Our member to be highlighted this month is Charity with 2Bad Cats. You really need to go by and take a visit. She does know how to pick the best vintage when it comes to paper. I had a really hard time picking out photos. I liked them all!
My name is Charity. I live in Terre Haute, IN with my husband of 13 years and my 6 month old daughter. I work part-time for a university and am a part-time stay at home mom. I have had a love for art since I can remember, and a love specifically for paper since I was young as well. I loved buying stationery and writing letters to pen pals and friends when I was growing up. I love old books and vintage cards, too. I only recently, within the last year, decided to start exploring the world of selling my ephemera collection and finds, and also some of my handmade paper crafts and goodies. I started with Etsy on the last day of 2009, but I have taken a less aggressive approach to marketing my goods recently, because of the birth and adoption of my daughter Eden. She is 6 months old and I put most of my marketing efforts on hold when she arrived. Now that she is getting older and I am adjusting to being a new Mom, I am about to begin listing new vintage ephemera and new handmade crafts in my shop! I am also on a personal journey to return to my letter writing ways, and I encourage you to try it, too. Pick up a pen. Open a beautiful card. Write. It's that easy.
How did you get your start in the world of art?
I always enjoyed the process of creating. My mother was a very creative person, and we did a lot of projects together, mostly drawing and other random crafts like sewing, pottery, etc. I've dabbled in all sorts of art forms, including writing, painting (NOT GOOD!!) and drawing. Now I mostly create random hand sewn crafts and paper stationery and greeting cards, but I do like found object art as well.
Do you have a ritual you perform before you start creating?
I look for inspiration before I begin a new project, but don't have any rituals because I am so random with what I do. Sometimes I plan things out a lot, other times I dive right in. It is fun to start at one point in a project and find yourself ending up in a totally different place!
What do you like best, the creative process or the final creation?
They both hold a special appeal for me. I enjoy creating because it is something I can DO...an activity that uses my mind and my body to create a tangible object. Even when I am writing I consider the words, the story, the tale to be a tangible outcome to my efforts. That whole process is enjoyable in and of itself, but there is also special joy in getting to the end of the project, looking and what you've made and realizing you feel pride. You can say, "I made this."
What are your favorite art media, tools, and supplies?
I like all sorts of things when it comes to art, but I have always enjoyed working with paper, stamping images, cutting, assembling, etc. But I also like sewing and felt crafts as well. My projects are simple, and because I also focus on finding beauty in vintage items, I feel that is also my art. To find an old greeting card written by someone 75 years ago, or a beautifully preserved, unused postcards from the last century... discovering those treasures and appreciating their beauty and perseverance for existing all these years later, even in their fragile paper forms is wonderful. That appreciation is also my art form.
When a creative block happens, what process do you go through to get the creative juices flowing again?
Again, I find myself looking for inspiration. I might go back to old projects, or look at books, magazines, and websites...seeing the direction other people have gone can show you hidden paths that you might choose to take, projects you might want to explore. Sometimes though, just stepping away and taking a break can help.
What do you hope your art says about you?
I hope it says I care. I really think that the basis for my ephemera collection and for the handmade items I sell is my desire to see people connect with one another again. People don't write letters any more. Then don't pen cards, and most certainly don't hand craft those cards if they do choose to send one through the postal mail. Email has taken over, but I want people to return to the simpler way of connecting with someone. I want people to take the TIME to sit down, and write a letter by hand that will reach out and touch someone else when they open it. I know the instant gratification of email and instant messenger clients will be missing, but the gratification of taking the time to show someone they are important and that you care is so much more fulfilling.
What is your greatest dream and greatest fear as an artist?
My greatest fear is that someone will think what I've done is crap. LOL. Basically, being judged. My greatest dream would be that I could sell some of my vintage items and make some money to finish paying for my daughter's adoption. That's ultimately why I started my Etsy shop...to create a new revenue stream for myself so I could work part-time instead of full-time outside of my home. If I can excite people to buy my handmade cards or my vintage ephemera, then I can be self-sufficient and encourage letter writing at the same time!
What are your goals in art, and in life?
My goal in art is just to do a good job. To write well received pieces when I write, or to have people enjoy the items I have presented to them. If they are touched by what I offer and it inspires them to connect with other people, then I have been successful. In life, the goal is to be happy. To be content, to love, to share, and to leave a legacy. I hope I can achieve those things
What is the name and link to your Etsy studio?
I have an Etsy shop: The Scratching Post, by 2badcats http://www.2badcats.etsy.com/
Do you have any other online shop, a website, a brick and mortar shop, and/or a blog?
I do not have a brick and mortar shop. I work out of a spare bedroom that is my crafting zone and my vintage ephemera supply vault! LOL
I do have a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/2badcats
I also have a blog, but I had to put that old hold when the adoption process ramped up LOL: http://2badcats.wordpress.com/
Thanks so much for stopping by! Leave some love for 2BadCats!