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Please visit Colleen's Etsy shop! http://www.etsy.com/shop/whatsingramasdrawers
Please introduce yourself...
My name is Colleen Weikel and I live in southeastern Pennsylvania. I am 64 years old, retired and married for 30 years. We have 3 kids between us. He has a son, 44, and a daughter, 40, I have a son 43. We have a total of 10 grandchildren.
I have been drawing and painting for over 50 years, When I lived in Arizona in the 1970's, I did have the opportunity to take a few classes from Yavapai Community College, but I'm mostly self-taught. When I retired in 2011 I finally had the chance to spend more time painting, drawing, crafting, and starting an Etsy shop. My favorite medium is pencil. I love to draw pencil portraits. In fact, that's what I did for my son's wedding gift. I drew him and his fiance from my favorite picture of them together.
What is your inspirations for your designs?
Many things inspire me. The way a person walks through the mall, song lyrics, salt air, a beautiful gnarled old tree, birds, flowers. I guess there is not too much that doesn't fascinate me in some way.
How do you promote your creations?
Promoting is the most difficult thing for me. I think most artists aren't naturally good at promotion. For me, my main means of promotion has been craft shows. However, now that I have an Etsy Shop, I belong to several teams that have as their main purpose promoting their membership's work. I have found that if I take the time every day to take part in the promo threads of each team, I sell. If I don't take the time, there are no sales. Most of the promotions are through social media and I'm surprised how effective it is. I'm hoping my Etsy shop will take the place of most of my craft shows.
What is your advice for fellow artists?
The only advice I can give to other artist's is: Follow your heart. Draw/paint/create what makes you happy.When you do that, it shows in your work and the person who looks at what you've done, will know that this came from your heart.
Enter contests, place your work in local galleries, banks, coffee shops, restaurants and be sure to market your work via social media. Anything to get your name 'out there'.
Where do you see your brand in five years?
It's hard to know where I will be in 5 years. I'm hoping to have my name well established online and in my local area.
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