The Etsy Blog

Featured Seller: joehavasy

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

 

Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).

My name is Joe Havasy. In 2004 I graduated the University of Georgia with a B.F.A. in painting. Since then I have been doing all I can to promote my artwork, while living in a cramped apartment in Athens, GA. I do a biweekly comic in our free paper, the Flagpole. All my old comics are viewable on my site www.joehavasy.com. I also collect them in books about once a year. I still paint a lot and typically have an art show once every few months. Right now I have a few paintings on display at the Alcove Gallery (www.alcovearts.com) in Atlanta which is amazing. I’m currently just trying to balance two jobs (a camera store and a bar) with a social life, a dog, and making artwork.

 

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?

The first unique thing I can remember making was a drawing of a bird flying directly at me when i was three or four. My parents thought for sure that I saw the world a little differently. I was always doing these little line drawings constantly in crayons or stealing pens off my dad’s desk. I hated coloring. It just wasn’t any fun to color in things someone else had drawn. I guess I’ve always wanted to be a sole-creator of things…

 

What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?

When I was little I used to flip through encyclopedias and nature books constantly learning about animals and dinosaurs, later on in middle school I became interested in paranormal events and crypto-zoology. In high school I started became heavily interested in mainstream comics.(though I’ve always enjoyed cartoons) All of these combined to influence my style and content, though I hardly ever use references. I still stop by the local comic shop and pick up an independent comic book every once in a while…

Music also keeps me going, i typically listen to faster stuff which keeps my line work loose and energetic. It also helps me concentrate. I remember one month I listened to “Hissing Fauna Are You the Destroyer” by Of Montreal on repeat pretty much anytime sat down at my painting desk. It is still one of my favorite groups of paintings… I just started listening to Gogol Bordello, they really make me want to research my Eastern European heritage so i may have some new paintings based on that stuff soon…

 

What are your favorite materials?

I love drawing with a mechanical pencil first and foremost. When painting I use Golden and Liquitex Acrylic paints. What may surprise you, is that I typically do a full on venetian mode under-painting before i ever lay down any color…. Occasionally i use photoshop to color drawings, but I always do so in a very painterly manner, and thus it’s actually improved my painting abilities when I use the real stuff…

 

What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?

Write really fun and interesting descriptions. Usually I try to tell people at least one place in their house a piece would be good for, just to get them thinking about it… It’s also really nice to have a note with your work, or something personal like a sketch for the bigger orders. I try to throw in something extra when people buy an expensive painting. After all I want them to be good parents for my babies..

 

Why should people buy handmade?

There’s something special about having an original piece of art that no one else will ever own… and maybe it’s just the snob in me, but it’s great having even a print in my house that almost no one has ever seen before. It’s like finding out about a band before anyone else…

 

What features/services would you most like to see on Etsy?

The only thing I would really like is if we could reorder how our listings show up on our main page, rather then having them listed by date… maybe the first page have like 10 featured listings… other than that I think the site is amazing…

 

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I love running, playing with my chihuahua Marv, watching independent films and listening to crazy new music. I am severely addicted to coffee and spend a lot of my time at the local coffee shop. I sketch just about every day. Some friends and I have a weekly drink and draw meeting where we go have a few beers and challenge each other. I highly recommend making art with your friends, art-making can be such a solitary thing, it’s good to be inspired by friends who challenge you.

 

Read any good books lately?

You Can’t Get There From Here and Why Are You Doing This by the Norwegian cartoonist Jason are two of the most amazing books I’ve ever read. His drawings are really cute, and his stories are always entertaining. I think anyone on etsy would love his work As far as books without pictures Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs, is the most entertaining book I’ve read in a while. It’s a collection of short stories taken from the artist’s life. He’s very neurotic and sort of narcissistic, so i feel like he’s kind of a kindred spirit… I also enjoyedTropic of Cancerby Henry Miller. It makes me want to give up everything and just make art.

 

In ten years I’d like to be…

Taking a sabbatical traveling the world and filling up a new sketchbook every week…

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