Monday, April 5, 2010

Introducing Amy Prehm, Art by Amy Prehm

Want to get to know us Amys better?
Here continues a series of getting-to-know-you interviews.
Next up: Amy Prehm of Art by Amy Prehm

How long have you been an artist, and how long have you been active as a business artist?
I feel like I've been an artist all my life, almost 36 years. I guess my first real serious endeavor into the arts was when I turned 11 and my parents gave me a painting set for my birthday. After creating art work as a hobby for a number of years, it came back to the forefront of my life when I was in college and decided I couldn't stand majoring in the program I thought I wanted to major in (business) and switched my major to art. I ended up graduating from the University Washington with a BFA in painting and a BA in general art. Since graduating I've kept creating new pieces, but have had higher priorities than trying to get them exhibited. A couple of years ago I was able to rent space at a print studio and had a show of my print work there.

I came across the mention of Etsy in an article on MSN this Summer and thought I would sign up in order to sell some older prints. I also got more involved in the business aspect this Fall when I went bead shopping with my sister and found some really inspiring skull/zombie head beads I wanted to make Halloween jewelry with. I ended up buying more than I could use to make jewelry for myself, so I made some bracelets for friends and to sell at work. I was so surprised that they sold like hotcakes, and people were asking me if I had any other designs to sell. That motivated me to start making jewelry and sell it in my store.

Are you an artist full time?
As you might have guessed from my answer above, the answer to this question is unfortunately, no.

Who or what inspires you to create?
Lots of different things inspire me to create. I have this creative urge stuck in my head, and when I see something really beautiful or striking it claws to get out. For my paintings and prints, I am most influenced by landscapes, food, and drink. I also have two cats who strike poses or do things to inspire me, but they're terrible models (they never sit still and have to come and see what your doing and why you're so interested in them).

With my jewelry, when I find a bead I'd really like to use I try to find other beads that will go with it. I've also been focused mostly around seasonal and holiday themes and try to find beads that match my ideas.

Describe your work space.
My work space is pretty much my whole house except the bedroom and bathroom. I have a utility room where I try to do my messier projects (painting, printmaking), but I pretty much make my jewelry wherever, the kitchen table, my office, and my living room.

What kinds of things do you like to do in your free time?
The other things I like to do in my free time are reading, listening to music, and watching videos.

What is your favorite handmade item, made by you or given to you?
I come from an arty crafty family. Both of my sisters have made and given me jewelry over the years, but I would have to say my favorite handmade item right now is the cabinet my Dad custom made for me for Christmas which hides my cats' litterbox. It has discreet cat entry on the side and the shelf that holds the litterbox, extra litter, and scoop slides out to make for easy scooping.

What does being an Amy mean to you?
When I was growing up, being an Amy meant that I had to share my name with several other girls in my class. I think this made me seek out ways to show my individuality. Now being an Amy means it doesn't take me too long to sign my name, and it's easy for people to spell.

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