|Rachel of Corn Flower Blue Studio|
Tell us a bit about yourself.I am an artist and crafter living in the southern United States with my husband and three cats. We've lived in some awesome places (Indiana, Germany, Southern Arizona) and now call Alabama home. I am a knitter, crocheter, embroiderer, pattern designer, and blogger. I also love animals, ride my bike everywhere (we haven't owned a car for five years now!), and cook delicious vegan meals.
|Personalized Hand Embroidered Notebook Paper Note|
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I love to run and am beginning to train for a 5k in my new "barefoot" running shoes, so I spend a lot of time outdoors running, walking, and biking. I also love growing and foraging plants that I use in recipes - I'm so lucky to live in a place where I can find wild edibles in my neighborhood! I love to bake bread, can my own fruit preserves, and collect vintage cookbooks.
|Lace Patterned Coffee Cozy in Mustard|
What first made you want to become an artist?I have wanted to be an artist for so long I don't know where it all started! I always loved to draw, I love color, I love to make things. What else could I do?
Please describe your creative process.I get a lot of ideas from reading and watching movies. When I get really into a book, that usually inspires several projects. I love watching movies that have a distinct visual style... like The Life Aquatic, Marie Antoinette, or Bright Star. Sometimes the color palette or one of the characters will give me an idea. I'll usually make a little sketch in my sketchbook or jot down a couple of notes, then come back to it when I'm ready to start a project. Sometimes I'm able to jump right in and finish quickly, other times I have to let the idea stew for awhile.
|Unique Sculptural Crochet|
Please tell us something about your subject matter, a little background into why you make art about what you do.My subject matter varies depending upon which medium I'm working in. I really love to make pieces based on favorite authors and books, which lends itself perfectly to embroidery. I have done pieces based on Jane Austen, Mary Oliver,Charlotte Bronte and Emily Dickinson. Those are all authors that I love and read all the time! I'm also obsessed with repetitive forms, so this comes out in my sculptural crochet. Organic shapes like barnacles, fungi, seed pods, and coral really influence my soft sculptures.
|Jane Austen Cross Stitch Sampler in Hoop|
What specific steps you are taking to grow your Etsy shop.There are several things that I do on a regular basis to expand my shop. First, I make it a point to be visible in different areas. My blog , Flickr, Ravelry, and Tumblr are all places where people can see my work and find links to my shop. I post often to each site and include tons of photos and fun content. I am also a pattern designer for allfreeknitting.com, which brings a lot of potential customers into my circle. I recently took an e-course called "Dream Job" by Elsie Flannigan that had a ton of tips and advice for creative business owners and it was amazing! I learned a lot of useful information!
|Unique Sculptural Crochet|
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?I wish someone had given me advice - and maybe lessons! - on photography. I am entirely self taught when it comes to taking and editing photographs and for a while I had no idea what I was doing. I would advise new Etsy sellers to take clean, simple photographs with natural light. I would also advise them (especially if they are photo newbies like me) to use a simple, free editing tool like picnik.com to brighten and edit their shots. Just a few simple clicks make a huge difference!
|Puff Stitch Cowl with Bright Stripes|
How do you promote your work?My blog is my biggest promotional tool, I post Monday through Friday and include a lot links into my shop through the sidebar and in the posts. I post everything I make on my Flickr account and am part of a lot of crafty groups, so I get a lot of views and feedback there. I have also used sites like craftgawker to reach a wider audience.
In ten years, where would you like to be?In ten years I would like to be living in one of those Earthship bio-architecture houses in New Mexico. I would have an awesome garden and a workspace with huge windows!
Visit Rachel's Etsy Shop!