Stephanie Vance-Patience of Stephani Vance and My Philosopea!
1. Tell us a little bit about who you are and your life up to this point in time.
I am a woman who has had my hand in art — in one form or another — my entire life. Both of my parents appreciate and created art, and still, to this day, encourage me to stretch beyond my self-imposed limits and create what I want. I am very proud of my 3 children: one is returning to school to be an RN, one is planning to finish college in graphic design, and one is studying 2D animation. I also have 2 more children. I recently married a wonderful, supportive man who is 100% in my corner. Our blended family is a major part of my life.
2. Besides your fantasy creative life, what else are doing currently?
I am in my 19th year as a full-time graphic designer, and intend to "retire" within the next 2 years to be a full-time creative person! I read a lot, and, besides my love for and of God, am growing spiritually. I desire to make my world a place filled with love, peace, joy, and gratitude.
3. What do you offer in your Etsy Shop?
Etsy offers me a place to showcase and [hopefully] sell my fine art and miscellaneous creations. I sell signed, numbered prints, some originals, ACEOs, and now, beautiful handmade journals (completely handmade!) I also love working with polymer clay, and have created beads and a few dolls! I am not sure where the clay-thing is going, but I am open to what the universe has in store!
4. Where do you create?
I turned my son's bedroom into my studio during his second year of college! He's moving to the West Coast to finish earning his Bachelors degree. His old room/my new studio is a very calm sanctuary for me.
5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from looking at others' work (paintings, sculptures, etc.) and a very private place within my soul.
6. How did you learn how to do your craft?
I was raised in a home that encouraged creativity. I studied all forms of art at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, PA throughout middle and high school (every weekend, and 5 days a week during my summer vacations... back in the ’70s!) Even though I chose a different route as an adult, I always appreciated art and never stopped creating. I find it easy to read a book or watch a DVD and learn how to, for example, make journals. Then I add my personal flavor to the technical part and am creating beautiful items!
7. How do you promote your wares?
Although I am in advertising 40-hours each week, I don't spend much time promoting my own art (I need a personal assistant, or two of me!) Most people who know me appreciate and buy my art. I have participated in a few art and/or craft shows over the past year. This is only my 3rd year of focusing on art as my full-time ambition, so this is the year that I intend to step out and participate more, hand out more marketing materials, and get more involved in showing my work.
8. What has been the most important lesson you've learned since you started selling your own creations?
I've learned that there is a difference in the quality of my art when I base my work on selling it as opposed to basing it on the process of creating. I absolutely LOVE the process, and find joy in my finished pieces. And IF I sell it, that's good, too!
9. Is there any advice you can give others who are just starting out?
Focus on your vision, and never base your creations on what other people are doing. You'll be a happier, satisfied artisan!
10. Do you have any favorite Etsy artists you'd like to promote here?
Wow... I have a few hundred favorite sellers on Esty right now! I always spend at least 3 to 4 hours each week looking at and appreciating others' work! Let's see (in no particular order)... birdandflower, Kreativlink, AgJewelry, polpetteclay, belleandboo, TheIntuitiveGarden, kerijoy, fancykstudio, lakeillustration, LouAnnsdesigns, marciapalmer, sweetsassyboutique, lyoungstudio, to name a few!