Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Featured Artist - Tracey Rediker of Red Linc Art and Tracey Knits
This week's featured artist is fellow EtsyNJ member Tracey Rediker of Red Linc Art and Tracey Knits, www.redlinc.etsy.com, www.traceyknits.etsy.com. (See above for examples of her lovely artwork and whimsical knitted pieces.) Tracey is a multi-talented fine artist and photographer who also knits. Her incredible creative range and boundless inspiration are evident in the variety of her pieces. Take a minute to pop into her shops . . . especially now that the holidays are approaching!
1. The Tote Trove (TTT): You run two Etsy shops, Red Linc Art, which features your fine art and photography, and Tracey Knits, which showcases your fiber arts work. What is the most challenging aspect of working in two genres and running two shops? Do you prefer one genre/shop to the other?
Tracey Rediker (TR): The two shops came out of necessity. It was confusing to my customers looking for my hand-knit golf club covers to open my shop and find oil paintings and drawings. I was already producing all the work; I just needed to list it in separate places. The most challenging part is remembering to switch accounts before I respond to an alchemy request in the other medium. Although I do not prefer one shop to the other, I do spend more time on Red Linc Art. Fine art is a much more competitive category on Etsy and therefore requires more work.
2. TTT: According to your Red Linc Art profile, you have been studying art seriously since you were eight years old. When did you know that art would become a large part of your life?
TR: When I was 5 years old, my mother brought me to see the Picasso exhibit at the MOMA. It was the only time “Guernica” has been shown in the US. I remember how amazing it was to see that painting. I believe now that it was at that moment that I decided I needed to have art as a part of my life.
3. TTT: Tell us about your photography. When did you begin taking photographs, and what are your favorite subjects?
TR: I took my first photography class in high school. Being a painter, I was drawn to the almost instant gratification of the art form. With painting, it could take me months to complete a piece, whereas with photography I could see a final print in just a few hours. Now with digital it is even faster! My favorite subject has got to be my kids, but after that it's rusty metal, especially on fire hydrants.
4. TTT: At what point did you become interested in knitting? For you, how does the experience of working with fiber differ from working with oil, acrylic, and pencil?
TR: I started knitting when my best friend was pregnant with her son. I wanted to make her something, and for some reason knitting seemed to be the only option. I joined a local knitting circle where one of the women generously taught me the basic stitches. I caught on quickly and had knit my friend a blanket for her son from my own pattern by the time he was born. I love that knit items are mobile, whereas my other work is stationary. It is very important to me that my work is original; I don’t sell items created from other people’s patterns. I guess that is the artist in me.
5. TTT: How did you decide to turn your passion for art into a business?
TR: I had to get some of it out of the house! Seriously, I was working in a nowhere job and made a conscious decision to find a forum to sell my art. I wanted to stop wasting the little time I had at something that was never going to make me happy.
6. TTT: What is your favorite item in each of your shops?
TR: “Squeeze” is my favorite painting http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28753232
And “Princess Leia” is my favorite golf club cover http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=29451561
7. TTT: What items, if any, would you like to add to your shops?
TR: My goal is to just keep being creative. There are so many things I could paint, draw, and knit. I'm thinking of having boxed greeting cards made of my paintings and drawings. I'm also thinking of adding arms to my golf club covers to make them into hand puppets.
8. TTT: Describe your creative process. Do you follow a routine, create when inspiration strikes, or a little bit of both?
TR: I like to get all the chores done early so that I can spend my afternoon creating. Because I work in so many media, I leave that choice to inspiration.
9. TTT: What is the best thing about running your own business? The worst?
TR: The best thing is knowing the buck stops here. I make all the decisions, so I get all the credit and suffer all the losses. If I don’t work hard, then I'm the only person I have to answer to, and boy am I a pain to deal with at those employee reviews!
10. TTT: How did you discover Etsy?
TR: A friend in my knitting circle, www.hoolyghans.etsy.com, told me she was selling her shawls online. I looked at her site and then explored some of the other shops featuring art. I liked the low start-up costs and the ease of listing.
11. TTT: Do you sell your work in venues outside of Etsy (i.e., other sites, craft shows, etc)? If yes, then how does selling online differ from selling in person?
TR: I have some paintings in a local shop and have just recently started working at craft fairs. I love seeing people’s reactions in person, although the cost of craft fairs can be exorbitant for only a day, whereas Etsy will list your item for months for a very small fee.
12. TTT: Who is most (emotionally) supportive of your business?
TR: My husband has been super supportive. He invested in an art space in the house for me and encouraged me to talk to agents. Plus, he gives me a kick in the pants every once in a while when I need it.
13. TTT: Are there any new artistic/creative skills you’d like to learn?
TR: I'm busy enough with the ones I’ve got! But I’m always trying new things. I recently went on a weekend retreat and learned touch drawing, a process completely different from anything else I've done. I don’t think I'll be selling them anytime soon, but it's always fun to try.
14. TTT: Tell us about life outside of Red Linc Art and Tracey Knits.
TR: I'm a stay-at-home mom of two young children, so it's truly amazing I have time to create at all. I live and work from my home on the Jersey shore. We also have two cats that love to watch me work, especially when I’m knitting.
15. TTT: What are your hopes for Red Linc Art and Tracey Knits in the future?
TR: I’m hoping that my shops will continue to grow and that my art will give people as much pleasure in their homes as I got from making it.
16. TTT: BONUS QUESTION. Just for fun, if you were stranded on a deserted island and had to eat the same thing every day, what would it be? You can pick a drink and a dessert, too. (I find that dreaming up a whole meal makes this game more entertaining!)
TR: Because I wouldn’t have to worry about calories, I would probably have meatloaf with lots of ketchup and stuffing. I live for Diet Coke (sad but true), and can eat cannolis every day.
Thank you for visiting with Tracey and becoming acquainted with Red Linc Art and Tracey Knits. For more artwork and shop news, please visit Tracey on Facebook, Twitter, and Blogspot: