In high school I had big dreams. Dreams of being a Broadway actress, dreams of being a Vegas dancer (the classy kind), and dreams of being a writer. Although none of these "dreams" came true, I appreciate the imagination I had as a teenager and continue to keep my mind open to possibilities in my young adult life. (Or as my Dad says, my quarter of a century, down hill from here, adult life)
I don't think it is a coincidence that I found my high school memorabilia the same day I met Princess Mia. Princess Mia, my newest Etsy friend is an amazingly talented artist that is only in high school. As you look through her work, you won't believe it! Or at least, I didn't!
Tell us a bit about yourselfMy name is Princess Mia I am from California, I am a freelance artist that works with watercolor and ink.
When did you first discover etsy? What made you decide to start a shop?I don't remember how I came across Etsy, It could be because I was looking to buy earrings and just came across it somehow. I was always into business and owning my own shop, and once I decided to pursue art as a career; I thought the next best thing to do was join Etsy
Apart from creating things, what do you do?Apart from my art, I love to sing and dance.Singing is part of my childhood,It is still something I love to do today. I am pretty decent but I am no professional.I never wanted to learn how to dance I was kind of forced into it. I never knew I could get into it and be apart of a crew. Also I love to hangout with my friends, family and my boyfriend.
Is Etsy your full time or part time business?Etsy is currently my full time business. I don't have a day jobs and I am just about to finish high school. I opened my shop in December but just started listing items this month. I did a lot of work outside of Etsy for my art before actually opening shop. I have worked with record labels and sold some originals through facebook.Also I was featured on some blogs and online magazines. I have also took in request for original art as well. I hope to make a lot of sales on Etsy and hope to keep it as full time, despite how hard it can be.
What other avenues, if any do you share your work with the world?I have my art in a lot of places on the internet. I think it is important to promote yourself if different places. The sites I use are youtube, which gave me opportunities to work for record labels and other music artist. I'm also on Deviantart, which gives me loads of traffic. Other sites would be Facebook,Behance, Bluecanvas,Wix,and twitter.
Wow Mia, I had never even heard of half these sites. Maybe my dad is right, I am getting old! ;)
What steps do you take in your creative process?First I think about what to make. I get inspiration from quotes or experiences I have experienced or someone.
I try to think of a concept for it. Once I have that down, I start drawing in pencil. I wish I was gifted to never make mistakes when drawing but sadly the next step is ink the pencil work. We all wish we didn't make mistakes! Some of my biggest mistakes in my craft turned into a great idea!
Then I add in dark details. I love to put in dark elements into my drawings to make them pop. I love to have it be noticeable as if it is in front of the colors.
Then comes the watercolor. If I am drawing a person, I always start at the eyes. I love to keep the colors wet on the paper and then add another color. By doing this, the colors blend smoothly. I put the colors in random areas in which I feel are good placements for them. I never fully color a picture (sometimes, but it is rare)
What is your favorite item in your shop and why?My favorite Item Has to be Spill this beautiful accident. I wasn't proud of the results at first but after a while I have grown to love it. It has also produced a beautiful print.
Where does your inspiration come from?My inspiration comes from many places. I don't limit myself to only one source of inspiration. I get inspired from People mainly. Also emotions and life. Along with out non abstract subjects like photographs,music, surrealism , abstract art,the human body, darkness and quotes.
What is your favorite part of being a part of the Etsy community?I love all the nice people I have meet here. I justed started out and I have been getting great help and comments from everyone.
Who or what has been most influential in being where you are today?Mainly my best friend and my boyfriend. They were always supportive about all the crazy things I wanted to do in life. Pursing art was one of them. They always encouraged me to not give up and just keep working at it. They both know how pessimistic I can be. Negative thoughts can always over power my business but they always keep me on track. I find it very important to have a support system! My boyfriend is also my biggest support. What is nice about the Etsy Community is that you can find the support you need without even asking for it! Keep on drawing girl!
When did you know you were an artist/maker?I believe we are all born artist but we often lose that sense of our personal artistic ability as we get older. I discovered I was an artist at the early age of 5.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?I am always in a creative rut! I wish I had an answer to that myself! Try doing something for yourself. For me, its putting down the project I am working on and starting on something entirely different. That way, when I come back to the project that is keeping me "stuck", I have a new perspective on it. I would also join Pinterest. That site REALLY helps me. But beware, it is addictive!
Where would you like to be in ten years?I would love to be making a living off my art and hopefully pursue a clothing line that my boyfriend and I are working on. I would also love to have my own solo show for my art work.
If you could share one tip with a new Etsy seller, what is the most important thing to learn and why?Learn how to promote yourself! It is a necessary evil but you must in order to get more clients. Also learn different ways of promotions. Settle for the usual ways of promotions but also go beyond that.
Princess Mia, there is no doubt in my mind that you will do whatever you put your mind to. Your artwork is beautiful and unique. Keep working hard and I am sure you will accomplish your dreams! I wish you the best of luck!