Michele Webber is an almost-local-to-me artist who lives and works in Sudbury, Suffolk. She creates gorgeous watercolours and other artworks and teaches others how to be creative with paints and watercolours too.
Here she gives us a little information about herself and her work.
• Tell us a bit about you
I am a freelance visual artist, art tutor, illustrator and writer of non fiction articles, mostly about painting techniques and art business advice. I work from my garden studio in Suffolk where I live with my partner, teenage daughter (when she is not at Uni) and my cat Gimlet.
• How did you decide on the name for your shop?
I made a conscious decision to promote myself as an individual artist so my shop name is simply based on my name: Michele Webber Art.
• How long has your shop been open and why did you start?
I opened my Etsy shop a couple of years ago as a convenient way to offer my art to buyers who didn’t live locally. It has been really exciting to see some of my paintings go as far as Russia and the USA!
• What is your favourite item in your shop at the moment?
It has to be my Watercolour Starter Set with unique colour mixing recipe leaflet, because it is the first art product I have designed myself and I really believe there is nothing else on the market quite like it.
• What made you start?
I had a long gap from art after leaving school and made the mistake of listening to other people who told me I would never make it. But after my daughter was born and I had had a break from working in an office 9 to 5 I realised I could never go back to that and it was time to start making my dreams happen.
• Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by all sorts of things I see around me, both in nature and man-made. I am fascinated by patterns and repeating motifs, whether on a brick wall or the feathers of a bird. I work in a representational way, but it is always my own version of what I see. My artwork is usually colourful and always happy, reflecting my own optimistic personality.
What do you love the most about running your own business?
I love the freedom to adjust and influence my income, the surprise when a gallery cheque pops through the door, and seeing the pleasure my students get when I help them to improve their artwork.
What do you love the least?
The hours of paperwork, photo editing, admin and social media work that keeps me from doing what I like to do best – create artwork! That said I do enjoy the business side of things and it is absolutely necessary in order to succeed. Artistic talent by itself is in no way enough.
• What other things do you like to do in your spare time?
I am a bit of a fitness freak and do Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Yoga and swimming. I have always been determined to stay slim and healthy in order to have the maximum energy for my work; and you don’t burn many calories painting watercolours! So most evenings you will find me in an exercise class. My other passion is sewing and I always have a skirt or a dress on the go; I would like to find more time for this hobby.
• What would be the one piece of advice would you give to a person setting up their own shop?
Add plenty of information to your listings. You may think you save time by not writing much but you will only give yourself more work later on when people contact you to ask questions because you haven’t been clear – that is if you don’t lose the sale in the first place. If I buy something online I expect clear photos, measurements, colour options, delivery times etc. Look at your shop objectively, would you buy from it yourself?
Thank you, Michele! If you’d like to take a look at her work, you can find her at:
If you would like to be featured on my blog, please get in touch!