Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Featured Artist Interview: Shellie from PillowHappy

I'm very pleased to present to you my 1st featured Artist: Shelli, the beautiful and talented woman behind pillowhappy! I came across pillowhappy a few months ago when I was looking for Spring and nature inspired handmades on Etsy. There are many reason why I like Shelli's work so much. I love the details, color combination, variation in design, nature inspired and photographs she takes of her work. Thank you Shellie for letting me feature you. Please read on and find out more about the talent behind pillowhappy!

5 random facts about you:
1.I used to be an "auto show" model....cheesy I know!
2. I also used to act, but didn't make enough money, hence #1.
3. I have 4 kids 21,19, 7 and 5 (3 boys 1 girl)
4. I’ve lived in mi, ky, co, southern ca, and now nc!
5. I’m married to a stand up comic.

How long have you been doing this and how did it all begin?
One day I was sewing a slipcover for my couch. One day turned into a week as I went a little "slipcover happy" and slipcovered virtually everything in my house. In the meantime, I needed to get some ideas of mine on "pillow", and this shop was created! I've gone pillowhappy people! My shop, pillowhappy, has a double meaning. Yes, the pillows are happy pillows. But, I have literally gone crazy making and designing pillows, so the name "pillowhappy" more than fits!

What inspires you?
I’m very inspired by nature. Trees, leaves, bugs, flowers, sea life....whatever you can see from your own backyard! I’m continually amazed by God's creations! I also have always gravitated to little breakfast nooks, cubbies, tree forts....any secret place that's cozy. I also love love love a good nap. For a while I considered myself a professional napper (minus the pay), so, I think the combination of nature, and the comfy led me to..... pillows! I love working with soft things, soft fabrics....I’d love to learn to paint, but it's not cozy and soft. It’s messy. So, I probably won't.

Describe your creative process:
Nothing out of the ordinary....I have to work on my time management, and try to get things done before the kids get home from school. I try not to stress out to much about sales, etc....the great thing about etsy is that I can work in my pajamas, be my own boss, be at home, and create my own designs! I’m still amazed that I’m selling my own creations! There is something very special about that. I’m so happy people enjoy my pillows too!

What advice would you give other artists out there?
Don’t "force" yourself into making things just to "make things". Go with your gut and your inspirations and see where it takes you. Don’t put pressure on your artistry to be a machine and pump out cash. yes, it's sweet when this happens, but I think when you focus too much on it, you lose the joy, and sometimes, the creativity....if I feel myself getting this way, I start singing, "hold on loosely, but don't let go.....if you cling too tightly, you're gonna lose control". (It’s a classic rock song)

How do you promote your work?
I relist items daily. I include business cards in all my orders. I have a Facebook page that has a neat sidebar displaying my pillows. Other than that, I haven't done much else....people have put me on blogs (like this one) which is such a gift! I know that has helped too. I also try to have really really good customer service. oh! I am doing my first craft fair in a month or two! I’ll let you know how that goes!

Apart from creating beautiful things, what do you like to do?
Play with my kids, beach days, travel to see my bigger boys who live in Ca and Alaska, dates with my husband, Matt. I am pretty simple these days....oh, I do love movies, and (not to brag) I make the best popcorn....

Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?
Thanks so much for reading, and I am loving this blog!! Good luck everyone!


gaffergirls.com said...

nice post..
mona & the girls

UnaOdd -Lynn said...

Lovely interview! Pillowhappy does such beautiful work...I love her succulent pillow especially!