Sunday, September 28, 2008


Returning to our articles on great photographers selling their work on-line, I bring you

On Etsy, she is known as xenya, her real name is Julie. Here is our interview with Julie -

Briefly describe what you make?

I dabble in a variety of things, but photography is my main focus. Specifically, photography of urban exploration.

How long have you been creating craft?

I've been into something all my life. I'm a published writer, but the photography bug hit me about 2 years ago. It's become a passion.

How did you get started?

I've always liked taking photos, especially when I traveled. Then when I discovered urban exploration, I began to work with photography seriously.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

"Forgotten Beauty" is the focus of what I photograph. I seek out all the abandoned places that sit rotting and I document their decay. These places usually have a long history and a sort of soul. I try to capture that soul. There is a lot of beauty to be found in these old hospitals and rotting buildings that people have forgotten. For the most part, they sit abandoned due to the cost of cleanup. A lot of them are riddled with asbestos, mold and other nastiness that is expensive to clean up.

What would you most want people to know about your work?

I love my work. I love what I do, and exploring these places. I get somewhat protective over them, as most urban explorers do. If someone is looking to photograph these places, be safe above all else. Never go alone, and be careful of rotting floors, caved in ceilings, squatters and gangs, and of course the biohazards I've already mentioned. These places are not safe and I do not recommend going to them.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

If you love what you do, it will show through your work. Keep at it and eventually it will pay off. If you don't love what you do, that shows also, so keep that in mind.


You will see some very unusual and stunning photography at this shop. Please make a point right now to visit xenya!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


This week I want to feature a graphic artist that I have come across who has taken her design talent and written a children's book incorporating her art with a story about her little girl. This little girl is adopted. The book is the story of her adoption and her travels from China to the United States. The title of the book is Born from the Heart.

This is so special that I am foregoing my usual interview format to tell you what I have learned about this artist and this book. First of all, the book is, at the present time, self-published. Several publishers have expressed interest in the book but until one of them buys the rights to publish the book the artist, Barbara Lynn Greif, has had the book professionally printed from a book printer using off-set printing presses. As Ms. Greif told me, this book is not a computer generated, softbound glue up but a professionally typeset and press printed with a hard cover, saddle stitched binding. The book is of the quality that you will find at any bookstore.

Ms. Greif tells me that she drew and colored each illustration and wrote the story. She said that it was a story that she had to tell and share. This is a child that she did not give birth to the usual way but this child is born from her heart - an emotional experience as intense as if she had natural childbirth.

The book has been selling in local bookshops and children's stores. Ms. Greif wanted to expand distribution of the book and opened a shop on Etsy. This is a unique shop and right now only sells this book and nothing else. Ms. Grief is autographing each book that she sells on Etsy.

The story is enduring, cute, and funny. There is an encounter in the book between this little girl (who Ms. Greif tells me came to her family at 15 months) and a pregnant woman in a department store that is very funny. She tells me that this really happened.

Ms. Greif hopes that anyone with an adopted child or who is thinking of adopting a child will read her book. The book is perfect to teach children about adoption. Schools and religious groups will find this book a welcome addition to their library for children.

I highly recommend BORN FROM THE HEART and hope that you will visit Barbara Greif's Etsy shop and see the quality of the book and its illustrations - and make a purchase!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


The next in our Featured Photographers with an on-line shop is Tina. Tina is also a member of Photographers of Etsy (P.O.E.) and here shop is

Here is our interview with Tina!

Briefly describe what you make?

I offer mainly photographic prints in my shop at the moment. There are also a handful of select photos that I have turned into Scrabble tile pendants. As I continue to grow, I hope to add more frameable art, home decor, accessories, cards, etc. There really is no limit to what you can do with a good photo! Recently I purchased a much nicer camera than what I used to take the pictures in my shop currently, so I look forward to offering larger sizes as well as more artistic compositions.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

I seem to have a penchant for macro (close-up) photography versus landscapes and such. It really depends on what I'm looking at, but I find that sometimes a picture can be more interesting if you cut away the visual noise around the image or object and really capture the essence of it. It's also a good way to focus on detail and color. I do also love a good story that can be told by the everyday candid images you can see, as well. An object lying on the ground out of its element... A random mess made from cooking... things like that. Recently, I acquired a Kodak Duaflex camera to get in on the amazing through-the-viewfinder (TTV) shots that are out there. Sometimes the nostalgic feel the shots give me makes me all giddy on the inside.

How long have you been creating craft?

I've been fascinated by photography for as long as I can remember, but really got more drawn to it about twenty years ago when my dad bought a nice SLR camera when I was young. I'm still working to make sense of all the technical aspects, like aperture, lighting, etc. That's the stubborn, impatient, left-side of my brain not cooperating. I think that's also why I'm more drawn to macro shots; there's less to think about!

How did you get started?

I had a collection of nice shots taken on some trips to Asia that people seemed to like. I already had a more traditionally crafty shop on Etsy, so I decided to just open a second one and see if people liked what they saw. I'm just now doing a bit more to promote it and be visible, but I know that photography can be a hard sell. I just got accepted into the Photographers of Etsy street team, and am confident that will be a great step, even if just for encouragement and inspiration.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

My shop name is actually a spin-off of my main store on Etsy, scatterbox. Scatterbox is what I use as sort of the umbrella name for my creative projects (I also just opened an artsy shop called sketchbox). I wanted the names to be cohesive, which is why they are similar. Scatterbox actually just popped into my head one day and turned out to be quite appropriate. I can tend to be a little scatterbrained at times, and the right side of my noggin seems to always have bits, pieces, and fragments of ideas floating around. VERY scattered. So I get excited when some of them actually come together and form an idea!

What would you most want people to know about your work?

First, that it is evolving. One of the plans I have for the shop is to feature more series or prints that have themes that I can work off of. I can think of numerous ones, so hopefully the variety will keep the interest there. Above all, though, I would love for people to see something unique in them; something they may not see elsewhere, or have even just one picture that they can look at and say, "Wow."

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

It would be advice that I struggle sometimes to keep in the forefront of my mind, as well: Do what you love. Don't rush things - it will come together in time. And don't be afraid.


Great interview! YOU must go now and see Tina's SHOP!

While you are there stop over and see us at Past Perfect too!