1. Tell us a little bit about who you are and your life up to this point in time.
My name is Marlon Obando Solano, of Naturaleza al Descubierto natural jewelry. I grew up in a small rural community in Nicaragua. During most of my childhood a civil war was raging. Alongside my parents, I learned to farm and explore the countryside, where my attention to nature’s details developed. I have been an environmental activist for many years. I studied archaeology, learning more about the traditional uses of materials for tools and adornment. My art brings together these interests. I started making and selling jewelry when I was living in Managua, Nicaragua. I gave my work to my friends and started selling through fair trade vendors to get a fair and sustainable price for my work. I moved to Kentucky with my wife (who I met in Nicaragua) and we’ve been working together to sell my jewelry at art fairs and on Etsy.
2. Besides your fantasy creative life, what else are doing currently?
I work as an archaeologist “shovel bum” doing digs throughout the Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio area. I am a musician, I play the guitar and write songs with my group Appalatin. I also enjoy gardening and cooking.
3. What do you offer in your Etsy Shop?
Jewelry handmade with sustainable organic materials I collect myself in Nicaragua and Kentucky. Every piece is one-of-a-kind and made to honor the earth. I love to do custom orders and designs.
4. Where do you create?
I have a wonderful spot in my garage, just feet away from the vegetable garden in the Germantown Neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky.
5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Most of my inspiration comes from nature, but I’m also drawn to symbology and archaeology. I like simple lines, balance, and form.
6. How did you learn how to do your craft?
I’ve never taken a single art class. I love experimenting with different materials and techniques. Growing up in the countryside taught me ingenuity – to invent my own tools and use unique materials. Every day I try something new.
7. How do you promote your wares?
Until recently, most of my sales have been through local juried art fairs. Etsy has been a wonderful way to reach more people who appreciate sustainable organic art. We promote via Etsy, Flickr www.flickr.com/naturalezanica and we have a website: http://www.martierrasol.com/.
8. What has been the most important lesson you've learned since you started selling your own creations?
Keep evolving and stay excited!
9. Is there any advice you can give others who are just starting out?
Good pictures and networking make a world of difference.
10. Do you have any favorite Etsy artists you'd like to promote here?
So many great sellers – Etsy is a wonderful community!
- If it wasn’t for our friend Wendy we might not have found Etsy:http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=100813
- To narrow it down the Snot Pot from LaPella Pottery changed my life: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=49275
- And it was great to meet Gaia Creations at the LEAF Festival in North Carolina:http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5381559