Thursday, May 21, 2009

Artist Interview: Donnalda

Today I had the opportunity to interview Donnalda from Donnalda on Etsy. Her shops features a host of paper crafts with an emphasis on handmade journals. Donnalda also finds time to blog about her work. You can view her online portfolio here. For a little background on Donnalda: her favorite colors are "all in the sepia, umber ranges, with gold and pink/magenta" she loves to create a "'vintage look'" and she believes the "sepias and golds help achieve that." Her favorite breakfast is cold ceral with milk and a sliced banana or canned peaches on the top. Her favorite weekend activity is to create journals, but she also is an avid video gamer. She is currently playing "Riven" (from the Myst series) for the forth time. In response to the video game, "Riven" she states, "I love the rich landscapes, and want to go live there. Sigh, if only linking books were a reality." Lastly, her dream vacation (besides traveling to the lands of Myst) would be to spend a month on a lake in a Victorian house and paint with watercolors. Sounds pretty relaxing to me too!

Here's the rest of the interview:
1)What started you in your art/craft?
I got started doing art when I was a child. My father was an oil painter. I was always encouraged with crayons, paper and drawing materials. I loved watching Jon Gnagy on TV, Saturday mornings and drew along with him on the show. I am doing rubber stamping an collage now because my Mom is an avid rubber stamper and introduced me to this craft.
2)What are your favorite materials/tools?
My favorites materials now are paper, any kind. I have started picking up old bits to use and scan for my work and have done my hand at my own ephemera with the Windows Paint program. My favorite tools are rubber stamps and scissors. I love all the variety you can get with a rubber stamp because you can use markers, ink pads, dyes, paint even bleach with them. I have started to carve my own stamps to get exactly what I want. I have a free tutorial on carving your own rubber stamps on my website.
3)Who's your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration has been the magazine, Somerset Studio. I have every issue from the first one. I love the fact that they publish art made by so many artists all over the world. A new issue always makes me want to get my goodies out and play. Plus they have been gracious enough to publish my work in a couple of issues.
4)How long have you being producing your work/How did you get started in it?
I have been making journals for about 10 years and selling them. I was part of a wonderful artists cooperative in Palm Springs called Palapas and was the only book binder. I joined Etsy in 2005, but I was too busy to really get into it. Last year I found a lot of time to really get into listing, blogging, posting on the forums and all that it takes to run an Etsy shop.
5)Where do you hope your art will take you in the next year?
I am heading for retirement from any other jobs and moving out in the country. This will make it easier for me to run my online shops and create my products. I will have a large studio to work in and am really looking forward to this phase in my life. I would like my Etsy shop to be part of my regular monthly income.
6)Is there anything you want people to get/take away from your work?
So many of my customers have told me in feedback and convos what they will be doing with my journals and that makes me very happy to know they were purchased with specific uses in mind. I title them and usually that helps people be able to choose the journal that will fit their needs.
7)What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
My advice to any artist just starting out would be to list on a twice weekly basis, don't expect sales right away, put all of your earnings back into your business for the first year(especially advertising) and do research for find your target market so you know where to place your advertising effectively. Go to the forums on Etsy to learn all about online shops and what you can make that you will love. I am still doing research for target markets and advertising.

Below are some selections from Donnalda's shop. Check it out!

pocket journals, stab bound journal, tags

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