Joanna is the person behind Selanarte Decoupage - an Etsy store specializing in all kinds of gorgeous and unique items decorated using decoupage.
Tell us bit about yourself
It’s no mean feat to describe myself….. My name is Joanna and I moved from Poland to Cornwall several years ago when I had a chance to do my work training from the university. I’m a busy gardener, constantly mastering my lingual and garden skills with real passion and dedication. I also run a small Etsy shop with decoupage home decoration products.
Apart from creating, what do you do?
Aside from creating I work with over 1100 varieties of plants, including bedding and patio plants to herbaceous perennials, grasses and succulents. From time to time I take a part in creating floral rugs which are complex but exciting part of my job.
What first made you want to become an artist?
I had cut and glued pieces of paper onto ceramic objects before I discovered a real mystery of decoupage. This is how it started. I was slowly revealing this addictive art of decorating being a diligent student of University. All of this began thanks to my university friend Justyna who unwittingly introduced to me the technique. Completely resistant to all kind of my mum’s craft training after all these years I got caught on making a little bit of jewellery, felting and eventually stayed with decoupage. But this wasn’t easy at the beginning. Timidly I tried to get more and more information about decoupage. I spend a lot of time on searching how to make and what materials to use and I even gave up for a while. After almost a year I came back with twice the enthusiasm which has lasted up to today.
I think decoupage has taught me how to be more patient and slow down a bit. Most of my work requires a lot of involvement and precision. I get my object, choose the paper than preparing the base. The major work I do at the weekends where I’ve got good light and I’m relaxed. All my decorations are perfectly varnished and smoothed which takes the most time out of the whole process. But it’s not always straightforward. I often change my mind and finally my work looks completely different from what I first envisioned.
What does your day looks like?
My days have changed since I began a craft person. I pay more attention to the surrounding world and old objects. General I get up very early in the morning to check my emails and Etsy shop, have my coffee and play with my baby rabbits. Than I have some time to look at my projects. Every morning and at least twice in the afternoon I coat my items with varnish because they required smooth finish. Then I do my 8 hours day and come back home. Beyond that I do a bit of gardening and redecorating at my house.
I’m still improving my shop and photographs which I think are one of several keys to success. Also a product description is very important. There are a lot of new people coming to Etsy. The people who have never shopped there or shop rarely ever. So be descriptive and include a lot of information about your item, link to your shop policy or other listings.
I promote a lot but not enough to be visible among so many other talented artists. Facebook, twitter, pinterest and hopefully soon my own blog are the basic tools of my promotion. I’m not as well organised when I search on the internet. Once I start looking at one thing I’m spotting other shops forgetting what I did before. There are so many sites for promoting and it takes some time to get to know each of them.
I don’t plan for so many years ahead. I still get to known myself and every day brings something new. I’ll definitely open two more shops on Etsy. They’ll certainly keep me very busy.
I don’t need to look far for inspirations. It comes from the combination of colours and patterns occurring on the paper and paper napkins from my large collection. I sit down and just create, this is nothing what I intend to plan. When I was a little girl I was saying I am made for something. Today I know I am made for making something from nothing. This is what I call decoupage.
There is so many of them but I think Corset Laced Mannequin absolutely attracted my attention.
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