i'm so excited to continue our "rockstar etsy seller" interviews today! one of my favorite etsy sellers, yardia, has agreed to answer some questions (huzzah!). i loved reading her answers and i'm sure you will too! AND a lot of her products are inspired by jane austen! so perfect.
please welcome brigida (and be sure to visit her lovely store)!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Brigida and I'm the creator of Yardia. I'm a native of Seattle and find so much joy in this odd rain-soaked city. As an artist, I'm inspired my favorite writers, particularly Jane Austen. I also love patterns and textiles, but since I am hopeless at sewing, I draw images of dresses instead.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I teach art at an all-girls middle school, which I must say has to be the best job in the world. I also cook lots of soup, read books from my neighborhood library, and drink too much tea and coffee.
What first made you want to become an artist/crafter/seamstress?
I've always drawn and painted, so it was never really a conscious decision I made. I just assumed art would somehow be a part of my life, and it has been.
Please describe your creative process.
I generally work with walnut ink and one of those old-fashioned metal-tipped calligraphy pens. I spend hours hunched over my paper, carefully drawing lines and patterns to make my drawings look like wrinkled or flowing dresses.
Recently I've been trying to work with color more, and have been painting with watercolors and itty bitty brushes.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I love my hand-thrown pottery dishes that were made by my mom, a ceramic artist, and the small study of a perfume bottle with a pearl necklace made by my grandma, a painter. They are both reminders of the creativity present in the women of my family, something I strive to continue.
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Focus on your art first. Challenge yourself to trust your creative instincts instead of trying to fit into your idea of what others want. When you are passionate about what you make, your art will be a deeper and more truthful representation of your creativity.
Then, work on your photography. Goodness knows I am always struggling to improve my product photographs!
How do you promote your work?
When I first started out on Etsy, I was lucky enough to be featured on a well-known blog which helped my sales to take off. Since then my work has been included in other blogs and online magazines from time to time, which is fun to see. I also have a daily drawing blog to document my current work.(yardia.blogspot.com)
In ten years, where would you like to be?
I would like to be right here in Seattle, living in a small house with a big garden. I'd also like to continue to grow my business and to explore further artistic endeavors. I'd love to become a more educated printmaker and see my designs on fabric items or wallpaper.