MsAnomaly's interview with Studiolara316
1. When did you open your Etsy store and begin selling?
Although I had set up my store awhile back, I didn't actually begin selling until May of this year.
2. How did you select your shop's name?
I actually came up with my store and website name 'Studio Lara' after coming across the work of another artist, Chris Stott...his store and site name is Studio Stott and I thought it had a nice ring to it!
3. What do you create and sell in your Etsy shop?
I paint pet portraits, still life paintings, and I thoroughly enjoy doing Master portrait studies!
4. How did you become involved in your craft?
I actually taught 3rd grade for over 6 years, but in 2006 I married an Aussie, moved to Australia, and was finally able to follow my other passion in life, being art! (We have since moved back to my home state of Michigan)
5. Explain your favorite part of the creative process.
There are so many parts I enjoy, but I suppose with pet portraits, I love when I complete the eyes...I spend the most time painting the eyes, after I do an initial sketch of the entire composition...to me the eyes are the most important part of any portrait. I know it is so cliche, but the eyes truly are the windows to the soul!
6. Do you sell in another Etsy store or anywhere outside of Etsy? If so, where?
I have sold on eBay for the past 3 years, then closed my store, and only recently re-opened it to list an occasional item here or there, but I would eventually like etsy to be my permanent home! I also have sold commissions through my personal website and blog which is always a plus!
7. So far, what project are you most proud of?
I would have to say the project I am most proud of is my Painting a Pup a Day project, although it has turned into more of a Painting a Pup every few days or so...I find it difficult to paint an entire painting each and everyday, unless the painting is very small. I don't know how some artists are able to paint so fast. I guess with my portraits, I know how special people's pets are to them, so I feel I owe it to each and every customer to take my time making a piece they can cherish for years to come! I donate 10% of each portrait I do to one of the many dog rescue groups I work with and I have been involved in a number of charity auctions to support rescue as well. I am also a member of Art for Critters, a group of artists who donate a portion of the proceeds of our work to various animal charities. I am currently offering a special in my store on pet portraits: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=27811746
8. What advice can you give to someone who would like to learn your craft?
Well, I would tell them what Chris Stott, an incredible still life artist from Canada, told me awhile back...he said to look at many different artists' work, to really look at it and study their work...obviously do not copy it, but look at how they handle certain subject matter, what sort of brush strokes and colors they use...and ask questions. Many artists are very willing to share ideas and techniques that have worked for them.
9. What motivated you to join the Etsy Beagle Street Team?
I do not own a Beagle, but I own 2 pups who were both rescued off the streets of Cairns in Australia by my husband. You can check them out on their blog: http://www.aussiedogsupandover.blogspot.com/
Dogs have always held a special place in my heart as I was quite a shy child growing up and always felt a deep connection to the dogs we had. With my Painting a Pup a Day project and Art for Critters, I am able to help support dog rescue, which is the best feeling in the world. Every little bit does really help them out, and there are so many dogs in need of forever homes!
10. Any other places we might find you (Flickr, blog, MySpace, etc.)?
I am on Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and I have a number of blogs that I try to update on a daily or weekly basis.