Tell us a little about the items in your shop. What do you make?
I draw and paint, mainly in watercolor and ink but also in oil sometimes. I have original paintings and drawings in my shop as well as prints and cards.
My "Charted Unterritories" paintings are inspired by maps, aerial images of the landscape, and nonexistent places or places outside concrete reality. I've always loved fictional worldbuilding, mythology, and the maps in fantasy novels, especially Tolkien's (and the Phantom Islands scents from BPAL got me very interested in lost places and cartographic mistakes, which contributed to my having the original idea for the series, so thanks, Beth!).
I also do still life paintings every once in a while because I like the meditativeness of painting from life.
What is your creative process?
For the Charted Unterritories, I start by doing a random wash or stain on watercolor paper or whatever surface I'm using (I've also used old book pages and wallpaper) and leave it alone to dry. Then I pick out interesting shapes and lines and build on and over them in layers of paint, pencil, and ink until I feel like the piece is done. (It's a pretty unpredictable/organic process, which I like because it feels somewhat like the way topography naturally develops.) Finally, I think about what kind of place it looks like and give it an appropriate name or make one up.
Which Etsy Teams do you belong to?
Besides TeamBPAL, I'm a member of Team Discovery (a treasury team that seeks out and promotes great shops with few sales), the Treasury Challenge NonTeam, the House of Art & Design Team, and two local teams (the Wisconsin Street Team and MadCity Team).
When you are not creating things, what do you do?
My day job is freelance editing and proofreading, and I work at home -- I love the flexibility of it, but it can also take over my life when I get busy. For fun, I read a lot, spend a lot of time on the Internet, watch geeky TV and movies, play video games, play with my two cats, and occasionally knit.
Tell us two random, interesting things about you.
1. When I was little, my mom, my younger brother, and I spent a few months living in a tent in various campgrounds in California, and we had to be evacuated from one of them by the Red Cross because of a huge forest fire. (Fortunately, our tent and everything made it through unscathed.)
2. I came *this* close to winning my state spelling bee in 8th grade but lost because of a slip of the tongue.
What has been your proudest moment since opening your Etsy shop?
Last fall, I was approached by someone from a new local gallery who found me on Etsy. It's the first gallery I've been in and I was thrilled to be invited! I've been showing/selling work there since December, and it's been great.
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
When I make treasuries, I see a lot of new sellers who have nice items, but their photos are too dark or muddy-looking -- I wish I could show them how to adjust white balance and levels, because it can make a big difference.
What handmade possession do you cherish?
I don't have a lot of things handmade by others, but one that I do love is a very cool scrapbook that my best friend made for me after our first year of college together. Also, my dad was a musician, and I have some of his old records and tapes that I cherish.
If you could have any item on Etsy regardless of price, what would it be?
There's so much awesome stuff I've found on Etsy that I wish I could buy, but what comes to mind first are the space quilts by stellarquilts, especially this one: The Crab Nebula
What other skill or talent do you wish you could possess, if you had not taken this creative path?
I love music, but creating it isn't one of my talents. I wish I could play an instrument and understand how to write songs.
Where else can we find you on the web?
Facebook page: facebook.com/tahliaday
**This feature temporarily concludes our run of Friday spotlights! It's been fun to get to know all of you and your work over the past year, so thank you to all who signed up to be featured.
Your trusty spotlight busy bee,