Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Artist of the Month: vol25

I am so excited because this month I am getting to interview one of my all-time favorite Etsy artists...and an all-around really nice person, too. Jessica of vol25 provides a steady stream of modern and artistic, yet very warm, works of art and sells them as affordable prints in her Etsy shop. She also writes a lovely blog, which I have only just now added to my blogroll for some reason. (I have no idea why I didn't do it before now...tsk, tsk.) Anyway, grab a cup of tea...or coffee. or perhaps a Diet Coke (a la kari and kijsa!) and enjoy this entertaining interview. (Each one of these prints can be found at the vol25 shop.)

Jessica, I'm blown away by the prolific creativity you exhibit in your work! Where - and how - do you find inspiration for such fun and whimsical works of art?

Thank You! :) It seems as though my inspiration is always coming from several different outlets. Oftentimes an idea is sparked from a magazine, or something my loving husband will say…he really is very creative himself…even if he is the last to admit it. My daughter is also a daily dose of inspiration. I do try to look for inspiration anywhere. Quotes have been BIG for me lately. I think it amazing that so many people get a different feeling/experience from the same quote.

I'm fascinated with the different layers there appears to be in each of your prints. Can you give us an idea of what methods and mediums you use in your work? And how long might one print typically take you, from start to finish?

I do use several layers in my work. I am always on the lookout for new textures. My trusty companion is a 10 MP Sony a-100 digital camera. One of my best friends. I have a love for photography as well, so translating that into my prints has been an exciting challenge. As far as how long it takes me per print it seems hard to pinpoint. Lately I have spent alot more time marketing my business online. Visiting blogs, e-mailing for advertising rates, designing my new blog, creating a mailing list... I rarely keep track of my total creating hours. I estimate I probably spend anywhere from 6-8 hours sketching, coloring, texturizing, listing, and promoting that one new piece.

It seems that in the short time you've been selling on Etsy, you've already shown amazing success...sales have skyrocketed and publicity has grown - including being featured on the lovely Decor8 blog. Congratulations! I'm proud to say I originally discovered your work when you'd only been on Etsy for about a month or so, and I've been a fan ever since. Did you set goals for yourself when you began selling on Etsy? Have you acheived them? Is it fulfilling to be where you're at now?

I am SO grateful for the success, and it is very fulfilling. However I have to admit.... I have actually been a member of etsy for a couple years. My previous shop was under the name SparksFly. I started out selling my photography, then designing packaging for customers. I was staying really busy doing that, but my family time was suffering. I was always trying to work around everyone else's schedules. It was then that I decided to pick up that old passion of mine... drawing. I really had no photoshop experience at all, and completely self taught myself. When I seen that there was a market and interest for my artwork, I decided I needed to re-open under a new name and re-focused look. It was scary leaving behind all the feedback/hearts... but I am happy to say that my customers followed me over to vol.25. :) Being featured on decor8 was a definite rush, and ONE of the goals I had set for myself upon opening. The only other real goals I had set was to try and make each month a little better then the last, and to ALWAYS go the extra mile to provide extra good customer service.

You're getting ready to welcome baby #2 to your family - congratulations again! As a mother of two myself, I constantly struggle with balancing family + work. This wouldn't be as difficult if I didn't love my work. Do you ever struggle with that balance?

Definitely find the balancing act hard! Since I also love my 'work' it is hard to make myself walk away from the computer. I generally have at least 5 new sketches/ideas just waiting to be finished. But, with baby #2 I have a feeling I will be having alot less computer time. ;)

Okay, now we'd love to get a peek into your own home! How do you decorate? What really inspires you as you decorate your home? Do you display any of your own artwork?

Jessica's entryway

I LOVE to decorate, I would classify my style as modern mixed with a little traditional. Our home was built in 1892, so it is always a challenge to not modernize it too much.
her daughter's bedroom
I am going to sound very unoriginal for saying this... but ikea is a constant inspiration for me. I can spend hours flipping through and bookmarking pages in their catalogues. Blogs (like yours) are also a daily inspiration to me. :)
kitchen prints
Yes, I am definitely guilty of displaying my own artwork! My husband complains the house is filled with too much artwork and not enough family pictures. I am very guilty of this. I constantly like to switch things out, so hanging my own artwork gives my an affordable way to update things. I also have a huge collection of photography stored on my computer, so I am always stumbling across new favorites I had forgotten I took. :)

living room


(Nesting Instincts: um...hello...gorgeous house! Amazing Decorator Alert!)

I love that you've started creating series of prints that all coordinate. Where do you want to go from here? As an artist, is there an area you'd really love to venture into? A style, medium, or subject matter you'd like to use?

Thanks! I have considered putting together a new regular column on my blog where I coordinate a particular print with a paint color, other prints, fabric choices etc. I really do love decorating, and this would be an affordable way for me to have fun, while also helping some people out with a little inspiration. (Nesting Instincts: Please do! That would be so fun. You are clearly talented in the decorating department too!)

We know about your Etsy shop - anywhere else people can view or purchase your work? Either in person or online?

Right now etsy is the only way to purchase my work, I do have my own domain name registered http://www.vol25.com. I hope to get my own website up sometime soon. :) I also have a blog I update regularly http://www.vol25.typepad.com. I always post about new work in the shop, and updates on our home.

Thanks for featuring my work, I love your blog, and congrats on your recent debut on designsponge!! :)

(No, Jessica...thank YOU! I feel like I just had a chat with a good friend. - Courtney)


  1. AN AMAZING INTERVIEW WITH AN AMZING TALENT!!!! Loved every word, every photo- this was fabulous!! we have to check out more of her work!

    kari & kijsa

  2. Wow - great work and interview. I'm impressed!

  3. wow,what a great interview with a great artist! I love her work, I am down for anything that marries whim and logic.

    awesome blog, by the way : )

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Courtney,
    A dear mutual friend suggested that I check out your site. You used to go to the same church with her......Laurie D.
    Because she mentioned you, I have not featured you today on Today's Creative Blog.
    (can't believe I'm not on your link list!) LOL :)
    Email me for the blinkie that all featured bloggers get.

  6. Oops. I meant to leave a comment on this interview, which was a lot of fun--love her work and her home!--and then got sidetracked when I saw that Kim has featured you on her blog and had to hop over to hers to see what she wrote. Aren't you just getting so much nice attention lately? I'm so glad! -Julia :-)

  7. I love Jessica's designs. Especially her kitchen prints. Thanks for interviewing her. It's always fun to see how and where artists get their ideas!!

  8. Great, GREAT interview. I love her work, so pretty! Great colors and design.

    Really enjoyed this post!

  9. So lovely work and that interview!
    Those colors are so pretty on those works!

  10. found you on today's creative blog!
    loving what i see here..some real inspiration/eye candy/great idea's and wonderful room make overs--where have you been all my life!!!!

  11. Hi there...just hopped on over from TCB and can't wait to look around some more. Lovely talent. Best wishes!

  12. Oh wow! I love you blog and your work! No, i don't usually tend to decorate my own artwork, because I am lazy...does this make sense? But you have inspired me today. Your framing looks just stunning.


thank you for commenting, dahling! I can't wait to hear what you have to say. :-)