- Your name: Maggie Hurley
- your shop name? I have 2 etsy shops:maggieshurley.etsy.com and maggiehurley.etsy.com. I think I’ve finally decided on a business name though: Maggie Hurley – Whimsy & Whatnot.
- What do you make? Put simply: illustrations, paintings, and the occasional plush. I have a few recurring characters: some whimsical little creatures that are mostly robot with a splash of something a little more delicate, some jaded women with an attachment to the science behind love, and my grumpy little owl called Herbert, and a bevy of bird portraits. I also do children’s portraits, and the occasional flower or piece of fruit. I’ve also started snapping pictures of cloud-filled skies.
- Why do you do what you do? Is it your passion? Have you created jewelry/clothes/collages, etc for a long time? I couldn’t imagine not doing what I do. It is such a wonderful outlet for all of the different emotional experiences I have throughout the day. For example, I tend to sketch when I’m stressed and it was during an argument with a past boyfriend that Herbert made his entrance into the world. Perhaps this explains his rather disgruntled expression.
5. (kind of in the same vein as #4) What inspires you? I think the better question here is what doesn’t inspire me? I get dazzled by fluffy clouds, little birds, rolling hills, my puppy and cat. When I used to spend my lunch hour wandering around the financial district and was constantly hypnotized by the way light bounced off of the different skyscrapers.
6. What are some of your favorite pieces in your shop?
Little Rabbit is fairly new and pretty adorable, as is this fluffy little bird. Herbert in his cozy chair always makes me smile, as does Eros, the Love-bot.
7. How have you acquired your skills? Books/classes/college/self-taught? Armed with my grandmother’s artistic proclivities, a stack of Brian Froud books, and some watercolors, I taught myself to paint when I was a kid. I spent a year and a half at an art school in Southern California, which I adored, and have continued honing my skills ever since.
8. Do you make a living off of your art/craft? I quit my day job about 2 years ago. I’ve been working at making my living through art ever since (and I’m just about doing so!).
9. What is your favorite part of your crafting enterprise? Do you love selling at craft fairs? Or maybe you prefer online networking? Or maybe it’s searching for the perfect supplies at beads stores. . . it can be ANY element of running your crafty business.
I’ve really started to appreciate participating in craft fairs. Being a self-employed artist, I spend a lot of time holed up in my studio by myself, so being in an environment where I get to interact with a lot of people can be really refreshing. It’s also really wonderful to see people smile when looking at what I make. Knowing that my work brings a glimpse of happiness to a person’s day makes me feel fantastic. I once got a note that my “This Is Love” series helped solidify a cross-country romance; that made my day! But more than anything, I just really love being able to do what I want to do. If I want to stay up til 3am working on something, I don’t have to worry about waking up at 6am to get to work on time.
10. What are some new techniques and/or skills you would like to acquire in the near future? This is probably not a terribly exciting response, but I need to acquire some discipline. I sit down at my desk, fully intending to paint, but then get sucked in to something on the internet and suddenly waaay too much time has passed. Being your own boss requires setting your own deadlines, and being committed to working when no one is checking up on you. As I’m determined to make my art my way of surviving, I certainly need to work on this aspect of things!
11. Give us a shout out to your favorite artists with Etsy shops! We’d love to check them out for ourselves!
I love Clare Elsaesser’s work: it’s moody, and broody, and romantic.
Scabbyrobot makes leather handbags so soft and lovely, I’d like to just live in one.
Jayme McGowan’s cut paper illustrations totally appeal to my love of whimsy, as does the work of Corid andRoyalMint.
12. Lastly, tell us anything extra you would like included in the blog post. It can be a coupon code for a discount in your shop, a funny anecdote, anything!
I think if I could be any animal, I’d figure out a way to cross a dolphin with a pelican. I’d like to be able to spend the majority of my time swimming around in that great big ocean, but if some unsavory boat with a drag net comes along, it would be nice to be able to airlift myself out of the situation. Hmmm… maybe my next series will be marine animals crossed with bird life…
Thanks, Maggie! Your world sounds like a fun one to spend some time in. . .