Meet Linda of Linda Butterfly. She is one of my long time friends met through Etsy network, maybe we go back to 2008 when I started blogging and we chatted once a while through FB or Twitter through our busy life, sharing information and opinions on how to improve our shops. A talented artist who is passionate about what she is doing, that's Linda. Find out how she started her painting through interview below.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?
I love painting especially using acrylic and watercolor. In 1997 I became desperately ill with severe depression. I had to leave my job and retire early because of my ill health. For two years I could barely speak or move; I could not read, write, watch TV or in fact do more than sit or lie down. I tried to kill myself/ And failed. Over the years I have had fantastic support from the mental health team in the National Health Service and although I still am unwell and regularly see my GP and a therapist, I am much improved. I slowly began to draw and in 2000 went to an art class. The teacher gave me a whole year of classes free as she could see I had talent, and needed to be quiet and simply draw and paint. From there, creating art became important to me.
Which part of creation process that you like to do the most?
I love seeing the art I have in my mind appear so that others can see it. It's there in my imagination, all I do is transfer it to the paper.
Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?
I work in small room, surrounded with everything. To me it is organised, to others it is a mess.
What is your best seller?
I don't have one specific best seller. Many have bought my professionally printed cards to frame, because they are a cheaper alternative to buying an original painting. I have had several commissions. I do various styles of art. One I did of Einstein led to 5 commissions for work of that type of collage.
How does your day go in general?
Mornings are tough; but I try to be disciplined. My Personal Trainer at the gym insists I eat breakfast at 7.30, so I do. Mornings are spent either at the gym or painting and promoting my art. I used to lead an Etsy team and spent far too long promoting other people. My painting suffered.
Afternoons are a mixture of going out with hubby (now retired) and painting.
Do you have a favourite Etsy seller?
Valerie, of www.valwerieessentials.etsy.com Her candles are fun and she is a fantastic person.
What inspires you?
In many ways I don't think I get inspired. I have multiple images all the time in my mind and paint only a fraction of what is in there.
What is your goal for 2011? And what is your plan to keep it on the right track?
I am shutting www.lindacaterpillar.etsy.com and bringing all my art to www.lindabutterfly.etsy.com I will be giving up the greetings cards and concentrating on original art and prints as a cheaper alternative. I'm listing 5 items a day at present to get this plan in place.
What is your favourite tool that you cannot live without?
Generally, a screwdriver. I love taking things apart! Photo of "Philip, the young shaver" I made him from a shaver I dismantled. My camera could be regarded as a tool - to me it is like my 3rd hand.
How do you promote your shop?
I hate promoting. I did it so much for two years for a team that it wore me out. I withdrew from about 15 sites where I used to promote. I got terribly bored by it. Nowadays I only use Facebook and Twitter.
Any advice for others running their on-line shop?
Loads. I used to write tutorials for my team but before the team disbanded I put several of these tutorials on my blog.
Saving money is important; tell us one thing that you do to save money?
I've been married almost 40 years. Most of those years were not well paid. So my whole married life has been one of saving money; planning carefully, being frugal, buying good food cheaply, home cooking, buying clothes from a Charity shop, making the money work for us.
Stay-tuned for a new giveaway starting tomorrow, but in the meantime, enter these 2 fantastic giveaways. They're all handmade!