Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Team Member Profile: Jangie

This week's featured Artsy Danger Lady team member is Jangie.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Angie Johnson and I live in the suburbs of Chicago. I love Chicago in some ways but in other ways I want to be anywhere but here. Preferably in the country like in Western Massachusetts. I lived there for awhile and loved it. However, my life will probably take me to the quiet of Indiana where my fiance and I hope to have our sustainable farm sometime in the future. It may be years away but it's still a goal. Right now I'm in school on the edge of Chicago finishing my degree. I'm in an art league and I'm going to have my first show at my local library in March so I'm pulling together some fine art stuff for that. I'm pretty excited.

What first made you want to become an artist?
My brother told me when I was little, sitting there doodling at the kitchen table, that if I was really good I could get into the Art Institute. Of course I thought he meant right then so all afternoon I kept showing him my furious drawings like, "how about now?". I think I took him by surprise. I've always had talent for art, all my classmates would ask if I could draw their assignments for them. It was more a question of what I'd end up doing with it.

Briefly describe what you make?
I make everything that starts with the letter "c". Crochet, ceramics and cards. Smiley

How did you get started and how did you progress to work you are creating today?
I started ceramic classes in high school and I've taken classes on and off since then. I've been crocheting in earnest since I was 19, and doing that off and on, and I've dabbled in computer/digital art and cards since that time as well. I started out just doing beginners stuff in all avenues. I made wonky blankets for my cat. I made loopy scarves. I made off kilter ceramic pieces. It's all a process of learning and being inspired by what other people do and what is possible that got me to where I am now.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?
Clay, yarn, fabric. The computer. My camera. I like photography on the side. I have never taken a class but I certainly like to dabble. I have quite the Flickr collection going right now of random shots.

Please describe your creative process.
I love looking at books, Etsy, other people's blogs, anything where I can see what others are doing and may have interpreted something I got stuck on in a new way. People are so creative. I love seeing how people see the world and use it to fulfill a creative need.

What artists have influenced you, and how?
Ceramic artists Ruth Duckworth, Eva Zeisel and Eva Kwong. All for their sense of form and function. Zeisel's work is just classic. She has a dinnerware set at Crate and Barrel that was recently reissued and it's easy to see why. Her line is impeccable. I appreciate artists who can elevate their object to near perfection. It's lovely to admire.

When do you decide to turn your craft into a business?
I found Etsy in December of '07 and decided to take the plunge of selling in July of '08. Part of it was a wonder if anyone else would like what I have filling my house. So far people have enjoyed it.

How do you market your business?
I have an Etsy blog, I hang out in Etsy chat and forums, I have business cards wherever I go, I work on crocheting in public a lot. Word of mouth in real life.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of running your business?
Hearing feedback from buyers and other Etsy sellers. Etsy is a fabulous community and I'm so thankful for all the help I've had along the way and that I'm able to share this learning experience through my Etsy team and greater community.

What are your business goals and vision?
I would love to keep working on crocheting, expanding to quilting and sewing projects and just keep making practical and beautiful things people can use and will buy and admire and cherish.
I'm in the market of making items that people will enjoy for a long, long time. My fiance and I have a hope that someday we'll have a sustainable farm where we can own sheep and I can spin my own yarn. It would be awesome to be completely sustainable in my life and work. I will die happy if I make it to the front page of Etsy as a featured seller. I'll probably die happy even if I don't, but that would be extra icing on my cupcake.

What are your favorite products to make?
I love making scarflettes. A fellow Etsy seller turned me on to this and I'm totally all about them. My customers seem to be too.

Where else can we find you and your work?
I have a couple blogs:
http://jangiesetsyshop.blogspot.com - I feature my favorite sellers on Etsy during the week
http://adam-angie.blogspot.com - this is my personal blog that sadly doesn't get that much attention now that I have been keeping track of my Etsy blog. But I try.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jangievarnsen/ - my photos, both Etsy related and otherwise

In ten years I'd like to be...
Happily married with a kid or two, pets (which may or may not include sheep if we have the farm by then), learning new crafts and still having a successful Etsy business. Smiley

To see more of Jangie's lovely crocheted creations, cards, and ceramics, please check out her Etsy shop here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I missed this post somehow! Your sustainable farm sounds great! It was nice to read more about you Jangie.