Twitter and Facebook.  You can follow her at any of the links.  Of all the media she uses Twitter is her favorite.

As I end all my blogs I asked Amanda for her favorite piece of advice.  Although she did not have advice she did have a favorite quote by Jean Paul Sartre "All I really want to do is go to the book store, drink coffee and read" which she says is basically her. 

Article by Gail Entwistle of;    Digital Expressions and Artful Papers, Beaded Splendor, Entwistle Studio

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Shop of the Week: Artful Bits And Bytes

This week we are featuring Artful Bits And Bytes.  Laurie Anne Sikorowski is the owner and artist in residence and this is her story.

"I love that messy total consuming focus of creating something from the heart" she says.  She also loves color, all color, every color and words, lyrics, and stories. Laurie Anne  takes those loves and places them all together to make her art.  She believes that art creates connections.

One of my questions was what was her favorite item and she told me that was like asking which of her children she loved the most- impossible to choose as each is different and liked for different reasons.  She was able to narrow her choices to two.  
First is "Tempus Fugit" or "Time Flies", a large mixed media paint. This is her largest and most ambitious canvas at 48" x 60".   It was created by collaging old journal pages on to the canvas then texturing it with a combination of modeling paste and paints.  She then began painting both directly on the canvas and also on separate papers that were collaged on.  The base of the body is a photo of plywood from an old abandoned church.  The base of the branches and some of the leaves are printed from an old Polish prayer book.  Sheet music is also collaged into the art. There are lots of subtle layers of meaning embedded within it and I am very happy how it turned out.  I find it fascinating that there are so many layers to such a soft image. 

The second is her literary ladies.  Currently there are 39 listed in her shop.  She selected randomly, "Magenta" to represent them.   For her painting these women, and the whole collection represents a bit of all women.   She sees women as being beautiful, homely, pious, provocative, joyful, sorrowful, black, white, with so many sides that it therapeutic to give them almost intuitive forms.  I agree when she says that the recycled book pages add that extra layer of depth.

Magenta                                               Cutie Qu (my favorite)          Daydream Believer

When asked about her inspiration, Laurie Anne replied "My need to create comes from an insatiable curiosity and need to explore.  It is the journey more than the destination that keeps my interest.  I want my artwork to reflect who I am and connect to the viewer's heart.  Nature, music, poetry, scripture, mythology, people (I am an avid people watcher), graffiti, discarded scraps of ephemera and daydreams all blend and inspire my art.  There are also wonderful artists who I adore: Amedeo Mogliani, Jessie Wilcox Smith, Picasso, Jennifer Yoswa, Mary Englebreit, and finally the kitchy low brow artists of the 60s with their big eyed kids like Eve, Lee, and Goji". 
Laurie Anne's passion is creating. She can't remember a time when she wasn't making some kind of art but it has only been in the past couple of years that she finally decided to share her artwork with the rest of the world.  After her daughters had gone off to college she had more free time and life changes to sort out.  When a friend asked what she wanted to pursue just for herself, she realized she had not thought about it untill he asked.   She knew immediately that she wanted to be surrounded with simple joys and creating.  Art began to fill her mind and heart and spilled onto whatever was at hand. 
A few years ago, she found herself filling countless sketchbooks.  With her daughters gone she had more free time for her art.  Soon she had quite a collection of artwork, and Etsy seemed to be the perfect fit a place where she says "the fine arsty art and the cute craftsy doodles could co-exist".  She wanted to also be in control and Etsy was so easy to set up and get started.  Unlike other venues, it didn't feel scary or un-doable for a novice and it didn't cost anything - only a small amount for listing and then a small percentage when something sells.

