Artist: Elizabeth Soule
Location: Portland, OR
Web site: www.esoule.com
What do you create?
Polaroid photos, framed photos, prints and cards
When and why did you decide to start your business?
I've studied photography for years and wanted to share my work with others. After reading blogs and following a few designers who were selling on etsy, I decided to go for it thinking it would be a part time hobby. It's become a full time job that I am grateful for each day.
Where do you get your inspiration for your projects? I look for things that interest me or amuse me. I love to go antique shopping and find weird or quirky items that you don't see often.
Which of the tools you use is your favorite? My polaroid camera
What keeps you motivated? My fiance is my biggest fan and constantly encourages me. All the positive feedback that I get from people also reminds me how much other people enjoy the work. I also check blogs and websites daily to see all the great art that is being created.
How do you get the word out about your work? Flickr, blogging and emailing. I research any blog or shop that I'm interested in being part of and make sure that my work is a match.
What is your main goal for the next 6-12 months? Release a new polaroid series as well as a fine art series. Add new products to my etsy site. Produce more work for people to enjoy.
What advice would you give to someone starting a creative business? Do your research, be persistent and believe in yourself. don't be afraid to try something, but start small, it's easier to scale up than to scale down.
What's the most important thing you'd like people to know/understand about your work? I just want people to enjoy it. I really like to make things that are beautiful or provide a positive emotion. I love seeing people walk by my art and smile or life and just say how much they like it.
What has been the most important lesson you've learned while running your business? Roll with the punches. I've had some ups and downs, shipping problems, some equipment issues and the discontinuation of the film that I'm using. I just keep adapting with each change that I encounter.
Who are some of your favorite indie designers/artists? There are so many great artists out in the blogosphere right now. Some people that I've been following for awhile include Lisa Solomon, Alyson Fox, Matte Stephens. I also love looking through photography books and magazines to remind myself of all the beauty its possible to capture.
If you had the time, what new craft/medium would you like to learn or use? I want to try everything... At the moment I've been learning letterpress as well as working on my sewing skills.
What's your definition of a perfect day? It changes daily.... A big breakfast (my favorite meal) exploring a new place and photographing with friends, shopping, cupcakes, a fun active activity and dinner with friends. That's so vague....but mostly just to be with people and have fun.
Thank you Elizabeth!