Monday, May 9, 2011

Let's Congratulate SoulShineArts, this week's winner!

You voted, and this week's winner is Catherine of SoulShineArt's Check out her winning treasury "Have You The Wing"

We asked Catherine a bit about herself and her shop and this is what she told us...
  I am a stay at home mom with two young and rambunctious boys, ages 1 and 3.  Daily life is a little crazy, but always fun!  Learning to balance my art and motherhood has been quite the ongoing challenge, but lately it’s working really well.  I have spent most of my life drawing in a sketchbook or working on one artistic idea after another.  I just can’t seem to stop the ideas from coming.
       I graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 2006 with my BFA with a concentration in Art Education.  I am a certified K to 12 teacher and I have taught in two different High Schools in Southern Maine, at Portland High School and at Massabesic High School.  I only taught one year at each school, which were both fantastic learning experiences for me and I loved each and every day that I worked.  Unfortunately, my positions were cut at both schools after the one year that I taught due to budget shortfalls.  That is how I got to where I am.  Now, I want to go back to my goal that I started college with, which is to make money selling my artwork!
       I started my Etsy shop last year after a friend told me about it, but I ignored it for a long time.  This past March, I decided that I was really going to focus on it and figure out if it would work for me.  So I started listing and reading about Etsy and all the different teams you can join.  I started doing BNR’s which helped to get my sales up, but now I want to look for other ways of promoting.  I recently started a blog ( and I just signed up on twitter under soulshinearts.  I’ve been on facebook for a while too.

How did you get started creating?
       I feel like I have been creating all my life.  My Dad had a little shop when I was growing up that sold some art supplies, which he always brought home to me.  I always had the best art supplies to use.  I remember going through this very thick Disney History book and drawing whatever characters that I wanted.  I still have a cray pas drawing that I did when I was like 12, of Sher Khan from Robin Hood that’s on 18 x 24 paper!  It hangs in my son’s room now.
       I focused on drawing and painting in high school.  When I went to college I concentrated on photography and found a love of sculpture and late in college found ceramics which is where I have stayed!

What are your favorite materials to work with?
       I work primarily with clay, although I am always trying to think of ways to incorporate other materials and other skills that I have into my ceramics.  I love altering pieces or carving them.  Adding a bit more to my pieces makes them more unique.  I love working with clay.  It’s down to earthy, messy, easy to manipulate and you can recycle it, so it is rarely wasted.

Where is your craft headed right now?
       I am currently working on creating a line of garden items, such as birdbaths, bird feeders and houses, and garden plaques.  I’m hoping to start doing more outdoor sculptures and lanterns also.  I have also been creating unique one of a kind ceramic jewelry pieces.  I have started doing rings (which I should be listing this week) along with my pendants and earrings.
       I have always had a hard time doing the same thing over and over, but now that I’m focused on ceramics, I’m working towards creating different seasonal lines.  I’m hoping by winter to be ahead of the season!

What is your personal style?
       I’m a bit of an earthy spirit.  In my everyday life, I’m kind of a bum!  Haha.  The mix of stay at home and potter do not leave me much room to dress nice!  I like all things natural and organic.  I am a novice organic gardner.  I cannot wait to get my garden going this year.  I already have my starts sprouting and some flower seeds planted.  This year I’m growing my own pumpkin patch and birdhouse gourds which I hope to do something artistic with.

What inspires you?
       Nature.  I like the flow of nature like the gentle curve of a vine or river.  I am trying to create inspiration by planting flowers and gardens around my house.  I live in a lovely wooded neighborhood in a small town in Southern Maine.  Being in Maine is inspiring in itself, with the great wooded area and the beautiful ocean vistas that we have.
       My family are also a huge part of my inspiration.  More for keeping me driven than subject.  I want my children to know how hard I’ve worked and that no matter what happens, I will always keep pushing through to achieve my dream, which is to make a living off what I love to do, my art!

What are your plans for the future?
       I’m only looking at this coming year right now.  I’ve made a huge decision not to apply to any teaching jobs in the next year.  It was a hard decision to make, since there was an opening in my home town, but I put myself through a roller coaster of emotions  every time that I apply for a job and I just need a year off from that.  I would love to continue this life until my kids go to school.  This is the most important time in their lives, so if I can be here for them now and try to start a market for my work, than I will have the best of both worlds!  I will be selling my ceramics through Craft Fairs, Flea Markets (with my vintage things), possibly Farmers Markets and Etsy.  I may try to get my stuff in some stores too.  I have a list of shows that I’m already in on my website.

Where else can you find Catherine? any of the below
Facebook - 
My website - 
Blog - 
Twitter - soulshinearts
Etsy -

Thank you Catherine and congratulations

Would you like to be featured here...well its easy you just need to take part in the Wednesday Treasury Challenge. This weeks Theme is Outside and Loving it. Remember this can mean anything, be creative and have fun

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