Meet Jen, the artist behind SimplyInvitingCards, our Saturday Artisan this week.
As a papercrafter myself, I adore her designs! She is one of my favorites designers. Her papercraft creations appear on Etsy Front Page quite often, and let me tell you that it's ain't easy to be on a front page and yet she made it a few times. One must have a beautiful art/ craft to begin with, supported by not just an average photograph expertise. Find out Jen's little secret to her success.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?
I've always been a creative spirit. My first art form was music. I started playing the French Horn when I was about 9 or 10 and continued for the next 15 years. After a long, convoluted series of life events and decisions, I wound up designing web sites and eventually dabbling in the fine arts as well, where I discovered a love for working with acrylic paint and creating mixed media work. It was only when my husband and I were planning our wedding that I began my current venture of making cards and keepsakes. What began as a necessity became a hobby and is now growing into a business for me!
What is your best seller?
My best seller are my word shape photo albums. Every one of them I have ever listed on Etsy either sold on Etsy or sold at a craft show because it was seen on Etsy. My handmade paper has done well, too.
What inspires you?
There are a lot of things that inspire me! Found objects, odd knick-knacks, old sepia photographs, 2D fine art, any items or ephemera from 1950 or before, interesting color palettes and compositions, dramatic landscapes, rough textures . . . I could go on for eternity!
What is your favourite tool that you cannot live without?
That's a toss-up between my die-cutting tools, inking tools, and my Crop-A-Dile. I use them all pretty heavily.
Any advice for a newbie running his or her on-line shop?
Yes. First, be patient. Overnight success happens to very, very few people. Use those first days or weeks to develop your shop, network, and improve your craft. Second, I cannot stress enough how important good item photos are not only for your shop, but for things like Etsy's various features and treasuries. I am very particular about what I even feature on my own blog! I strongly recommend going to a Shop Critique in the Etsy Virtual Labs. People there are really nice plus I always think it's a good idea to get feedback from people who aren't too close to your craft. They'll look at your shop very much the same way a buyer would. Third, enjoy what you do and it will show in your work!
Stay tuned for tomorrow's giveaway sponsored by SimplyInvitingCards.