Thursday, June 18, 2009

Artist Interview: californiablue

This week, I have the pleasure of interviewing Melissa of californiablue. She lives in San Jose with her husband and two cats, Pinky and Newbie. One of her favorite weekend activities is to hang out with her husband and two kitties. Her favorite breakfast food is whole wheat blueberry and raspberry pancakes. If she could go anywhere in the world, she'd travel back to Italy where she and her husband had their honeymoon.

This may come as a surprise to you, but her favorite color is a toss up between green and blue - recently her all time favorite has been aqua blue. Take a look around in her shop and you'll see her wonderful use of the color! Also make sure to take a look at her blog where you can get some fun insight into her work and a glimpse at some delicious looking food and her adorable kitties! Also make sure to check her out on facebook and become her fan!

Here are her responses to our interview:

1)What started you in your art/craft?
After recently having been laid off from a corporate job I held for 13 years, I had an overwhelming urge to create something. I saw a book on making earrings and just felt compelled to try it out! My sister is a painter and has always encouraged me to explore my creative side. My change in employment circumstances opened me up to doing just that!

2)What are your favorite materials/tools?
I really like working with sterling silver wire; it's so forgiving. I also enjoy working with semiprecious stones, and learning about where they come from and other facts about their origin. I'm admittedly most attracted to subtle soft colored beads, especially blues and greens. Also, I like to incorporate recycled glass beads into my work when I can.

3)Who's your biggest inspiration?
I would have to say my sister is my biggest inspiration. She is an amazing painter and has always stayed true to her passion for art both in her personal and professional life. For my 16th birthday she gave me a big box of art supplies which I've moved with me many times. I finally used these supplies to create my californiablue logo I put on my boxes and use for my earring cards!

4)How long have you being producing your work/How did you get started in it?
I am a Newbie! I opened my Etsy shop in March of this year. Thanks to a colleague at work who introduced me to Etsy, I was really curious how easy it really would be to set up an online shop. I was incredibly impressed with the ease and user friendly nature of Etsy's site.

5)Where do you hope your art will take you in the next year?
I hope that I will continue to dedicate time to the creation process and expand into new styles and techniques in my jewelry making. Of course, I would love to have increased sales, but I feel that this creative outlet is priceless for me personally.

6)Is there anything you want people to get/take away from your work?
First and foremost, I want my customers to enjoy wearing it, and feel good about themselves when they do. When I named my shop "californiablue" I really wanted to create simple, yet elegant casual jewelry at affordable prices which would make you feel like you are on vacation! I love where I live, and strive to work that feeling into each piece I create.

7)What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
I would say to new Etsy sellers, you are not alone! The Etsy community is fantastic and so supportive. I was really pleasantly surprised by all of the advice and support I received thru the forums. All of the tips and resources are wonderful. I would highly recommend that anyone who wants to try to sell their work, that they join Etsy and not be scared. The handmade community is a warm and supportive one, and once you dive in, you won't regret it!


  1. It's great to see someone who takes a challenge and turns it into something positive. I have been making jewelry for more than 25 years and it is a great source of relaxation for me.