Thursday, September 18, 2008

Winona Cookie Creations

Name: Ramona Szczerba
Shop Name: Winona Cookie Creations
Shop Link:
Location: San Diego, CA
Ships To: Anywhere

What inspires you? Honestly what inspires me most is people who like my art. Sometimes I feel like I'm giving form to what's in your heads, because I don't know where half of this stuff comes from! I create worlds I'd like to live in inhabited by people and creatures I'd like to meet. That said, I'm very inspired by other artists and I particularly appreciate the art nouveau genre, in general, and Alphonse Mucha in particular. I also am a huge fan of Ed Gorey, Maurice Sendak and many other illustrators. As far as my craft goes, I find great supplies inspiring. I have a studio crammed with fascinating little items that make realizing my pieces such a blast and help create really special results!

How long have you had your shop on Etsy? Since January 2008, so not even a year yet!

Is this a job for you or a hobby? It's both. I am a practicing psychologist, but I only see patients 3 days per week. I've been simultaneously doing design and illustration work for many years. I also design figurines for a large collectibles company, and do other commissioned art (such as portraiture) and commissioned illustration.

How did you get into your craft? I've always been an artist, but working in the steampunk genre with the collage work I am doing is very recent. I had been doing collage cards and other pieces for a while, but when I opened my Etsy shop, the steampunk pieces came out of nowhere and they have taken over my life a little bit! My other art genres can be seen on my website, or on Flickr:

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners? I doubt my sales numbers are the envy of anyone, but I'll give it a shot... I believe we, as artists, dictate the value of our work - not many professions get to work that kind of magic, so I would say don't undervalue your talent and your time. Really think about whether you are capable/want to do volume business, or whether you want to sell fewer pieces (maybe less often) for higher prices. Selling on Etsy is a lot of work - just because someone will buy something from you for 10 bucks doesn't mean it's worth your time to sell it for that. Best piece of Etsy advice I've gotten? If you don't have an expensive item in your shop, you can't sell one.

What do you love about steampunk? What DON'T I love about steampunk! Like a lot of people, I feel like steampunk is a conglomeration of aesthetics and ideas that I have been drawn to my whole life, like everything I ever loved or thought was SO COOL ended up in one place, meaningfully integrated. It's complete fantasy embodied, operationalized and lived, and that's very magical. I love the sense of community as well, and who I find in it. I was at Comic Con this year in my getup and I could see other people, similarly attired, their eyes skimming along the crowd for the fellow top hats, goggles, waistcoats - and then they'd meet each others eyes, nod a greeting and grin. It was really neat.

What else to add? I have really appreciated the support and the camaraderie of the SteamTeam. I'm not a big joiner, I'm an introvert, but this is an amazingly warm, talented and FUNNY group and I am very proud to be a part of it.


Sarah Dungan said...

Yes exactly - everything I thought was cool all in once thing. Nice way to put it :-)

. c h o k l i t . said...

WinonaCookie makes my heart beat faster! Lovely interview, thank you!

TotusMel said...

Wonderful to learn more about such an interesting artist!

Fatal Attraction said...

Wonderful interview....luv it when I get to see the inner workings and tickings of such a talented artist!