Next up in my Etsy Love series is Susan Windsor who sells note cards, prints, pendants, magnets and calendars made from original watercolour paintings in her delightful shop. I really enjoyed browsing Susan’s shop – her watercolours have a delicate, impressionistic air to them. Each piece is beautiful in its own right but has been cleverly adapted into a useful object!
I started painting in high school. Watercolor was the first paint I tried and it stuck with me. I tried working with oil paints, but they just take too long to dry! 🙂 I’ve painted off and on since then. A little over two years ago I heard about Etsy from a friend who had a shop. I was so intimidated by the idea, but she encouraged me to really consider selling my art. I have a degree in graphic design, so I knew I could scan my paintings and format them well enough for cards and prints. Once I invested in a pretty good printer, I knew I should start on Etsy.
2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.
My favourite piece is the Restaurant Waiter. It’s my favourite painting to date, because I remember the learning curve it was for me to paint it. I did this while taking a class about eight years ago. The teacher encouraged me to not use any black paint, but instead to choose varying dark colors for the shadows. By doing that, it added real depth to the painting. The things I learned from that teacher have affected most of my paintings since then.
3. What is the biggest milestone you have achieved so far whilst selling on Etsy?
A few weeks after opening my Etsy shop I found out we were expecting our first child! I thought I couldn’t handle working full time, having a baby, AND keeping an Etsy shop running. Our little guy is now 17 months old, and I have found that I’ve never painted so much in my life as I have these last two years! Having the Etsy shop keeps me accountable to my creative side. I’m most happy when I’m using the gifts I’ve been given. When life is full and crazy, I go to my paints…it’s my therapy. 🙂 I think it makes me a better wife and mother in the end.
4. What are your future plans for your shop and crafting in general?
I’m always up for a new challenging subject matter. It’s so gratifying when I have a finished piece that people will enjoy. I’ve recently starting listing my original paintings along with the note cards, prints, pendants, and magnets. I’d like to start taking requests for new paintings to work on and list in my shop. I may even take the plunge and offer commission portraits through my Etsy shop, which until now have only been done by word of mouth. I’d also like to try painting original miniature paintings that can be made into pendants–wearable art!
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Susan. I am in awe of your ability to do so much! I also work full time whilst running my Etsy shop and that is tricky at times, but to have a young baby as well must have you rushed off your feet! Congratulations on all your success and I wish you much more to come!