Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hey everyone, my name is Lisa Price, I received my BFA in printmaking in 2001. I’m 30 years old and live in a little bungalow in Grand Rapids, MI. My studio is in my basement and has slowly crept into every possible corner. I’ve lived in Illinois, Indiana, and Portland, Oregon. I love the farmers market, the color green, and items from the 1950’s.
I’ve had all kinds of jobs, but always wanted to have my own business and always wanted to be able to sustain myself with my art. Etsy has changed my life. It has catapulted my business and helped me to live this dream. The past year has been absolutely incredible, so exciting, and a wonderful learning experience.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
You are supposed to do other stuff? I spend most of my time outside of making work going to estate sales and antique shops with my friend Cat. I love vintage goods and am always on the hunt for vintage fabrics. We both also started picking up other awesome finds to share with you all here. My store is vintagegoodies and her’s is deadbirdfinds. Vintage items are an important part of my lifestyle, as I use them every day. I love the story they have to tell and want to continue that story. Items back then were made with such quality and care, much like the handmade goods you find here. I also love to spend time in my garden, taking care of my plants, adding new ones and watching them grow. DIY home improvement is on my list, always a project and always something to learn. I’ve decided plumbing isn’t my forte, though I can replace a toilet on my own.
What first made you want to become an artist?
I can’t recall one specific moment, it has always been there. I have always been creating, drawing, and making things. Theres always has been a little entrepreneur living inside me. I used to paint little wood magnets and attach those little fuzzy miniature bears and flowers and have my dad take them to work. He sold a bunch for me and I also got custom orders, I was like 9.
Please describe your creative process (how, when, materials, etc).
I feel inspired by vintage items from my grandma, items I collect, plants, wildlife, and biology. I do a basic drawing which I transfer to a linoleum block and then cut all the detail from there. I print proofs and continue cutting more until I’m happy with the result. I custom mix all of my ink and I print my work on a small tabletop press by Conrad Machine Company which is made right here in Michigan. I use strictly vintage fabrics, mostly from the 40’s-60’s, for my aprons and stuffie mini pillows. Everything is sewn on my grandma’s machine. I work every day. I love what I do and put most of my time and energy into it. There is so much to do and learn when you have your own business.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
There is a lot of handmade in my life, so picking one thing is just about impossible. I cherish the clothing that my grandma made when my mom was growing up. Beautiful party dresses, satin baton uniforms with hand sewn sequins – they are incredible- every detail is absolutely perfect. I cherish the quilts made by my great and great great grandmothers. They are lovingly hand stitched, so beautiful, and of course I can’t stare enough at all the amazing vintage fabrics. I love the history of items in general and these with my personal family history are very important to me. I also have a lot of wonderful art and handmade items from my dear talented friends.
Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and websites (besides Etsy).
Natural History of the Senses, Schott’s Food and Drink Miscellany, All American Ads 50’s, Vintage books and magazines.
I love White Christmas, not because it’s a Christmas movie but for the awesome color, costumes, and dance numbers. Office Space is on my list, reminds me why I don’t want to go back “there”. Star Wars. The Beatles Help! And Mary Poppins.
The Beatles, The Lucksmiths, The Guild League, The Flaming Lips, Kings of Convenience.
designsponge, indiecraftshows.com, keeps me in the know of upcoming shows. Reidsrow.com my friend writes this awesome daily comic, high maintenance machine, keeps me informed of what’s going on in their lives since they are far away. Check it out, it’s great!
Rickrack.com- fun to browse all the vintage textiles, study color and pattern. Technorati.com so you can help keep track of blogs you get mentioned on, great tool.
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
List often, take good pictures, have good descriptions, display a sense of cohesiveness, and offer great customer service.
Enjoy this community and realize this opportunity.
What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?
Etsy is so amazing. My favorites are the relist feature, shop local, and The Storque is great too.
I would love to be able to delete items in the inactive category and also be able to organize my convos into categories.
How do you promote your work?
I always have business cards on me; I have found this to be of utmost importance. I put cards on bulletin boards in coffee shops and stores. I do research on stores and mail catalogs. Last year, I traveled to indie craft shows around the country which was really fun. It was a great way to get the word out, network, and meet some awesome indie folks. I’ve also gotten some amazing press and that has helped tremendously.
In ten years I’d like to be…
Still creating work I am passionate about, happy, healthy, and well traveled.