Meet Rebecca of Smelly Rhino Studios

On Mondays I feature other Etsy artisans on my blog. Most are fellow members of my Etsy Teams: Etsy for Animals, Attack of the Craft, Etsy Moms and the Georgia Etsy Team. Some are random Etsy sellers who I stalk whose work I love and admire. All of them are unique and have interesting stories to tell. I hope you enjoy getting to know them!

Rebecca is a fellow member of the Georgia Etsy Team. She creates awesome works of art and also makes notebooks with recycled DVD covers.

Tell us a bit about yourself:
Well, I am an eternal optimist who writes, paints, sings, likes science, animals and dorky things. (and rhyming)

How did you come up with your shop name?
I was at the airport with a goofy friend drinking (how many ideas start that way?)  I wanted something memorable.  He was into designing toys and figurines and suggested it to me.  I thought, “Silly; Perfect!”

When did you start painting? I don’t really remember.  I started sewing at an early age, but my earliest memory of art is when my Dad taught me to draw perspective when I was eight.  He gave me one of those flat pencils that architects and construction people use and showed me how to draw the steps to his house, then had me practice (I think he was trying to give me a task that would keep me out of his hair for hours at a time.)  It caught on for me and my brother, and as we grew into teenagers, would do just that, sometimes into the night.  I still spend most of my time alone, drawing or painting.  I need to get out.

What made you want to start selling your creations?

My company closed and I got laid off.  I started my own business and have been at it for 4 years now.

Please describe your creative process?

I spend inordinate amounts of time imagining my compositions before they ever get out of my head.  But, there is a lot to be said for just showing up at the page and working.  Sometimes, I avoid that part until the whole painting is more or less complete, then I paint it.  I wish I didn’t always do that, but I think it works for me.

What inspires you?
Everything inspires me.  Gosh.  Light and Dark. shadows.  Expressions on people and dogs. Music.

Does your shop have a theme or purpose, like crafting for charity or eco-friendly, etc.?
I guess my theme is happy art.  and dogs!

I think helping a charity is a great thing, but I think this is a good time to say to everyone reading that you are helping others if you buy handmade.  Does it always have to be for an organization, when helping an individual is also very important?  Many crafters are in need out there, I know a large number of unemployed professionals who are trying to get by selling handmade, so I urge people to consider that even though they aren’t “non-profit”, artists and crafters are working really hard for you and their families! For many, this has become their only means of survival in a very rough economy.
(Rebecca makes an excellent point here, and it’s why artisans encourage people to buy handmade. –Kenzie)

I do offer eco-friendly products in my other shop, Outwardbound, where I make notebooks from recycled DVD covers.

Are your items custom or premade?
Most of my business right now is selling prints of my original art, although I do have to paint an original in order to sell a print!  Luckily, custom portraits also grace my desk every month and I am happy to have the opportunity to paint them.

Tell us two of your short term goals and one long term goal:
Short term goals, hmmm..  Well, I would like to be completely self-supported as an artist, and then I would like my partner Eric to be able to do his thing, I think mad scientist, not sure.

Long term, I would like to have a view of water, somewhere in the world.

Walk us through a typical day in your life:
I get up and look for coffee.  If it’s already made, I’m super lucky.
Write a few pages of brain-unloading, brain-storming stuff.
Paint some, depending on the day.
Get more coffee.
Check my email, blog, tweet or FB (sometimes to Regis and Kelly, but turn it off before The View starts so I don’t get a headache.)
Add new listings or relist sold items.
If it’s postal day, I get my orders together, go to the Post Office and then hit Starbucks.
Photograph new products if needed around 2, when the light is right.
Start painting.
By 3:30, it’s snacktime so I can have more coffee
It’s now that I really want to paint (around 4pm.)
Consider dinner.  If it’s already made, great!
Most nights I am up until midnight or later and I wake around 7:30.
I don’t get enough sleep, but I think you have to put in the time to make a business successful, and it takes time.  For me, years.

What is your favorite item in your shop at the moment?
My new art print blocks are incredible!  I mount prints to high quality wood art cradles, then paint, stain and glamorously finish them.  They are really beautiful and I’m very proud to sell them.

Art print blocksGuitar Art Print Block






Where on the web can you be found?
I have identical shops on etsy and artfire, plus my websites and blog.




2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rebecca salcedo
    Dec 06, 2010 @ 11:27:39

    Thanks Kenzie for the lovely feature. You are so great to share with others!


  2. bewhiskered
    Dec 06, 2010 @ 11:48:55

    I’m happy to feature artisans whose wares make me squee like yours do. 🙂


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