Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Member Spotlight: Arwen Designs

I'm so happy to share another Member Spotlight with everyone. Meet one of my newest members, Paula from Arwen Designs. 

Tell us a little about yourself 
My name is Paula Arwen Friedlander. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and moved up to the Hudson Valley several years ago with my husband. We now have a cute little house surrounded by woods in Sullivan County. My Etsy shop is:

What is your professional background?
I am an Illustrator and Graphic Designer, and I have designed for textiles, print and products. After being laid off from a full time job last year, I am working part time and trying to devote more time to my Etsy shop and freelance business.

What led you to your current craft?
I work mainly with cut paper and silhouette art. I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with different mediums, including painting, sculpture, and jewelry, but I remember the day I picked up an x-acto knife and a piece of paper, and I was instantly hooked. Something about the process of cutting the paper, and the simplicity and contrast of black and white shapes appeals to me. I still enjoy mixing media and I like to add collage elements and color using both different materials and my computer. The computer also enables me to take my cut out designs and apply them to different materials, like vinyl decals.

How do you feed your creativity?
Everything around me inspires me, from the urban world of Brooklyn to the natural beauty of the Catskills. I’m also inspired by books and movies, mythology, and sometimes my dreams.

How do you work deal with a creative block?
I work on something else. If I’m stuck with a drawing, I’ll work on writing projects, or the business side of things. Sometimes I will go for a walk, play with the pets, work in my garden, or clean. (Cleaning usually comes last!)

Describe your work area.
My work area is small but has a nice view of the forest. It’s full of bits of paper and sketches. Although in reality my work area spills over into wherever I am, the couch, the dining room table, or if I’m not at home it is on the bits of paper in my pockets with ideas scribbled on them.

Favorite time of day to work?
I’m definitely not a morning person. I prefer to work in the afternoon and evenings, but I end up working on my Etsy projects whenever I have the chance.

How did you end up on Etsy?
I was looking for a way to share and sell my art when I discovered Etsy. Although I have my own website for my illustration work, it's hard to get noticed and bring web traffic there. Etsy already has the traffic, and they make it easy to set up a shop and join their community. There are so many talented artists and creators on Etsy, I knew it was someplace I wanted to join!

Other than your supplies & materials, what do you want with you on a stranded island?
A survival kit and my husband. Together we can survive anything.

Any guilty pleasures?
B horror movies, teen horror novels, and sparkly things. And chocolate, but do we really have to feel guilty about that?

Words of wisdom for aspiring artists.
Don’t give up. It’s hard to make any money creating art, but we do it because we love it and can’t help ourselves. If you work hard and keep practicing your skills, eventually you’ll get some recognition.

Keep up with Paula and her work on Twitter and her website:


  1. Great post! Always so much fun to hear artists' back stories!

  2. Nice getting to know you. Love your work!

  3. Thanks! And thanks for the spotlight post!