Everyone please kindly say "howdy" and get your eyes ready for some real eye candy art!!!
|Perched Orange Spot Butterfly|
My parents owned a little small town newspaper when I was very young. They worked long hours so they set up a desk for me with a cigar box full of broken crayons. I was allowed to use any of the colored papers off the bookshelf nearby as long as I wasn't wasteful. I spent hours at "my" desk and when I was probably 5, one of the people that worked in the ad section asked me to draw a school house for them to use in an ad. I was so proud and i started calling myself an artist. I understand now that she needed a child's drawing of stick figures, but at the time, I thought it was because I was such a good artist.
How long have you been an artist and an active business artist?
I excelled in art through high school but it went on hold once I graduated. I was a legal secretary for a few years until I needed a roommate who turned out to be studying graphic design in college, and she inspired me to go after that degree. I started going to school at night, just two classes a semester, and I was shocked when I made As in both classes my first try. So, I set my goal and didn't lose focus until I graduated with a BFA with an emphasis in graphic design. This was all before computer design, so everything was done on a drafting table. It felt much more artistic back then. I still do graphic design but started promoting my watercolors in 2008 when the market took a dive. I needed something to fill my time because unfortunately, graphic designers are usually the first to get cut in a downsizing. Now, it's hard to break myself away from the freedom of painting.
I first heard about Etsy from an artist at a local street fair. We got in a conversation and she wrote it down for me. I think I came home and glanced at it, but I didn't think too much about it. I was doing okay selling on eBay. When eBay kept changing their policies and upping their percentage, it became too frustrating, so I took a closer look at Etsy. I loved that it was free to join, listings were only 20 cents each, were for 45 days instead of 7 days, and the Etsy take isn't painful like eBay has become. I've only been selling on Etsy for a little over a year.
How did you come up with your shop name?
My shop names isn't very creative. I tried to make it my full name, but apparently, there are a few other artists who share my name so it was taken and I had to abbreviate.
Are you an artist full time?
Yes, whether I'm painting watercolors or doing graphic design, I am an artist full time.
What inspires you?
Beauty inspires me. There are many wonderful artists on Etsy and when I see one that inspires me, they will get a personal email from me telling them so.
What do you listen to or watch while creating?
I used to listen to a new age channel on Pandora, but since I upgraded my OS software, I can't get Pandora to work. So, lately it's been CDs of David Gray or Joe Bonamassa.
Describe your work space
I am truly blessed with my work space. It's a huge room over the garage. I have a computer station with Ikea furniture and a table in the middle for creating. I have long shelves on the wall for propping up my current works. There's a sink that is well used and two big windows offer a natural light source.I sometimes host a paint night with friends and my studio is perfect for that.
What does being an Amy mean to you?
Amy is a Latin word meaning "Beloved." There weren't any other Amys around when I was little so I thought my name was unusual. Then one day I was at a lake and I kept hearing "Amy!" over and over. I counted four little Amys running around. I was so surprised. I don't really have a feeling about it. My mother wanted to name me Nancy Janine but my father was opposed. I can say I do prefer being called Amy.
Where else can we find you?
Presently, you can see a few of my butterfly watercolors from my 100 Butterflies in 100 Days series in the summer issue of Better Homes & Gardens special edition publication "Real-Life Kitchens and Bath Magazine," page 20, on sale until August 12. This fall, they will be in "DYI Magazine." Every now and then you might find me on eBay (ak_art08). My main website is full of my one-of-a-kind originals: AmyKirkpatrickFineArt.com