(1) Who are you?
I'm the tall one, dressed all in green, looking for the handicap
entrance. The one who'll give you a lecture on ancient Minoan society
when you ask if I like greek food. On Etsy, I'm Carapace, and I am even more life threateningly verbose. And you know this, and gave me a questionairre anyway! Bwahahaha!
(2) What is your shop name and how did you come up with it?
My shop is Carapace. The ultra-super-secret origin of the name has
never been revealed until now, because it's deeply geeky. I was part
of a roleplaying group at the time, and Carapace was the name of my
anthropomorphic insect character (if you don't do tabletop gaming,
you'll have to trust me when I say this is a perfectly normal thing in
such games). When the time came to start my Etsy shop, I realized I
had no focus in mind, and didn't want to sound too down-homey, so I
grabbed a word that I already identified with that had no particular
artistic meaning at all. And then the tagline came to me, and bingo,
shop name. I've had many people ask me what the word means, so apparently my
attempt to not trigger word-associated prejudice has been successful.
For those who don't know: A "carapace"is the hard protective outer
shell on things like turtles, bugs, and myself.
(3) What do you create and sell?
I make jewelry and illustrations with an unavoidable fantasy
component. Even when I'm trying to do very basic still life stuff. I
could delve deep into the uses of fantasy as allegory, or try to
explain the fantastic in my work as the result of my own tendency
towards visual hallucinations, but I think really I just find making
straight representations boring.
(4) What is your source for inspiration?
I wish I could name a source for inspiration! Then I could put
inspiration into a condensed form in a little bottle, and stopper it
up, and uncork it when I had time to use it properly.
Unfortunately, I find inspiration to be more like humidity. All
around, in sometimes stifling quantities, but nigh impossible to get
usable amounts in usable form until it suddenly solidifies and falls
on my head for four hours straight, ruining the laundry in the
meantime. I think for the purposes of this metaphor, "the laundry" is my mood. I
am not a pleasant person to interrupt in mid art-gallop.
(5) What is your favorite piece from your shop & why?
Right now, it's probably my FisherBird River Queen Print:
Just because it's rather different than my usual work, and I tried out
a new technique and it worked, so looking at it makes me feel all
triumphant. But really, nothing goes up on my Etsy site unless I
personally love it and would have it on my wall.
(6) Is running your shop your only job?
I have a Day Job,doing basic clerical work, which I enjoy because it
gets me out of the house. But I consider my artwork my real career.
(8) How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I properly started my Etsy shop in August 2008. But I've been hanging around Etsy as a buyer for a lot longer. I've sold my work erratically at fairs and such since I was 15. But I
consider Etsy my first real attempt at making a business out of my artwork.
(9) Do you sell outside of Etsy?
Indeed! At any in-person venue that seems like it might be fun. I've
done renaissance fairs, anime conventions, and random craft fairs.
(10) What do you like best about Etsy?
The people, no contest! I really appreciate Etsy's technical aspects--
I opened shop there because it was the simplest site with the lowest
entry fees-- but the people are why my shop stays up. My street teams
and forum friends help keep me focused, and having other artists
always around keeps away that "what am I doing with my life" panic
that often comes by when I realize the grand total of my weeklong
effort is a single painting.
(11) Do you belong to any teams?
I do indeed, and fine people they all are, to put up with a slacker
like me! I'm in the new Creatability team, which is small but capable,
and the Etsy Team, which is properly Texas-sized, and the
FAEteam, who are the only people on Etsy liable to get half my
references. And there's also a chatty bunch who call themselves the
Etsy Friends Team, who I have dealings with on occasion.;)
(12) Do you have more than one Etsy shop?
(13) What do you do to promote your shop(s)?
Not enough, sadly. I find I'd rather create than promote. Any small-time art managers out there? Blogging's been pretty good for me, when I stick with it. I may someday explore the fascinating world of advertising. Or I may go paint.
(14) What do you do in your spare time?
You're looking at it. Seriously, the internet eats more of my free
time than actually eating, and I am a woman who loves her feed. I try
to keep it down to an hour of dawdling most days, though.
Then again, the things that most people consider hobbies- art,
writing, crafting-- are my main occupation, so there's really nothing
but the internet to spend my discretionary time on. Unless one counts
housework as a distraction, which I'm happy to do.
(15) What is your blog or website url?
My blog is
It's tragically neglected, but still loved.
My shop is
It is somewhat less neglected.:)
(16) Are there any blogs you follow regularly?
Not as many as I should. The blogs I mostly follow are linked off my blog.
I will say, if you want me to follow your blog, don't load it down
with animation, soundtracks, or giant images.
(17) Are there any particular Etsy shops you follow regularly?
I check in on all my team mates with fair regularity.
(18) Any advice (business, or otherwise) for fellow sellers?
Spellcheck. Then do it again. Otherwise you'll miss out on searches.
Sell overseas. Just do it. Shipping is not that complicated, and
there's a huge international audience on Etsy who can and frankly
should snub you if you ignore their presence.
And finally, promote. Don't be like me, kids!