Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Spotlight: Woodwings

Hi everyone,
   Today is Friday!!! yeah!!!!
   So it is time for interview, this friday I interview Elizabeth an artist and creator of whimsical, cute and folky characters.
   I love her art, and I'm sure you will too.

Name: Elizabeth Barczynski
Location: Algonquin, Illinois

1. Tell us about your crafts and how you came to make them

Once upon a time I was a children’s apparel designer here in Chicago for a manufacturer that produced garments for many of the department stores in the US. At that time I traveled Europe and the US and had a rockin time as a 20-something that thought life evolved around me! I moved on when I though that I was unstoppable. I tried my hand at fine art, I taught painting at a lovely little studio where I learned so much about friendship and generosity of the artistic spirit. When my daughter came along it didn’t seem like there would ever be time to paint again. And then I found Etsy. My friends and I would scour over all of the delightful jewelry, art and one of a kind items found at this glorious online store. With a little bit of a nudge from my good friends I thought I could give it a shot and Woodwings was born. I began working with materials I already had. Pieces of wood from projects or shelving were given a second life as small square canvasses that I gessoed and prepared for painting. Once the character was born I would pour over the jars and bottles of beads that I’ve collected over the years to create a charm to accessorize the painting, and there you have it. Now if you are curious as to who inspires the paintings….I have several muses. All lovely, all generous and gentle spirits who I wouldn’t be able to survive without.

2. What do you enjoy most of being an artist?

I love having that excuse to go on excursions to hunt for items to use in art. I’m not much of a shopper but I LOVE hunting for treasures and junk.

3. How did you get started selling and How long have you been crafting?

My friends Emily & Derek pushed me into it and I will be forever grateful. If they didn’t send me constant reminders I might not have had the momentum I needed to get the Etsy shop started. Gentle reminders and generous moral support from friends and family is a boost I thrive on because the sales are not instantaneous. One thing to think about is create art for etsy because you love to create art. Success is hard work and although it is more than possible it will not come over night. I have created since I was 4, but I’ve only been an Etsian for 1 year this month.

4. What does selling on Etsy mean for you?

It is freeing. It is the single most brilliant idea for artisans. Organized, hip, simple, creative. I love Etsy

5. Which is your favorite color and which colors do you use most in your work?

I love all colors. Orange is the best color on the planet and probably the most useful accent color in my little paintings. I love warm and festive colors I am naturally drawn to native Mexican art and I probably have been inspired most by folk art in Mexico and Poland

6. How you promote your work?

Promotion is most difficult for the shy, unassuming artist ;) Really I hate to be pushy. But you can gently expose your art with postcards of your work sent to local galleries and boutiques with links to your online web presense and blog. If you Facebook then a fan page is supposed to work well. I blog. I am slowly gathering friends on and send giveaway updates to promote art among the blog followers. I currently have a specially listed item discounted on Etsy for my blog followers. It is not only important to keep your blog fresh, but to communicate with other bloggers who become your friends and their friends may become your friends and so on and so on. It’s a wonderful medium

7. Can you share your #1 tip for success?

If Etsy is your online presence remember to refresh your items often. It will bring new folks to your shop. If you blog, write about the art and beautiful world that inspires you in a way that will inspire others. It is infinitely more interesting to read that than about how you woke up late and made toast for the kids before you got to work but were uninspired …blah blah blah. I think that a blog can validly be used as a diary or journal. But if you wish to bring interest to your art then inspire with your writing! Update your pages with great photographs (I am not a very good photographer – but if I take my pictures outdoors in the perfect sunlight I can’t go wrong. Take dozens of pictures of each item at first to experiment, you are bound to get one great shot.

8. List 5 of your favorites blogs or etsy stores.

I like different artists’ spaces for different reasons. And because I’m a Gemini my reasons for liking something change constantly. I love blogs that show glorious eye-candy. Exquisite photography of stunning vistas, outrageous fashions, clever and beautiful crafts, home decorating ideas. You name it! I love blogs for the style they’re written in. I love to escape into a blogger’s world. I love another type of blog because the character that owns and writes it inspires magic. The persona they create brings a bit of whimsy, abandon, color and charm to life and I dream that the world is filled with these creatures that love to dream, inspire and delight. On my blog I list “Some Delicious Places to Visit” I know of many more but a this is good place to start. I am crazy mad about these Etsy sellers currently: Caitlin Shearer, Geninne, JillMayberg,

There are so MANY talented artist out there!!

I want to thank Elizabeth for a fun and interesting interview!


  1. I want to send you a big hug for this lovely opportunity. I also want to wish you much inspiration and a beautiful life filled with art and love. I wanted to make a correction though I am no longer a student .:) but thanks heeps! I was a designer in my 20s I worked in an art studio and taught art in my 30s had my daughter and voila! Here I am in my 40s....refusing to grow up :)

  2. Ups! I don't know why I kept th idea that you were still a student artist. I corrected that point.
    Thanks a lot to you, for the time you spent answering my questions, I have to say that is difficult to get response from other artists, so I'm grateful for all those who said yes and now are my friends.


  3. Great interview and wonderful blog. I just have to follow you. I will be back. Have a great Sunday.

  4. Thanks Gloria, for me is a pleasure to share a little of me and my life!!!



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