Next up in my Etsy Love series is Sarah from Three Summer Days who sells artwork based on classic quotes. Sarah’s work is original, intricate and visually stunning. I love the unique and creative nature of Sarah’s artwork and I think it would be easy to find the perfect gift for something in this shop.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop.
My name is Sarah Sullivan and I live in the heart of the Midwest with my wonderful husband and 18-month-old daughter Eleanor.
My art was actually something that I shoved to the back burner at a very young age. When I was a child, I drew and painted constantly. I entered art contest after art contest and never won, which made my child-brain deduce this lovely factoid: “I’m not winning, so I must not be good at this.”
With that sobering deduction, I forced myself to seek out other avenues to express my creativity. I eventually settled on writing and literature, two things that set my imagination on fire. However, through my teen years and even college, I’d pick up my paints every once in a while and zone out for hours. However, I still had myself convinced it was something I “wasn’t good at.”
Fast forward to Fall 2011. After a particularly stressful day, my husband and I settled down on the couch to watch a movie. For no reason, I grabbed my sketchbook and began to draw as the movie played. I looked up at what felt like a moment later and the credits were rolling. What I had drawn was a hand featuring the intricate detail-work that runs rampant in my pieces..
I began to paint and draw again and I began to dream. My first and final product concept was to combine two of my great loves, art and literature. So I began to experiment and sketch and paint until I composed the products you see in my shop today.
Ah, that’s so incredibly hard. I would probably have to say my piece inspired by a quote from Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women,” “Be Comforted, Dear Soul.” It was one of my first pieces and one that put my feelings for it through the ringer. I started out the way I usually do, which is to find a quote and paint the background based on how it inspires me. Though I liked parts of the final painting, I really was just not impressed. So I stashed it away for a while.
When I brought it out again, I decided to take a risk. I honestly didn’t think I’d like the piece enough to sell it, so I just began to doodle. What emerged was a flowing, whimsical sun filled with tiny lines and incredible detail. It was the first piece that I had done where everything just came together, where I realized that combined with the painting and drawings, I would have an incredible product. It just worked. That’s the best feeling in the world. That’s probably why it’s my favorite.
3. What is the biggest milestone you have achieved so far whilst selling on Etsy?
Honestly, probably my biggest milestone is just having the shop up and actually selling pieces. I went through a long process of doubting myself and my abilities before I finally just bit the bullet and opened my virtual doors. When it was finally open, I breathed a sigh of relief. When I sold my first piece, my breath caught in my throat again, because all I could think was “I’m really doing this!”
4. What are your future plans for your shop and crafting in general?
Right now, I’m still delving into the rich treasures of quotes offered in public domain. There are so many pieces I want to do and so many books to go through! I also have weddings on the brain. I’m working on pieces that could be gifts from the bride to the groom and vice versa, pieces for reception tables, and Commemorative Wedding Announcements. These pieces would feature a decorative border and have a selection of literature quotes to choose from, very similar to my Commemorative Birth Announcements.
I’d love to make a foray into jewelry at some point. I love the idea of wearable art, so whatever I produce would definitely incorporate my watercolors and inkwork. I’ll probably have to pace myself on that one though..
5. And finally let us know where we can find you.
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThreeSummerDaysShop
Thanks for sharing Sarah, your work is truly stunning and I find your story inspirational. I think we are all plagued with uncertainty in our work from time to time but in my opinion a big part of becoming successful is having faith and confidence in your own ability. The chances are that if you enjoy the pieces you produce, then there will be many more people out there who feel the same way and you have shown how important it is to take that leap of faith! I wish you all the best with your business and look forward to seeing your jewellery in the future.