October Spotlight Artist: Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor of Gyspy Mare Studios
How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I opened my shop in January 2008. I'd been selling on Ebay since 1999 and was fed up with their fees and policy changes and wanted to branch out.
What do you like about selling on Etsy?
I love their low listing fees, 20 cents, you can't beat that! They also charge a low commission when something sells. I also really like the people I've met on Etsy. I traded art with another seller and made a great friend!
What is your favorite medium?
That's hard to say since I've worked in many. I would say the medium I use most is acrylic paint since it's easy to use and clean up and it dries quickly. I enjoy painting in oils the most - I love the way they blend and the rich colors. I also really like sculpting in paper clay and hope to do more when I have the chance. Lastly, I love photography. I haven't sold any of my pictures but I take my camera where ever I go!
Where do you find inspiration for your art?
In short - everywhere! In my garden, on weekend trips to Longwood Gardens, horse shows, the zoo and museums. Reading children's books to my 3 year old daughter, driving around the beautiful Lancaster County countryside where I live. I think most artists are always looking for things to inspire them - there is beauty all around us! I'm always looking at things - from clouds to bugs - thinking, how would I paint that?
Do you have any favorite pieces?
Right now it's a painting of a thoroughbred stallion I used to care for. I painted him in oils this year and the painting hangs next to my art table. This horse was a real jerk and one day he bit me when I was walking past his stall - nearly took my arm off! I still have a large bump on my arm and the scars to prove it!
I also love Halloween. The Headless Horseman plays a key role in a lot of my work this time of year.
Any tips for other artists just starting out on the web?
Blog, blog, blog! Number one tip. I've been saying it for awhile now but I noticed that the Artist's Magazine had this in their top ten as well. It's free, it's easy, people will get to know you and want to buy your work. I have had my Gypsy Mare Studios blog going since 2007. I've made some really great friends through blogging!
We have three cats - Meemee, Zazu and a new ginger kitten named Pumpkin. I had a horse that I raised from a foal but I had to sell him to buy our house 2 years ago. Very sad but family comes first and I know I will have a horse again someday.
How do you envision your artistic future?
I'd love to take some college art classes since I'm mostly self taught. I'm also working on illustrating a children's book about horses and Halloween. One of my customers, and now friend, has come up with the wonderful text, I just need to work on the art. Illustration is one of my favorite art forms. I would love to be known someday for illustrating children's books.
You can find more of Jennifer's work on her blog, The Mare's Tales, and on her website.
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