Friday

God and Art Series: Artist shares childhood love for crafting

Today we are talking to Jennifer Hine of Spring Arbor, Michigan. Jennifer owns Elegant Quirk on Etsy, a shop dedicated to selling organizational art for jewelry, keys, hats and scarves.

YBAL: Tell us a little about yourself and your artwork. When did you start developing your artistic-self?


Jennifer: I think that I've always been very artistic and creative. My mom was a big help in that, as she was always doing something crafty - cross-stitching, building dollhouses, you name it! We would always craft together on rainy days, and our gifts for my teachers at the end of the year were always homemade. I grew to love getting my hands wet in all kinds of artistic areas, including music. I have my Bachelor's in Flute performance. I was never the kid who was into sports, but was in band, art, and dance. The arts have always consumed my life.

YBAL: Have you received any awards or other achievements? Where can people find your work?

Jennifer: I haven't received any achievements for these, as they are a fairly new development. People can find my work at my etsy shop, through the direct link (www.elegantquirk.com) and at my facebook page, www.facebook.com/elegantquirk

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YBAL: What attracts you to all the things you do for your shop - key racks, confetti and everything else? How do you gain inspiration for your work?

Jennifer: I love the key racks in my shop. This whole thing began when I made one for myself. I never intended on making more, I just needed to hang some jewelry. So out of that came my first creation! Being especially pleased with the outcome, I sent photos to friends, who all loved it as well. Some even wanting me to make them one! It was my boyfriend who suggested that I try selling them. I started up my Etsy shop, not really knowing the hard work that goes into it - the creating, photographing, listing, and actually getting yourself out there - and thought, "okay, maybe I'll sell a few."


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As a fairly young shop, I'm proud of the accomplishments that I've made so far. It's good to know that people actually like what I have to offer, and it is so much fun to try to get into the mind of the customer and try to offer great new things. I'm constantly thinking of new ideas. I look forward to what the future brings, and I'm definitely glad I started this journey!

YBAL: How have the events of your life affected your art? How has art affected your life?

Jennifer: As I mentioned before, my mom was a enormous part of my creativity. I can't even imagine my life without creating and playing with arts and crafts. A few years ago, she passed away, but I can still remember the days we would craft together, and all of her projects that decorated our house. A perfect example of a creative spirit. I hope I will always be like that, and will be able to extend my creativity to others, as she did for me.

YBAL: When did you begin your relationship with God and how? How has your relationship with God affected your art? How has art affected your relationship to God?

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Jennifer: My relationship with God really began in high school. I went to church with friends before that, but never really connected until then. I continued growing all through college. I know that my creativity is a gift from God, and I love to use it as much as possible. Especially as an artist and a musician, I try to create and play in a way that would be pleasing to God. I don't create "Christian things" in my shop, but I try to be a shop owner that reflects the love of Christ, and I hope that my customers can see that when they interact with me.

YBAL: Any future goals you'd like to share? Any encouragement for other artists?

Jennifer: I would just like my shop to continue to grow and be fun for others. I think that goal making is very important, so I have a lot of little goals for each month. For example, reaching 50 listings, listing two a week, 10 sales, etc. I would encourage new artists to do the same for a great start.
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Probably the most beneficial thing I did was join an Etsy team. There are many out there, some very active, and some very quiet, on all different topics. You just need to find one that is good for you. I'm a proud member of the CAST team on Etsy, and have to say that they have been the most helpful, most encouraging part of the whole process. It helps to have people there to support you, and encouraging you to just keep going!


An interesting thing about Elegant Quirks is that Jennifer will donate 10 percent of all sales to the Greenview Foundation for research to find a cure for Hepatitis C. And, with certain items listed in the Hepatitis C Awareness section of Elegant Quirks, Jennifer will donate 100 percent to this worthy cause. To find out more, look at Jennifer's profile here.


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