Welcome to Tell Us Tuesday! In this series, I’ll have a guest artist answer a few questions and wow, I’ve had a fantastic lineup for you! I hope that by hearing from such a diverse pool of creative people, we will take away interesting and different perspectives. This may help in your own endeavors, be it painting furniture for fun, working on your home and creating your own style, or starting a blog or business for profit. The questions range from the artistic to running a successful creative business.
I consider all of the participants to be my true friends. We may not have met face to face (yet) but I know that we all support and inspire each other.
This week we have … me! I didn’t have anyone lined up for this week so why not answer the questions myself? I have found everyone’s answers to be so interesting as many differ from my own and thought to add my thoughts into the mix 🙂
When did you begin to paint furniture and/or create projects for the home?
I began painting furniture when my children were very young (babies) about fifteen years ago. I had a certain design style and wanted to express it in my home but didn’t have the income to shop Pottery Barn, etc. I quickly realized that paint is the fastest way to transform a space and it became addicting. I purchased a few gallons of Benjamin Moore Linen White and painted room after room and all of the trim, the stairs, etc. until my older home no longer looked dated but had an airy, cottage feel. Painting furniture was an extension of this. I wish I had my blog in those days because transforming that home would have made a fantastic series! One of the first pieces I painted was a console table that I still use.
When and how did you start your website/blog?
I started my blog four years ago and really didn’t have a clue. My husband purchased the domain name and I started a free blog on Blogger. After a few years, I switched over to WordPress. I created my full website by myself and in the process have acquired a whole new skill set. The technical side of the business (blog, social media) has been a huge learning curve!
I would like to add a little something here. It is wonderful that today one can start a business by using their daughter’s Nook to create a Facebook page – that is how I started The Painted Drawer. When I was painting furniture fifteen years ago, the only way to sell it was by posting an ad in the local paper or Ebay. It is amazing how times have changed!
What would you consider to be your unique style and what inspires you?
I am drawn to the more muted, soft colors. I love pale blues, greens and creams. I don’t like a very cluttered space. I believe my style is peaceful. I like a space to be harmonious and make you feel at ease. I don’t like any space that is over the top in one style direction. A space that has farmhouse finds can also incorporate a mid-century modern piece. A space should feel “collected not decorated”.
How do you choose which type of paint or finish to use on a piece?
I know as soon as I see the piece which paint to use. Every piece has its own style, its “bones” and I don’t fight it. I try to respect my pieces. I dislike it when a lovely old piece that was originally very elegant is given a makeover with a slap dash coat of paint. I prefer Annie Sloan chalk paint over the competitors. I also enjoy General Finishes milk paint and their line of chalk style paint.
Do you consider both writing your blog and working on a project to each be a creative process? Which do you prefer?
They are definitely each a creative outlet. I love to transform a space or piece of furniture. It is so rewarding. Creative writing is also rewarding and my blog has really opened up my world. They each have their frustrations. When I am working on a piece and it is not quite going in the direction I had thought would work, it is frustrating. However, there is nothing as frustrating as technical difficulties, such as when my site crashes.
What is your favorite part of the creative process? The initial brainstorming/inspiration, working on the piece, the finishing touches (staging/photography) or writing and publishing the blog post? Least favorite?
My favorite part is the staging and photography. I love it when I am finished with a piece and adding new pretty drawer pulls and staging it. It gives me great satisfaction. I also really enjoy writing the post and sharing it with others. My least favorite part is editing the pictures and choosing which ones to use for the blog post. It is very time consuming!
What do you believe to be the reason for the success of your blog and business?
I think being authentic and not trying to copy trends. I am just myself and post from my heart. As far as successful, I believe we all have our own ideas of what success is. There is always someone ahead of you, one more step up the ladder. Find what works for you and define your own success.
What advice do you give other creative people wishing to follow in your footsteps?
This goes to my answer above. Be your own, authentic self. Enjoy what you do and express your own vision.
Thanks Suzanne 🙂 It’s nice to hear your views on the questions you ask your guests.
Thanks, Annie! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Nice to read your background too, Suzanne.
Thank you, Mary!
Just about anyone can slap some paint on
an older piece of furniture and improve its looks.
However, you not only lovingly paint the furniture but add all the extras ( jewelry, makeup, etc) your pieces always look like
something that is different and special. I think your furniture is probably
what makes a room feel both inviting and comfortable. Not everyone is able to do that no matter what paint,glazes or stains they use. You are gifted to know what paint will make that thrift sale item become the focal
piece of a room. You never disappoint.
Thank you so much, Deb. You are so kind and I really appreciate it!
Marie from The Interior Frugalista
So nice to read your story here today, Suzanne! You know I’m a huge fan of your work and tutorials. You always try interesting painting techniques that make your pieces stand out over the others. Looking forward to seeing more of your outstanding work.
It was good to get to know you a little better. You are one of my inspirations and I enjoy getting youur emails letting me know of a new post.