Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Larsen and I live in the wonderful city of Copenhagen in Denmark. I live both close to the heart of the city and the beach, so when I go out it is usually either to bike around town (there’s always something going on!) or to go to the beach to relax in tune with the seagulls and waves. (In the summer, that is; in wintertime I stay in with candles and my crafts.)
I lived in the lovely city of Atlanta, Georgia for three years. It was a great experience, but I do love Denmark most of all. Though I love my country I also enjoy traveling. Through the years I have visited over 40 countries across the globe where I have met amazing people and gotten great inspiration.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I’ve always had a passion for sports and take great pride in keeping myself healthy. I am therefore a regular in my local gym where I especially love spinning classes. Cycling inside for exercise is great, but even better is to take my old race-bike and head out into the country. This way I get exercise, see Denmark’s wonderful nature AND have the thrill of the wind in my hair.
I absolutely love spending free afternoons in art galleries and museums. It boosts my energy and inspires me to try new things. My favorite museum is Louisiana North of Copenhagen where they specialize in contemporary art. Especially this modern type of art has rather become my own, personal addiction – like my morning coffee.
Every Saturday I visit my local flea market where I search for “gold” among others’ used items.
What first made you want to become an artist?
Being creative has always seemed to be a part of who I am. I love keeping my hands busy, and for the greatest part of my life I have sewn, sewn and sewn. Through the last couple of years I have tried many other aspects of art (Papier-mâché, jewelry making, knitting, everything!) – but as it turns out, I’m happiest when I can combine many different kinds of creativity.
I believe everything must be tried at least once, and so I enjoy discovering new techniques. Having this mindset never lets me bore myself, since there’s always something new to try!
Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
I am not a very structured person; I guess I’m a wild child at heart. I try my best to arrange my production, but it seems the outcome is always better when I work on what I feel like any given day… like with my Bike Inner Tube Books, it would probably be smartest to produce tons of covers first, then all the paper, then… But it just doesn’t feel right! I like to work on a few books at a time and in that way ensure that they all are special and not just the product of factory work.
I like jumping around between different materials. Some days I am just not in the mood for working with bicycle inner tubes, and so I work on fabric-projects instead. This change insures that I never wish to give up on a project.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
A while ago I was cleaning out my supply closet when I came across pile after pile of yarn. I knew a friend of mine had a knitting project so I gave her the many pounds of yarn expecting nothing in return… but after only a few weeks she presents me with an absolutely beautiful knitted and crochet blanket. She had put her own project aside to make this enormous blanket for me with some of the yarn I’d given her. I adore it and it is now my very most prized possession.
Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.
1. Pride and Prejudice by the wonderful Jane Austen.
2. Stieg Larsson’s award winning Millennium series of crime novels.
3. Craft books of all sorts (sewing, knitting, painting, you name it!)
4. H.C. Andersen’s fairytales.
5. Anything by Françoise Sagan or Terry McMillan.
I love love stories and though I’m too much of a sissy to admit it, I can’t help myself from shedding a tear at the end of any romantic drama…
I like all sorts of music… among my favorite artists are Swedish Movits!, Danish Sanne Salomonsen and the unforgettable Michael Jackson.
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
I like the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
Keep on making what YOU love and have fun with it. Talk to other Etsy sellers to learn from their experiences and find a team to join, for great help and support. Personally I am a proud member of the European Street Team and the Book Binding Team.
Also, keep customer service in mind. It is of the utmost importance to provide excellent customer service. Word spreads, and happy customers improve your reputation.
What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?
I’m looking very much forward to being able to rearrange my own shop and having Europe become a shipping destination – both of which I know are up and coming features.
How do you promote your work?
To be honest, I haven’t actually done much promoting except from making lots of treasuries – it really is great fun. I’ve also been active in the Etsy Forums and I keep a blog. I’ve been very lucky to be featured in several blogs and online magazines, but the greatest promotion I have gotten is from the people who buy my work and like it.
In ten years I’d like to be…
doing what I am doing now, only with 10 years worth of experience and inspiration…