Introduce Yourself: My name is Erika Folnovic. I am a UofR graduate with a degree in Arts Education and Visual Art. Fibre art and watercolour/ink illustrating are my main two areas of expertise.
In fibre I make custom/monster fabric portraits, soft sculpture (puppets, stuffed animals, etc), and others as I find time to explore. In 2014, I illustrated my first children's book called "Jamie and the Monster Bookroom" by Kerry Simpson. Find more info about it here on our publisher's website: http://www.driverworks.ca/Jamie-and-the-Monster-Bookroom.php
Before that I have had illustrations published in: "The Too Tall Boy" by Kay Niedermayer, "Letters to Jennifer From Maudie and Oliver" by Sharon Gray, "Every Bite Affects the World" by Catherine Verrall and Friends, and "Is it Easy Being Green?: Eco Art Initiatives for You and Your Classroom" an article I authored for Canadian Art Teacher.
My work is mainly geared towards the young and young at heart and my designs are playful and cute.
What's Your Shop's Name? ErikaFolnovic
What do you make/sell? How do you make it? In my shop, at the moment, I only have my fibre work available in four main areas: Fabric Banners (pennant/bunting banners), Erika's Little Monsters (embroidery hoop portraits), Puppets, and Custom Products (of Fabric Banners and Little Monsters). All my products are handmade by me and use recycled materials where possible.
How long has your Etsy shop been open? I started my shop in October 2014, but didn't post any items until December 2014.
How long have you been doing your craft? I had a brief stint making jewellery and doing the festival circuit in Regina for 3 years before I went back to my first love, fibre art, and did that for another 2 years before deciding to only sell my work on Etsy and in shops (I have work available at Paper Umbrella and the Mackenzie Art Gallery shop in Regina).
How did you get started? I have been making fibre work since my mom taught me to use a sewing machine as a young kid. From making small purses to hand sewing embroidered designs on pillows to applique work, I have always loved the tactile nature of fibre work. I didn't really think about it as an art form until I was in university and started looking at and researching artists working in soft sculpture and other textiles.
What do you like about selling on Etsy? I really love connecting with customers that wouldn't be a usual part of the old festival circuit model I was running.
What brought you to Etsy? I was becoming increasingly exhausted from the festival circuit after 5 years of travelling, setting-up tents, displaying products, tearing down, and starting all over again. Etsy gives me the freedom to work and sell from home and reach a really wide audience.
What's been your best Etsy experience? All the custom orders I've made have been wonderful experiences. I love the process of bringing a family to life in fabric. I take a lot of time and consideration to replicate the people or animals with the small details that make them unique. Before selling on Etsy, I never really promoted custom work but I am really enjoying it! It's a fun challenge for me.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your shop or yourself? I am an educator, as well as, an artist. I work with programs at the Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina Public School Board, Conservatory of Performing Arts, and others throughout Regina.
I am starting an initiative in Regina called the Art Supply Exchange and we are seeking second hand art supplies until our shop launch on September 25th. If you know anyone who is getting rid of any old art supplies please send them our way: https://www.facebook.com/artsupplyexchange OR http://artsupplyexchange.blogspot.ca/