This is another interview in a monthly series of featured members from the POEST team. These interviews are a great way for you to get to know our team and its members, as well as get some great information and advice from seasoned Etsians!
This interview is with Athena of Earth's Energies.
What is your Etsy shop address and name? Where else can we find you?
EarthsEnergies.etsy.com - For now it's just on Etsy.
What is the main thing you make and sell in your store? What else do you make and/or sell?
Pagan inspired original hand-drawn wood burned boxes is the main item in my store. I also make sculptures, altar tools and devotional items for ritual, as well as woodburn breadplates that can be used in ritual for the great rite.
How and when did you get started with arts and crafts?
I was inspired to create one of my first designs as an assignment(A sculpture of Hermes)
for a class, and every since that day 6 years ago, my muse has been present.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from everything, everywhere, and from many people. I can be watching television, reading a book, and it will inspire me to create something. There's a park across the street from my apartment building and on most days, I get to walk through the park and soak up its grounding energies. It helps to open the way for inspiration...I often like to daydream, meditate, or when on a plane...I love getting the window seat and just get flooded with ideas and inspiration to create, so I'll jot down the idea. When I work with a clay medium, I never know what I will create with it; It's such an inspiration to get my hands immersed in a fresh mound of clay.
What are your favorite materials?
Clay, Wood, and right now, I'm trying out some recycled materials. I like working with acrylic and glass beads for toppings on my boxes. I love the enchantment of working with glitter. It's so sparkly and reminds me of flickering stars. I craft with glitter as I view it to be a representation of the divine spark illuminating everything we touch. It's one of my favorite finishes on my items.
As a member of the Pagans of Etsy Street Team (POEST), tell us a little bit about your Pagan path and what being Pagan means to you, especially with regards to your art or craft. Every since I was a young girl, I've felt like a Pagan...my aunt used to call my sisters and me Heathens because we'd dance on Sundays instead of going to church.
My parents believed in freedom of religious choice as long as you weren't harming anyone. I've always been interested in the dual nature of religion. I knew physically there was a mother and father, and always wondered spiritually where the mother was to the god...I didn't know she was called 'Goddess' until some 26years later.
I've been on the Pagan path traditionally for 10years. I've done my solitary studies as a means to find my true religion. I've studied many other traditions and the Wiccan path resonated within me.
For me being a Pagan is a magickal and spiritual experience for me. I like connecting to deity, being able to channel my energies. I love performing rituals, drumming, dancing, playing music, and enjoying the freedom of being in nature, walking the earth and feeling the energy of life, and the ground beneath my feet. When I'm crafting, I'm working with the true essence of the sources available to me. The earths natural sources has an energy that breathes and pulses. A majority of the time, when I try to craft from an idea or recreate a piece, it doesn't manifest itself as I see it, so when I'm crafting, I'll close my eyes and just let go.
What advice would you give to beginners in your art or craft?
Follow your inner muse. Don't make excuses for your art. Be fair when critiquing your work. If you think it's finished and to your standards, then it is. Remember your work is one of a kind, even if it's similar to someone elses' work. Don't be afraid to get the asking price for your work.
What advice would you give other Etsy sellers and those interested in opening up a shop?
Let all your friends and acquaintance know you have a shop on Etsy, network, market your shop locally. Don't expect to become an overnight success. Don't panic if you don't sell anything right away, or if it slows down. Take regular inventory of your merchandise. Don't be wary of looking at many of the other Etsy sellers that aren't in the Everything Else category. There's lots of amazing sellers on the site. Don't hesitate to convo with other sellers. Never be afraid to ask for advice about your shop or ideas. AND..........
Never, Never, Never Give Up.
Is Etsy a full-time job? If not, what else do you do to pay the bills and how do you balance Etsy with that and other things in your life?
No not yet. I work as a freelance Fashion Stylist for magazines, and am looking to work as a costumer for television and film.
Being able to freelance has given me the balance to do both my craft and my work as I'm still involved with extra curricular things with my coven and school. I like to keep busy and enjoy all that I'm doing. I make sure to give attention to Etsy and my craft every few days out of the week.