Friday, July 10, 2009

This Week's Hot Shop!

Congratulations to Linda of, our newest Hot Shop.

I am so pleased to post about Linda as she has been a friend since I started Etsy. She has always been kind and helpful and works tirelessly to promote others above herself.

She has the cutest artwork and sculptures in her shop. If you participate in the gift swaps you have been lucky enough to have received some of her goodies.

I am happy to post her interview so you can get to know her as I have.

1. Who is LindaGJ? LindaGJ is one of God's children. :) I have to say that because with life's trials & tribulations you realize, as you grow older, that it's all up to God. I live in Houston which is my hometown, yet I've lived all over the place and traveled a lot only to bring me back to where my life began! I also live with my precious kitty, Kenzie. I have had a quite an adventurous life along with many tragedies which makes me who I am today. A survivor with lots of fabulous memories!

2. What kind of crafting/art do you do? How long have you been doing it? I've been doing art my whole life. When I was 4 the art teacher told my mom I had the talent. I've done all kinds of things, but mixed media is my favorite I guess because I've done a variety of all kinds of art related jobs such as working in the art department of many very special events, commercials, costumes touring around the world with music celebrities, and also have worked in the costume department in theater when I lived in NYC. I learned how to do so much, mostly when I was out of college when I was an art major & I went to the High School for the Performing & Visual Arts as an art major. I was there when it just began and there were only 400 people in the entire school and it was located in an old synagogue. Now they have a different building. I also used to be a natural ballet and tap dancer! So I am obsessed with dance and theater as well. Growing up with successful musicians gave me a great understanding & appreciation of all kinds of music as well.

3. Where do you pull your inspiration from? Obviously at one time it was my cat Peanut who lived to be 20 years old. She was such a cartoon character and in each image you see of her, she has done that pose. Each picture has a story to it and those kitty paintings are taken from a couple of books I wrote about her for fun when I was a teacher of art to little kids up to mid school. My creatures are taken from learning how to do paper mache when I worked on a Haunted House. Of course I made a Peanut first. I was really into angels so I made angels, my fish are from a commission & then everybody wanted one. My flying mobile mermaids come from a dream I had about Heaven. If I go on a trip, sometimes I will be so inspired to do a painting, as well as theater groups I've worked for. Especially the Brazilians at The Joseph Papp theater's Latino Fest and then at the Delacore in Central Park. With their costumes and poses they allowed me to take pictures of them and I'd paint pics of the entire group. None are displayed here on Etsy though. I'm leaving out a lot, btw, but trying to make it short! I think in a childlike way and also love fantasy and whimsical. Mainly something that will put a smile on people's faces. I'm just inspired by what makes me feel good mostly. When I see people looking at my items I watch for that smile and it never fails...the "smile". That's my joy mostly and seeing little young ones laugh, especially at my fish and when they read my books. If I can get a smile, that's my main goal. You can see my Visual Smiles Gallery Flickr page HERE. I love to promote people's art work so much as well. That is a passion of mine. I also am a collector of art work from the living!

4. What is your favorite medium? Being kind of a jack of all trades, never interested in one thing, my major in college was watercolor, so then it was style keeps changing from realistic to now, which is very cartoony like...I'd have to say I love mixed media. Since my work is getting very difficult to make,(I have a severe case of fibromyalgia which gets worse daily & through other health related issues, I'm on disability) I have decided to start to make art collages with the skills I've learned. I have completed one which will be on sale once I make at least 8 of them. I want to only sell originals and keep the prices down. I'm working on a mermaid piece right now, and have many other ideas. If you want to take a peak at my 1st collage art there are 3 pics of it and some detailed writing on it, check out my blog! I'd love for y'all to follow my blog and I'd love to follow y'alls as well!!!

5. Is Etsy your art your full time job, or just an on the side project? Etsy saved my life or well being. I never could have imagined I'd end up with a crippling disease , a prisoner in my own body. A friend told me about Etsy because she buys stuff here on Etsy all the time. So I tried it out and never looked back. I eventually joined ETC and through that we started a Houston mini team! I'm having a blast too! Etsy gave me a goal, new friends, inspiration, & fascinating artisans to admire. I've become friends with a lot of them & also have learned so much from everybody, even though I may not do their medium, it gives me an appreciation of all kinds of mediums I never even knew about! I love sharing booths with my fellow ETC Houston members as well as Houston artists that aren't ETC members. Except in this heat in the summer.

