Friday, December 24, 2010

Etsy Seller Interview

I'm so excited to bring to you dear readers, my very first Etsy seller interview! This is a new feature on Rock, Paper, Knit in which I bring great artists here to talk about their work and share their amazing art!
First on the roster is Lara from AlleePhoto who sells her gorgeous photographs on Etsy. Don't forget to stop by her flickr as well for some more great photographs!

Bio: Lara Allee, age 30, living in Arlington, VA.
How would you describe your personal style?
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
I want to start treating myself better - more sleep, better food, more exercise, and less TV! I have a tendency to be very lethargic, particularly during the winter, but when I keep myself busy I feel so much better.
Tell us about the new things on your Etsy to look for in the new year.
I'm hoping to get some nice wintry shots to add more seasonal flavor to the shop.
How long have you been creating art?
Well, I've been surrounded by art my entire life. My parents are both artistically inclined and I spent my childhood going to museums and attending plays. My first love was theater. I began doing plays in elementary school, but as a teen I developed a real love for it. I majored in Theater at UMass-Amherst, and my day job is at a major arts funder. Photography was something I always enjoyed, but never became serious about until a few years ago. It has been a great outlet, especially since I stopped working on the creative side of theater.
What made you want to open an Etsy store?
A few friends had approached me about purchasing prints and I thought it would be a great way to get my work out there.
Tell us about your creative process.
Photography is all about looking at your subject in a new way. When I'm shooting, I notice things like texture, light, angles, repetition more than I normally would. I usually shoot a couple of test shots to see what my camera sees, adjust my settings to start to create the look I want and then just shoot. A lot of the time I don't get what I imagined, but often it's better. That is one of the things I love about photography - what you see is not always what you get.
Who/what are the major influences in your life?
My parents are also avid photographers and I learned a lot from them at an early age about composition. Our vacation pictures were never just snapshots.
Who is your favorite artist?
I'm a big fan of the Dutch landscape artists from the 16th and 17th century. No one in particular, but I have a few favorite paintings at the National Gallery of Art in DC.
How do you get inspired and what do you take inspiration from?
I've found a lot of inspiration online from other photographers - some of my favorites are Karen Walrond, Irene Nam, Kate Inglis and Beatrice Peltre. They have all influenced my own photography. They've shown me different ways of looking at the world through my lens.
Do you have any hobbies? 
I love to cook (and eat!). I'm a bit of a lapsed yogi due to a shoulder injury, but once that gets sorted out, I intend to get back to it asap. I love being outdoors when the weather is nice, and I love going to museums and plays.  I recently rediscovered my love for reading, so I've been voraciously consuming as many books as possible.  
Favourite materials or equipment to work with?
I adore my Canon XSI. I don't have the fanciest lenses, but my favorite is the 50 mm prime lens that my husband gave me for Christmas last year. It gives my photos a really nice depth of field, and I love that the fixed zoom forces me to really think about what I want to shoot. 
What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
It's kind of sad, but aside from the real essentials, food, water, etc, the one thing I can't live without is the internet. I'm perfectly happy to be without it when I go on vacation. But on a day to day basis it is at the core of so much of what I do and I find that when I don't have it readily available, I feel disconnected.
If we were to scroll through your itunes, what would be the most embarrassing thing for us to find?
Britney Spears.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
My mother always told me "Spend your time wisely." 
That's great advice! I’m a huge foodie so I have to ask, what’s your favourite food?
Sushi! I could eat it for every meal.
Any advice for etsy sellers and/or photographers out there?
I'm still fairly new at both! For people just picking up a camera I'd encourage them to learn how to use their manual settings - it's the one tool that will vastly improve your shots. For Etsy sellers it's all about getting the word out -- something I'm still working on myself!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

10 Things I'm Loving This Week Christmas Edition

A special 10 things for you guys! Here's a few of my favourite things about the holidays!

10- Apple Cider
9- Christmas Lights
8-Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. I've been trying to get my hands on one of these for 2 years now and I finally got my own! Although mine looks very healthy...
7- Baking Cookies
6- Snow
5- Knitwear
4- Reindeers
3- Wrapping Gifts
2- Skating
1-Warm fireplace
Stay tuned for some very special posts including my very first Etsy seller interview with Lara from AlleePhoto and a special Christmas gift from Rock, Paper, Knit!

Pictures from
Happy Holidays!