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For today’s interview please welcome Diane Salter from the art blog My Art Journal.
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 Diane Salter, and I live in the Great Lakes area of the Northeast region of the US.
2. Please tell us a little about the nature of your craft/crafts and business.
I’m a mixed media artist. I mainly like to create mixed media collages and paintings using papers anywhere from vintage text to my own handpainted papers, also with acrylics, soluble and non soluble crayons, graphite pencils, and the list goes on. I also love to embellish them with vintage found items i.e. buttons, old jewelry, hardware, etc. Plus, I’m always trying and learning new techniques that I can apply to my art. Currently, I sell my art at different art shows in my surrounding area. I’m hoping to open up an Etsy store in late Fall. And I also just started my art blog last fall–not really a business, but a very good way to get my art seen.
3. What first interested you in your craft?
Well I’ve always been into some kind of craft all my life, but I discovered mixed media about 5 years ago, when I first saw Claudine Hellmuth on a Carol Duvall show. I didn’t even know who Claudine was back then, but she got my interest fast, and I’ve never looked back.
4. Did you have any formal training or have you learnt by yourself as you have gone along?
No, I have no formal training. I was a SAHM (stay at home mom), and I always needed an outlet for myself, so basically everything I’ve ever done in my life pertaining to arts and crafts, I’ve taught myself. Currently, I’ve discovered online classes which have helped me tremendously.
5. How did the idea for your business/website come about?
As far as selling my work at art shows, I started participating in them when my kids were younger, and I wanted a way to earn a little extra income without having to leave home. And my blog came about as a result from my first online class last Fall. When I first started, I was very cyber-shy, but then I began to ease into the class and participate ALOT. I really enjoyed connecting with the other artists and talking about my art to people who “got” me. So I have to say that this class was a major factor for me in starting my own blog.
6. How long now have you been established?
20 years, but only 5 years with the mixed media paintings.
7. How do you find inspiration and where do you locate your materials?
I pretty much find inspiration from everywhere! I’m always viewing everything in my life with an artist’s eye. Textures, colors, and designs are everywhere if you just look for them. And I also have a weakness for art books. Whenever I feel blocked, I’ll start looking through any one of my books that I have, and I’m always renewed – always. And last but not least, the internet!! I’m always amazed at all of the very talented artists out there, no matter what their art may be. And how do I locate materials? Well, anyone who knows me, knows that I am a garage sale/ flea market junkie, I love ANYTHING vintage, or even not so vintage to use in my art. And let me tell you, I’m keeping Dick Blick in business, because that store is a great source for art supplies with the best prices. Plus, I also love, love, love to shop online!
8. Do you undertake your business/website on a full-time basis or are you also working whilst you get it up and running?
Yes, this is a full-time way of life for me. I feel very fortunate that I’m able to do this whenever I want, which pretty much fills up my day. This is my way of relaxing–making art – I love it!
9. Tell us a little about your typical day and what is involved in running the business/website?
I’m definitely a morning person, so I’m up very early. First, I’m on the computer, checking emails, going to my blog, and just doing different things on the computer, Then for the most part of the morning, I’m in my studio. And now that I’m in the middle of the art/craft show season, I start planning what I need to make and also how much for my upcoming shows, it’s very hectic for me at this time of the year. Later on, in the early evening, I’ll return to my art room. It’s a great way to start and end my day!
10. What advice would you give to others who are considering running a craft based business/website?
Just do it!! If it’s something that you’ve been thinking and dreaming about, then what are you waiting for?! What will happen if it doesn’t work out? You can’t fail at anything that you try to do. The only time that you can fail, is when you never even try. Everything you attempt in your life, no matter what it is, is a learning experience. And I truly believe that you have to compeletely believe in yourself before anyone else can.
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.
Well, I pretty much answered that question up above, hopefully soon in the next few months, I’ll have an Etsy link.
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?