For today’s interview please welcome Pam Hallbick-Stimpson from Grammy’s Altered Life.
1. Firstly, please introduce yourself and tell us a little about where you are based, for example in which country and part of that country?
My name is Pam Stimpson and I live, create and work in the Midwest United States. My home is in Dallas City IL and I work at a regional medical center across the Mississippi River in West Burlington Iowa.
2. Please tell us a little about the nature of your craft/crafts.
I love mixed media, pen ink and watercolors. I enjoy making things on wood and canvas both. I am really drawn to whimsical scenarios, with words. Actually, I will paint or do mixed media applications on just about anything that sits around, or finding a treasure that needs a new life. I occasionally recycle chairs or a furniture piece with fluid acrylics and Mod Podge® or Golden brand mediums.
3. What first interested you in your craft?
ACEO or ATC cards, they are 2.5 x 3.5 inches. The size of a baseball or playing card. I like the challenge of the small space and the detail that can take place in such a confined area. I enjoy doing challenges from different online art groups and trading with other artists.
4. Did you have any formal training or have you learnt by yourself as you have gone along?
I did take some classes from a Tole painting and Folkart background. I did a lot of structured painting that way. As time went on, I so loved the freedom of just putting paper, paint, glue and ink on a piece to create. Adding embellishments and just having plain old fun creating. Even with my folkart background, I feel I am a mainly a self taught artist. I’m still learning everyday and changing my art in different ways. I always want to try something new. I can not just sit, unless it’s on the computer, exploring other art blogs and groups I belong too.
5. How did the idea for your business/website come about?
I started exploring into the Artist Trading Cards. A lot of people were selling these small works on Ebay at the time. So I opened an account and to my surprise, I sold my work. I still occasionally post items. It’s profitable enough for me to get a lot of supplies and venture into new art styles with my on-line money. I started meeting people through groups and started my blog. I’ve never looked back. It is a magical place in the art world online. So many talented, courageous and wonderful people out there. So many talented people sharing their knowledge and techniques.
6. How long now have you been established?
My internet blog life began in the Fall of 2007. I have been creating since I was a teenager. I won a contest in my school. A fall oil on canvas. My great aunt had bought me my first oil paints, brushes and other supplies, from then on I was lost in the land of art and creativity.
7. How do you find inspiration and where do you locate your materials?
I’m online everyday! 75% of my inspiration comes from the art world online. Art groups, blogs, emails, art sites. I buy local as much as possible, but items are pretty limited. I buy online and I junk and antique for old photos, substrates to create on, and embellishments. I call it treasure hunting. I love to find treasures that will add to my art process. I’m also a huge fan of Somerset Studio magazines.
8. Do you undertake your business/website on a full-time basis or are you also working whilst you get it up and running?
I work full time at a regional medical center in public relations. I do my art life in the evenings and weekends.
9. Tell us a little about your typical day and what is involved in running the business/website.
If I’m up a little early, I may get some backgrounds done for upcoming art pieces out in my little studio. Even if it’s just one or two layers on a piece. I’m enjoying my coffee at this time too. Then it’s off to get ready for work and a 25 minute commute. I luckily have a creative department to work in and love my job at the hospital. Then it’s home for supper, clean up, maybe a load of laundry and then I’m on the web. If I don’t get involved to long there, I may return to the studio for another layer or two, cutting or embellishment of an art piece. You just never know. Mixed media art gives you tons of options and I never find it repetitive. It’s a great expression I can work on with little pieces of time or a whole day.
10. What advice would you give to others who are considering running a craft based business/website.
You have to get involved and search out art groups that are supportive and share your passion. But, you get into a routine and you learn short cuts and keep yourself open to new things and ideas. Once you are networking and creating and putting yourself and art out there, things start happening. I don’t consider what I do a business, I do sell and I’m in the planning stage of an art show/fun/whimsical sale. But, I enjoy the creating process more than the selling. I think it’s possible to do it all, but it would be less stressful if you had someone promoting and selling and an artist just stick to the art of creating.
11. How do you sell your wares – through craft fairs etc or through your own website and or Etsy or other shops? Please let us have the links to these.
I sell on Ebay, have opened an Etsy account, but that is all the farther I am. I get involved in the creating part and forget about selling until I need room LOL.
12. Finally, if people want to learn more about your business/website do you have a Facebook page or Twitter profile where they can learn more?
Pam Hallbick Stimpson on FB
FB – Pam Hallbick-Stimpson
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