I'm so thrilled to introduce you to my next featured artist, Anna of Noble Gnome, another extraordinary painter, jewelry designer, and mom! I bet you're already familiar with her work. It hasn't even been a year since she opened her jewelry shop and already, she has had incredible success with it! And it's no wonder she found such great success, her jewelry designs are so vibrant and unique. I'm still in awe that she has accomplished so much already, which is a real testament to how much of a natural talent she is.
Thank you so much for sharing your work with us, Anna!
.......................... the interview .........................
A random fun fact about yourself:
I have hiccups a lot and the only thing that helps (trust me, I’ve tried everything) is my husband telling me he will give me a million bucks If I hiccup again. It never fails although I know he‘s lying through his teeth and I don‘t give a hoot about money. Yes I’m blond!
The first 3 random words that pop into your mind:
Licorice, books, clouds
What's your favorite read of all time?
When I was a kid, my brother and I would take turns reading the Lord of the Rings and it is still my favorite.
Any guilty pleasures?
Don’t feel guilt at all about any pleasures.
If you could be any place in the world right now, where would it be?
Kare Kare beach in New Zealand. My family and I lived close to it when I was a teenager and it is still the place I go to in my head when I need a relaxing moment. It’s a place of unspoiled beauty, deadly cliffs and the greenest ocean I have ever seen.
(Ok, now onto business)
How would you describe your work?
Earthy, eclectic and rustic.
How long have you been at it?
I feared this question as some may not take me seriously after reading it but I started making jewelry the day before I opened my shop in March 2009. I was frustrated with not finding what I liked for a price I could afford. That said, I believe original designs and hard work deserve a high price, I just wasn’t in a position to acquire it and I know there are many more out there like me. I have always worked with my hands, creating art, fixing things, improvising. This was merely another avenue for an over stimulated mind!
So for you, is it an innate talent or practice makes perfect?
Not really sure. I am a firm believer in “you can do anything you set your mind to” but although it has taken A LOT of practice and wasted wire, jewelry making feels right, just like painting feels right and no matter what it is, I am sticking to it.
From where/how do you find inspiration?
Growing up I was blessed with two parents who cherished nature, knowledge and folk tales. That is still a huge part of me.
My father, an incredible force of inspiration in my life passed away almost three years ago from brain cancer. He was one of the most respected specialists on brain research and learning in my native Sweden. I’m safe to say, he would find the irony in this. When I was a child and young teenager, he would tell tales of Mythology, forgotten people and those that never were. To this day, those stories are a great part of me and I guess they are very dear to me in part because of him and most of my jewelry start out with one of those stories in mind. Also, a healthy dose of world travel/living does work wonder for creativity.
What was your most memorable creative experience?
When my husband had brought home a vintage block of worn steel, bought me the perfect hammer and told me to have fun! That’s when I realized I could break free from the standard machine made ear wires. How liberating.
Any memorable low points that you've learned from?
The low points are really only an opportunity to make it better. I’ve had many but try to focus on making new designs when sales are slow.
Was there a moment when you realized that you'd achieved success?
Every time a customer takes the time to send me an e-mail or give me positive feedback is mind boggling to me. It is such a treat and it keeps me motivated but I think the moment you think of it as success it takes away from that appreciative feeling. Sales don’t mean a thing unless the customer loves what they are wearing.
Any advice for those having a bad case of artist woes?
Stay true to what you feel in your heart. If you truly feel good about the quality work you are making it is worth your time to create, present and promote but you must do all these things if you really want to sell your work. I started out as a vfine artist on Etsy, selling oil paintings, but not knowing any better I had this idea in my head that if people liked it they would find it. For the first half hour after listing the item this was true but you have to believe in your items enough to find ways to promote them, to tell the world where they are.
When not hard at work on your designs, what would we most likely find you doing?
Playing with my two little kids. They are 1 and 3, taking up every minute of the day. They are my priority during the day. I want them to grow up the way I did, experiencing the world, not watching it on TV. We spend plenty of time outside and reading books. In a few years in an ideal world, oil painting will again be a great part of my life. Sigh…
In a parallel universe where you are not an amazing artist, what would you be?
Ha, you had to ask. Probably working with wildlife in some form. The kiddos would love that!
What are some of your favorite etsy shops?
This could be a very long list but here are a few:
What's at the top of your etsy wish list?
Any of her originals but I love this:
And, as a fun tribute to my inner psychologist, what might this be?
My dog Bullseye was born with a big dot on his forehead. His markings have changed a little and it is not quite as prominent anymore. We’ve had him since day one and I always think of him whenever I see a circle!
.......................... end interview .........................
And now for the GIVEAWAY!!!
(winner selected on Monday, March 8th)
Anna is graciously giving away these stunning Solaris earrings to one lucky winner!
Here's how to enter:* Visit her shop and leave a comment about what you would like to see more of.
* you must include your contact info (email, blog, or etsy shop) so I can reach you if you win
Leave a separate comment for each entry please.
Possible Bonus Entries:
Possible Bonus Entries:
1) follow Anna on twitter: @noblegnome
2) follow me on twitter: @eNVeDesigns
3) tweet about the giveaway (include @eNVeDesigns and a link to this post for validation)
4) fan Noble Gnome on facebook
5) fan eNVe Designs on Facebook
6) follow Anna's blog: http://www.noblegnome.blogspot.com
7) follow my blog (sorry, I can't validate anonymous followers)
You have one week to enter. The lucky winner will be selected at random next Monday, March 8th so get your entries in before then. Good luck! :)