Inspired by Day, Creative by Night
interview of Brittany Wiltsie by @schulmanart, Miriam Schulman
SchulmanArt: How long have you been selling professionally and on etsy?
Brittany Wiltsie: I started doing local craft fairs fall of last year. My etsy shop has been open for a few years and sat empty, I launched Little Green Guy November 2011 on etsy, and have been working steadily since to continuously expand my product line.
Where did you study art?
Brittany Wiltsie: Throughout High School I was heavily involved in art programs, doing local art competitions and spending countless hours with my favorite art instructor, Mrs. Hall. I also took several courses in college but art was not my main focus, which is probably why I was never content in my studies.
How did you come up with the little green character?
Brittany Wiltsie: A radical shift happened for me artistically when I began Little Green Guy, my previous work had always been very realistic and detailed. If there was one thing I was horrible at it was characters and “light heart-ed” art if you will. What started as a late night sketch of a plush that I made was received very well by friends, and thus the start of Little Green Guy, and I have to say I have never been more proud of myself and my art.
I get inspiration from the silliest things. Recently when creating my newest addition to my monster family, Charlie, I was inspired by a dog toy.
For my illustrations, my children inspire me daily. Any time I see them doing something silly or getting into trouble I translate their mischief to my Little Green Guy paintings. Even sweet moments with my children, the You Are My Sunshine painting for example, it is amazing to me how such a simple character can depict such emotion.
|All art in this article by Brittany Wiltsie
Describe a typical day for you.
A real day starts when my four year old daughter runs into my room jumping on me, the noise waking her baby brother, then we head to the kitchen and start our day. My day is full of normal “mom” things, although I do add several craft projects for my children as well as hands on cooking and gardening.
I don’t start my Little Green Guy work until they are in bed, so around 8:30 pm is when I normally sit down to work. I check emails, talk to my team on etsy, and then get to work! I am trying out a new routine of Plush creating on Monday, Sculptures on Tuesday, and illustrations on Wednesday. It is very hard to wrangle and organize a creative mind, but for my business to be a success it must be done! I jam my Pandora radio stations or catch up on my tv episodes on HULU while I work until normally 2-3am (now you see why I am not a morning person?) I try not to work while the kiddos are awake, it makes for a grumpy mom, and that is not what I want to be! I do carry a sketchbook/notepad with me everywhere though, and randomly shout out “That’s It!” and jot down an idea. My husband just shakes his head and smiles. So besides photographing my work (which natural light is needed) I try not to touch anything during the day unless my husband is home.
What is your studio space like?
My studio space is inside my master bedroom, which luckily for me is a very large room. I have a long desk which holds my sewing machine, my computer sits in the corner, and up on the wall I have what I call my “inspiration wall” which houses a few of my paintings, some from my children, and some from fellow etsy sellers whom I admire! It helps to keep me motivated! I also have a tall bookshelf which houses supplies and finished work. Instead of packing up and storing my finished sculptures, plush toys, I like to be surrounded by them, they still, and I think always will, make me smile. Being surrounded by my work makes me want to push myself to create create create!