Monday, October 27, 2008

Linda Johnson

Linda Johnson , Pennsylvania, USA
Little Flower Designs

1. How would you describe your style?

The style of my work is sweet, lovely and modern. I keep those 3 words in mind when I am designing.

2. How do you come up with your lovely designs?

I find inspiration in my daily life; flowers, fences, and birds are quite abundant where I live. I also draw everyday and that helps to develop new designs.

3. What part of the pottery process is your favorite? What do you find most frustrating?

My favorite part is opening the kiln after a good firing! I work so hard to achieve good results and when the pieces come out right I am filled with happiness! The most frustrating part can happen at any stage of the making, a bad throwing day, warping, weird gunk in the clay, but truly I feel lucky to do what I do so these moments are quickly overcome.

4. I read that you have your BFA in sculpture and also have your interior design certification. Can you tell us a little bit more about your background and how you got your start in "potting" and when you decided to do it full-time?

I started working in clay after I achieved my BFA. I answered a help wanted ad for a tile glazer at a handmade tile studio and fell in love with the process and the life of the couple running the studio. I only worked at there for a few months but started taking classes at art centers and colleges to piece together my clay education and to have studio time. After a few years of doing that I set up a home studio and that is where I work now. I still attend workshops from time to time and love learning new techniques from other potters. While honing my clay skills and dreaming of doing this for a living, I worked as a facilities manager for an investment firm. While that wasn’t my calling I did get to manage a beautiful art collection, learn web design and photoshop, and do put my interior design skills to work. For the corporate world I had a pretty creative job that afforded me time to work on my pottery. When Little Flower Designs started to overwhelm my day job, I was sneaking off to empty offices to do phone interviews with magazines and taking orders! I decided it was time to go full-time.

5. Your work has been featured in numerous big-name publications. Can you give us some advice on the best way to get noticed. Is it just a matter of luck and good timing or do you have a recipe for success? Also, any important lessons you can pass on from being featured on major pubs/sites?

I believe that if you make something you love and that comes across the hands or eyes of the right person than the word will spread! You never know who will see you at a show or your work at a customer’s house, so always put your best work out there. I also make sure to include information like post cards and a business cards with every purchase so people can find me again. It also helps to be nice, and be honest about what you are able to do.

6. "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery..." (until it happens to you!) Many of the artists I speak to have had issue with copycats. What do you think is the best way to deal with this type of situation?

There is not a good way to deal with this. However, if it does happen you need to send a letter or e-mail asking that they stop and if they don’t you’ll need a lawyer to handle this. For me, I’m running a business and would handle it in a professional manner.

7. If you could put your products on the shelves of any 3 stores, which ones would you choose?

Oh, gosh, I can’t say, I don’t want to jinx it!

8. What was it that made you want to start creating?

Do you feel like you were born with a desire to create or did something trigger it? I was definitely born with it! I was a creative child, and an expressive teen! I decided pretty early on that I wanted to be an artist, first a painter then a sculptor, and now a crafter. I still like to make fine art, hopefully as I grow Little Flower there will be more time for painting and sculpting.

9. What's next for you and Little Flower Designs?

Next up is the holiday season, so I am pretty focused on that right now! Everything from making my wares to spiffing up my web site. After the holidays I’ll focus on adding a few new pieces to my line and marketing that to boutiques. Although I have many plans for Little Flower Designs, I’m taking it one step at a time, I’ve found I get so much more done that way. For me personally, I hope to continue to grow as an artist and improve on my craft. I also hope to make more time for fun!

What inspires you, what are some things you love...

Favorite scents : lavender – for relaxing, sandalwood – I wear everyday, somehow I think the scent keeps me focused, vanilla- for candles and sometimes to wear with the sandalwood, the 2 together are wonderful!

Music I never seem to tire of: jesus and marychain, pixies, the shins, decendents, mazzy star, beatles, dinosaur jr, white stripes… I tend to listen to y-rock quite a bit, and love Ramon’s international alternative show on Saturdays.

My inspirations definitely come from nature, being outside, looking at the way things grow and interact. My in-laws are great gardeners, so the summer is filled with parties at homes with wonderful gardens, and lucky for us lots of home grown veggies!! I feel a strong connection between gardening and pottery. There is a lot of love in each, and both produce a crop that shows the care.

Thanks Linda!!


Melissa de la Fuente said...

This is great! Linda's designs are so lovely and it is so wonderful hearing more about her and her process.

Amy (the b-line) said...

Linda's work is so cheerful and sweet. Thanks for sharing. It's wonderful to read about her process and inspiration.

Jan said...

I love Linda's work! What a great interview!!

Learning Spanish at 41 said...

Anything with birds is something I'll like...nice interview, too!

Anonymous said...

I'm with her on #3 (: I love this entry, Linda's work is beautiful!

Linda Johnson Studio said...

thank you so much for the interview and your readers for the nice comments!!! xoxo, Linda

Patricia Griffin Ceramics said...

Great interview and images of Linda's work. I often read Linda's blog and found the link to your site there. What a fun interview!