Sunday, December 09, 2012

Buy Handmade vol 38

Please welcome my best friend since 7th grade!! Miss Stephanie (Costello) Murr!! (miss you lady!!! xoxoxo)

Name: Stephanie Murr
Age: 36
Occupation:  Artist, Stay at Home Mom
Etsy Shop: StephMurrsRocketPop

Tell us a little about yourself:

I’m an artist who paints primarily in acrylics.  I graduated from the Art Institute of Boston with a Fine Art degree in Illustration.   I like to paint things that are fun and have a little dark humor to them. 

I grew up in Central New York married a man from Tennessee so now we are in North Carolina…and somehow that made sense to us.   We had a son and he is a mad scientist so I spend much of my time foiling his diabolical plans.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?

I’ve been creating all my life.   I remember making drawings for everyone I knew in elementary school.   “Dog with Backpack” was one of my popular ones.  I made clothes for my dolls and obsessively redecorated my dollhouse.  One of the boys in Kindergarten asked my teacher one day during center time why I always hummed when I was at the painting easel.  She said, “She must really like it. “   It was the first time I had thought about it like that and I replied, “Yes I do!”  My mom is a teacher and very creative.  She can knit, sew, bake, and cook really well and she taught me how to do all that but I’m not as good as her.  Plus, I would always help her make posters and worksheets for her class early on.  Growing up in upstate New York, if you don’t ski – I don’t - you have to do something indoors during the cold winters.  

I have only been on Etsy for five-ish months.  I had a soft opening, because I’m still creating products to sell. 

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?

I’ve always been an aficionado of popsicles, and rocket pops are some of my favorites.  I needed a name and I didn’t just want it to be only my name so my husband, Tim, who is king of naming things in our home, came up with it.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job?

No, but as a Stay at Home Mom I’m used to never getting paid for anything I do…ha, ha!

If not, would you like it to be?

Oh yes!  Especially since Sallie Mae is breathing down my neck.  I’d like to get that paid off before my son is in college!

How would you describe your creative process?

I do a great deal of time thinking/staring off into space. Then I play some video games with my son.  Then I do some random housework as I procrastinate.  Eventually a tiny baby idea forms, I do some research and start painting.   I used to do extensive sketching but now I prefer to work it out in the under painting. It works well since I’m often multitasking.  Although my college professors would be rolling in their graves to hear that---if they we’re dead. It’s much more organic.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I love movies, TV, and toys so that comes out in my subject matter.

Often times my son or husband will inspire me.  Like with the Komodo Dragon piece.   That is directly from my son’s mouth.  My husband is a writer and he’ll ask me to do some things for his books.  Three of my favorite paintings are covers for him.  The rest is whatever image just sticks in my brain.  It’s hard not to keep painting my pets, since they are constantly with me and so freaking cute.  That’s why I’m now offering the pet portraits in my shop.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? 

No, I tried that once, but I don’t think selling there is a fit for me.  Sitting behind the table waiting for patrons to approve of me was stressful.  I love to go to craft shows!  My favorite was the local winter one at a nearby elementary school.  That was back when people would glue googly eyes onto painted rocks and stuff like that…it was so fun.

What is your most cherished handmade item?

I have a-lot since my family and friends are excellent creators.  It’s hard to narrow it down.  My dad made me a dollhouse when I was in elementary school.  Since he has passed away it has measureless value to me.  I’m still trying to figure out how to get in here to North Carolina.  The baby blankets that we’re made when my son was born are quite special to me as well.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

Mainly hanging out with my family.  We define co-dependant but we like it that way!  I love movies and video games. My pets, two Boston Terriers and three cats are great to hang out with since painting is a bit of a lonely profession.

 If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why?

That is a great question.  I wish I could figure that out since being an artist doesn’t always pay the bills.  I don’t really like anything else enough to pursue it as a career. I love being a mom. My husband and I have dreamed of opening a book and oddities type store. 

Five years from now you will be… 

Hopefully working in the bookstore with my son (with another child, I hope.) and, selling paintings and doing illustration for books and magazines.

Describe yourself in five words:


Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your ipod what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

The Clash
Bedouin Soundclash
Bob Dylan

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?

I don’t feel I’m in a position to give advice as far as opening a shop.  I guess as an artist just do what speaks to you and not just what you think will sell.   Challenge yourself and don’t give up!