Friday, September 4, 2009

Interview with CabinetofCuriosity

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

Meet Vicki of Etsy's CabinetofCuriosity

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

I spend most of my creative time sketching, and I approach most of my work like a science project. The scientific method: research (sketch), make an educated guess (come up with a plan, composition, or idea), experiment (make something), and if the experiment fails, start over.

Q. What do you sell in your Etsy shop?

I make things that I like, things that I use in my life, and I make extras to sell or give away. I sell stickers, magnets, notebooks, boxes, sketches, and every now and then, a photograph.

Q. What are your creative inspirations?

All of my art comes from things I find in nature. I am also inspired by other artists. I get a lot of my ideas when I’m talking with other artists about their work.

Q. How did you get started creating?

I was a really bad student in high school and pretty much nothing made any sense until I started taking art classes. Art really helped me to understand the interrelations of everything in our world. So when I learned about some private art lessons being offered I jumped on it. It was a small class- I can’t remember the instructor’s name, but she introduced us to the art world, and we helped with juried exhibitions and volunteered to hang works for gallery openings. When I started college I wasn’t interested in much else, so I majored in Fine Arts.

As I prepared for a four-year college, I started trying to figure out what I was going to do to help fund my artistic adventures, and I decided on teaching. I graduated, but I didn’t follow through with my certification. By the time I finally got out of college I had lost interest in getting a “real” job, so now my focus is on running my business (a sign shop) and making art. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll keep the sign shop, but for now it pays the bills.

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

I am a printmaker at heart. I don’t sell my prints on etsy; I don’t think it’s the right venue for selling that kind of work.

I make paper from plants, and I am also a seamstress. I try to make some of my own clothes, and have recently gotten my first Japanese sewing book. It was surprisingly easy to understand. I really want to learn how to weave, and make some rugs or some woven bags.

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

I have a paper project in mind that I’ve been thinking about for two years, I’ll do it eventually. I want to make a 5’ circle out of cedar and sunflower fibers. The cedar makes a red pulp and sunflower makes the most beautiful cream colored pulp. I want to leave the fibers long so that they can make delicate shapes and interact with each other. I just need to get a wood chipper, as trying to break up cedar by hand is insane- I’ve tried it!

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

I play roller derby, I ride a motorcycle, and I grow veggies. I ride my bicycle to and from work as often as possible, and I try to make the best choices I can for the planet. I am very concerned about the state of our world, and I hope that we, the human race, can change our ways and live more in sync with the rest of nature. I hope that we can develop a new respect for all the beings around us and allow them their space. I do not believe that humans are the “best”, nor do I think we have any more rights to this earth than any other living thing. I hope that as a whole we can start to understand that each of us has our place.

Q. How long have you been on Etsy, and are you an Etsy addict? :)

I have been on etsy for 7 months. I really like the community, but I wouldn’t consider myself an addict.

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

No, etsy is not a large part of my business. It’s a place for me to sell some of the things I make. I am horrible at marketing. I’m really quite modest and somewhat anti-consumerist, so selling “things” is kind of weird for me. Everything I make to sell is something that I made for myself first and thought others might like too. I do have a
flickr site where I regularly post images of what I’m making, as well as all sorts of other images. I plan to set up a blog someday, too, although that won’t be solely for advertising my etsy stuff.

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

I plan to add some more drawings, photographs, and probably some clamshell boxes. I was surprised to see that there aren’t any. I need to come up with some more sticker designs- I’ve considered doing a sticker design competition. I don’t know what the details of that would be.

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

I have been a vegetarian for nine years. I would like to make the conversion to vegan some day. I’m lucky to live in a city where being veg is not a big deal- we have lots of vegetarian, macrobiotic, and even raw restaurants. Most of the regular places have plenty of vegetarian choices that are clearly labeled, and the cooks, wait staff, and owners are well educated on what makes a vegetarian meal (i.e. chicken broth and lard are not vegetarian), soI generally feel pretty comfortable eating out. My family and friends are all very respectful of my choice and always make sure I have something to eat if I go to their home.

Q. What is the last recipe you made? What are your food vices or cravings?

Last night I made a veggie plate with corn on the cob, creamed spinach, and mashed potatoes. I added nutritional yeast and basil pesto to the potatoes, so they were super tasty.

Food vices… fried okra, flour tortillas (homemade), and Blue Bell ice cream. For those of you who have never been to Texas, Blue Bell is “the best ice cream in the country”- no, really that’s their slogan. You can find it in some parts of OK, AK, LA, GA, and FL.

Q. What is your favorite vegan/vegetarian store/restaurant/blog/website?

Blog: Veganyumyum & the Post Punk Kitchen.
Restaurant: Mother’s Garden
Store: Wheatsville Co-Op (It’s not strictly vegetarian but they are very conscious.)


Crickets Creations: Handcrafted Fashion Accessory Scarves and Fringies Professional Photo Portrait Props said...

V, your color pallette ROCKS, and so do you! :)

Hugs from a teamie,
Celeste (Crickets)

auclairdelalune: recycled fabrics for human and habitat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
auclairdelalune: recycled fabrics for human and habitat said...

Nice to meet you and find out more about you!

mumbot said...

Nice shop, welcome to the etsyveg group too!