Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).
My name is Candace and The Intuitive Garden is home to my original, homegrown wearable art. My garden is located in northern Massachusetts, where I live with my husband and two well-behaved cats. Originally, I am from the Midwest and slowly I am adjusting to life as a New Englander.
I grew up in St. Louis and completed both a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design and a Masters degree in art education while living there. I am constantly searching for something new to learn and usually there are not enough hours in the day to explore all of my crafty interests.
As an undergraduate art student I always had a hard time describing the meaning behind my drawings. For some reason the explanation, “uh, I don’t know really, I just drew some lines and stuff,” was not the most insightful response. After hearing me fumble through a description of how my abstract representation of a teapot came to be, my incredibly wise art professor said, “this is a very intuitive piece.” At that moment something clicked; there does not always have to be a deeply profound meaning behind art. Ultimately, I have found the process, not the product, is the most significant aspect of creating art.
When it came time to choose a name for my fledgling wearable art business I immediately knew “Intuitive” would play a part. The “Garden” portion comes from my love of nature and my desire to constantly grow and learn new things.
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
The first handmade thing I clearly remember making was in the early ‘80s. I was in kindergarten at the time and the experience was so traumatic it forever changed the way I hold a pencil.
One day while working on an art assignment I was sitting at my desk happily making big, swirly, freeform lines on my paper with my new fat crayons. The mean red-haired girl next to me watched me work for a while and I pretended not to notice. I just assumed she was in awe of my artistic ability. Then she abruptly raised her hand and said, “ooooh, I’m tellin’!” I smiled naively and continued to work, thinking she wanted the teacher to see how great my drawing was. Instead, when the teacher came over, the girl pointed to my hand and said, “Candace is holding her crayon the wrong way!”
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
I am inspired by everything I see. Well, almost everything. I have never found grits, hairballs or the color beige to be particularly inspirational. Inspiration is not something I can turn off; new ideas pop into my head everyday. Sometimes I wonder if it is possible to be over-inspired.
What are your favorite materials?
As boring as it may sound, a really great ink pen will probably always be most favorite material to work with.
What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?
I am constantly learning something new just by reading the forums and talking with other artists. Etsy sellers are an endless source of information and ideas. One of the most important lessons I have learned is to never underestimate the value of my work.
Why should people buy handmade?
Well, why shouldn’t people buy handmade? Handmade items are not mass-produced in a factory and are often of higher quality. In addition, purchasing handmade goods promotes and supports independent artists (like me).
What features/services would you most like to see on Etsy?
In general, the features and services Etsy offers are well suited to my needs. A couple small features, such as expanded shipping options for customers and the ability to easily rearrange images in a listing, would be an added bonus.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
If I am not creating something then usually I am watching a movie, taking a long drive with the husband, browsing in a bookstore or sleeping.
Read any good books lately?
Yes, I have. Actually, I have read quite a few good books. I am a fast reader and tend to have several going at the same time. The title of any one of those books escapes me at the moment because I regularly choose reading material primarily on how visually appealing the cover is. I also have a magazine addiction. Luckily, the only other person who knows about it is the mailman.
In ten years I’d like to be…
Ten years from now I hope to be alive and well and still tending to my garden. I would also like to be wearing a pair of really comfy slippers.