Since the beginning of 2009, I've been hosting a monthly giveaway on my blog to promote sellers on a relatively new but quickly growing handmade venue called ArtFire. Our April giveaway runs Wed. 4/1/09-Tues. 4/7/09 and the theme is Eco-Friendly, and I decided to do interviews with the participating sellers so you could get to know them a little better and see what fabulous items they're contributing to the giveaway. All of our sellers offer a 10% discount during the giveaway week and a purchase from any ArtFire shop during that week gets you an extra entry into the giveaway. Buy from a featured seller that week, and we up it to 2!
So, without further ado, here's on first featured Giver: Larry Hamm from ChelseaLynnDesigns. Larry is donating the sweetest Handpainted Key Hanger for the giveaway. I can vouch for how precious it is because it's already at my house!
and here's Larry....
- Biographical info:
Hi, my name is Larry Hamm. I live in the North Carolina mountains, my family consists of my beautiful wife Janet and 8 year old son Jacob. I've been married for 14 years and look forward to many more. I'm a disabled diabetic but that hasn't dampened my inspiration to create. I love to paint just about anything I can get my hands on and do some woodworking when my health allows.
- Who and or what inspired you to become an artist? Was there a specific event or period in your life when you decided to go this route and why? Was it the right decision?
I've doodled, drawn and painted since childhood. My grandmother always encouraged me to pursue my gift from God. And that's my true inspiration. Without Him I would have no talent. Yes I think it was the right decision for me.
- Define your craft as you see it and explain the mental and physical process you go through to create what you sell.
I really just take it as I get it. I don't sit and plan out my paintings or designs; I just start them and let them happen. If I get a creative block I just walk away from the project and come back to it later. I spend a lot of time promoting myself and other Artfire Artisans online in my blog at Chelsea Lynn Designs and in the Artfire forums.
- What purpose does your art serve in your life? Is it just paying the bills?
I don't sell a lot so no its not paying the bills. LOL. It just makes me feel good to create something beautiful.
- Are you a full-time artist or a double agent?
I was a computer technician for 20 years. Since becoming disabled, I've went full time as my health allows.
- What other creative outlets do you employ?
I sing in church
- Why do you like selling on ArtFire, and why is being apart of the upcoming giveaway important to you?
I like the way the site is laid out, but most of all I like the community. The people, I've made so many new friends. I wanted to be a part of the giveaway mainly to help promote the Artfire community, but a little personal promotion can't hurt.
- Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t assume just from browsing in your shop.
I believe it would have to be the fact I'm disabled. I try not to let it reflect in my work. Most people are really surprised to find out I can't walk and am on oxygen full time. But I don't want people to see me that way. I want them to get to know me for who I am on the inside.
- What have you learned about yourself by being an artist? What have you learned about others and/or society?
I've learned that I have a gift that I can use to make others feel better. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing the look on a Child's face or the glisten of a tear stained eye of a elderly person in a rest home when you hand them something you have put your heart into and made with your own hands.
- What have you learned about yourself by being a business person? What have you learned about others and/or society?
I've mainly learned that a business person I ain't. But this is more of a hobby for me to keep me busy and active.
- If you weren’t the artist you are today, what else would you be?
Without my talent I would still be me a father a husband and a servant of God.
- What advice would give to someone who wanted to start their own shop on ArtFire or another handmade venue?
I myself would say don't bury yourself thinking about it, just do it if you're doing what you love; then follow your heart.
- What flavor of ice cream are you and why?
I guess I would be moose tracks. Overall I'm a sweet guy, but folks have called me chunky all my life, and it's been said I might be a little nutty :-)
Thank you, Larry!! I've only been corresponding with Larry for a couple of weeks, but somehow I just knew he was going to say Moose Tracks! Don't forget to check out Larry's shop: ChelseaLynnDesigns and stay tuned for more "Getting to Know the Givers!"