Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Aspiring Artisan: erindollar
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Erin Dollar (yeah, that's my real name.) I am primarily a printmaker, although for the past few years I was also making fake beards for a living. I'm 24, I just moved to Los Angeles this year, and I'm enjoying all the sun and warm weather.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I try to spend as much time as possible making new work, but I also have a part time job at the library. Luckily I shelve books in the art section, so I am surrounded by inspiration five mornings a week.
What first made you want to become an artist?
I am happiest while printing, so it seemed like a no-brainer to me that I should just continue doing that after I finished school. I have held lots of other jobs, but never been as pleased with my work as when I can concentrate on printmaking. For me, it's all about pursuing what keeps me happy.
Please describe your creative process.
Afternoons and evenings seem to be the most conducive to making new work. I like to spend the morning doing administrative stuff (answering emails, shipping orders, etc.) and then use the afternoon to make stuff. I usually listen to music to keep me focused on the work, and I try to keep the computer in a separate room while working on art endeavors, it's just too easy to get distracted! Also, there is nothing like having a huge, clean desk to spread out your materials on... so nice!
Tell us something about your subject matter, a little background into why you make art about what you do.
I get inspiration from all over the place. My recent work has been inspired a lot by bold, graphic patterns and repetition. My prints and drawings are often inspired by vintage ephemera or photos I find in thrift stores, it's nice to bring a little of the past into the present.
What specific steps you are taking to grow your Etsy shop?
Right now I am working hard to develop a more cohesive "brand" for my shop. I am trying to get my packaging to look more professional and reflect my aesthetic style, as well as working to develop new products that would complement what I already have available. In the next few weeks I will be working to stock up on things like business cards and thank you freebies, so I can be prepared for the upcoming craft fairs in the summer.
How do you promote your work?
I promote my work by blogging, mostly. I have a facebook fan page, but I am afraid I haven't been very diligent about using it. I like to think of treasuries as a promotional tool in a way... it can introduce new people to your work and build connections with other Etsy sellers.
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Join a team! I have learned so much from my teammates, and made a few friends along the way. Teams are a great way to create connections with successful Etsy sellers, and to promote your own work.
Victorian house print
In ten years, where would you like to be?
Printing in my enormous, fully stocked studio, and having great meals on the porch with my boyfriend and my cat.
Visit Erin's Etsy Shop!