Artfire Artisan Spotlight: Angela R. Sasser, angelicshades
Posted by pauljvguillaume on 06/24/2011 at 09:20:15
Please start by telling us a little about yourself and your studio.
My studio is named Angelic Shades Studio after my pre-established fantasy art studio of the same name (http://www.angelicshades.com). I'm a fantasy illustrator by trade, an author by profession, and a leather crafter by night! My studio here at Artfire acts as a catchall for my varied interests showcasing my leather masks, fantasy paintings (many from recent book), and the jewelry designs that emerge from my mad experimenting.
If there’s one thing that defines you, what is it?
It'd have to be my variety of interests. From painting angelic figures with spirit butterflies to carving butterfly wings into leather masks, there's always a new medium I want to break through!
What role does your family play in your art?
My mother is also an artisan here at Artfire (leescurio) and she has done so much to encourage me to create all of my life! I wouldn't be where I am today without her constant encouragement and support, both mental and financial. I definitely get my creative genes from her!
Where do you live and what is it like?
I live down south in Georgia in the Atlanta area. I live in a more rural area next to a pond where I find constant inspiration in the buzzing of dragonflies in the spring and rare quiet snowfalls in winter. We also see plenty of butterflies out here, which are constant sources of inspirations for my artisan work and paintings.
Where did you learn your medium?
I am a college-trained painter and creative writer, though my interest in both mediums stems from a childhood fascination with illustrating my own fairy tales. As for leather crafting, I am new to the craft with only a little over a year of experience under my belt! I first learned the craft from the wonderful tutorials of Andrea Masse, a fellow mask-maker here on Artfire by the username Merimask.
What are your goals with your ArtFire studio?
As a freelance artist and artisan, it's never good to rely on just one single source of income to keep myself afloat! Artfire has helped me to reach another lively marketplace that promises to be indispensable to my identity as an artist. Not only have I met agreeable and interesting customers here, but I've become involved in a really enthusiastic guild (ArtFire Fantasy Guild) that's inspiring me to interact with others and to create new work I might not have created before!
How did you come to find a home on ArtFire?
I had heard whispers of Artfire in recent times, but had no idea what it was until the beta exit deal the site offered in October of last year! I took a chance jumping on this deal and I am so glad I did! I love the sense that Artfire is growing and full of people excited about its progressive development and future. Each time I look, there's a new feature that makes my experience as a seller easier and that lets me know Artfire is paying attention. Finding a place like that which isn't content to stay the same, but to constantly improve, is the sign of a great place to be!
What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?
Don't give up when you first start out and get no sales! It will hit you like a brick, once you get more than 10-20 items in your shop! I haven't made a huge number of sales here just yet, being new. But I have, however, made a couple of high-priced sales that have made my investment worthwhile! Keep creating and keep your shop updated! Your hard work will pay off!
Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?With the economy as bad as it is, it's just darn hard to find a job! This has caused an unexpected trend of people turning to their handicrafts as an alternate source of income and finding that there is a demand for that 'something special', for that touch of a human hand behind the creation of an item. Being stressed out by the 9-5 desk job and overwhelmed by a world full of mediocre choices makes giving or receiving that handmade item all the more special and inspiring! While many of us toil in unemployment, those with a love of handicrafts are able to find hope and inspiration in the fact they can access a handmade marketplace. We're also able to reinvigorate many dying art forms when they had been thought all but obsolete. Buying and selling handmade items makes it easier for people to find the magic in these art forms once again.