Saturday, May 15, 2010
Saturday Artisan: Sparrowgraphic
Remember about my post about winning a giveaway and what I made with that fabulous gift? Read here. I also dropped a hint there. Lol.
This week Saturday Artisan is Sparrowgraphic, run by a duo: Edina and Daryle. I just LOVE their graphics, simply fabulous!
Find out who does what and how well they work together to make Sparrowgraphic happens. It's worth to mention that Edina is not just the artist behind Sparrowgraphic but she is also one talented and busy girl running 3 (three) jewelry Etsy: sweetsurrenderjewels, whitelotus, and modwedding.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make? (Answered by Edina)
I grew up in a small town in Europe and spent much of my childhood outdoors playing in nature.
My artistic leanings surfaced early in life and i explored many mediums such as pottery and drawing. I developed a passion for fine art and illustration and the urge to create led me to pursue a degree in Design after high school.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Design I immediately landed a job in a corporate in-house studio. At times I felt restricted in my creativity and the long hours and stress were beginning to take their toll so I needed a creative outlet that would allow me to tune out the daily grind.
I began to work as a freelance designer part-time and also began to create jewelry. One thing led to another and I quit my day job…I have been creating ever since.
I feel that I was born to be an entrepreneur. I’m a strong believer that if you really want to do something you love, you figure out a way to do it and you learn along the way. After being in that corporate environment for 7 years, I realized that I wanted to be my own boss!
By seeing what I did not want to do, I figured out what I did want to do, if that makes sense.
So now my life consists of making jewelery full time (and sometimes more). When I get a chance I create these graphics using my design skills and it really lets me explore my artistic senses with a different medium. Sometimes I even use the graphics as a way to wind down after a full days work with my jewelery.
How does your day go in general? (Answered by Edina)
My boyfriend Daryle (the one who actually runs SparrowGraphics) and I have a full house with our 3 rescue dogs, 2 guinuie pigs and 2 mice.
My day normally starts with breakfast prep for furry ones while having our coffee in our PJ's. I check my emails and answer important voicemails from my jewelry business before I start anything else.
It keeps me busy during the day while creating for wholesale orders from galleries and boutiques all over the country (Canada and a little bit in The States).
Though I don't typically tackle the day to day events of Sparrowgraphics on Etsy (Daryle is my grunt worker for that) I design new digital sheets for the shop. This is a great way for me to wind down at the end of the day and it keeps the shop going with new, fresh material for our customers.
What inspires you? (Answered by Edina)
Much of my work is about form and colours found in nature. When I am out in nature I am constantly being bombarded with ideas and inspirations I see around me. I can't tell you how many times I'm out taking the dogs for a walk that something with hit me and I just have to come home and act on it. But sometimes getting into the city and seeing the hustle and bustle of every day city life triggers my more "urban" side. We live just on the edge of the city (Toronto) so when I go into the city for supplies or to hang out with friends I see things all the time that trigger my senses. Being an animal lover they are also a huge inspiration for me.
Any advice for a newbie running his or her on-line shop? (Answered by Edina and Daryle)
The best thing you can do for your shop is have nice, clear pictures. When a potential customer is looking at a bad picture of a product I think it can immediately turn them off. When you're dealing with anything online the only thing you have is a visual to promote your product so it has to look good. Clear and crisp pictures go a long way. With SparrowGraphics its easy because all we need to do is put up a screen shot of the graphics sheet we're selling but with my other jewelry shops if I didn't have nice pictures I could easily lose customers very quickly.
Also, have patience. When you first put up your shop (on Etsy or anywhere else) you're not going to get immediately noticed. You need to put in some work on how you present your products (be as detailed as you can) and once the ball starts rolling keep with it. The more work you put into it, the more you'll get out of it.
What is your favourite item in your shop? (Answered by Daryle)
Easily my favorite graphics sheet we sell is our St. Patty's Day Celtic image sheet. I know St. Patty's Day has come and gone but my background is Irish and I wear my shamrocks year round with pride!! I told Edina I wanted an Irish themed sheet way back at Christmas so St. Patrick's Day was a great excuse to push her to get it done. It turned out great and it was quite popular leading up to March 17. I'm finally going to take a stab at making a sheet myself. We've had a few requests for sports teams related graphics so I thought that would be a great way to get my feet wet. It won't be all that creative (just plunking some logos onto a sheet) but I figure it has the least amount of screw-up-ability (is that a word)? So who knows, I might have a new favorite soon enough. :)
What is your best seller? (Answered by Daryle)
We organize our sheets by number so its easier to find them when we're filling an order. Obviously, the lower the number a sheet has, the longer we've had that particular sheet in stock. When I took over the shop back in the summer of 2009 it took me a while to figure out what numbers each sheet had. Once I got the hang of things it was easier for me to notice which sheets were more popular. So its funny because to answer the question of what is our best seller there are two of them and they both were created around the same time by Edina. Our "Charming Critters" and "Vibrant Fauna and Flora" sheets are numbered 30 and 31 respectively. And they are easily our most consistently ordered sheets. In fact, they are usually ordered both at the same time by our customers. I can see the similarities in Edina's inspirations of each of them so that's probably a good reason why. But its kind of ironic to see how out of 80+ original ideas (currently) the two most popular were both done one after another.
Stay-tuned for tomorrow's giveaway!