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Featured Seller: Thepairabirds

Feb 8, 2012

by thepairabirds

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Tabitha Bianca Brown. I live in the northern part of Illinois, about 45 minutes outside of Chicago. In 2005, I graduated from the American Academy of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I enjoy reading design/art blogs, graphic novels, fiction, and, I will admit, a few celebrity gossip sites (gossip may fall into the fiction genre, right?).

What would be the title of your memoir?
As an introvert, the idea of revealing so much about my personal life is terrifying. For that reason, my memoir would be titled Tabitha Brown the (Blank): A Memoir. It would be like one of those Mad Libs books. That way people can make silly, sad or happy versions of me. And, I maintain my privacy.

Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from nature, mid-century modern style, and ’60s and ’70s photos. I also spend a ton of time at the library checking out art books and magazines.

What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade means using your hands to translate an idea into something tangible.

Who has been most influential in your craft?
Other artists and art supporters have been extremely influential. Social media, like Twitter and Facebook, provide a great way to give and receive encouragement. It feels good to hear compliments from fellow artists.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I think I knew I was an artist/creative when I was a kid playing with Barbies. My cousin and I hand-stitched clothes for our dolls and built buses for them with boxes. Looking back, the clothes were not exactly lovely (bright yellow felt pants for Barbie), but the idea of creating something new with my hands was there.

How would you describe your creative process?
When working on commissioned work, like logo designs or portraits, I do tons of prep work. That includes thumbnail sketches, reference photos, color studies, etc. However, for non-commissioned pieces, I start off with a general idea and a rough sketch. I tend to work out the idea in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Alphonse Mucha. I love the fluidty and attention to details in Art Nouveau. Also, seeing artists create beautiful and delicate lines without the help of a computer is inspiring.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My old sketchbooks from 8th grade and onward. They are a good way to gauge how I have grown as an artist.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?
Reading design blogs and visiting the library often gets me out of creative ruts. Also, flipping through my old sketchbooks help. That fuzzy idea I had last year may finally come together, now that I am looking at it with fresh eyes and more skills.

Where would you like to be in ten years?
I would love to have my own little apartment where I can set up a real studio for myself. A sturdy work desk, tons of natural lighting, work from fellow Etsy artists hanging from the wall — all pretty, bright and ready to be featured on a design blog! Currently, my studio is my laptop and a Wacom drawing tablet on my lap. Mobile, but not very photogenic.

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