This DIY Interview is from Elke Fontillo of Ocean Girl Collection.
What is your craft / art / creative endeavor?
My creative endeavor is to produce products that are beautiful and elegant yet affordable to everyone. By using recycled materials I hope to also show that I don’t have to destroy the earth to attain my dream.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
At 13 years old, I realized I wanted to be an artist. And by artist I at the time, I was thinking – painter. I pursued this goal right up until the college years, where and when the world or ‘Art’ really opened up to me..or maybe I opened up to it.
Since then, I have followed the dream, using many mediums as my canvas. I find myself to be now If asked, to be an investigator into all things artistic. That is to say, I paint, sculpt, carve, and make jewelry, all in one week.
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
‘No man is an island…’ is such a true statement when it comes to me getting work done. Ultimately I complete all my products. But many hands and minds go into the process along the way. Beginning with my initial sensibility, aesthetics, and skill, next, input from friends, listening to potential and existing customers and also close observation of what moves on any of the given market. Be it painting, Jewelry, Sculpture, Crafts etc. This has to be so other wise, my work becomes stagnant and repetitive. Also the are a few thing I find that I cannot do without in order to succeed at my creative goals.
Not necessarily in this order. 1) An understanding and supportive husband (who can hold his own in the kitchen), 2). An independent and resourceful daughter, 3). A big kitchen table, and 4). An early bed time schedule. (I get most things done early morning as opposed to late night.)
Believe it or not, a regular exercise schedule and eating properly helps keep me confident and filled with energy (helps keep those sneaky pounds off too!) I tend to get more focused and organized once I exercise my body.
There is also a fine line between aspiring and overdoing. So ever so often I remind myself of what is really important in life, laughter, love,music, quiet time, spirituality…and I take days off from any work at all.
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
My number one place to sell my work, be it Jewelry, Paintings, Sculpture, or Crafts – in person- are at Fairs and at the surf shop ‘ The Mango Beach Shop’ at which I work three- four days a week. There is much to be said about interacting face to face with potential customers.
The Secret Garden Art Gallery & The Uncharted Studios, all on the Island of Puerto Rico in my Home Town of Rincon, are other Awesome venues where my products are for sale.
I however see the value of internet connections that reaches to place and people I can only dream of meeting. www.oceangirlcollection.etsy.com
Thank you Elke!
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