A great big CONGRATULATIONS going out to Steve Palmer aka Arty Sandp team leader of Etsian Artists!!!!! His very awesomely cool treasury A Film in 16 Frames ended up being the popular favorite among voters and I can certainly see why! I was very excited to get to speak with Steve about his art, his Etsy Shop, his hopes, dreams and aspirations and now I get to share it with all of you. I hope you have grabbed yourself something yummy to drink, sit back, relax and get to know your illustrious leader a little better then you already do...
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your shop?
My name is Steve (or Stephen) and I live in Ascot, England with my wife of 20 years, Patricia. I love music but I’m totally incapable of playing any instrument I’ve ever tried! My shop is primarily based around Art Cards, Photography and Collages – in addition some of my paintings will be introduced over the coming months.
What inspired you to open your shop?
I wanted to start the escape from the Corporate world years ago but life just got in the way. A couple of years ago a school friend of mine who was an excellent artist (but never did anything about it) died and I realised it was time for me to do something rather than just talk about it.
Besides designing & creating things, what do you do?
In the Corporate world I’ve been working in HR for the last 15 years, before that I had a 10+ year career in IT. In my spare time I took up dancing a few years ago, Ballroom and Latin, two lessons a week and the occasional Saturday night – hopefully I’m improving. I also love writing and the power of words, I’ve been writing my first book forever – it’s sort of stalled at 40,000 words - I will finish it one day!
Where, who or what does your influence come from?
Memories, music, overheard conversations, headlines, images – everything and anything. I just let everything buzz around in my head until something falls into place, I can’t force the process.
What inspires you to be creative?
It’s the ‘zing’ moment when suddenly the perfect idea forms and I know I just have to follow through on it. That initial buzz is what gets me going, if I don’t act pdq I’m already beyond it and on route to my next idea. I get bored quickly with ideas and want everything I produce to be different to what I’ve done before - this probably explains why my book is taking forever……….
How do you get out of a creative rut?
I just need a change of scenery and some time to myself. Typically I find this driving, cocooned in my car from the outside world (even if I’m in the middle of a traffic jam), I just let my mind wander. For the record I should add I’ve only ever been done for speeding once (34mph in a 30) and I’ve never had an accident (hopefully I haven’t just tempted fate!)
When did you first discover that you were or wanted to be an artist?
Growing up I always wanted to be an artist or author but at the age of 16 I had to choose between either Arts or Maths based studies at school. The teachers said I could do either, I chose the Maths, IT, Statistics and Economics route simply because financially I needed to secure a job.
Can you describe your creative process for us?
I just let my mind relax and play mental pinball with whatever I have to hand. For example, I drove to Reading last week (about 8 miles) and after a few minutes the idea for my “A is for…” Art Card came into my mind, then I started thinking about other letters, I started playing with words and I liked “An Eye for an I”, that started me down the biblical route “On the First Day….”, which reminded me of Hazel O’Connor and the lyric “On the Eighth Day machines just got upset, a problem Man had not foreseen as yet” which I liked the imagery of. That then merged with a couple of Hawkwind lyrics “in a pool of liquid sky” and “echoes like a cave of chromium, that'll vacuum up my soul when I die” to give me an idea that I’m still playing around with……… Normally by the time I actually sit down to make something mentally I’ve already completed it.
What is your most cherished handmade possession?
This isn’t mine yet and I don’t want it for a long time but my mum has a breadboard that my Great Grandfather made – it’s worn thin in the middle but the carvings around the edge are still as crisp as the day he made it.
Where do you see or want your shop to be this time next year?
I’d like it to be well established with a good customer base. I’d also like it to be contributing towards the ongoing success of the Etsian Artists Team.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
A published author who’s managed to escape the rat race – you have to have goals!
What is your best advice to newbie Etesian's just opening their shops?
Learn from others, promote, network, promote, ask questions, promote and then promote some more. In summary join and become an active member of the Etsian Artists Team. When I first started my vintage shop I didn’t realise how Etsy worked and just expected buyers to find my shop. I now realise that life just isn’t that easy hence my involvement in Etsian Artists.
Where else other then Etsy can you be found on the net?
I’m on Facebook - www.facebook.com/ArtySandp - and I’m flexing my writing muscles on my Blog - www.artysandp.blogspot.com
Do you have any coupon codes that you would like to share with our readers?
Of course! ARTYDISC = 15% Discount.