What's Your Name?
Hi! My name is Gill
List your shop(s) -
My main shop is Ruralfrance, chosen as I live in rural France and my photography is influenced by that. My photos and digital art are mainly of animals and insects, particularly horses (one of my loves) and agricultural themes.
Past Impressions is a store I started to cover my love of vintage art and postcards, to keep it separate from my own work. It includes copies of some of the postcards in my collection, a few old family photos, and more recently (and still to come!) some book illustrations from the 19th century. It's a good excuse for me to buy more postcards and books :)
Natural Patterns encompasses digital patterns made from my photos, as I love to experiment, but wanted to keep it separate from more traditional work. The patterns are mainly made from my flower photos, though you wouldn't think it to look at some of them!
How long have you been at Zazzle?
Gill :Just short of 2 years
Rico: Are you a ProSeller? If yes, how long from the time you open a shop until you made it to ProSeller?
Gill :Yes I am. That's a difficult question due to the changes - if the criteria had been the same as now, it would have been 6 months, but due to the hold on the program, I came in at bronze level in July, a year and a half after starting my first shop.
What's the best advise you got when you were starting out?
Gill :I didn't really ask many questions, but I did read the forum from top to bottom. There is so much good advice there, and the answer to nearly every question if you look for it.
What medium/tools do you use to create your designs?
Gill :I use a Mac, recently upgraded, along with a very good Photoshop alternative, Photoline, filters from FilterForge, and a few commercial use brushes that I've found. My camera is a Nikon D5000, and the Nikon software is excellent for making initial exposure adjustments.
Who or what inspires you?
Gill :The countryside and nature around me. The French are very fond of their draft horses with plenty of shows, the goats, chickens and Welsh cobs are our own, and there seems to be a much larger range of fascinating insects in France than the UK, which is where I was born. This area of France is very wooded and full of granite, so it's mostly cattle farming.
How much time a week to you spend on Zazzle?
Gill :Initially it was around 12 - 15 hours a day, now it's less though I can still sometimes do a long day. It depends week to week on what else needs to be done, with animals and land to look after.
What's the best advise you can give someone just starting out on Zazzle?
Gill :Do what you enjoy doing most, don't just follow what you think are the best sellers. If you're completely new to graphics, spend some time learning the software and some basic design, and experiment! Be prepared for some hard work for little return initially, and pay attention to your tags and descriptions - they are really important!
What do you like to do when you are not creating art?
Gill :I like gardening, travelling, sitting with a wheat beer and watching the world go by, looking after the animals, and wishing there were more hours in the day.
Tell me 5 random things everyone should know about you?
Gill :I speak a tiny bit of Czech that it took me 3 years of solid book learning to grasp.
Apart from my other hobbies, I have a passion for canals - it's a really nice way to travel.
A long time ago I used to have a Suzuki GS500E and a 1936 BSA with a hand gear change.
I hate seafood, brawn, snails, offal and any other unusual bits that the French love to eat. I love curry.
I hate any sort of housework, including shopping, and love it when my husband does the cooking.
List 3 of your favorite designs you want me to feature. Tell me something about each design.
This is my garden pond, an old stone trough, and this was the first year it was inhabited by frogs. There are three here but we actually had seven at the last count, all in a one and a half by four and a half feet trough. It's amazing how much wildlife you can find in an area that size.
Trials rider canvas
I'm not all animals and nature. We help out at the local motorcycle trial in Sardent once a year. It's a big event, international and over four days with around 350 riders, a large proportion of them from the UK. This is a photo of one of the experts, given an oil paint filter.
Hummingbird hawkmoth and valerian mousepads
This is a hummingbird hawk-moth, which I'm quite proud of as they hardly stop still for a second. Taken with a vintage 400mm manual lens with macro bellows in natural light.
This is one of my personal favorite designs from your shop
Gipsy Gold Print
Welsh cob mare, Trehewyd Sulwen, portrait. Gipsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark. ~Attributed to the Claddaugh Gypsies of Galway
Rico: Beautiful! I Love her soulful eye.
Where else can our readers find you online?
My blogs and lenses are updated sporadically, but I get around to them eventually.
Squidoo Rual France Photos
Squidoo Digital art from photos
Rual France Blog