Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mystery Artist Revealed!!

The contest is over! And I guess I did make it too easy ;) We have two winners! Aestraea will win two pairs of Earrings (her choice), and the last pair will go to Kristen Hardy! Thanks everyone so much for playing and taking the time exploring Etsy and finding new and exciting shops from talented artisians!

Here is the interview with CozInk, it's wonderful learning about new people and their passions for their art!

1. What made you get into your craft? Was it always something you've been interested in doing?
I was always into art, but I never really knew anything about printmaking until high school. In junior year, my art teacher asked if I would like to go to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, up in Deer Isle. Several schools sent one student, and we stayed there for a long weekend learning a new craft. I took the printmaking workshop that weekend, and that's where I learned printmaking with a gelatin plate. It was totally random- I didn't know about Haystack until my teacher asked me if I wanted to go, and I had never heard of gel printing until I read it in the class schedule and signed up. And I almost didn't sign up. I almost took metalwork instead, but I decided printmaking would be easier to continue doing at home. I love the versatility of printing on gelatin. I love the detail it allows me to pick up in the plants I use, and how many different effects I can get.

2. What inspires you?
Definitely nature, which is pretty easy to tell when you look at my stuff, I guess. Everything in it is plant life. The printmaking process inspires me- just having time in my studio to stand at the work table and zone out printing for a couple hours. I'm inspired by color, and trying new projects.

3. Tell us a little about your average day.
Ha! My average day is pretty boring. I'm a stay-at-home mom, so it's exactly what you'd expect that to entail: I cook, I clean, I take care of my daughter and the dog and the cat. I definitely do not make it up to the studio every day. Studio work is more like once or twice a week. In January that will all change, because I'm returning to college to get a teaching degree. So my days will be VASTLY different... my daughter will be in day care, I'll be in class. I'm looking forward to it but am also pretty scared of going back to school and also of the shock of not being with my daughter as much. I know that's going to be tougher on me than her.

4. How did you first get introduced to Etsy, and what made you decide to sell there?
A friend told me about it- she makes crocheted goods that she sells at So I saw what she was doing, and I had all these prints I made but just saved, so I started cutting them up to make things. I did a gallery show this summer, and while I was going over which prints to hang with the owner, he asked how many full sized prints I had at my house. He was shocked when I said "Not many- a lot get cut up." He couldn't believe I was cutting up original prints to make cards and bookmarks, but I love it! I love that it constantly makes me create more. I love that people get totally one-of-a-kind cards, that really are special enough for important occasions. And they're elegant- they aren't filled with goofy cartoons or sappy poetry or soft-focused pictures of roses. They're unique, and I joined Etsy hoping to find people who appreciate that.

5. What advice would you give to new artists, or people interested in your field of art?
To people interested in printmaking- jump in. There aren't a ton of people out there printing with gelatin, so it's sometimes tough to get started, because you have to teach yourself as you go, but it's worth it. It's fun, and messy, and really process-oriented so it relaxes you once you realize you really have to stop worrying about the final product. Don't get into this kind of printing thinking you can plan exact results. Go in with an open mind and a fluid idea of what you want to end up with, because a lot of times your prints come out very different than you expect.

6. Do you sell your work locally?
I try to. I have cards up in consignment in several local stores, and actually one store way out in Minnapolis, too. My goal for the coming year is to get more wholesale orders. Eventually I will break into craft shows, but I'm not ready to take that on, yet.

7. Tell us a little about yourself.
Married my high-school sweetheart when I was 19, and we're coming up on nine years together/five and a half years married. I lived in Wyoming for awhile and REALLY miss it sometimes. I come from a very talented family, artistically and musically, with cousins who are more like siblings and siblings who I feel lucky to know, let alone call my brother and sister. I like to write, like to create, have a bad temper, curse way too much, and have a really embarrassing laugh that I still refuse to stifle.

8. What do you see in your future?
Lots of W-O-R-K! All I can see in my future right now is the looming start date of college, and how tired I'm going to be for the next 3 or 4 years as I become a full time student and mom.

9. What is the favorite item you have made?
The favorite material you work with? I make such a large volume of stuff, it's hard to pick a favorite. The print that is on my business card was always a favorite. It was a note card originally- I scanned the image to use as my business card, and I sold the card itself later. There aren't many pieces that I hang on to- I like sort of forcing myself to let go of my favorite pieces, because it inspires me to make more like it, or try to make something even better! My favorite thing in my Etsy shop right now is probably the 2010 Calendar of printmaking that I put together, just because it's a project that's been on my mind for so long. I love that it's out on paper now, and I'm really happy with how it came out.

10. Where can we find you? Twitter? Facebook? Blog?
Oy, all three.

Although the blog is a blog about the entire art collective called CozInk Collective. It's made up my a lot of family members- we all have different mediums, and try to cross-promote so we formed a collective and I run the blog. We have musicians, songwriters, photographers, artists, a guitar-maker... all from the same family. I love my family- never a dull moment!

11. Your favorite saying or quote?
This, I don't know if I can pick. I'm a history nerd, so there are a LOT of old quotes rattling around in my head. "The more you have to do, the more you can get done" is one my grandfather told me a lot, and one I try to remind myself of when I feel overwhelmed. It's a very New England little saying, I think, and it's really true.

Thanks so much CozInk for participating! It was great getting to know you better, and hope others enjoy the interview as much as I did. Good luck with your sales! Hope many come your way!



  1. Great interview! Gel plate printmaking is new to me.

  2. I really love the artist, and the interview. I've never seen gel plate printmaking before.