Interview with Carrie, SepiaLepus

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Carrie moved from Long Beach, CA to Quincy, MA about a year ago. She’s now just south of Boston and can be there in a matter of minutes. Providence, RI is also very close, and while “It’s like a different world here.“, she likes it very much and her dog, Francesca, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, loves the snow!

Carrie describes herself as an artist, animal lover, some-time nihilist, and some-time optimist. Carrie says, “I wish I could say that I had all kinds of free time for fun stuff, but I also work full time as a picture framer to help pay the bills. Between my job and keeping things organized at home, I don’t have much time. I do however make sure to spend lots of time walking my dog at the beach down the road.”

Carrie likes to play ice hockey. She says she’s terrible, but loves it. Check out all her wonderful illustrations at her store SepiaLepus.

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How long have you been creating?

Drawing dinosaurs was my thing when I was about 4. That’s as far back as I remember. I also had an obsession with drawing Sperm Whales battling Giant Squid in 2nd grade. I still love to create images involving creatures with tentacles. I was always drawing and that was what I was known for from elementary through high school.

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Do you have a favorite type of art style you do?

I don’t really have a favorite style. I do try to mix things up from time to time. It’s great to experiment and see how your work evolves. You take in so much in your day to day life and it influences you even if you don’t really notice it.

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Why did you start?

Good question. I can’t really remember! It’s been so long.

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Where do you get your materials?

I have tons of art supplies that I still use from when I was at art school. We had to use so many different mediums and techniques that I ended up with a surplus. I’m only now starting to have to replace things. Luckily, my frame shop has a pretty good array of supplies. I did get my Print Gocco and I continue to get supplies for it from Etsy sellers.

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Can you tell us a little of your process?

My sketch books are a constant source of material. I have so many books filled with doodles and quickly sketched out ideas. I often go back to something that I drew years ago to turn into a finished illustration. Something small like a little character study can turn into a whole series of paintings.

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Do you have a dedicated work area/room?

My small studio is just too small for me now! We are moving next month to a much larger place where I will have my own studio room upstairs and a basement. I have big plans for the basement. Metal arts and ceramics studio. We really lucked out with this new place.

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Is this your full-time job? Hobby? Fun?

I have a great time creating and I wish it was my full time job. I am working on making that happen. Maybe this will be the year for me!

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Where do you get your ideas?

Animals and nature. I love everything that creeps, crawls, swims etc! One thing that I have always been grateful for was the fact that I have never had a problem coming up with ideas. I only wish I had the time to finish more of them!

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Do you have a best seller?

I think that my best seller is my print called Arctic. It’s one of my favorites.

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What is your favorite?

Right now my favorite is Runnnn! because it makes me laugh.

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What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?

Making a living doing what I love. I hope to have my freelance career up and running. I would love to illustrate children’s books and of course keep creating and selling my prints.

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Have any advice for people trying to start their own handcrafted business?

I’m usually looking to others for advice! I would say don’t limit yourself to one venue. Etsy is great but it’s so easy to be buried especially now that there are so many shops. Get out and book some craft shows. There are some great indie arts and crafts fairs out there. I have only recently started doing some smaller shows and I have had pretty good luck. I’m hoping to make it a regular part of my weekends. I’m lucky that my husband likes to go with me!

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Favorite quote?

Quo me amat, amat et canem meam. “Love me, love my dog.” St. Bernard

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Cafeteria Style

Peanut Butter & Jelly Best Friend Necklaces by Pumpkinpye517

My girls may have two full weeks left before it’s ‘back to the books’ at our local public school, but across the country many kids have already returned to the classroom. And, perhaps to a more high-profile extent, to the cafeteria.

Earlier this month the first daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama, were used as bait in an advertisement aimed at spurring school food reform; the White House grounds are sporting a kitchen garden; and better nutrition for public school students is prioritized on both the President and First Lady’s agenda. All of this in a year when the Child Nutrition Act is set to be reassessed has parents and teachers alike optimistic that much needed changes in school food policy are soon to come.

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