I couldn't figure out why ANYONE would want to call herself "sadlyharmless" until I found out that this week's interviewee's name is Sally Harless. At least it has roots in something other than low self-esteem! Her work makes me pensive and, occasionally, sad. It's haunting, though, and if you read on you'll learn more.
Where were you born & raised?
South Bend, Indiana
Where are you now & what led you there?
I moved to Bloomington in 2000 to go to school and then took a reeeeaallly long time to graduate. I went back to South Bend for awhile, but then came back to B-town cause I love it so much.
What types of creations do you sell in for your Etsy shop(s)?
I sell drawings, paintings, and original prints. Some of the time these are put into fancy vintage frames, which I treasure-hunt for in thrift stores. My work combines images reminiscent of children's books with the struggles of adjusting to adulthood. I draw a lot of sad animals. And beards.
What's your educational background, as it relates to your work?
I got a BFA in printmaking from IU. I was really lucky to have professors who were open-minded and wanted us to explore whatever it was we were interested in, even if it wasn't printmaking. In my last year there, I started making wall pieces that pushed the boundaries of 2D, but weren't totally 3D. Those things have sort of become my passion, but I still make prints and also do a lot of ink and watercolor drawings.
How'd you get started creating?
When I was little, I used to copy drawings out of picture books. I didn't trace them, I just kind of re-drew them. I remember wanting to be an artist at a really young age, telling my mom that, and I remember her saying, "They make lots of money." I remember that made me really happy to hear her say that, but I think she was probably just trying to be encouraging, because I sure as heck don't make much money! My mom was really crafty, though, and I think that really instilled a deep DIY ethic in me. I have always wanted to just create things.
What's your muse, or what turns that little creative light inside you on?
My work is largely autobiographical. When I am at my emotional worst, that's when I come up with a lot of ideas. Making art is kind of my therapy. So I guess my muse is just taking the emotions I don't know what to do with, and turning them into something you can put on your wall. I also draw a lot of animals, and I think that's because I want my images to have a sort of child-like quality to them. I really love animals, so using them as my characters just makes a lot of sense. Lately I am drawing a lot of beards, and that sort of came about because I really like boys with beards. It's sort of a weird fetish I have, I guess.
Do you belong to any Street Teams? If so, which ones and why?
I don't really belong to any street teams other than the INCrowdteam. If there were a beard-art street team, I would totally join it.
What's your favorite thing about selling on Etsy?
I love that I can reach such a huge audience with Etsy. And I just am pretty much in love with the whole IDEA of Etsy. That such an awesome thing exists kind of blows my mind.
Recommend your five favorite shops on Etsy.
Show us pictures of your three favorite items from your own shop:
I couldn't buy that last piece, Sally. It makes ME want to cry. Thanks so much!!