The first is Silja of 5erg.etsy. This artist hails from Estonia. In this lovely Etsy shop, you will find art cards, ACEO/Tiny paintings, bracelets, earrings, felted animals and dolls, greeting cards, magnets, and necklaces. I collected some of my favorites from the Etsy shop into a Treasury Poster Sketch (below). To learn what an ACEO is, follow this link.
Let's meet the artist!
1. The first question I asked was how the shop name originated and what it means.
♥ "It's my signature, I sign my paintings with S.Erg, it comes from my real name. The number 5 is for S because it was available and the letter wasn't."
2. When did you start breathing?
♥ "I did my first oil painting in the 6th grade when our art teacher told us to paint some flowers, the next one in 9th grade and then after that painting got more frequent. But still, my productivity blows! More people ASK me to paint them something these days, it means more working on my hobby. I am very thankful for the requests, because I don't know if I would push myself to buy canvases and oils just to make pictures for my own wall. Well I would certainly do some, but not so many. I think I have like 2 of my paintings, rest of them are all given away or ****. Crafting Etsy style begun about 2 years ago. I got hooked with bead crafts and then got into needle felting and then the rest of it just followed. You know how it goes! If you start reading craft blogs, you can't get out of the circle anymore."
3. Are you a trained-by-education artist/crafter, or steaming ahead on completely natural ability?
♥ "There have always been people encouraging me, so I can not say I am a self taught artist, but I don't have the art education. I have attended kid's art school for 2 years (out of 5. I got right into 4th grade and skipped the first 3) and from 2nd grade of primary school I have always been connected to the schools' art clubs. But that is about it. I don't have the guts to go to a real art school yet, but it would be cool to go. If I ever get to studying oil painting or stop-motion animation, I will buy myself a bottle [of] Champagne and celebrate. :D Well, actually all my money has probably gone to the tuition fee..soo maybe some water? With bubbles of course!"
4. Do you have a muse?
♥ "Do you mean like someone who gives me the feeling I can become something and there is a reason to paint? Or do you mean just someone that I want to paint? Both ways - yes, always. So far. She or he is always there, but some days I just forgot about it and then I have these "F this, what is the point" moments. But when I remember them, it is a really good feeling. I am a total reflection junky. If noone says anything about my doings or art then I just forget what I do and watch TV."
5. How many hats do you wear? (Do you have a "day job"?)
♥ "I got to school here in Estonia. It is a pretty old and a pretty theoretical university. I try to study biology and chemistry 50:50. It is not easy for me to keep up there, but I will be there until they kick me out or take me off the government budget. School is kind of a job, right? Sometimes it is just weeks of learning stuff by heart, then I just have to throw my brushes and needles on the shelf for 10 days, sometimes a month. That makes it hard."
6. Are you a city mouse or a country mouse?
♥ "I am the mouse who got stuck in a parcel-post package and doesn't know where the heck she is. I am not a city person, for sure, but I don't want total solitude either. So I don't know."
7. What are your favorite items to create?
♥ "These little eye art cards I do(ACEO, ATC). I can take the best part of the portrait - paint only eyes on those little 2.5x3.5" carton pieces. And people buy those too, because they are affordable and a lots of people collect art cards. I guess it helps that they are not prints, but the price is still pretty low and almost like a print price."
8. How do you manage the exchange rate?
♥ "This is kind of stupid, but I don't calculate too much. Not the exchange rate, fees or any of those. I just put money in the shop and take it out. I don't know if there is even any profit :D Yeah, I will go far on business!"
9. Where are all the places we can find your work?
♥ "My artwork...My etsy shop is http://5erg.etsy.com/ (Here is the main traffic)My blog, which I sometimes update even too often: http://www.5erg.com/You can buy prints, mugs, coaster, puzzles and cards with my work through DeviantArt http://doodlewithgluegun.deviantart.com/galleryPrints and such on Redbubble: http://www.redbubble.com/people/5erg."
10. Parting advice to the aspiring artist?
♥ "Do not over analyze. Do what you do and do your creations in the moment. Work hard, but take it easy. (Work on your art all the time, but don't worry about if your style doesn't fit with the world yet.) Does it make any sense? Maybe it does. Like if I stopped painting tomorrow and will be working in an office for the rest of my life, those good painting days still count! And it is great to sit back and look around you and just be happy. Like, oh I am so lucky to have this brush and this minute to paint and I just can be in the moment and do whatever and listen to music and feel free."
I think this last sentence sums up one of the most important things in life - a thought which should always be at the forefront of our minds.
Be thankful for what you have at any given moment, every moment of your life.
Be in the moment and feel free.
Thank you, Silja for your art,
the beauty you bring to the world,
your exuberance, and your time for