As those who participated in last weeks treasury challenge already know we celebrated Embrace Your Geekness day by using "GEEK" as our challenge theme. There were some amazingly geeky treasuries put together but one stood out as the very best and that was Green Geek Chic by kaerl! Congratulations Rebecca of Libromancer!!!!! I was so excited to see Rebecca win this weeks challenge as she has been a very dedicated participant for quite some time now. I really enjoyed getting to speak with her about her shop, her art and her love for books new and old and I am sure you are going to enjoy the interview I have here for you all to read. So grab your beverage of choice, sit back, relax and get to know your team mate a little better.
My Interview with Rebecca of Libromancer
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your shop?
I live in South Eastern Pennsylvania with my guy and business partner, Matt. We have 2 cats, Skadi and Josie. We are in the middle of a massive life change involving moving us and our cats from California to Pennsylvania last October, moving in with my parents until we gained employment (I JUST got a job after 9 months of hunting), buying my parents house, and eventually opening a large used and new bookstore in our town.
My shop is Libromancer, and I use books that are too damaged to remain books to create OOAK jewelry and other items. I also frame vintage illustrations rescued from damaged books. And I sell books that I think have a visual element that Etsians would appreciate. Everything is original paper, no reproductions.
What inspired you to open your shop?
My shop was born from our concern about the enormous number of books, and especially illustrations that are being lost forever to landfills. I had a very bad art school experience about 10 years ago that shattered my creative impulse. And this shop has become my way of building it again, I'm doing very different things than I used to, but I'm getting that wonderful flood of ideas again!
Besides designing & creating things, what do you do?
Books, books, books, we can talk books for days on end. :) I also really enjoy movies, comics, and general geek-dom. I'm about to start a new job as a manager of a book store (until we get our own shop up and running). And our first house should keep us busy in all our spare time. It appears that I have to give up sleep for a few years.
Where, who or what does your influence come from?
I love to feel how an object is made, and I love to notice the small things that get overlooked. Vintage books, especially, still have the feel of a handmade thing. Even though many of them were mass produced, you can still see the variations in the typeface, the paper quality, the binding. I hate to see these little masterpieces and beautiful aspects lost, so I try to transform them into something to be appreciated again.
What inspires you to be creative?
Being knee deep in materials! I look at tools, paper, and books and my fingers start itching to work! My Matt is a huge help, too. He's a graphic designer with a love of books that equals mine, so we can talk books and throw creative ideas around 'til the cows come home!
How do you get out of a creative rut?
It took me a long time to learn how to take a break. I used to feel guilty if I didn't push myself to finish a project, which made creating things un-fun. But now, if something isn't working or I feel blocked, I've learned to step away from it and do something completely different until I can return refreshed.
When did you first discover that you were or wanted to be an artist?
The short answer is always. My parents are both artists and teachers. They are very different. My mother now is a bellydance costumer, but she also was an accomplished watercolor painter, calligrapher, and potter. She is very focused on technical prowess and craftsmanship. My father is a photographer, who also draws and paints. He tends to be more free and abstract. Something was always being created in my house. Making things was on the same level as eating and sleeping.
Can you describe your creative process for us?
I start with the material first rather than decide on the final outcome. Some things come naturally or obviously, like the framed illustrations. But others take some time, feeling the paper, looking at the lines of the illustration or typeface, and thinking about what kind of a thing that graphic element would be best used for. Small images, beautiful on their own, or a pattern of letters may become jewelry. A large amount of paper or a series of images may remain together as envelopes and note cards. And I'm always looking for new types of items to file away in the brain in case a book arrives that fits the idea.
What is your most cherished handmade possession?
The first Valentine's Day card my Matt made for me the first year we were dating. It was such a simple thing, but the personal message it contained, literally and figuratively, told me that I had found someone who really knew me.
Where do you see or want your shop to be this time next year?
I'd like to see regular sales, and a variety of new items. I'm hoping to add bookmarks, ornaments, and rediscovered illustration downloads to the mix. My main focus is our bookstore, but I'd love Etsy to be paying for itself!
Where would you like to be in ten years?
Co-owner a very cool and well-known used and new bookstore that features handmade bookish items from Libromancer and other Etsy artists!
What is your best advice to newbie Etsian's just opening their shops?
Network and ask questions. Everyone here has been so helpful with advice and suggestions. Getting exposure for the shop is essential. But you should also find an area of networking that you really enjoy. I love making treasuries, so joining teams, like Etsian Artists, that focus on making treasuries and cross-promotion was a perfect fit for me!
Where else other then Etsy can you be found on the net?
Check out Firefly Bookstore and you'll see our jointly created logo that we are very proud of!
Do you have any coupon codes that you would like to share with our readers?
THANKUEAWT for 20% off your purchase!