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Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Feature -- Miss Millificent's World and Groovin' Pop!

This week's featured Etsy artist is the amazing Athena, the talent behind Miss Millificent's World and Groovin' Pop! The two shops are very different, but I love them both. Such a whimsical, original, intelligent sensibility links the two! (And of course the English major in me just LOVES this Raven and Lenore print.) Enjoy the interview!

Why did you decide to open up two shops on Etsy?

I opened Miss Millificent's World first to showcase my art and relevant photography. I also had some domino loteria necklaces for sale that did really well. When I started really getting into making retro and kitschy jewelry, and putting up more ttv and pop photography, I realized the two styles didn't mesh, so that's how Groovin' Pop! came about.

Tell me two (or more!) interesting things about you.

Well, I've been with my husband for over nineteen years now -- we got married young, and I'm happy to say that we've bucked the odds, so to speak. Our older daughter's in college studying French now, and our younger is a viola virtuoso (do I brag much?). I think peanut butter and chocolate is the ultimate food of the gods, I'm a blue ribbon junkie (meaning, I enter WAY too much stuff in the state fair), and I used to be a horror and dark fantasy writer.

To which Etsy Street Teams do you belong (if any)?

Team Trunkt, Photographers of Etsy, and Etsybloggers Street Team.

What do you sell in your Etsy shops?

My artwork: original pencil and ink drawings; pencil drawings with digital coloring, and mixed media canvases. Different kinds of photography: ttv, altered, and digital. And a bunch of different kinds of pop and kitschy jewelry and magnets.

What inspires your creations?

Oh, wow! My toys inspire a lot of my photography, and then how I guess things will look through a viewfinder. And as far as artwork goes, these days I try to concentrate on theme -- they really get my juices going. I did a "Family Portraits and Snapshots" series, and now I'm working on Christmas illustrations. Every single character I do, though, comes from Miss Millificent's World, a little girl with a big head that I originally sketched in 2000. She lives in a weird little world.

Tell me a bit about your creative process and/or how you learned to do what you do.

I started drawing when I was two -- ballerinas, mostly. I guess I wanted to dance! I've had one high school art class in which the teacher and I weren't on very friendly terms (she was a bit of a jerk -- I'm sure she felt the same way about me) -- the rest I learned from just drawing and drawing and drawing, and studying other artists' work. Talking with other artists helps, too.

My creative process is pretty simple: settle on a theme, and then get started. It all starts with my No. 2 pencil, Bristol board or 80# watercolor paper, and a Uniball pen.

As far as photography goes, I'm a complete dunce when it comes to manual photography, so it really started up when I got my first digital camera. Then I discovered the ttv group at Flickr, and voila! I was hooked.

What is your favorite item in each of your shops (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it a favorite?

From Groovin' Pop!, it would be my "The End of Friendship" TTV photograph. This was one of my first ttvs, and people just seem to love it. They feature three of my Halfsies toys, and the look on the cat's face --which I hadn't even considered when I took the picture -- is priceless. You got caught, buddy!

From Miss Millificent's World, it's "Momma Loves 'Maters". I did this originally for the 2008 Tomato Art Fest, but the poor thing didn't sell. I was really concentrating on colors and patterns, and just love the way it turned out. By the way, it was really hard to pick a favorite -- I'm proud of a lot of my artwork!

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?

Moody, fastidious, and sarcastic. That doesn't sound very good, does it? Can I add one more? I'm nice!

What do you like about Etsy?

It gives people like me, who don't have the money to pay the exorbitant fees on ebay, a cheaper way to sell my things. It also opens a wider audience to my work -- much more than a website or a gallery.

What makes your shops unique?

No one else runs them but me, heh. The subjects of my art and photography.

What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?

Get out there and network on the forums after you open your shop so people will know you're there. Join a team or two -- it does up your exposure if you're actively involved.

Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?

My websites: Miss Millificent's World , Groovin' Pop!

My blog:

For more Mama's Magic Friday Feature interviews, click here. And if you're an Etsy artist yourself who is interested in being featured, please feel free to convo me through one of my shops -- I'd love to chat with you!


Athena said...

Yay, go me! Thanks so much for featuring me, Jen. You rock! :)

Jen said...

Absolutely my pleasure!

storybeader said...

thanks for the interview - I just love athena's art. She has a lot of talent, and is very creative!