Thursday, December 29, 2011

Featured artist of the week

This month's featured artist is LeAnn of Mississippi, United States. I got a chance to interview her about her collection of upcycled pieces! Here is what she had to say...

What type of artwork do you do?

My passions are photography and writing, but I enjoy venturing out into new things. I love finding castoff items and turning them into something completely new and different. I use vintage and upcycled elements to create nearly all of my small home décor items.

How long have you been creating?
For as long as I can remember. I wrote my first book in the third grade, and have been crafting since crayons were put within my reach.

How much time do you spend working on your craft?
Physically – not nearly as much as I need to. Mentally – constantly. Like most, the daily grind is usually my excuse for putting things off. But, I've made a resolution to invest more time, and stop using excuses.

What inspires you to create?
It can be the tiniest thing. I might see a DIY post online, or see an item in a store that makes me think, "Oh I could do that, but I would change this, or add that here." I also get tremendous inspiration digging through junk shops. You'd be surprised at the things you find.

Do you have a designing process?
I let things tell me what they want to be. I've found that if I try to force it, I don't usually end up pleased with the final product. I once found a 1950's magazine table – the kind with the pockets on the sides – and painted it three times before giving up and sitting in the floor in front of it. After staring at it for quite some time, it began to look like a frog. So, I painted it a fourth time, made wood cutout eyes to hang from the center opening, and it became the cutest little frog table I've ever seen (if I do say so myself).

Where do you do your creating?
Everywhere – and I'm very messy about it. I work on several projects at once, so I end up with little piles scattered here and there. Strangely though, I find that I think better in a non-cluttered environment. When a project isn't going as smoothly as it should, I organize my space, and my focus becomes clearer.

Have you always been artsy?
Yes I have. As a child, nothing made me happier than receiving a craft kit at Christmas. When I was eight, I got into a lot of trouble for ripping up my aunt's favorite shirt to make a purse. It was the mid 1970's, so you can imagine how pretty the purse (and the shirt) was…I loved it!

Do you have another job?
I worked in Marketing and Graphic Design for about 20 years before my husband and I relocated. Rather than go through the tedious process of finding a new job in a new environment, I decided to look into other, more fulfilling, ways to earn a living.

Where do you sell your pieces?
For the past six years, I've operated booth spaces in local antique malls where I sell large scale painted furniture pieces. I just recently opened Lé Maison Belle at Etsy where I'm focusing mainly on small home décor pieces and photography.

Do you enjoy what you do?
I love it! I always knew that I liked writing and photography, but I was a little surprised to find out how much enjoyment I get from making the items like I sell on Etsy. There is something about working with your hands, building something from start to finish, that gives you an unequal sense of peacefulness.

Do you have a favorite piece in your shop?
Other than the photographs, I'd have to say the Dream Big sign. I sat down on the computer to design a Beach sign because they seemed to be popular, but I just couldn't get into it. I started playing around and came up with the Dream Big sign, which is more my style.

Do you have a blog or website setup?
No, but I'm working on it. I do have a twitter account:

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