Artist: Annie Yu
Business: Curbside Treasure
Web site: curbsidetreasure.etsy.com
Location: San Francisco, California
What do you create?
I make collages out of papers that I collect from everyday life. I have a weakness for maps and bus transfers, the blue insides of envelopes and old text pages from books.
Where and when do you do your creative work?
I usually do my artwork at night, in my attic studio/bedroom. I have a huge amount of paper dumped in a drawer and I sift through for papers that appeal to me. I rip and cut and arrange and then paste when the composition appeals to me.
Do you have another "day job"?
My day job is being a student at a community college – I am an English major. I consider myself a college student by day, an artist/crafter by night.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration on Flickr, there are so many talented artists sharing their work there. I think so many things inspire me, such as my favorite poems and books, people out on the street, when I ride the bus, finding new paper. I also love trading with other artists on mail art groups because I love having a small art gallery in my room.
What motivates you?
I think having my own time and space to create stuff motivates me. Being inspired by other people's art and craft and pushing myself to keep creating new art motivates me. The support of my family and friends and other artists is wonderful as well.
When did you start doing this?
I am a self-taught artist and I have only been making collages for four years. I started doing visual journaling by filling up pages with collages when I was 14 and I kept going at it. I also started trading my art with other people around the world through mail art forums.
Do you remember getting into art as a kid?
As a kid, I had a hard time with drawing. in fact I hated to draw because nothing came out the way I wanted it to and nobody had taught me how to draw in the first place. I think as a child I only thought of painting, drawing and sculpture as art. Now that that I am a bit older, I realize that there is so much more to art than that.
When and why did you decide to start your own business?
I decided to start my own business at the end of January 2007. It was one of the goals I had for 2007 – to open a shop online and sell my work. I definitely didn't know what I was getting into when starting my Etsy shop, but I have had a lot of fun so far and I love the community on Etsy.
How did you choose the name for your business?
Curbside Treasure comes from a favorite novel of mine called White Oleander by Janet Fitch. The main character starts to look at flea markets for old suitcases to make assemblages.
What do you love most about creating your work?
What I love about making my collages is that it's very soothing, it helps me relax and feel less stressed. I also like how fun it is to use junk and turn it into art.
A book you love:
A book called Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier. The story is about a seventeen-year-old girl who is confused about her identity and is an aspiring photographer. I love how descriptive and magical the writing is.
What is the most interesting thing about you?
I am a city girl, being born and raised in San Francisco. I love public transportation and riding buses is always an interesting adventure with all sorts of characters.
What achievement are you most proud of?
Starting my shop on Etsy was a big leap for me. it is always wonderful to realize people enjoy my work and want to give it a good home.
What advice would you give women starting their own business?
Don't give up even if you think you want to. So far it takes a lot of persistence, promotion and patience. Wow, three Ps...but seriously, it's a lot of work getting my shop out there.
What's the biggest challenge you face in your work?
The biggest challenge is feeling stuck when I start a piece. Another challenge is trying to balance school and making art.
What do you love to do in your free time?
I like to read and I go online too much. I also love (window) shopping.
What are you working on right now?
More artwork, of course... and whatever strikes my fancy. I also work in my art journal, which is a nonjudgmental messy place to collage.
What do you hope to achieve next?
I hope to keep moving forward with my shop by promoting more and having fun with it all.