Featuring artists on my blog gives me the opportunity to meet some really awesome people.
And I am excited to introduce to you Shelia from Shelandry Studio.
Many artists are very shy and don't like to talk about themselves, and it's a struggle to get them to answer my questions. Well, Shelia is not...lol I love her answers, and included them in their entirety. You'll love her too...
so let's get started.
|adult/teen custom hoodie|
What is the story behind your shop name?
Shelandry Studio came from my OC (original character) name. This has been my RP (role playing) name since I was a teenager & over time it ended up being my stage name as well as my artist & cosplayer alias.
Where, when, how did you learn your craft?
I have been sewing & drawing as long as I can remember. My grandmother & mother like to do home crafts and sew a lot, and my grandfather and several uncles were artists by hobby. We would attend rendezvous and ren fairs making our own costumes and weapons. So I naturally picked it up and started learning how to sew & draw. I did it mostly for fun and making things for family, but it wasn't until after I got a job at a haunted house in the mid 90's that I started using my talents for items other than personal gifts. Through my dad & one of his friends I became a scene designer, costume maker & FX artist at a local haunted house. I worked there until early 2000's when I was introduced to the cosplay scene by some online friends. I made my first cosplay costume in 2008 and went to my first convention. I fell in love with the endless creative possibilities I had seen there and changed the basic mood of my current works from horror themed (which i was getting quickly burned out on the unchanging monotony) to seemingly unlimited potential of anime/manga/game themed ideas. I taught myself how to make anything I needed to use, and thus began an amazing creative journey that has yet to become boring.
What has been your biggest obstacle, or challenge, to finding and achieving success?
The biggest obstacle that I see in my current choice of hobby, if you will, is that there are many, many people who also have the very same ideas and talents. There are lots of people who cosplay & who also commission for them, and there are also lots of artists out there who draw with the same or similar styles as I do. Many of those other artists have a lot more time and practice in their portfolio then I do, and many of them also have more resources to do more than I can afford to do being a stay at home mom and only in the hobby for about 6 years. Despite the competition being thick, I still am not pushed away from what I fell in love with. I do have a leg up on some things as I do make a few things that are less common in my circles, like my hoodies. Even to this day I do not see many like the ones I make and thus sell more of those than anything else through my online shops.
Tell us a little about your family life...married, kids, pets, etc.
I am a divorced mother of 3 beautiful daughters, 20, 13 & 11. I have been dating my current boyfriend for almost 5 years now and we hope to be married later this year. I have a small zoo around my house. To be honest, we love animals, especially those that needed love. All of our pets are rescue animals of one form or another. We have several cats, 2 of which were rescued kittens from a local store parking lot, the rest were born from a local stray and taken in and hand raised as our own from tiny babies when their mother abandoned them. Our dogs were unwanted as puppies as well, one was dumped on a country road and found on my mother's doorstep the other was being given away at a local store. My daughter also has a rescue hamster that was given to her by a family friend when his grandson no longer wanted it and it needed a home. Our house at times can be a little crazy and hectic but I work hard at doing my best to keep in in working order. I use what free time I have for my hobbies, which usually end up being after he has left for work for the night and the kids go to bed, or the occasional time I get the chores done and have some free time during the day when the kids are at school.
Tell us a little bit about where you live....city, farm, suburb.
I live in a very small rural town in mid Missouri. The closest town in any direction is 25-30 minutes away. The closest city is an hour or so away. I live in farm area but I myself do not have a farm but are surrounded by fields & woods. I love the peace and quiet i get out here but it does at times make getting what I need a pain. I only make so many trips to town a month, especially with the price of gas these days. So I make my shopping trips count and run a lot of errands at once. It does help that my boyfriend does work over nights at one of the stores in town and can pick up things on his way home in the morning saving those tiny trips to town for little things like milk.
Share a story / memory of your childhood.
One of the memories I love about my childhood was getting together with my uncles and cousins and going to rendezvous and ren fairs . We also LARPed (live action role play) a lot as a family and they are where I got a majority of my inner nerd from. To this day we all still get together and LARP occasionally and have been passing our traditions and our costume & weapon making skills onto our children.
|tree of life pendant|
Tell us something about you that no-one else might know.
There really isn't much that most people who know me don't know. The only thing I really keep to myself was the parts of my life that were not so great. There was a time where I was in a very bad place all around, when I was married to my oldest child's father and when I was with the man I dated for 13 years & almost married (the father of my 2 youngest children) . Both relationships were controlling and abusive both mentally and emotionally. Lucky for me I got out before they got to the physical abuse aspect. That part of my life lasted for about 15 years or so and during that time I used my art as a mental escape for myself and as an aid in helping me regain my sense of self after I got the courage to take back my life and get my children away from that kind of life and have started a life with a man who loves and respects me and my children. I do not talk about my past much and most people that were not around me then unless they ask never really know or knew what I had been through and how far I had came in the time since.
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why?
I never really thought about this much. Unless you count my own fictional character Shelandry and her twin sister Amber that I have created for all of my role playing over the years, if that is the case I would love to be her, well them. Shelandry is like me in many ways, kind and caring but has the ability to help people and heal the injured as she is a healing priestess and her best friend is a dragon and I love dragons. Amber because she is strong and independent and protects her sister with everything she has.
Share your social media links and where we can find you on the internet.
I do not have some of the traditional social media that many use like twitter or Instagram, those are for my personal use when I even use them, but I do have a couple websites that I use for my studio.
Scotts Marketplace shop: scottsmarketplace.com/store/shelandrystudio/
Pick a favorite item from your shop, and why is it your favorite.
My favorite item in my shop has to be my custom character hoodies. There are so many different deign styles that I had to make a couple different listing to separate them into categories. I went from the usual requests of Pokemon characters to having to grow into making a separate listing for My Little Pony designs and even BJDs (ball jointed dolls). They are my favorite because I never know what my next order will be, and designing the hoodies to the wanted characters are such fun. I love the fact that I can use both my art and my sewing at one time and make something that makes people happy, especially little kids, who seem to really really love their hoods designed after their favorite characters.
|child size custom hoodie|
What advise would you give a new artist just starting out?
My advice to any new artist, including my children who also have shown interest in becoming artists in one form or another. never give up. Practice a lot and never ever let anyone tell you that it is not worth the time because there are so many people also doing it. Doing something you love will never be a waste of time. Look for something that you really love and always put a bit of yourself into what you do. People can see the difference between something being made out of habit or necessity and something made out of love and passion for what they do. A true artist always puts a bit of their soul into their art, no matter the medium it takes shape in. Their art is who they are inside and how they view what makes them happy.
Pick a favorite item from another shop, and why is it your favorite.
After looking through all the shops in the categories that I like to buy from (which as of right now there were not very many) I can say so far my favorite shop was Amigurumi Man. Their items are in the theme that I collect and also in an art form that I do not have access to around where I live. They crochet a lot of gaming themed items, most crochet items around where I am are hats, country crafts and the like and a lot of the conventions that I attend have the themes that I collect but in forms that I find everywhere, like bead work, artwork or plastic crafts.
Do you have any special coupon codes for our readers?
I do have a special only for your readers, it is called Blog reader special. Just enter the code " BlogReaderSpecial " and receive free shipping on all orders over $35.00 . Code valid until 12/31/16
Wasn't this great???? I just love Sheila and her shop Shelandry Studio. And don't forget to use the discount she has so generously provided only to my readers.
And while your there, check out the other great shops at
Until next time,