Name: Sonja Salinas
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleSonrisa
Tell us a little about yourself.
I want to say I am a mom and an artist, but I don't like to separate the two, because I have to be quite creative to keep my daughter entertained and I get many ideas by playing with her.
When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I have always been into arts and crafts. At first it was mostly kniting and sewing, then computer graphics, then illustration and about 5 years ago I started playing with oils. I now like to paint.
I opened my shop in 2008, selling leather clutches and accessories for a little while. Then I closed the shop for a few years. About a year ago I started selling prints of my illustrations and now I am starting to sell paintings.
How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
Sonrisa is short for Sonja Rosa Wieser, my maiden name, and also my mother's name, who was the one who taught me how to knit and sew. The name Sonrisa was taken on Etsy so I went with Little Sonrisa. It fits, because my art is very whimsical.
How would you describe your creative process?
For my digital illustrations I usually go through my sketchbooks, because I often have new ideas for old drawings. I then edit and color the scanned drawings in Photoshop.
When I paint I try to stay away from the computer all together. I improvise and keep changing things as I am working on them.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
The work of other artists. The fact, that they do what they love inspires me.
What is your most cherished handmade item?
I have a crochet blanket I bought for a dollar at a flea market. It has the most vibrant psychedelic colors. I love it.
Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
6 weeks ago I became a mom. Now I spend all my time with my daughter. I can't wait when she is ready to draw and paint. I love children's art.
What are your future goals and where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I would like to be doing exactly what I an doing now. As long as I get to play I am happy. I don't know, what creative outlet I will pursue then, but I know, that I will be making some form of art.
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop?
Don't expect any miracles and don't compare your shop to others. You are doing your thing and if you truly love doing it, it will work out fine. Have faith in your work.