[Interview conducted by Sarah Greiner.]
What is your name, and where are you from?
My name is Mary and I live in Philadelphia with my boyfriend and 2 dogs. I grew up right outside of West Philadelphia. I moved into the city about 2 years ago.
What is your day job, i.e. what do you do when you are not creating beautiful work to sell on Etsy?
I am currently looking for a job. I am a psychology student and am currently applying to graduate programs.
Your Etsy Store is called CBeauty, does that have any significance?
I named my shop Cbeauty because I want to remind people to take the time to look around and see the beauty that is all around us.
I noticed in your profile that you say you have never taken classes in jewelry making or design. How did you learn to create your jewelry?
I started off making hemp jewelry. Then I was at an art show with my parents and one of the dealers was selling strands of pearls. I decided to buy a couple of strand to mess around with. I used the internet and written resources to teach myself to make jewelry. It took a lot of practice and trial and error, but now I can make professional quality jewelry.
Your Etsy store has two very different types of products; jewelry and stencil work. Do you prefer creating one of them to the other?
I get into moods. Sometimes for a few weeks I will purely work on paintings and stencil work. Then I will get an idea for a piece of jewelry and I will work mostly on that for a little while. I really enjoy creating both kinds of art, along with many other arts and crafts items.
Do you do any other craft or fine art that we have not yet seen in your store?
I do a little bit of everything, but mostly what you see. I have experimented with fabric, scrap booking, sketching, photography, candle making, mixed media and dream catcher making. I am always looking to learn new art techniques and constantly trying to incorporate different elements to all of my art.
When did you become involved with Etsy and how did you hear about it?
I opened my Etsy shop in September. I found out about Etsy when I was set up at The Big Art Show in University City. I had been sitting there all day without a sale and someone who was looking at my art said to me, “You should sell your stuff on Etsy.” I looked into what Etsy was as soon as I got home and decided to try it.
How long have you been a Philly Etsy Team member?
I have been involved with the Philly Etsy Team for about 3 months.
Have you ever had the chance to sell your work at a craft fair or table? If so, did you like the experience? If not, would you like to?
I have sold at a few craft fairs. I haven’t sold much at any of the shows I have set up at but I do want to continue to try. Hopefully my luck with sales will turn around soon!
What sorts of things inspire you?
I am inspired by everything, but especially by nature, loved ones, and other art / artists.
What artists do you admire?
I have many artists I admire. It almost seems unfair to just pick a few, but if I had to name some I definitely have to include Warhol, Howard Finster, and Keith Haring. I also greatly admire the unknown yet incredible street artists, who give their art to the world on a regular basis even though it is constantly covered, torn down, and destroyed. The street artists that I admire the most are Stikman, Bob Will Reign, Space Invader, D*face, Banksy, Blek le Rat, and Swoon to name a few. If you want to know more about street art you can check out a couple sites dedicated to the art form – woostercollective.com and streetsy.com.
Where do you find the supplies that you use in your pieces?
A lot of the supplies I use are things I find, have laying around, or have been given to me. I also buy a lot of supplies at Home Depot, AC Moore, and Pearl Art Supplies. I get my jewelry supplies mostly online, and I get my high quality pearls at buyers' marts and craft fairs.
What do you think about the handmade revolution?
I think buying handmade is a great idea. It can, of course, be difficult and expensive at times, but I think it is very important to support independent artists and crafters as much as possible.
If you could be an animal what would you be?
Hhhhhmmm… That’s a tough one. I guess if I would be any animal I would want to be a phoenix. I know that is a mythical creature and that might be cheating, but that’s what I would want to be. =)
What is your favorite book, movie or music?
Favorite book = I love psychological non-fiction. One of my favorites is When Rabbit Howls by Trudy Chase.
Movie = I like dark comedies and drama mostly. I love movies like Nightmare Before Christmas, Fight Club, and Momento.
Music = I mostly listen to heavy metal and industrial, but I enjoy many different types of music. My favorite would have to be Don McClosky (he is an amazing local singer song writer, you should definitely check him out!), NIN, StainD, Slipknot, and G Love.
If you could tell people one thing about yourself that nobody knew, what would it be?
I am an emotional person. I put a little piece of myself into everything I make. It might sound cliché but I truly make art because I love it. I just wish others loved it enough to buy some of it.
Cbeauty's etsy shop: Cbeauty.etsy.com