Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spotlight on Queer Team member GREENMANDESIGNS

greenmandesigns interviewed by fauxsure

What sorts of things do you offer in your shop?
Honestly, since I tend to work in a variety of media, there's a wide range of work there! Everything from figurative sculpture (AKA "art dolls"), mixed-media assemblage, altered/customized Barbies (the Ikon series), vinyl and plush to collage, photography and digital works.

In the coming year, once I'm off the road so much (I travel *very* frequently for work, and am away from home for months on end) I plan on adding new items in media such as painting, ACEO's, and whatnot....we'll have to see what comes from keeping my hands busy and out of (too much) trouble!

I'd also like to venture into realms that I have yet to explore a whole lot, such as clothing, fabric/fiber, quilting and the like.

How did you first start selling on etsy? How long have you been selling? Do you sell anywhere else?
I've been on Etsy since 2005, though I haven't focused on it as much as I would like to over the course of those years...see response above regarding work/travel!

To begin with, out of a simple liking of anything hand-made. I'd prefer the ugliest vase (or whatever) made by hand than something mass-produced. I'd rather my money go to an individual than to a corporation. Even better if it's hand-made and NOT ugly, though!

Beyond that, out of a general dislike of Ebay and some of their policies/fees...and not having the time or desire to keep watching the items I want to purchase! I still sell there on occasion, as certain items get a lot more attention there than on Etsy, custom vinyl in particular.

Tell us a little about your typical creative process and how you go about making your work. What kinds of steps do you usually go through?

First step: Clean my work area!
Second step: Start 10 different projects at once.
Third step: Alternate through them willy-nilly. I totally have Creative ADD.
Fourth step: Start back at step one.

I can sometimes get wrapped up in one particular piece for days/weeks, other times I literally rotate through them by the hour...doing a little bit on one thing, setting it aside, then focusing on another. This is partially due to having to allow for drying/setting/curing time and partially the aforementioned ADD.

What are your favorite materials to work with?
Despite having grown up painting (my non-blood "aunt" was a professional watercolorist and taught me very early on) and making a pretty okay living doing it, I've spent most of the past 15 years or so working mainly in the 3D realms.

I guess you could say my current "favorites" are mixed media (yeah, I know....vague) and photography. I like being able to take disparate objects and work them into a cohesive piece....and photography because it allows me to have a completely portable means of expression, and it also makes me pay close attention to details. I'm a huge fan of macro. Some people argue that digital photography doesn't have the validity of "true" photography, because one can take a bajillion photos and not have to worry about technical skill/processing the film/etc. I argue that it's just the frees one up to SEE a bajillion things and have the freedom to capture them....and NOT worry about how much film you have left! Yes, you may discard 3/4's of what you take....or more...but the ones that hit the spot make up for that.

Are there other creative projects you are involved in outside of your work in your etsy shop?
Life. No, really. I'm lucky to live in a rural area that is heavily populated with queer/artist communes, where spontaneous Life Creativity is the norm and encouraged! Fabulous over-the-top costumes, burlesque, performance and the like are regular occurences. I breathe/eat/spin/dance with fire from time to time.

I also knit, though I'm the world's slowest knitter. And I only know how to knit/purl...with a few things like increase/decrease thrown in. I'm a master at long, straight scarves, though!

Besides art/ crafty stuff, what else do you like doing in your free time?

At this point in my life, the majority of my free time is spent working on the home that my partner (Charlie, 14 years and going....woot!) and I are building....entirely by hand, ourselves. While rewarding, it's *definitely* an ongoing, sometimes tedious, process! The benefits are that everything is just how you want it, with no living in a boring plain white box....the not-so-great aspects are that I could happily live the entire rest of my life without ever seeing a sheet of drywall or a level or power tool ever again. Well, until we start on my studio, at least. And the greenhouse/bathhouse. And the porch. And the balcony. And...and....

I also really enjoy gardening...from planning them out, to watching as seeds sprout and eventually bloom.

Does your queer identity come into play in your work?

I'm sure it does to some extent, because that's who I am, but I don't think it does a whole lot, visually/thematically. Very few of my pieces are autobiographical, you could say. A friend once commented on the fact that with my being a gay man, he would have expected my work to be more about the male body...but it's rare that that is the case. Nine times out of ten, my subjects are female. While sexuality/sensuality frequently play roles in my artwork, it's rarely my own.

What are your hopes for the Queer Etsy Street Team? What brought you to join?
I hope to help get an active following of supporters of queer artists going....not just for my own work, but in general! Anyone who supports artists gets a Big Gold Star in my book....and if they happen to support queer artists, all the better!

Folks are welcome to stop by my blog and see what goofiness I may be up to at any given time! I tend to ramble on about just about anything and everything that catches my attention, not just artwork. Though that is a frequent subject!