This week's featured Etsy artist is Sykin, the Etsyblogger of the Month for July! This creative seller has not one but two shops -- Sykin's One Stop Twilight Shop and Sykin's NW Wonders. Enjoy the interview!
1. Please tell me about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?
In Sykin's One Stop Twilight Shop, I make all things Twilight inspired. You'll find mostly jewelry that reminds me of something in the series - be it a person or a paragraph in the book. I try to stay away from movie likenesses to avoid copyright issues, but I have done them as a custom order request before.
Sykin's NW Wonders is all about everything else I make. Everything that is not Twilight inspired. Right now, there's mostly photography listed, which is something I am growing to love more and more each time I take my camera out of my bag. I'm about 90% self taught on everything I create. I'll look up tutorials but once I learned the basics of making jewelry, making paper crafts, etc, I have been teaching myself new techniques and then fine-tuning it when I realize there's an easier way to do what I've been doing. haha! I did take a photography class in college as a required class, but that was over 10 years ago (*gasp* already??) and I'm not using a dark room to develop my film, so I've had to learn to mess with my camera settings to get the looks that I want. *phew* That was a long answer!
2. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?
EtsyBloggers, EtsyMom, EtsyRAIN, and Fabulous Artistic Moms
3. Tell me two (or more) other interesting things about you.
I'm a dedicated fangirl. I collect everything Twilight, Harry Potter, and Hanson. I still buy CDs and DVDs relating to those fandoms. I also have an irrational fear of holes. Drains, manhole covers, grates, holes in the bottom of toilets. I haven't the foggiest idea where the fear came from but it started when I was in high school. Weird, I know :)
4. What inspires your creations?
First and foremost, Twilight, for obvious reasons :) I am also inspired by just about everything I see around me. I'm big on shapes and I love to look at what others are wearing as far as jewelry. It gives me good ideas of what people like to wear and want to purchase.
5. How did you get involved with Etsy?
A friend of mine (Platipuses) first told me about Etsy when she moved over from Ebay. I checked out her shop and a couple months later, set up my own. I had never created anything before other than drawing and painting so it gave me a new creative outlet.
6. What is your biggest challenge related to your Etsy shop?
That's a tough question! I don't think I really have any challenges. I have a great customer base, I work in advertising so that helps with getting the word out, and I've met some really great people so if I ever need advice or help, I know I can count on them.
7. What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it your favorite?
Ooooh, that's a tough one. I would have to go with the Oceanside Blues and Greens print in NW
Wonders. I love the colors on this print! When I took the photo, all I saw was wet rocks and some moss - I just loved the green moss on the rocks. When I got home and looked at my photos, the reflection from the ocean turned the wet rock into this fantastic blue color. It's so vibrant! But to be honest, my favorite changes just about every time I list something new. haha
8. What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?
Advertise and list often. Ask questions. Take good photos of your items. Find a group of people you trust and stick by their side.
9. If you had a gift certificate to Etsy for any one item you wanted, what would you buy?
Not that I need it, but this wedding dress:
It's been one of my favorites since I started at etsy! I would definitely be willing to have a second wedding if I could wear that dress!
10. What crafting skill(s) do you wish you had or hope to learn someday?
Painting and drawing. I have such an active imagination but I have a hard time portraying it on paper.
11. What has been your biggest success and/or proudest moment since opening your Etsy shop?
I consign in a Twilight store in Saint Helens, Oregon where they filmed the first Twilight movie. I never thought about selling my crafts in a store before so it took me completely off guard when they asked if I'd be willing to!
12. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?
Everything is listed on one website: http://www.sykin.net. There you can find the facebook links for both shops, items listed from both shops, my twitter, my blog, and my email address. I will also post special discounts and sales there when I have one going on.
13. Is there anything else you’d like to tell me about your shop or your work?
For those wondering, my shop name is pronounced "See-kin". It's a nickname I was given as a child and I found out after spelling it the way I do that on urbandictionary.com, it's listed as meaning psych but spelled different (because who wants to use the real spelling for things??). I promise you, that's not where the name came from! :)