Fresh Etsy Pixx: Lauren Minco

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I’m starting a new feature today on Indie Fixx called Fresh Etsy Pixx. Periodically, I will be choosing new Etsy sellers who I think are on the rise, or who should be on the rise, to share with you. There’s a world of talent on Etsy, but sometimes it can be very overwhelming for new sellers and shoppers to find each find each other, so it’s my job to help you find the hidden new gems.

For today’s post, which is also doubling as this week’s TGIF: Thank God for Illustration Friday post, I am highlighting the artist Lauren Minco. Lauren opened her Etsy shop in February of this year, but has been working as an artist since she graduated from The Rhode Island School of Design in 2006. Her illustration work has been featured in Bitch Magazine and Venuszine and she sells prints and originals in her Etsy Shop. You can see more of her work on her website as well.

Learn more about this new Etsy seller in my interview below.

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1. What’s the name of your shop and what do you create?

My shop is basically my name, Lauren Minco, but the whole banner reads “The Art of Lauren Minco”. I sell original art and prints for right now. They usually involve awkward, but cute little characters and animals.

2. How long have you been in business and how long have you been selling on Etsy?

I started working as an artist full-time January 2007 doing freelance illustration and selling my art as well as other products from like T-shirts and pocket mirrors. I joined Etsy the last week of February in 2008.

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3. What made you take the plunge?

After graduating from The Rhode Island School of Design, I knew this was what I had been preparing for, so it was pretty much sink or swim (not to pull a pun over the “plunge” part). I had very supportive parents who told me to do what I love and “the money would follow”. As for Etsy, I think I just got distracted many times before I sat down and finally signed up! I had a couple of friends in late 2007 remind me about it and I started devoting more time to researching supplies and Etsy in general. I already do well at Art Sales so I figured making my work available 24/7 online would work out even if it took time to get established.

4. What inspires you?

I have many favorite illustrators and artists that are alive and working right now, and their passion and work really help to make me productive. However, you alway have to make sure your favorite artists don’t sway you from doing your own thing! I’ve always loved animation, and anything doing with light-hearted characters is great (as a kid I was a big fan of Sanrio). Comics, graffiti, street art, and Japanese culture (both old an new) have always been a big inspiration. Actually, I’ve been to Japan twice now and come back with so much fun imagery. Some of my favorite souvenirs from my last trip include Dr. Pepper cans with galactic space babes on them! I was a little shocked when I got them from the vending machine.

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5. Any goals you’d like to share?

This Fall, I begin teaching Editorial Illustration at Montserrat College of Art and am very excited about it. My goal is to become a great, inspiring teacher, and I recently told my parents that by 35 I will be Illustration Department Head at an art college somewhere in the future (I know, high ambitions!). I think teaching is just in my blood. Other than that, I would love for my characters to find their way on bags, T-shirts, and other products around the world. Meeting Hugh Jackman would be cool, too, but let’s not go overboard. 🙂

6. List some of your favorites…books, music, films, magazines & blogs.

Books: Mostly kid’s books, like The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish or The Pigeon Wants a Puppy. Real mature, right?
Music: Boards of Canada, Stone Temple Pilots, 80’s
Films: The Darjeeling Limited, A Fish Called Wanda, and Pixar, Pixar, Pixar!

Magazines: Esquire (I steal my boyfriend’s), cooking magazines
Blogs: My friends Kelly Murphy and Alison Blackwell who are also illustrators.

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