Monday, 2 October 2017

Etsy shop find... a chat with Eliza Schneider - Green

Another etsy interview for you today, and this time its the turn of Eliza Schneider-Green of The Silk and Cotton Shop.
Based in Florida, Eliza sells her beautifully hand painted cards, postcards, art prints and original art in her etsy shop.
Full of rich foliage and lush fauna with an abundance of teals and greens, yummy palette!

Let's get to know the artist shall we... 
Grab that cuppa!

1. Can you tell us a bit about you and your background...

I’ve been painting since I was old enough to hold a paintbrush, and spent most of my childhood and teen years taking art classes in the summer and filling sketchbooks with drawings.  
My Mom chose to homeschool both my sister and me, so our educations were tailored to our specific interests.  
When I wasn’t painting or drawing, I was taking photos, dancing, or exploring my native Florida.  
I got my Associates of Arts degree from Tallahassee Community College and took several studio art classes during my time there, but my true love and passion for art didn’t take hold until graduating and leaving the college environment.  
In the two years since I graduated, I’ve strived to fill my life with as much art as I can!
At the moment I work part time at a vintage clothing shop and spend the rest of my time immersed in my studio.

2. What books/ magazines are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible (I’m a sucker for Barbara’s writing) and David Sedaris’s Me Talk Pretty One Day.  
One drips with rich emotion and imagery and the other is just plain hilarious.  
A good balance, if you ask me!
As far as magazines go, I love Flamingo Mag, a local publication based here in Florida.  
I also love Uppercase Magazine – it consistently inspires me!

3. Who are your design heroes and what inspires you?

Georgia O’Keeffe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frida Kahlo, David Hockney, Henri Matisse, Andrew Wyeth, and Barbara Cooney are just a few of my favorite visual artists and designers.  
I’m constantly inspired by bright colours, the vastness of nature, and the clean lines and smooth silhouettes of midcentury modern design and architecture - it’s as good as it gets!

4. Tell us about a typical day for you...

I’ve lived most of my life as a night owl, but have recently converted to being a morning person.  
On days when I’m not working in town, I like to get up around 8 (sometimes earlier). 
The first thing I do is stumble into the kitchen, say hello to the cats, and start some water boiling.  
I can’t start my day without a big cup of extra-strong PG Tips with a teaspoon of honey and a splash of almond milk.
     Next, I sit down at the dining room table, get my computer out, and listen to my favourite morning shows on NPR.  
After sending emails, doing some Facebook-browsing, and goofing off on Pinterest, I fix breakfast and head to the studio.  
      Once I’ve finished painting for the day, I’ll fix dinner and then usually head to the park to go for a walk with my mom.  
In the evenings (when I’m not rehearsing with my folk band, Liza and the Wise Guys), 
I like to watch an old movie or Antiques Roadshow on PBS, and head to bed by 11.

5. Can you give us an insight into your creative process?

I operate very much on the “just do it and don’t think about it” system.  
My favourite art teacher in college said you just have to make art and not think in terms of “good” or “bad,” so I try to do that as much as I can.
     When I get inspired to create, I like to work quickly, while the inspiration is fresh.  But I’m learning how to slow down and really take my time with a project. 

6. Where do you work? 
Describe your studio/work area…

My studio/bedroom is typically a mess!  
It has large windows that fill the room with lots of natural light on sunny days.  
I’m a collector of vintage hats, so my studio is overrun with headwear.  
There are usually several unruly stacks of old books on the floor.  
My desk faces a large window so I can look out on the banana trees and palm trees in my front yard (and occasionally spy on the neighbours).  
Despite being an artist, I have very little art on my walls – mostly because, as a photographer, having my studio walls blank saves time when I’m creating a set for a shoot.

7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a designer/illustrator?

I really love seeing an idea all the way through to completion. 
Going from a rough idea, to a partially-formed idea, to something more solid, and then to a completed project is incredibly satisfying and rewarding.  
Turning an abstract idea into something tangible is so, SO exciting!

8. What are your top three blogs?

A Cup of Jo, The House That Lars Built, and The Man Repeller.

9. What makes you laugh?

I Love Lucy.  
Even if I’ve watched all of the episodes a million times.

10. What's your guilty pleasure?

Soap Operas.  
When I’m spending the day in the studio, I’ll watch The Young and the Restless on my lunch break.  
I’m not proud!  

11. What’s the most popular item for sale in your etsy shop? 

And your personal favourite?

My original gouache paintings have become very popular lately – each one is different and completely original.  
My personal favourite item is the “Flora” thank you card – a simple pink background, surrounded by lush green leaves.  
This is the oldest design in my shop, and for years it’s been my go-to thank you, birthday, or greeting card design for friends and family!

12. What are you currently passionate about or fascinated by and how is it inspiring your work?

I’m currently (and always) deeply inspired by nature.  
I’m also a collector of 1940s, 50s, and 60s ephemera – ads, magazines, cookbooks, fashion catalogs, etc.  
The illustrations are incredibly inspiring and the colour schemes are iconic (turquoise, chartreuse, mauve, orange, gray).  

Anytime I’m feeling stuck, I like to crack open a 1950s LIFE magazine and flip through it, finding inspiration on each beautiful page.

A huge thanks to Eliza for giving us an insight into her world, and what a lovely one it is too!

Follow Eliza here...

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