Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Interview Wednesdays: Trucdart and UpandUpcycled

Hello everyone! It's Nicole again, from Blue Bicicletta, and I'm back for the final Interview Wednesday before the Christmas Holiday. I will be taking next week off to celebrate with my family.

Today, we have the lovely Marianne, SactoMetro Etsy Street Team Leader, here for an interview about her creative life, including her two Etsy shops Trucdart- Original Art & Gemstone Jewelry and UpandUpcycled- Repurposed D├ęcor & Accessories. So, sit back, relax, and experience all of the creative goodness.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Marianne Bland. I run two shops on Etsy- Trucdart and UpandUpcycled. Truc d’art is French for “art stuff”, and UpandUpcycled is all about taking scraps and making them into cool and hopefully functional items. I live in Natomas/Sacramento, and if I were to describe myself in one sentence, it would be: Marianne is a quintessential Aquarian, with wayyy too many creative aspirations to complete in a reasonable span of time.

When you aren’t crafting, what else are you up to?

I co-own a mural painting business with my friend Jennan (we paint together 1-2 times/year), and I have been working full time in sales for several years now, but am hoping to get back to art school to finish my degree when this job ends in late January. I cook and bake (at first it was scary but now it’s kind of fun), play with my Chihuahua, Chester, and watch TV (hockey and sci-fi/crime dramas) with my hubby, Rob. Lately I have been trying to get back into reading and am starting to get into meditation.

What first inspired you to become a crafter/artisan?

I’ve loved making things since I was little. I used to go to craft faires with my grandma; grandpa cut wood items for her and she would tole paint them. Grandma ran a daycare and did lots of crafts with us. I always preferred to draw and make stuff over playing outside, and received lots of encouragement in all my poetry/drawing/painting/crafting efforts from my family from a young age, and that support is probably what got me started.

Describe your creative process. What do you do to get inspired? How do you make your pieces, when do you work on them, what materials do you use?

I usually get inspired for new ideas on my commute home from work, and I enjoy painting most in the mornings. I like to grab a coffee and take a drive in the morning when there aren’t a lot of people out yet to get my mind going on weekends. I constantly keep notebooks, as I’ve learned over the years that ideas can escape me completely if I don’t jot them down.

With paintings, I either “fly by the seat of my pants” and let them evolve organically when I’m doing abstracts, or plan/sketch/knock them out over time. I have to walk away from them when I don’t know what to do so that I don’t make them worse (an important art lesson to learn). With crafting, the materials are what inspire me. I love going to thrift stores and finding cool fabric; after I find neat materials to work from, I’ll come up with what I could make them into and go from there.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?

My grandma has knitted me several blankets; I still have my baby blanket and a couple other ones she’s made over the years. She is a warm person and the blankets personify that perfectly. Also, my mom embroidered a stocking while she was pregnant with me. It's very detailed and beautifully done, and my mom almost NEVER does craft things so it's very special to me.

Name your top 3 books, movies, musical groups and websites.

BOOKS: The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, Art & Fear by David Bayles

MOVIES: Amelie, The Princess Bride, Bladerunner
BANDS: Modest Mouse, Radiohead, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

WEBSITES: I Can Has Cheezburger?, Cake Wrecks, Go Fug Yourself

What piece of Etsy advice can you give your fellow team members that has been most helpful to you so far?

Reading/searching forums is a really great way to learn from other people’s mistakes without making them on your own! Relisting also appears to be really helpful for me, and reviewing descriptions from time to time to make sure I’ve included all information a buyer might need.

How do you promote your Etsy shop/products?

I primarily promote by relisting. I have a blog, but I am extremely neglectful of it. I also have started to use Twitter and plan to create a Facebook Fan Page.

What is your ultimate goal with your Etsy shop(s)/crafting/artwork?

I want nothing more than to have a financially viable career that involves being creative. Ideally, I’d love to just be a painter and sell enough paintings to make ends meet. Crafting is something I’ll always do, but I have an eye towards selling things too. There’s something in me about being productive (I think I get it from my parents), so I always think of whether or not someone would buy the things I make, even though I still make stuff I like and that I would buy.

Where can we find you online?

Trucdart Etsy Shop
UpandUpcycled Etsy Shop
Fine Art Portfolio Website
Murals Website

Thanks so much for sharing your creativity with us Marianne! Have a happy holidays to all of you! I'll see you on the flip-side---I plan to be back with another interview on December 30, so if you're a SactoMetro Etsian who has not submitted an interview, please see this post to submit.


Trucdart said...

Thank you Nicole! I feel so special! Merry Christmas!

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