A new feature of my blog here at La Paperie & Cozy will be interviews with fellow artisans that sell their lovely handmade goods at Etsy.com.
Our first ever interview will be with Melody Kristensen of Aria Images who has kindly offered to answer some of our questions.
Name: Melody Kristensen
Shop Name: Aria Images
We would love to know a bit more about the woman behind Aria Images (name, age, background, etc.):
My name is Melody and I am a 27-year-old New Yorker, born and raised. I moved back from London, England about a year ago with my Swedish husband of 3 years. I currently work as a Legal Secretary but hope to make photography my full time business at some point.
Tell us a bit about your business and how you got started:
I am an amateur photographer who especially loves shooting travel and architecture. I have always loved photography, even at a very young age and taking photos has been apart of my life for as long as I can remember. When planning to go to Paris in 2006 I bought a little Kodak and after taking a ridiculous amount of pictures and sharing them with my friends and family, I received so much encouragement I decided to carry it with me whenever possible. In May of 2007, I saw an Etsy shop (yours to be exact! :) ) and decided to look further into it. I didn't think I would get so involved, thought it would be nice to make a bit of money but after selling some pieces and knowing my photography was in others homes, I got addicted to that feeling and to Etsy. :)
What is the meaning behind your business name (Aria Images)?
I wanted something I could keep forever, something that would tie in with my name and I wouldn't get sick of. Something that would be very ME. So I looked up my name "Melody" in the thesaurus and saw Aria then looked up the definition of Aria which is "an elaborate melody sung solo with accompaniment, as in an opera or oratorio. In contrast with recitative singing, arias are melodious; in contrast with ordinary songs, arias are usually elaborate." And that was it for me. I found my name.
Apart from photography, what are your other interests?
I absolutely LOVE to read. That would be right up there with photography. I could not imagine my life without books. I also love movies with my hubby and friends, traveling as much as possible, museums and hiking outdoors.
What inspires you? Thats a good question that I really had to think about. I know this will sound corny and cliche but I truly do think that there is beauty in just about everything. Trying to find that and show it to others really inspires me. I want them to look at things in a different way, maybe a way they normally wouldn't see it.
Is there a certain piece of yours that is your favourite, or epitomizes everything you love about what you do?
Yes, my print "Modesty". There is something about it that is just so ME. I have no problem with nudity in statues and found the one in that shot absolutely gorgeous. The light, the architecture in the background and then the gorgeous statue. Its everything I love about photography. The best part is that I put me right in there, it shows who I am in my opinion.
How do you promote your work?
Mainly on Etsy in the forums. I have met some incredibly talented people. I also blog about my work and others I find on Etsy. I have a Flickr account which has led me to be featured on Schmap. I also use Talentdatabase and Red Bubble but not as much as my blog and Etsy.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
Honestly? Its this old fashioned knife my husband made when he was like 14 in school. It has a leather cover and everything. Extremely dull but the workmanship is nice and I think its cute to have something he worked on in school. Even if its a knife.
Name your top 5 books, movies, songs/musical groups, and websites:
Books: The Woman in White, The Count of Monte Cristo, Life of Pi, Anne of Green Gables, Roots
Movies: The Princess Bride, Fiddler on the Roof, The Fifth Element, Sense and Sensibility, Signs (the Mel Gibson movie) ---> man my taste is all over the place!
Music: Seal, Sarah McLachlan, Dave Matthews, Keane, Moda (Italian band)
Websites: Etsy (of course!), Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Overstock, Gizoogle (good for a lot of laughs)
Name some Etsy shops that are your personal favourites?
GabrielsAunt (awesome scrubs!)
Juln (beautiful glasswork)
StarWillow (my fave earrings)
Vintaj (I want all their vintage jewelry!)
Imagesofbeauty (another amazing photographer I admire)
Melody at Aria Images was kind enough to offer a 15% discount to readers of this blog!
Just put "15BLOG" in notes to seller when purchasing and wait for a revised invoice.