Thursday, December 5, 2013

25 Days Of Christmas Celebration # 10 - Interview With Lin from RhodyArt

For the 10th Day of our 25 Days Of Christmas, we would like to feature an SPS Team artist whose work will brighten your day. Meet Lin from RhodyArt .

Rhodyart is a shop that offers vintage style collage art, greeting cards magnets and pins. Lin, the talent artist behind these creations, tells us that "I use vintage images of people in my work and frequently add a comment about modern things. Often the work has a very serious person pondering a silly issue or wishing for something very odd." Lin goes on to say that her "Items are made with love in lovely Rhode Island and reflect my quirky, silly sense of humor". Lin's products are indeed quite humorous, have a bit of vintage charm, and are sure to bring a smile to your face.

" Rhodyart is based on my state’s nickname, 
“Little Rhody.”  Rhody + Art = Rhodyart"

Meet Lin

Living and working in a small city in the smallest state in the Union, Rhode Island, this former university employee has been a full time collage and mixed media artist for the last three years. Lin's life is impacted my several factors. One being that she is quite deaf and relies on hearing aids. She also candidly shares that she deals with mental illness, stating ,"I am open about it because I think that those with mental illness are everywhere - its a true silent disability"

" I suspect I also show my generation with my
references to 60’s-80’s music, rather than Justin Bieber or
 Miley Cyrus."
Lin's Work

In her craft Lin tells us that she has "tried all kinds of things but I usually return to my "characters" as I call them. Basically they are vintage style people from the Victorian era to the 1950s or so and they comment on life as we know it today. Sometimes they’re serious, sometimes it’s just a really silly comment, and sometimes the pieces have no comments at all – they are just, I suppose, period pieces. "

"My absolute favorite piece,
 which is really not a funny
 piece at all, is one of
 two little girls whispering".
Lin feels her work is greatly influenced by Anne Traintor who originated this particular style. Lin's work focuses more on the image and she uses several eras in her work, and is not cynical as Trainor is. "I really don’t want to be too derivative so thru trial and error developed the style I have now – I like it, there’s complexity yet it’s very simple." Lin admits that she has a dry sense of humor and that she sees humor in things that others may not. Lin work also shows contradictions, such as one card that shows a 1920s style women headed to a heavy metal concert.

Tools of her Trade

When asked if she had tools she could not do without, she had lots to share. No surprise that paper is on top of Linn's list. " I’ve found an excellent shop on Etsy (32NorthSupplies) that provides Italian papers. I also buy paper from the Rhode Island School of Design store, as well as Joann and Michaels." Linn goes on to say that she does use scrapbook paper but tends to be choosy about motifs. Glue is another tool Linn cannot do without. Her favorite brands are Tombow glue sticks and a product call "O Glue". Linn admits she has many pairs of scissors. " I use paper, I cut paper. I keep misplacing scissors." For commercial prints of her cards and postcards Lin uses She relies on her HP laptop and printer at home as well. Lin is always on the look out for old photos and images of people that she can use. Dover Publications’ public domain collections is a source for many of Lin's "characters". Music is essential to Lin "One of my greatest fears is totally losing my hearing and losing music."

“Nobody knows this is a toupee.”
There’s just something about his
facial expression that gets to
us (and others)."
Shop Help

Lin jokingly lists her cats, Junior and Maggie as her assistants. "Maggie is fond of crawling all over me and biting my elbow or sharpening her claws on my legs. Junior just plops himself down on whatever it is I’m working on, and always finds wet paint or glue to step on."

→ Please share a little wisdom on time management! How do you organize your time? What does a typical day or week selling on Etsy look like – time spent on orders, on teams, promoting on social media etc. ?

"I don’t have a lot of orders at this point. Right now I spend a lot of time on social media and teams. I’m co-leader on 3 teams (yes, mistake) so that’s at least an hour a day on teams, social media is usually 2 hours. My FB page is used not only to publicize my wares but also to provide information about art and artists, info about business, and silly commentary.

"Not everybody gets what I do".

