Stop Eleven on our Etsy Rhode Trip: West Virginia!

Etsy seller Madelaine's haunting and provocative imagery made her the natural choice to represent West Virginia on our Etsy Rhode Trip. Her photography is totally stunning!

The Art of Madelaine

HT: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

MD: My name is Madelaine, I was born on February 5th, 1991 in Edmonton, but currently reside in West Virginia.

HT: How did you start doing photography?

MD: My step-father purchased me a digital camera for Christmas one year, but it didn't work. So he got me a new one, and it didn't work, either. So he got me a new one, and by the time I got a working camera in March, I had been waiting so long to take photos of stuff that I started and never stopped.

HT: What inspires your work? How do you come up with/compose your images?

MD: Words inspire me, as I always say, in any way, shape, font (except papyrus), context and form. Songs, graffiti, poetry, love letters, notes, conversations I have, conversations I overhear, etc. I rarely plan anything ahead. If I want to take photographs, I go take photographs. If I want to create something without having to go somewhere, I open up Photoshop and just mess with old photographs, or stock photos I've collected over the years.

HT: How did you find Etsy?

MD: It was mentioned very briefly in an obscure corner of Domino Magazine. It was very lucky I even saw it. I signed up immediately (to make sure no one took my name), and several months later I started listing and selling prints.

HT: What aspects of your state inspire you?

MD: I live in an old coal mining town (it was very busy about 100 years ago, but now it's kind of dead and falling apart), with lots of decay and not many people to get in the way of what I'm trying to photograph.

HT: What is most challenging aspect of your work?

MD: Not accidentally destroying my work. It's so easy to miss a photograph. Or having the power go out right before saving something I worked for hours and hours on. Or putting a memory card next to a super strong magnet. There's also an age and money barrier to work with, that can be difficult, especially when trying to get into galleries or wanting to buy a nice stock photo, respectively.

Oh yeah, photographing myself is really, really hard to do, but as most of my photographs are self-portraits, it's something I do a lot.

HT: What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

MD: Seeing my art in other people's homes. Seriously. I love it when my customers send me a photo of one of my prints in their homes. I'm thinking of putting on a contest which requires a photo of one of my prints being displayed.

HT: Have you ever visited Rhode Island?

MD: No, I haven't. Most of my traveling has taken place in Western Canada.

HT: What is your favorite color?

MD: Dark Teal/Turquoise. :)

HT: Do you have a favorite item in your shop?

MD: I think my favorite photographs are The Visitor and Beauty is... My favorite digital print is easily You're Brightening a Grey World.

HT: Any items from other Etsy sellers that you are currently coveting?

MD: Yes. I would love to get these wings and one of PaperStampede's custom giraffes. :D Plus everything else in my favorites.

HT: What are your shop goals for 2008?

MD: I plan to have a bunch of greeting cards and postcards made at very affordable prices, so my goal is to have those available and selling sometime this year, which should also help with promotion. I have been researching companies for a good while, and have found several that are perfect for what I need. I also am working on a small wholesale catalogue to give to shops and galleries all over the place.

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2 Responses
  1. etherealwear Says:

    Beautifully surreal images, Madelaine. I'm inspired. Your eyes have their own minds! Does that make any sense?

  2. Diana Says:

    Oh, I love her photographs, so talented!