Thursday, October 22, 2009

Etsy Excavations

Okay. I've been selling over at Etsy for a couple of months now, and I've noticed something really interesting.

It's a great place, stuffed to the rafters with talented artists and craftspeople, but it is HUGE and a little daunting if you just want to find some new art. So I have taken it upon myself to find some for you. Just art from visual artists - painters and photographers - because honestly?

They're buried kind of deeply over there...
Layla Luna stocks her shop, Rowdy Studios, with such charming sketches of birds, I want to spend all my money there and hang one on every wall of my house. She is obviously my kindred spirit, as she explores the vast and fascinating diversity of birds. She paints other things, as well, which you can see at her website.

You have the best alliterative name ever. Is there a story behind it? Were your parents poets?

Thanks! I just got lucky. My hippie parents named me after the song "Layla" by Eric Clapton and I married into the Luna name. How could you turn down a name like that? It solidified that my husband was the "one"!

What is your artistic story? How did you get started, and what's the driving force behind Rowdy Studios?

One of the biggest defining elements of my childhood was my time spent at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in Texas. I took art classes there beginning when I was 10 years old until I graduated high school. After graduating I went straight into college as an art major but got lost along the way. It wasn't until I was 30, that I began school again and graduated from Arizona State University in the fall of 2008 with a BFA in Painting. Rowdy Studios is my creative home. It encompasses every creative morsel that I feel compelled to complete. Its my baby.

I can see from your shop that you are as birdie-obsessed as I am. What's your inspiration for your artwork?

I recently began volunteering at Liberty Wildlife, a non-profit avian rehab center here in Phoenix which has been my latest inspiration. To be honest, I am still trying to figure out my "bird" conection with every piece of artwork.

Tell us about your dogs - my readers love dogs. I saw in your profile on blogger that they are straight from heaven...

My pups, Kona and Papa, are pound puppies that my husband and I instantly feel in love with. We often discuss how much they have enhanced our lives. They are spoiled rotten and deserve every hug!

I like to end the interview with a list of favorites:
a. Who is your favorite artist?
Right now it is Nicolai Fechin but it is forever changing.
b. What is your favorite thing to listen to while you paint?
The Breeders, David Bowie, Willie Nelson...depends on the mood.
c. What is your favorite bird?
Tough one. Either the Shoebill or Kiwi.
d. What is your favorite book and/or author?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

Thanks, Layla! You have a captivating style that really grabs my eye, and an energy in your paintings that is so engaging.

For more information about Layla, visit her website, her blog, or just go directly to her shop...'cause you know you gotta have some of her sketches, people.