Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Interview with Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles is one of my fellow team members on the Etsy Recyclers Guild. We just started talking to each other this week and she's so cool. She makes really great one-of-a-kind gift items. Her shop announcement says, "All of my hand-painted items have a glossy black background and small white freckles; which unlike polka dots are not perfectly symmetrical, hence the name "Eco-Friendly Freckles". These delightful freckles create a texture that is pleasant to feel, and a look that is unique and fun".

Tell us a little about yourself:

My name is Jessica and I live in Bixby, Oklahoma on a miniature horse ranch with my sweet husband, Joe, and our two charming cats: Magnum (boy) and Nozomi (girl)…the miniature horses and our kitties all have such funny personalities and brighten everyday! I enjoy creating handmade items and utilizing materials that I recycle myself to make my art; thus whatever was probably going to end up in a landfill somewhere is now part of a beautiful masterpiece. All of my hand-painted items have a glossy black background and small white freckles; which unlike polka dots are not perfectly symmetrical, hence the name "Eco-Friendly Freckles". These delightful freckles create a texture that is pleasant to feel, and a look that is unique and fun!

Besides recycling and making art, I also enjoy organic-heirloom gardening, studying natural health, aromatherapy, and herbology; and partaking in yoga, cooking, long walks and talks, going to art galleries, bed and breakfasts, thrift stores, and garage sales. I also love spending time with my best-friend and twin sister Andrea (who is also has an Etsy shop; her's is called "Storybook Artifact"). My husband, Joe, and I share an aspiration of someday becoming somewhat “self-sufficient” and able to provide a large amount of our own food; having our own homestead where we can have a big garden, livestock, and a place where we can run and play with our future children.

When did you first start crafting?

About four years ago, Joe and I were noticing that we were going through a lot of steel and tin cans and Joe said that he wished that we could do something with the cans instead of throw them away, and I thought to myself, “Isn’t there something I could do with these to revamp and beautify them and maybe incorporate them into a future gift”. Before I knew it I was purchasing some black glossy paint and some bright white acrylic paint and I was creating my first few canisters. That Christmas I gave the canisters to family members and made candles to go inside of them or I placed black satin pouches inside and filled them with homemade coconut and hemp oil soap…it was a hit, my family loved them!"

Please describe your work in detail. What's your favorite type of crafting/art?

I create my decoupage canisters by spray painting cleaned and recycled tins (soup cans, coffee cans, etc.) with glossy black spray paint. Once the paint drys, I apply my desired magazine clippings, yogi tea tags, and other desired paper materials with collage glue in a particular way so the images as a whole are complementary and appealing, creating a cohesive theme. Lastly, I apply the freckles with white glossy paint, and then once completely dry, I apply the glossy Mod Podge to protect the images and serve as a sealant. My favorite part of this creative process is selecting and putting together the magazine clippings and yogi tea tag messages on the canister or tin to create the unique theme and truly make a one-of-a-kind piece.

How has your work evolved from your earlier work?

I used to paint large, blotchy, spaced out, white dots on the black background of my canisters and tins; I decided that I wasn't attracted to this style so I decided to make smaller, closer together "freckles" in various sizes like the freckles on a face. I think this technique looks more delicate, artistic, and appealing.

Where do you get your inspiration?

My husband, Joe, and twin sister, Andrea, have been wonderful motivators and continue to encourage my artistic pursuits. Although, Andrea's Etsy shop "Storybook Artifact" is still young and in bloom, her amazing talent expressed in her original acrylic paintings has inspired my creative side for years; before I even began creating my hand-painted decoupage canisters.

Where are your products sold (online/stores)?

I hand-painted upcycled decoupage canisters, vintage prints, exotic herbs, and other items are only found in my online shop "Eco-Friendly Freckles" on Etsy.

What advice can you give other crafters when selling their items?

My advice would be to express your own uniqueness through your craft because this will intrigue your customers. Have fun with whatever you are doing; you will find success in your business and work harder if you are enjoying yourself. If you love crafting: make more items for your shop (the more listings you have, the more your shop will be seen in the sea of Etsy). If you love writing: market your business on a blog while you share your everyday tales. If you love making treasuries: create them and you will receive lots of friends, a benevolent reputation, and promotion for your shop. If you love being social and supporting others, join an Etsy Team. The list goes on and on...create your own success by following your passion.

Describe yourself in three words:

passionate, nature-loving, artist.

Is there is anything else you'd like to share with us?

I think it is important to note that when people purchase handmade items on Etsy they are not supporting unfair labor practices or child sweatshops; instead they are most likely supporting individual families instead of the mammoth supercenters, department stores, and other stores of mass-produced goods that fit into this category. They also don’t have to worry about their money going into the pockets of big fat cats, since it will instead go to help an aspiring artist, crafter or creator.

You can find Eco-Friendly Freckles online at the following places:

Eco-Friendly Freckles on Etsy

1 comment:

andrew said...

nice blog great read nice work!!!!!