Friday, September 18, 2009

5 question: that most curious of birds

One day while browsing through my blog list, I came across a tutorial on how to do a tutorial, this post was in support of a blog exchange program on Totally Tutorials' Blog, where Etsy Suppliers offer free samples of their supplies to blog writers who are willing to use these materials to produce an art or craft tutorial linked to the supplier's shop and the shop owners blog.

The first thing that entered my mind after "Wow I'd like to get a piece of that action" was "What a great way to kick start some creativity!"

At the time I was going through a bit of a creative drought and had been in one for a while (hence my 5 questions question about getting out of a creativity block) so I kept my eye on the exchange program in case something that I could work with popped up.

Enter MagpieMine and her digital collage sheets. I was one of the lucky recipients of the exchange, and I've also become a customer too. There is such a wide selection of collage sheets in MagpieMine to choose from that the ideas come fast and furious as soon as I start browsing.

Maggie, of MagpieMine is (as she mentions in her profile) like that most curious of birds, the magpie; always on the lookout for interesting, shiny objects. She collects images and squirrels them away in case they are needed someday. In most cases these images and ideas end up on her amazing digital collage sheets.

Maggie claims to have too many ideas and not enough time to create all of them, which means that there is never a shortage of collage sheets in her inventory. I picked up the Elves and Fairies in the Woodland page and a few others to finish off the backs of my hand sewn greeting cards

Up until now, I'd been using decorative papers and in some cases small hand sewn pieces to cover up the reverse side of my cards which is time consuming and expensive. I can use Magpie's medallions printed onto adhesive paper and stick them over the loose threads to finish off my cards with ease as well as an added decorative flourish.

MagpieMine's collage sheets are a perfect first step to getting creative. They can be used for collage projects, jewelry and in some cases, they can be printed out and framed just as they are (yes, they are that well designed).

You can follow Maggies tweets on Twitter and if you want to learn more about Maggie you can also read her Blog, The Magpie's Nest where you'll find some of Maggie's favourite picks from Etsy, a sneak peek of new work, and of course links to some great tutorials featuring her work (stay tuned for my tutorial in the next week or so).

Magpie allowed me to pick her brain with 5 questions: here are her replies:

What has surprised you most about selling your creations online?

What has surprised me the most is the huge number of artists who create gorgeous pieces with clip art or collage sheets. Prior to making and selling collage sheets, as a graphic designer, I used clip art very occasionally when designing an ad or magazine feature or catalog page. It was kind of the last resort if I couldn't find or create the art I was looking for, and I always considered it not the most creative option. Since becoming part of the Etsy "family", I've been surprised to discover artists who create stunning collages, jewelry (charm bracelets are my favorite!), altered art like books and assemblages, all with heavy use of collage sheet art and clip art. The finished products are ultra-amazing! Luckily, with Etsy and other sites showcasing art, I doubt I will run out of new discoveries any time soon!

The other thing that has surprised me is how much I love thinking up new ideas for collage sheets! They just pop into my head, and I probably have forgotten more of my ideas than I have actually used! Got to start writing them down...

Do you listen to music when you create? If yes, what's on your play list right now and why?

Actually, I feel terrible admitting this but, no I don't listen to music when I am working. What?!? Un-American!! My favorite atmosphere when working is: nobody home but me, windows in my office open if it's nice outside, listening to the birds and the sounds of the neighborhood, with one of my cats lounging on the other desk by the window. I am just a peace and quiet fan. Today is one of those days, lucky me!

What got you started?

I have no first memory of discovering art; I was probably born with a Crayola crayon in my hand! I'd like to think it was Jazzberry Jam, but they didn't have that color back then! I've been a painter and a sketcher since I was very small.

What got me started selling online was a suggestion by a coworker that Etsy was a place to make some extra money. I had never heard of Etsy! But within a few weeks I had joined up and started making collage sheets.

So now, I have quit my day job, have let my housework go to pot, and spend way too much time at the computer. (No, the Storque will not be looking to interview me for Quit Your Day Job; I think you have to make enough to support yourself which I don't, though I am extremely fortunate that my great hubby picks up the slack, at least for now!)

Details from Grungy Inchies in Jewel Colors Collage Sheet

Which Children's book character would you be and why?

Well, I guess I would say Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz because no matter where I go I always feel that there's no place like home! Haven't found the Emerald City yet though...

Rock, Paper or Scissors?

Definitely paper! The best things are on paper (sad for someone who works almost entirely with digital files, right?). I love books, magazines, paper beads, papier maché, paper airplanes, paper bags, and origami; not to mention watercolor paintings, scrapbooks, doilies, sticky notes, paper dolls, and I hate to say it but I use too many paper towels! You have to watch out for paper though. It piles up and takes on a life of its own! Sometimes I think I am drowning in paper, since I hate to throw anything away.

detail from Birds, Gators and Hedgehogs Collage Sheet

Did you see something that you simply must know more about? Click on any of the pictures in this feature to find out more! As always your thoughts and comments are welcome, plus they'll put a smile on my face. If you want to make me jump for joy, head over to MagpieMine's shop and buy one, two, three or more of her great collage sheets!


Mrs Knickertwist! said...

Nice interview. I understand exactly what she means about paper... good thing I love it because it's everywhere in my space :)

Pink & Green Mama said...

Great interview. I always like learning more about other artists and their creative process. Thanks for following my blog!!
MaryLea (pink and green mama)

Shawn Michel de Montaigne said...

Absolutely gorgeous work here. I am impressed by Maggie's abilities.

Thanks for the interview!

Kerry said...

Great feature and collage sheets! Love that grungy one!

Hyla said...

Love the gecko! I am off to check out the shop now!

I got here from the Etsy forum blog post!

Sara Rose said...

This was so interesting! I seem to be in a real creative rut lately too, bleh. I always like to hear about how others break theirs.

Maria Sinelnikov Farber said...

Maggie is amazing! I love her shop! What a great interview!!!



Frenzy23 said...

What a great idea for an exchange!
I especially love the "Grungy inchies" photo :)

Andrea said...

Beautiful! I love the Grungy Inchies!

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