Thursday, January 10, 2008

Meet Space Oddities - Featured WIST seller!

I hope you enjoy this interview with Andrea of Space Oddities. Don't forget to check out her etsy shop!

You make a variety of items such as greeting cards, pins, magnets, and screen printed apparel and cards. Why did you start making them?
I am a paper junkie and have always collected pretty papers, scraps of old gift wrap, magazine clippings, etc. So eventually I got to the point where I either had to start using these items or start getting rid of them. I found that recycling old images and papers into greeting cards or usable art was a great way to preserve the beauty or awesomeness and pass it on for someone else to enjoy. At first it was VERY hard for me to take an original image (for example, a cool ad out of a 1950s national geographic,) cut it out and paste it to a card or use it to decoupage a picture frame. It felt so unnatural. But with every new item I made it became easier and more rewarding. I would rather have these awesome images or pretty papers enjoyed by someone instead of sitting in my basement - or worse yet - getting thrown away and gone forever.
I also just really love making things. I just love the feeling of doing things very manually - cutting and pasting each image or printing shirts with my gocco one at a time. Making things by hand makes me happy.

Are there any special techniques you use that you'd like to share? (Tips and tricks, woo!).
Nothing special. But I would like to suggest that sometimes the best creations and ideas are formed in the middle of the night when you are too tired to think clearly. I really believe this. Some of my favorite creations have been born from random ideas at 2 in the morning.

How did you end up hearing about Etsy and joining?
I found etsy through a work at home mom's website. I was on maternity leave from my day job when my son was a newborn and I was looking for other venues (besides ebay) to sell my wares. I browsed that day and went back a few months later to sign up. I was skeptical because nobody had feedback and it just seemed so bare. Etsy was new and I wasn't sure where it was going. I didn't start posting and selling items consistently until about a year ago.

What's the toughest part of running your own Etsy business? The best?
I am so distracted by the etsy forums/fun search tools/treasuries. The hardest part about running a business on etsy is that it's hard to focus once I am actually ON etsy. There are so many pretty things to look at and awesome people to talk to. It makes it hard to want to work sometimes.
The best part is when a buyer truly loves something they purchased. It makes me so happy to know that something I created is now being enjoyed by a stranger. How cool is that! It makes it all worth it.

Like most artists, you've probably made a TON of kick butt art- is there a piece or two that are your favorites? Why?
My french text revamped cards are one of my favorite items. I love the delicate look and adore text in artwork. I especially love these because I came up with the idea when I was on vacation with my friend in Denver last year. I actually bought the old french novel at a used bookstore in Denver and the bird stamps were from a local boutique. I made the first batch of these in my hotel room while on vacation. It makes me happy when I see these cards because they always remind me of good times and happy memories.
I also adore our Owls in Love design. It is my husbands design and we have printed it on clothing, totes and note cards. I love this design because it represents my husband and I finally collaborating! I knew that I wanted a sweet owl illustration but I cannot draw. I sketched and sketched and tried so hard to get the owls to look perfect - but couldn't get it right. Chad sat down with me and looked at my sketches and was able to draw exactly what was in my head and make it just perfect. We have since been collaborating to make other fun designs and have lots of ideas for new items.

I'd love a list of where else you're at on the internet- do you have a blog? A website? Forums or other internet groups?
I am constantly updating my blog with blurbs about things I've been working on, things I'm inspired by and stuff I love and (and hate.) In addition I often upload new pictures to flickr and occasionally visit myspace.

Speaking of locations, do you sell your artwork in stores? Where?

You can find some of my work at Glitter Workshop in Madison, WI. I would eventually like to branch out and sell my items at other stores but have found it hard to keep enough inventory to do this along with craft shows and etsy.

What does "home" mean to you? (And who shares your home? Loved ones, pets, friends?).
I live with my husband Chad, my 3 year old son (Lars) and 1 year old daughter (Jette.) We also have a kitty named Ninja.

Tell me something that I don't know about you! =*^.^*=
I have a checkmark shaped scar on my right hand.

I love funny stories- do you have one you'd like to share?

Well I mentioned above that I went on vacation to Denver last year. I met my BFF Jessi there. We both have small children, work outside the home and just have very busy lives. To get away for a weekend was amazing. We didn't know what to do with ourselves…but we DID know that we wanted to do something crafty. We ended up taking a sewing class and holing up in our hotel room for a lot of our vacation. It was awesome! We sewed all kind of things and I also made some awesome cards. The picture I attached shows my paper-covered bed in the hotel room. We also had a sewing machine set up. I don't know if this is a funny story. I guess it just makes me laugh that we chose to spend our vacation this way. It was perfect! I wouldn't have wanted it any other way!

How did you come up with your business name & what does it mean?
Ode to the song "Space Oddity" by David Bowie + love for all things Space Age/Retro/Atomic Age.

Is there something you'd like to learn how to do someday? (Arts & Crafts related).
YES! I have a long list.
Some of the top items right now include:
Sewing well enough to make clothing for myself and my kids
Woodworking (I want to build bed frames, bookcases, etc. - I think it would be so empowering.)

I'd love to know what you'd like to "get" out of being a part of WIST! (Community, sales, promotion, etc!). Are we fulfilling that need right now? Is there anything you'd change?
I just love meeting awesome artists and crafters. For me, WIST is mostly about community. I think it's terrific that we can promote each other and help one another with questions about our businesses and our work. I have met several WIST members and hope to meet lots more!

I also love quotes! Is there a quote or saying that *you* love? Does this reflect your life and/or business philosophy?
"take time to find your all the bands who believe in what they say - it's not what you sell, it's what you make." -jets to brazil
Insert 'crafters' or 'artists' instead of 'bands' and this is how I feel about my little business.


Elements by Dawn said...

Excellent interview!

nanjodogz said...

Great interview -- I agree with the middle of the night ideas -- that seems to be when the light bulb comes on! Love your shop also!