This week's interview (sorry for the delay!) is with Justin Vining, one of the few male INCrowders. I asked him about that, in addition to the usual stuff:
Were you born & raised in Indiana?
Yes, I was born in Bremen and then grew up on a farm just north of Etna Green which is located on U.S. 30 about halfway between Plymouth and Warsaw.
Where in Indiana are you from now?
Not quite sure.. I spent three years teaching elementary art in Pendleton while living on 82nd street in Castleton. Currently, my brother and I live in Valparaiso and both just finished our first year studying law at VU. Since my childhood on the farm my parents have moved to one of the lakes near Syracuse. So, I am not quite sure where I am from now. As of now, I would love to live somewhere in Indy after I graduate.
What types of creations do you sell in for your Etsy shop(s)?
I sell acrylic and watercolor paintings along with some small drawings. As a young artist, I am still trying to come into my own and am experimenting with several, quite different styles with these mediums. However, regardless of the medium, there is one thing I keep consistent and that is always trying to make each piece better than the last.
What's your educational background, as it relates to your work?
My undergraduate experience was at Purdue University where I studied art education, fine arts and art history.
How'd you get started creating?
It was my high school art teacher; I have been creating ever since and see no end in sight. I used to have creative blocks and often struggle to find something to paint. However, those days are gone, I am not sure where this new inspiration has come from but I have more ideas than I could ever know what to do with.
My Starry Night - original watercolor
On His Way to Chicago - original watercolor
Legal Research 7 - large original acrylic
What made you want to join the INCrowd?
I LOVE Indiana and am really fascinated with its history, I found the team and wanted to join :)
What's your favorite thing about selling on Etsy?
I really enjoy seeing what everyone else is creating. Also, I really enjoy being part of such a positive and creative environment. Daily, I stumble upon shops that just blow me away, I love that!
The added edge: what's it like selling in a female-dominated online venue? Do you feel the pain?
Perhaps three years of being an Elementary Art Teacher has desensitized me a touch to a female dominated environment. I do wish there were more male-oriented shops. I have found a few great ones but I would love to be able to shop more on Etsy.
Recommend your five favorite shops on Etsy.
Sarahssky - Wonderful stained glass jewelry, I bought my mom one of her pieces and it is just gorgeous.
Etsasketch - Who does not want their own secret identity?
Cindy Thornton - Her work is incredible!!!
pygletwhispers - From one doodler to another, hers are Outstandingly creative!
resurface - An awesome use of really cool photos
Your work is really cool, Justin, and we're all glad for the testosterone! Thanks a ton for your input, and good luck.