Her advice for others is to set goals and try to do something toward them each day.  Find you niche and promote yourself.  She advises using social media even if you are an introvert like her.  On Etsy join a few teams to find the right fit, create and support treasuries, use tags wisely, make sure your images are the best possible, learn SEO and take advantage of available Etsy tools.  Have fun because it is so important in the creative process for without that, why are you doing this. 
Laurie Anne says "I'm still learning and often feel a bit overwhelmed but its ok, I'm slowly finding my rhythm. When someone loves your art enough to purchase it that really makes all the necessary "business" stuff not so onerous after all".  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Shop of the Week: Bijuterra

I really am pleased to introduce Ioana of Bijuterra
When I asked her to tell me a little about herself she told me her story was a wish come true.  In her words "30 years ago some desperate parents interdicted their 3 year old child to use pencils to draw on their house's inner walls :) Due to this, and to the fact that all pencils, brushes and markers were forbidden, the child found another way to express: all chocolate received was hidden and used to "decorate" the walls when all other tools were not available. 30 years later, here I am, willing to tell a story on every wall there is. Not with chocolate, like I used to :), but in watercolors, as you can find in my shop.

She married in 2009 a man she has know since she was 14.  They live in Romania and both studied design together in high school.  Ioana attended the University of Art and Design in Cluj, Romania  and included fashion in her studies.  She currently works for an international advertising agency.

Ioana's day of rest is Saturday because Sunday she spends teaching design.  Her free time is filled with her painting and she love cooking.  Her fashion illustrations are striking and seem to each have a touch of mystery.  You can see her imagination in each painting.
With working full time, teaching design and having an Etsy shop there is one more thing about Ioana that I discovered by accident one day when surfing YouTube.  Ioana has more than a few tutorials for fashion drawing and illustration.  I have spent some time watching her work and it is fascinating.  Her YouTube is "Fashion Teaching" and is worth the time to see her work.

When asked for her favorite advice she replies "I don't know if it is advice, it is the rule I have in life: If you want to achieve something, all you have to do is Work, work, work and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy it: And after 10.000 hours, the results will come, I am sure".

FB: https://www.facebook.com/fashionillustrationforsale
My sites:
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/isandru/

Article by Gail of Digital Expressions and Artful Papers

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Shop of the Week Spectra kraft

Alankar, owner of Spectra kraft, grew up in the eastern part of India.  She came to the USA as a graduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park.  She is married with a 2 year old son.

Alankar received her graduate degree in May 2013  in Economics and Public Policy with a focus on International Development.  She has a passion for the potential of technology to bridge income gaps and help marginalized communities gain access to health, education and income opportunities.  Prior to moving to the US, she worked with rural communities in India and explored how computers might help them gain access to these essential services. 

When asked about inspiration Alankars response was, "Just the ability to create something new is very motivational to me.  When you create something, you're so invested in the process that all distractions fade away.  It's like throwing clay on a potter's wheel, if you're distracted, the clay doesn't cooperate".
Carnelian & Silver                                                                    Earthy Orange
 As a stay at home mom her Etsy business is her day & night job along with the responsibilities of being a mom and a wife.  She has been creating jewelry since she was a young girl when during summer holidays, a friend of her mother's guided her on several arts and crafts projects.  She started her Etsy store in November 2013 and was happy to find a place that served independent artisan in showcasing their work.  She believes Etsy is a great avenue to sell your work without having to think about the backend processes. 
                                    Dokra and Wood

 She and her husband love the outdoors and living in San Diego they have great weather for indulging in outdoor activities.  She also loves photography and baking.  She tries to pursue those loves whenever she has time.  With her store she gets to spend a lot of time on her photography which she enjoys.  One LOVE she has is watching detective shows like Sherlock, Miss Marple and Poirot along with WW II and Cold War documentaries and films.
 Boho Wrap                                                           Lava and Coin

https://www.etsy.com/listing/200637689/lava-and-coin-necklace-chunky-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_23What do you consider to be your greatest talents?
I consider my need to explore my biggest talent. I’m fascinated by most things. As a result, I have this compulsive need to discover and innovate – whether that’s a food recipe or a jewelry piece that I am making. I like to play with different permutations and combinations because at the end what you have is something new and novel.
Her favorite advice is a quote by Rabindranath Tagore: "The butterfly counts not months but moments and has time enough".  For her it puts things in perspective and inspires her to see beauty in the present rather than worrying over yesterday and tomorrow.

Article by Gail of Digital Expressions and Artful Papers