Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Successful Bloggers - A Fanciful Twist




"The Siren follows her heart" a fanciful twist


Here is the last in my series of blogging posts and I'm sure you will all love this interview by A Fanciful Twist. If the loveliness gets too much you can head over to her shop and purchase a little bit of it for yourself!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your creativity:
Me and my creativity? Okay! I am Vanessa Valencia, and I frolick amongst paints and brushes & characters(sometimes we toss the brushes and simply finger paint). Almost every garment I own has a fleck or more of paint on it. Even though, I do try to stay away from the paints on certain clothing, they find their way to me!!!
I have a shop and blog called "A Fanciful Twist." Where I have found a home to share my creations. Although, I find that, I have not shared much of all the work I have created over the years.... So perhaps that will come next... I have hardly visited my old work myself... Which is probably true for most artists...
I have been creating & delving into my imagination for as long as I can remember. I used to talk to myself for hours (I am told by my mother), always having visits from wee characters, who later came to life on paper...
Finally at about age 13, my parents let me have a go at my bedroom walls and all of my furniture. I took paint to them, and never ever looked back. That is when I started doing large scale art pieces on canvas for my family, and soon, my parent's friends were buyers. But, I never solicited them... They asked for pieces on their own. Which was a great thing for a kid, to be able to flourish by people taking interest... I think it is very important that we do that for children. Nurture is one of my favorite, most beloved words...
I went on to attend and graduate from the University of Arizona. I did not study fine arts, my degree is in International Retailing. However, I did minor in photography... But, better than that, at age 18, I found myself at a wee gallery downtown, and they had me teaching how to paint on Saturdays, and then soon, I was painting on the premises all the time... So, that was a bit of education and exposure I got outside of the University... I was part of the little art scene there, and was able to make life long friendships with artists who lived and painted in downtown area...
I have been doing art shows and trunk shows with my jewelry creations for over 14 years...
Today I spend a great deal of time in my studio, where little creatures, ballet dancers, and a bevy of my version of mad tea party characters come visit me. And sometimes, they even jump onto a canvas or two... Thank goodness they do that, so that I can capture them and share them with you!!


"Tea Time Girl 2" a fanciful twist
2. When did you start your blog and why?
I started my blog at the end of 2006. I think, what was happening was that since about 1994, so many people were urging me to share everything I was up to, on a larger level.. But, I just didn't know how to, nor did I think I wanted to... Back in the nineties, sharing yourself was not as easy as blogging. It meant, I would have to travel around with my work... And I just wanted to create, be alone and create...
So, when blogging came around, my eyes widened like a kid in a candy store!! It thought, "This is perfect." I get to meet kindred spirits, share a bit of myself... And never have to leave my studio... Blogging is unreal. Truly marvelous. The way you can share yourself with people clear on the other side of the world... It is a very, very special thing...
So, I started blogging having no real idea what I was doing... I looked at some of my favorite blogs. Learning, and taking tips from what I could see others doing... But really, I had no idea what I was doing. Being silly for certain, but other than that, who knows...
I didn't start sharing my art right away... it took me a few months... However, I had this little website that I was not sharing at all and really didn't think anyone knew about. Then one day, about a month into blogging, people started shopping from it.. And that really inspired me to feel like it was time to share my artwork through my blog more...

"Party Creature" a fanciful twist
3. How has blogging affected your business?
I suppose you can say that, without blogging I wouldn't have an internet business. You can have a website, and share your work. But the question is, if you don't have a following already, then how are people going to find you? Or even know you exist??
Blogging has changed my life. I know that sounds dramatic. But it has... It is inevitable. It becomes your front door, to invite people in... You get to meet precious souls, make new friends, and share your work globally. And, if you can imagine, that most certainly changes your life and your business.
Also, because of my blog, I have been found by a few magazines. Which in itself, was for me, that crucial jolt of validity, that ignites a flame in a person, to continue creating...

4. You have a great readership, what advice would you give beginners for drawing readers in and back again?
I don't really know. And, I say this in all honesty. I don't know what I did, except be myself. But, I also wanted to have fun. Life is tough as it is... I just wanted a fun happy outlet...
I do know, that when I began blogging, I forged some great friendships with other bloggers. And, I am still friends with most of them. I think, like anything, you have to find your little niche... Make a few friends. You'll visit them, they'll visit you... I don't think you can simply start a blog and then wait to see who will read. I think, blogging is very interactive...
Again, you are opening your front door, and letting people in... Of course you are going to chat and get to people if you were meeting them face to face. So, a bit of that has to happen in blogging as well. The other thing is, I love to blog and to read blogs...
Sometimes, when I am trying to be creative, I have to lock myself up in the studio, and I tell ya, I miss visiting other people. I think blogging is a wonderful sharing of energy and ideas. Give and take...
What I do know, is what draws me in to read other people's blogs... A list of some factors would be, good pictures, giggles, sincerity, creativity, lovely sentiments. I will say though, sometimes, things can't always be happy go lucky, but that too is special. That people can sincerely share all facets of life... That is important to me as a reader...

"Magical Cypress Tree Grove and 3 little visitors" a fanciful twist
5. Do you have tips or advice to share that you have learned along the way?
Umm, let's see. Silly things could be, don't write a blog post when angry. Hahaa! I did that once, when my neighbor put up a ten foot fence ;) But, he doesn't know me, and surely wouldn't be visiting blogs... That leads me to, be aware that what you are sharing will be seen by many people. Make sure it is something you would want many people to see and know. Don't be surprised if someone comes up to you in a restaurant, knowing lots of things about you ;) (from your blog)
The fact is, you are not going to show every single detail of your life. That would be impossible. But, choose things that you feel represent who you are well. Have fun! I love reading about recipes and ideas, gardening tips & creative adventures...
Also, anyone can contact me if they have a burning question that I might be able to answer???
I think in anything, you are constantly learning and growing and changing... That is true in blogging as well... It is after-all, a little piece of you...

4 comments:

Nora said...

I love the fanciful twist note, gorgeous items and great story of success!

A Fanciful Twist said...

I am not going to read it :) hee hee!!

But, I will say, the layout and the images you chose look very lovely. And I am so delighted to have gotten the chance to meet your lovely self and work with you!!

Just beautiful!! Thank you so very much,! Much sparkly magic and wonderful days!! Vanessa

Jessica said...

wow! beautiful!

DAINTYCROCHETBYALY said...

one of my favorite parts was the one, when she talked about her childhood! :-) so nice ! congratulations, she is a very great artist!