I love to greet people in the morning and post a photo or video, usually a music video on Youtube that seems appropriate or that I just want to share. People seem to like that. I get feeds from many blogs, from Scientific American, the Smithsonian, and other publications and I share what I see that might be interesting. I used to write a blog but gave that up more or less earlier this year, though I would like to go back to it.

If I am fortunate enough to get an order, it doesn’t take long to get it packaged and ready as I have everything more or less organized. Maybe more less organized than more more organized. B-) "

→  Speaking of Etsy teams, what do you look for in them? What makes you choose a particular one? How active are you on the teams?

I look for informational teams first, then regional or avocational teams, then whatever else looks interesting.  I co-lead an art team, a regional team, and an informational team, which is really a good mix.  I’m very active on those 3 obviously, but recently because I was doing a large month long art festival here in the area I dropped back my team involvement.  I’ll be getting back to more team involvement soon.  I do not like hard sell promotional teams at all – I’ve seen some where there were multiple promotion threads that were all the same and it just seemed pointless.
One thing that’s important to me too is that I have to have at least something in common with others on the team.  Not just being an Etsy seller.

→ What’s the best advice you received when you first began selling? Also, what advice would you give to new sellers – whether it’s about promoting items, shipping, photography, communicating with clients or whatever else you feel that new sellers should be aware of?

The best advice I got was to be myself.  Not to try to be something I wasn’t just for the sake of selling.  To sell only what I believe in. Which aggravates my brother immensely because he’ll notice that I might have removed something or I might say that I destroyed a piece because I didn’t like it any longer, and he’ll say “but someone else might like it.”  My answer to that is – I have to like it before I’ll sell it.

Junior offers advice.
Being a co leader on an SEO team has taught me a great deal about tags and keywords (though my shop items desperately need makeovers – one of the things I get distracted from doing). 

Being true to myself also applies to how I promote.  I’m not going to go all hard sell and set up ‘calls to action’ to make people come to my shop.  I try to be judicious about how much I post on social media.

Another important thing – be nice to people.  Support each other.  We’re all in this together so if you are posting in a promotion thread – fave others, pin others.  Don’t post and run.  Karma is real.  If you are mean to people or neglectful, it’ll come back at you.  So I try to behave towards people as I want them to behave towards me.  Too many people forget that.

Finally, I don’t sweat every single change Etsy makes.  The only sure thing in life is change (and death & taxes).  Etsy has changed considerably over the years and it’ll keep changing whether people like it or not.  The choice is whether to roll with the changes, use them to your advantage or cut and run.  But I don’t bother kvetching about it most of the time.  I just use Tim Gunn’s adage “Make it work.”

→ Any silly mishaps, screw ups, humorous events while working on/in/for your shop? 

Wish I had a picture of the best one – when ( my cat) Junior managed to get himself covered with glue.  I was too busy trying to get the glue off him and off furniture and floor. Otherwise it would be Junior sitting on things while I’m trying to work.  Maggie (my other cat) doesn’t sit on things much, she just chews on my extremities to get my attention.

→ What are your goals regarding your shop for the near future?

1.       Get stuff up for Christmas (ack!)
2.       Re do pictures
3.       Re do descriptions and tags
Those are my immediate goals. Long term I want to look into licensing my work. If I can win the lottery, that would be nice. There’s some equipment I’d like to invest in but I’ll have to wait a while for that.

The SPS Team would like to thank Lin for her time, sharing her insights on being successful on Etsy, and her many useful tips on suppliers. We will keep our fingers crossed in hopes that a lottery win will speed up your long term goals! In the meantime Lin, we have enjoyed our time with you and wish all your endeavors well! Visit RhodyArt soon and be happy all day!

Please Spread Some SPST Love And Visit Lin's Etsy Shop Here :


Our shop offers shabby inspired items that are time loved vintage, hand crafted, or skillfully revived. Treasures for the home, special events or gift giving can all be found in our aisles! For an added bit of salty charm, we also feature crafted nautical items. Surround yourself with a cozy feel with something from North and South Shabby!


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, my friends -- Junior and Maggie say thank you too!