I was delighted to be interviewed by members of Etsy Team Columbus - a great group of women artists here in Central Ohio. This post appeared on their Blog, and I decided to cross post here!!
Etsy Team Columbus Blog Interview
1. Tell Us a bit about yourself. (Please include your Etsy Shop name, real name, how long you’ve been a member of the team and whatever you want us to know about you. You may also talk a little bit about your family here.)
Joy StClaire shop: http://www.joystclaire.etsy.com/ Website: http://www.ohjoyphotography.com/
I’ve been a member of ETC for not quite a year & have been active with my shop for a year this January. I live in NE Columbus with my dog Maggie May & 2 kitties. I’m happily single and am fortunate to have wonderful friends to fill in as family (my parents passed 16 years ago).
2. Apart from creating things, What do you do?
I’m a portrait photographer, although I guess I’m still creating there!! My other passion is gardening. When I was little, I turned my Barbie into a Gardener Barbie! I’m very into eco conscious garden design & plantings using native plants. I stay grounded by taking daily walks with Maggie & bird watching along the walk (I am a closet birder!). When I can, I take off to northern Michigan to recharge my creative & spiritual well (& take fine art photos). And foraging in thrift stores makes me happy, especially if I find a great vintage camera!
3. What first made you want to become an Artist?
Now I know I was born that way – seeing things a certain way. But it was about 5 years ago when I enrolled in a workshop at my church called “The Artist’s Way” – based on the book by Julia Cameron. When I was younger, I always thought I was “strange” because I had trouble fitting “in the box”. It was through that workshop I realized what I was calling “strange” was actually being creative. It was that year I started my portrait photography business. Alternating between portrait work and my fine art photography helps keep me fresh creatively.
4. Tell us about your Art/Craft.
I am a fine art photographer 9portraits & landscapes). Many years ago (a LONG time ago!) I shot film & focused on black and white work. I still have my 2 original Ricoh 35mm cameras. About 8 years ago, I switched to digital out of necessity.
5. Please describe your Creative Process.
In my digital work, I process my photographs using Adobe Lightroom and have created specific presets to give my work its signature tones and hues. I also use Photoshop Elements to apply textures to some of my work. Flower photograph and still life works are my favorites. I will often get a subject and look at it for a couple days. Then I try to see it in a very different way – to stretch myself beyond my initial ideas.
6. What Handmade possession(s) do you most cherish?
Gifts from other artists – painted stones, a 2011 calendar, jewelry, photographs. These are all things that remind me of the maker - & that is what holds the value for me. Each time I see the handmade, I think of the artist.
7. What advice would you give to artists that are new to Etsy Team Columbus? If you are a new member within the past year, What are you looking forward to being a new member of the team?
I’m a relatively new member to Etsy and ETC, so I’m not sure I have advice yet! But I’m looking forward to participating with others in ETC in learning and growing as an artist.
8. What are your Favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?
I’m really pleased that we can now search for items among our favorites. I’m still trying to get the hang of circles. I’m liking the activity feed. In some ways I feel Etsy is trying to become a bit like Facebook & I would like to see them focus more on business/selling.
9. How do you promote your work? (You don’t have to go into super detail but please be specific.)
I try to blog as much as I can – when I have a new product or sale I blog about it. My blog is also “networked” on FB so when I post to my blog, it automatically goes to my personal & to my Business FB pages. I also “tweet” (still trying to get the hang of that) about treasuries I’m in, sales, portrait promos and I try to do the Follow Friday on Twitter. I have a fan page on FB and through google analytics, it seems I get quite a bit of traffic to my Etsy through my Facebook business page. I send emails out to friends/aquaintenances about sales or news I’d like to share.
10. Where can we find you on the web? (Please include your Etsy website, a personal site if you have one, your Facebook/MySpace page and/or blog. Only include the sites you want to share with the general public.)
You can find me on the web in these places:
11. In ten years where would you like to be artistically and personally.
Wow – this is going to sound like a bio at the end of a book! Lol! But I believe in living with intention – picture it & make it so!
Joy StClaire works out of her studio in a rustic cottage in Northwestern Michigan near the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is thrilled over the recent opening of her natural light portrait & fine art studio, and has begun offering classes in fine art & portrait photography. Visit her at art shows nationwide. She lives with her husband and 3 dogs in the log and stone home they designed together.