Sunday, February 10, 2013

Buy Handmade vol. 46

This week we head up to Montreal..

Name: Jane Heller
Age: 40+
Occupation: photographer
Etsy Shop: janeheller

Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi my name is Jane Heller. I live in Montreal Quebec and work as a full time photographer. I started out as a graphic designer/art director but in 2000 I decided to re-invent myself as a photographer! I went back to school and studied commercial photography and I have been slowly growing my business ever since. I typically shoot editorial work for magazines. I have a professional website to help me get new clients but i also have my beloved etsy shop where i sell my other work. Being self employed is hard work and very challenging but i wouldn't change it for anything else.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I have been shooting for the past 13 years but only opened my Etsy shop in 2009

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it? 
I wanted my name to be my brand. It just seemed right.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be? 
No Etsy isn't my full time job. Actually I like the mix up of Etsy and all my other jobs. I work professionally doing mostly editorial photography for magazines and i also have a wholesale business with my photography, iphone covers, pillows etc...

How would you describe your creative process?
I'm shooting personal work all the time so when i have a moment I love to go through my stacks of images and see which ones could work in my Etsy shop. I then have fun in photoshop with layers and textures to see how i can make the image more dynamic. et vola, it's actually a very simple process.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
everyday life. Between myself and my two brothers we have 8 kids, so they are a huge inspiration when shooting everyday life. Also my mother lives on a farm with three horses, 6 pigs, 5 sheep, chickens, ducks, a cat and a dog. We spend many week-ends at the farm and it's impossible for me not to pick up my camera and capture the beauty around me.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? 
What shows have you taken part of, and do you have a favorite? 
 At the moment I'm just doing local shows in Montreal.

• How long does it take you to prepare for a show? Do you have any special methods of getting ready?
I start to prepare months in advance of my shows - which are all around November and December.

• Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work.
 It's wonderful to get feed back from the general public. It's also a great way to launch a new product to see how people respond to it.

What is your most cherished handmade item? 
my handmade Frida Khalo doll by caracarmina on Etsy

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do? 
I love to travel to new places, ride my bike on hot summer nights, getting together with friends to cook dinner, read design blogs.

If you weren't an artist, what would you be and why? 
I can't even imagine not being in a creative field.

Five years from now you will be… 
doing what i'm doing but maybe give myself more time to travel and explore new personal photo projects.

Describe yourself in five words:
creative, spontaneous, hardworking, adventurous, happy

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Chloe Charles, Janelle Monae, michael franti, old Van Morrison, and with a nine year old in the house tons of pop stuff!

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
Just do it!!! I wish I had gotten on the Etsy band wagon a lot sooner. Craft shows are a great venue to share your creations and place to learn what people like and want buy. The first is always stressful  and scary but the majority of people going to these shows know the value in handmade and are very supportive.