Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Feature: Jen Norton Art Studio

I had such a lovely time perusing the shop of this week's featured SF Etsy teammate! Allow me to introduce Jen, the artist behind Jen Norton Art Studio.

Woman With Patience by Jen Norton
Jen's shop tagline is "Picturing Stories of of Home" which is an excellent way to describe her images. From portraiture to architecture, her pictures definitely tell stories, and home is clearly a significant part of her art. I loved learning more about her and her work, getting some insights into the creative spirit behind such beautiful pictures.
Love Your Neighbor by Jen Norton
Enjoy the interview!

1. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?

I am a painter and graphic designer so I enjoy both the emotional involvement of putting paint to canvas and the technical/communication side of taking that art and designing it into something else. My shop features reproductions of my artwork and occasionally some small originals. I sell archival prints on paper, prints on weatherproof aluminum, and canvas prints on carved and painted wood. My subjects are always something inspired by my home, my garden or something from my own life. I have a Bachelors in Fine Art from Santa Clara University and I know my desire to put out positive, uplifting content that celebrates everyday moments comes in part from that Jesuit tradition.

 2. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?

SFetsy, Art, CAST, South Bay, DiversiTeam

3. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.

I am married to a San Francisco Paramedic who recently became an RN, and is now looking to bring his triage and nursing skills to a Bay Area ER! I also have a wonderful daughter and a trusty dog companion. Every day after school, my house is overrun with teenagers who eat everything in sight and leave a big mess! I was painfully shy as a kid and still prefer a good book to a big party.

4. What inspires your creations?

As a mom of a really popular kid who brings all kinds of kids into our home, and a wife who has had to work hard with her husband to fix some broken elements in our 22+ year relationship, I feel very strongly about the vocation of nurturing family life as a means to a more peaceful world. There is so much pain and judgement in the world…and so much of it could be alleviated if we prioritized our closest relationships and gave each other a chance to be heard. Art allows me to present this in a positive, nurturing way so that others know I do not judge, but am on the same journey with them.

5. What is your biggest challenge related to your Etsy shop?

Getting enough views and converting viewers to buyers. I'm slowly picking away at my inevitable fame…

6. What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it your favorite?
Custom Home Portrait by Jen Norton

I just added "custom home portraits". I really like these because each of us has stories and memories made in our homes. Personal stories are important, and I want to honor them in art. 

7. What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy? You have to cross promote yourself. Don't rely on Etsy traffic. I did a very targeted month of daily art and blog posts in 2011. During that time, I sold almost 1/2 of what I posted. When I stopped blogging and connecting thru my own social media channels, sales dropped off again. Also, really think about your brand, your message to the world and not just about listing "stuff". Developing a brand is your best investment in a devoted following, and your best hedge against thieves.

8. Which one song describes your life the best? Why?

"If These Walls Could Speak" by Amy Grant (originally by Jimmy Webb). It's all about what we really want (Love) underneath everything else we do or don't say. It's about forgiveness and accepting family unconditionally. (And I'm kind of an Amy Grant super-fan. )

9. What is the craziest gift you have ever received?

One of those big kickboxing freestanding bags.

10. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?


If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Katy or Steph about joining SFEtsy!

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