Hi Anna, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself, your background as an artist, and what first attracted you to metal clay?
I have a special love for animals, fairy tales, and surreal art. I want my items to amuse and provoke feelings. I have been drawing, painting, and creating all of my life. When I was six, I took a ceramics class and got hooked. From the beginning my favorite thing was to sculpt people and creatures. I´m still doing that now thirty years later, only now I sculpt in metal clay.
You have your own unique way of working with Metal Clay. Can you tell us a bit about your own style, how it developed, and the journey you went through to get there?
The appearance of bronze and copper clay was quite significant for me. My sculptural work (even the smaller items) usually requires a lot of clay. To experiment and produce as much as I have done in expensive silver clay would not have been possible for me. Also, selling on Etsy has had a big impact on my style. When I started selling online I did one of a kind things, but I could not sell the items for a price that covered material, time making them, taking pictures, and writing listings. So, I started to research and experiment with methods to reproduce designs and how to speed up production.
You seem very successful at marketing your work and utilizing services like Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/jp/shop/AnnaSiivonen) and social media. You have some amazing work available online. Any tips for other artists wanting to promote their work?
Gaining followers on social media and building a successful online shop requires a lot of work and patience. I wasn´t good at it when I started but I thought of Etsy as a school for business and design. My main focus was not to sell but to improve, I think this helped me to keep working even through long periods when nothing sold and hardly anyone found my shop. I tweaked this, change that, and kept adding items continuously evaluating what got views, hearts (likes) and what sold. And then I tried to repeat what worked or some variation of it.
What are you plans for the future?
I want to find ways to include more people in my work life, collaborations or sharing a studio with other creators perhaps. I want to travel more, maybe to teach. And I want to get back to painting again.
Lastly, where does your inspiration to create come from?
Many times my inspiration comes from the piece I'm working on at the moment, and every decision I take while making it means I reject other possibilities. This usually start me thinking of alternative pieces and leads to new ideas.
Thank you Anna. For an insightful interview.