Editor's Note: ETC (of which ETC-Houston is a mini-team) and the Artisans of Houston are two separate teams on Etsy. While the Artisans of Houston began with some of the ETC-Houston folks, they decided to create a team separate from ETC. It is this team, the Artisans of Houston, to which Linda refers above, not ETC-Houston.

6. What is your favorite thing to do with the Etsy Texas Crafters Team? Oh I love doing the swaps!!! I can't wait to get my swap package in the mail! I also enjoyed doing the one on one gift swap. I also adore seeing the ETC member's talent and have met so many awesome people along with their talents! It feels great being a part of a team. Everyone is so friendly and so very talented. Makes me proud to be a Texan!

7. Any tips for other Artists? Don't ever give up. If art is your passion, have fun, don't think of it as a business. Create from your heart. Don't worry about the slow times and not selling, times are rough now.

8. Tell me a Secret about yourself. OK, this sounds so silly & really kooky, but since I'm into spirituality, I learned that to surround yourself with a Gold Aura by simply saying it, it will protect you, so I have this little Yoda doll standing on my car dashboard. Before I start to drive, I put my finger on the top of his head and repeat "Gold Aura" 3 times. That is my code prayer and God knows what I'm talking about! :)

Thank you, Linda, for such a candid and open interview! We love getting to know everything about each other!

If you would like to be featured next, simply go to Linda's shop and pick out your favorite item. Post back here about it. I'll randomly pick a new Hot Shop next week.

NOTE: Everyone is welcome to comment on this article, but only ETC members will be eligible for selection as a Hot Shop.

*(there will be a slight delay in choosing and posting a new shop next week as I'll be on vacation, but it will happen, so visit Linda's shop and post!)


kimmy said...

yea!! linda!!!!!!i am so proud to be one of Lindas ETSY friends. She is really just the kindest and sweetest person. she has done some wonderful art. i love her cards they are done on very end paper. this swap she sent out these tinie tiny books on miss peanut jones. super sweet. linda your are the best!!!!!!!!!!!

kathydkeith said...

I just became one of Linda's Etsy friends, having convoed with her after buying a grab bag from the ETC team shop and appreciating the quality of a note card of hers that was part of the goodies.
She's got a great little shop too!

kathydkeith said...

PS - my favorite in her shop is this: Your Choice of 8 CARDS and 1 PRINT and 1 MAGNET. She's got so many great images.
That little book looks really nifty too.

kimmy said...

I meant to write very high end paper. aw gee sorry. linda uses top notch art paper!!

hausofglass said...

It's been almost a year since I've known Linda...both of us being one of the original 5 members of the etsy mini team: Artisans of Houston. I'm so happy that you are featured here, Linda!

She is so gifted and has such a creative imagination. Her creations always have a sense of whimsy and fun about them. And the colors!!! Vivid and lively! I have one of her adorable little basset hounds (which is what my dog is) and have it up on my mantlepiece. I love the dogs so much! She really manages to capture the essense of their personalities by placing them in poses that each dog is best known for. I also sent my daughter-in-law one of her packages which included cards, magnets and a print from her Peanuts book, and both my son and daughter-in-law (owners of 4 much loved cats) adored them!

This honor couldn't have gone to a nicer person! Congratulations, Linda!

Mishkat said...

This is a wonderful interview! I love Linda's work (especially her portraits of Miss Peanut) - and she is such a kind and caring person, too.

LindaGJ said...

Thank you Amy so much for this feature and thank yall for making such nice comments. I've been bragging and showing off all yesterday when I got the news that it was up. I don't get put in treasuries much, so it feels soooo good and special to be featured here.I will save a copy of this forever! My moment of feeling kinda special.
Linda :)

Etsy Texas Crafter Team said...

So glad to get to know you better, Linda. keep up the good work on your crafts.