ALSO! I'm very excited to feature my very first fellow artist on my blog. I've been wanting to do this for a while but never really got the guts to ask anyone until Laina. Previously known as sweetgal981, she has now opened a new shop called Laina's Designs. Check it out and read the interview below! I know you're gonna love her as much as I do! ~__^
What do you make? What got you started in the world of crafting?
Currently I am making rings and necklaces with fun little faces that I sculpt out of clay, then paint and decorate. I’ve always been a crafter, whether it was just for fun or for school, I was always making things as a kid and never grew out of it.
What got you into Etsy and open up your shop?
One day I was searching on eBay for handmade jewelry and I came across HeadlessTessDiy. Her jewelry is so neat and it fascinated me. After weeks of watching her post new items I asked her if she wouldn’t mind me making jewelry in that style. She was the one who told me about Etsy and she supported me when I opened my first shop there. After a while I sort of “grew out of it.” Now I have a new shop open with my new designs and I’m having a blast!
What's the most difficult part about having your own shop? What's the most rewarding?
The most difficult part of the shop is not making the sales that I think I should. When I finally finish a piece I get so excited to share it with the world and I think that it’s going to sell immediately because they will love it as much as I do, but it takes time. It takes time for people to see it; for the right person to see it. I think once your shop reaches a certain balance between the enjoyment of making the pieces and selling them timely to happy customers then it is a successful shop.
The most rewarding thing about running my shop is actually crafting. To do one piece I have to sculpt the clay, bake it, sand it, paint it, glaze it, sculpt other detail pieces if needed (things like hair or background pieces), paint those, glaze those, then adhere it to the pendant, bead it, take photos and list it. Out of the entire process of making my pieces I love painting the most. But my favorite part is watching the face change as I’m painting it – how it turns the plain clay to a beautiful face with eyes and eyelashes – I just love it! With my old shop I didn’t really challenge myself to paint small detail work, but now that I’ve brought out that part of me I feel so much more rewarded than ever, and there’s nowhere to go but up!
What are your inspirations?
I have a lot of different inspirations for my pieces; photos of face painting, movies, books, video games, celebrities and the things in my own crazy mind. I also have different inspirations for how I run my shop. There are a lot of neat people on Etsy who really know what they’re doing and how to be kind to their customers, that inspires me as well. There are other things and people that inspire me in my life too.
What other hobbies/interests do you enjoy?
Outside of crafting and running my shop I actually have a lot of hobbies that I enjoy doing. I love listening to all kinds of music, singing, playing the guitar and the Native American flute, writing, photography, painting (although I don’t do that very often), running, playing video games, (Dragon Age and Tomb Raider!!!), going to concerts and movies, hanging with my best friend, and a lot more.
What are your shop goals? General goals?
My main shop goal is to really enjoy myself. Toward the end of my last one it just became work and I didn’t like it any more. Now I have a new beginning with some experience under my belt and I just want to do myself proud. I’ve set the bar so much higher. I want to share my creations with other people and have them enjoy them as much as I do.
Other goals include earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education. I want to teach High School English. Perhaps one day I will go for my Master’s (yay debt?). I also want to become a published writer.
Do you have any suggestions to give those who want to do what you do?
Be prepared. It’s a learning experience like any other and it takes time. You should know that it takes time to perfect your creative process and that it can be a bumpy road unless you are preparing to sell things that you have made for years. If you are new to the crafting world, or just new to the creative medium that you are doing, then you should really practice before you start selling.
And just like it takes time to make your creations, chances are it will take time to sell them. You need to gain a following of sorts. The right person has to see your creation, but once he/she does, he/she will recognize the time, effort and hard work that you put into it, and they will appreciate it.
There are times when there will be disappointments whether they are in yourself or others. Doing your research is very important. Sometimes it is fun to jump in, but you should really gather your resources before you get in over your head. But most importantly have fun! If you enjoy what you make then everyone else will see that.
What else do we need to know about you? Criminal history? Third arm? Cool talents?
I can’t really think of anything at the moment ~_^
Anymore you wanna say? Last chance....
I’m voting for Andy Garcia on American Idol! Yay Andy!!
PS: Many thanks to Laina, once more, and check out her shop, people!!
On my playlist: