Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).
Howdy. My name is John. I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, home of every hippy on the planet. My girlfriend and I have recently moved here and it feels great to be in a city where we can wander around downtown and not feel our lives are in peril. I’m in my mid 20’s and I spend most every day trying to be awesome.
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
Oh man. I remember making a huge mural with my friend Shannon of an epic battle we thought inevitable. It was titled “Mars Vs. USA.” It was so boss. We worked on it for literally years. We kept adding new scenes of wreckage though giant sheets of newsprint drawing paper. He drew the US forces, tanks and whatnot, while I drew all the aliens. The mars species ran the gamut from cyborg bigfoot to giant wasps to lava monsters. It was crazy. I remember taking the sheets home from school and having my mom help me with the finer points. You know, adding fangs to tentacles and stuff like that. My dad always helped with the helicopters. I always put the blades on sideways when I drew them.
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
Film noir, stencil graffiti, comic books (telling a story through art), mystery novels, pulp art, grindhouse movie posters, the poetry of my friend Adam, the many photographers that have given me permission to use their work for reference.
Most importantly, my parents have always been more than supportive of my art. They really encouraged me to keep at it and I appreciate that very much.
What are your favorite materials?
That’s easy. Sharpies, old books, and Dr. Pepper.
What is your favorite color?
Green is nice.
What are your most and least two favorite films?
This question was a bit difficult because while I watch tons of movies, I rarely view any more than once. However, if a movie has a scene involving a hardboiled detective firing a revolver while clenching his teeth, I’ll generally love it. Anything adapted from a comic book will definitely get my approval regardless of quality. Some random favorites that don’t fit that description would be Waking Life, City of God, and Cabin Boy. My girlfriend and I also like watching 1980’s b-movies. I don’t like slasher flicks or anything involving a wizard. (Sorry, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter)
What are you reading right now?
House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski. It’s really bizarre and really good.
Any tips on selling handmade stuff?
Nothing revolutionary. Practice makes perfect. Hone your skill and do something you like. An artist’s love for his or her work shows through. Customer service is also paramount.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Tons. I’m all about long walks, I guess you could consider them more urban hikes. I’m into cooking, reading, watching movies, getting caught playing with action figures, listening to music, reading email on my phone checking for etsy purchases, going to concerts, researching ridiculous garbage on wikipedia, sharing heated debates about trivial pop culture nonsense with my friends… but mostly I spend my day trying to make my girlfriend laugh. (she laughs a lot)
How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?
I think Etsy is crescent fresh. I hope it stays just like it is.