Her blog profile says "Game Co. Employee by day. Artist by night" . Her name is Stacey Merrill and she is an artist from Florida. Welcome to Stacey's world, as part of the first Artist Spotlight here at Go Flying Turtle! in 2010. Enjoy!
1. Q: What got you interested in drawing in the first place ?
A: I didn’t start drawing until 11th grade & only then because a friend convinced me that Art class would be “ an easy A”. Well, it wasn’t easy but it was a real eye opener.
2. Q: You have a very good grasp of drawing people. How have they become a focal point in most of your subject matter?
A: Until about 10 years ago, I avoided drawing people, especially faces. For many years I did no art. When I wanted to start again I had easy access to paper & people. I figured out I could draw if I concentrated on the shading light & dark rather than worrying about shape & line.
3. Q: What type of media and materials are you currently enjoying when working on your art?
A: Right now I’m really into Watercolor, Watercolor pencils, markers & inks. I also love to tinker with cast off bits of wood, watch parts, broken toys etc.
4. Q: You keep quite busy, running a toy business, raising a child, blogging and being creative. How do you do it?
A: No sleep & lots of caffeine. Actually, time management is one of my biggest hurdles & I’m trying to come up with a better system for 2010. Any suggestions?
5. Q: How did you get started featuring artists and giveaways at your blog?
A: Last year I blogged about the not-for-profit OzBushfireAppeal shop on etsy & some mixed media houses that artists were donating. I thought about interviewing each seller but didn’t. A few months later when artists started sponsoring my blog’s Thursday Giveaways, a feature seemed like a great way to thank them while sharing their thoughts with readers.
6. Q: What's your studio set up like - can you give us a description?
A: My studio/office was once a spare bedroom. Fixed pieces are a computer armoire that also holds books & a metal storage system of drawers and cubbies. Above the metal units is my wall-o’-other-people’s art (This is my favorite element in the space). Everything else in the room is on wheels, including metal shelving, plastic bins & my drafting table. That way I can roll everything aside when I have a big or messy project. The whole place is in need of a big clean or I’d send pictures.
7. Q: What's the art scene like out your way?
A: I’m ashamed to say I have no idea. Before 2003 I was selling in small venues & belonged to a couple of art groups. I took a 4+ year break when my son was born. Upon creating again, I found that most of the groups had disbanded and my venues had closed. With a small child at home it made more sense to start trading & selling
8. Q; Is there anyone whose work is currently grabbing your interest or inspiring you a lot lately?
A: I have too many favorites! A few I’m really into right now include:
Lindsay Carr http://littlerobot.org.uk
Ronald Ceuppens http://fleurografie.blogspot.com
Ramona Szczerba http://www.WinonaCookie.etsy.com
Francisco Martins http://subversivetales.blogspot.com
Tom Banwell http://tombanwell.blogspot.com/
I’m also fascinated by Glenda Bailey’s fabric, transfer and encaustic collage pieces ( http://www.redhead7.blogspot.com ) . She has a new tutorial up on Art-e-zine which I’m looking forward to trying out soon ( http://www.art-e-zine.co.uk/glendaencaustic.html ).
9. Q: You have a fantastic Etsy shop. Any advice or tips for anyone just starting out with or trying to sell their work online?
A: Thanks for the compliment, Steve. I have not had many sales, so I may not be the best person to give advice. But... I found that an Etsy shop is easy to set up & fees are low. It pays to ask other sellers questions. You can search the forums – someone may have asked & answered the same question already. The best thing I did was to join a few teams. I have learned more from team members than from any book I’ve read. I’ve heard some people have done really well using twitter & facebook to pull in customers. I only just joined FB and don’t think I’ll be tackling twitter anytime soon.
10. Q: If you had the chance to visit anyone alive or deceased, and have an hour long conversation with them, who might that person be?
A: My 1st thoughts are my Grandmother or Leonardo DaVinci. While a chat with DaVinci would be fascinating, I’d have to pick my Grandmother.
For more of Stacey's work, click on the links below.