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Featured Seller: theblackapple

Dec 14, 2005


by theblackapple handmade and vintage goods

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Emily Winfield Martin, I am 22 years old, and I currently live in Athens, GA. I very recently graduated from college with a degree in Visual Art, and a minor in English Lit (which is maybe why I’ve ended up painting stories and tall tales).

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
Well, this is a roundabout way to answer the question, but I remember having lots of drawing contests as a little girl…mostly with my younger sister. These contests were quite intense…very very competitive, and I pity the poor person who we forced to “judge” them (usually my brother or mom). Also, when I was even younger than that, maybe 4, I remember going to the fabric store with my mother, and she would let me sit in front of the button bins and baskets and pick out 20 buttons to put in a little bag, which I would then take home for my “collection”. So, my button obsession has been long-standing, even more long-standing than my drawing obsession!


What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?

I’m very inspired by films, particularly the films of David Lynch, Jean Jeunet, Godard, Jim Jarmusch, Tim Burton…I think it’s the storytelling with a set of fragmented images that I’m so attracted to. This is also probably why I’m very attracted to comics, as well: Adrian Tomine, Dan Clowes, Craig Thompson, Neil Gaiman, Nicole Georges. Also, other painters I love very very much are Yoshitomo Nara, Henry Darger, Seonna Hong, Edward Gorey (who was a drawer, really), etc. Obviously the Alice stories of Lewis Carroll, and other Hans Christian Anderson and Grimm’s Brothers fairy tales have been very formative in my work and the formation of my personality, really. Vintage fashion, and also contemporary fashion to a smaller extent, I’m also a bit obsessed with. And music. The Cocteau Twins, X, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, The Smiths etc etc…. many songs have been the little seed of a painting or a project.

What are your favorite materials?
Felt, Buttons, Acrylic and Cel Vinyl Paints, Ink.

Any tips for selling handmade stuff?
You must believe that your work is wonderful, and that belief comes from spending inordinate amounts of time with it…working on it, examining it, talking about it. If you don’t believe your own work is wonderful, we’ve got a problem. Also, be proud of your “cottage industry”, and the fact that you are sharing little things with all sorts of people…strangers, aquaintances, friends. I get a great deal of happiness from taking my packages to the post office to send all around the states (and sometimes the world!)

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I work in an indie video store part time, thrift like mad, read lots of magazines and comics and picture books, and spend time with my special peeps.

How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?
Compartments within the individual stores have been mentioned alot, I know, and this would be incredibly helpful to me. Other than that, a tab in our accounts or stores “behind-the-scenes” area that could help us keep track of shipping items would be pretty helpful, though it’s not a crisis. I am really excited about the inter-Etsy messaging that showed up recently, as well as the Sampler. I think seeing all of the “Recently Sold” items has been good for morale! It makes me so happy to see all of the curious little things that are flying away from their homes to find new ones. Thanks so much for that…well, really thanks so much for everything 🙂

What is your favorite color?
Polka Dot! Well, the colors I have crushes on change alot, but I will always love Red alot. As well as Pink, Olive & Kelly Green (sisters?), Black, and Robin’s Egg Blue.

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