Saturday, August 30, 2008

Interview with ThroughtheForest

Part of an ongoing interview series profiling EtsyVeg members.
Interview by Kylie of SilentLotus

Meet Michelle of Etsy's ThroughtheForest
http://throughtheforest.etsy.com



Michelle's paintings are uniquely beautiful and inspiring. Her very ethereal and enchanting images linger within long after seeing them...

Q. Etsy is a unique blend of artists with many different creative styles and approaches. What is your own "philosophy" or approach to creativity?


A. Simply create what you are moved and inspired to create. If it comes from your heart and has meaning to you it will be great!

Q. What do you sell in your Etsy shop?

A. I sell my original oil paintings, art prints, and other items based on my art, including cameo pendants and notecards.

Q. What are your creative inspirations?

A. My greatest inspirations are my faith as a Christian, animals, nature, and the work of other artists, especially the Pre-Raphaelite painters.

Q. How did you get started creating?

A. I started oil painting when I was 18, and it was so different from any other media I'd tried. I immediately knew that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Q. What other artistic tendencies do you have? Do you have other crafty/artsy skills that you already do or would like to try?


A. I've dabbled in a lot of art forms over the years. My favorites are painting, drawing, jewelry making, pottery, photography and playing the piano. And I just recently taught myself to knit ,and I love it! It's so relaxing and enjoyable- I'm looking forward to learning more.

Q. What would you like to try to make, that you haven't already? What is your dream project?

A. I would love to tackle a really large painting, something life-size!

Q. Do you have any other hobbies/interests/passions?

A. Helping homeless animals has always been very important to me. I was always bringing home stray animals as a kid, and I still can't resist an animal in need. About a year ago I started a website devoted to helping homeless cats in my area.

Right now I am very excited about a recent painting titled "Midnight Guardian" (see below) that features a lovely forest maiden who is the guardian of nocturnal animals. The piece was inspired by my love and appreciation of animals and the importance of doing what we can to be caretakers of them.



Q. Is etsy a large part of your business? How else do you market your work?


A. Etsy is a large part of my business, as I sell solely on Etsy right now. I just love everything about Etsy: the ease of listing, the visual appeal of the listings, and the sense of community you find there. I also market through my website and other online galleries.

Q. What are your future plans for your shop/business?

A. My only plan right now is to focus on growing as an artist and on becoming more prolific with my paintings. Hopefully a growing business with follow.

Q. How long have you been vegan/vegetarian? How does being veg play into the rest of your life?

A. I've been a vegetarian for about 5 years now. I try to make daily choices to contribute to a more cruelty-free lifestyle, such as drinking soymilk instead of cow's milk, buying cage-free eggs, and reading product labels to avoid animal-based products. Every little step makes a difference!


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